So I'm sitting here eating my go-to meal: pasta with pesto. Yummy? Used to be but not any more. I've decided I'd rather choke on a bowl of Ramen before I go to this green, awful place again. To help keep it down I decided to turn on the fat screen, I mean the flat screen. This is what happens when you start to have acid reflux looking at couture collections like Valentino. I needed a little comic relief, as I'm fresh out of Maalox. Surfing (body surfing a sea with no waves) the channels landed me on Jersey Couture, one of the new, more heinous reality shows. Tonight's episode was "Operation Fairy Dust" where the store Diane and Co., donates gowns for young women in NYC who are unable to afford a dress for their proms. Having tuned in only once before and so overwhelmed with their gauche, crassness, I swore I'd never look again, let alone write about it. Well this particular episode changed my mind. The cast is a family who run a dress shop specializing in "Gorgeous Gowns" with the matriarch Diane, known as Ma the resident "Boobologist". Her specialty is taking care of the "Girls","Bubbies","Bad Boys","Breassesses"....... Everything uttered by the 2 daughters and Ma is Hyperbolic Histrionics. This episode was no different except for one very major twist.
At the most glamorous (not) dry cleaning shop somewhere in Manha-an, they brought a truckload of gowns to give away to 20 or so girls; all sizes, all races. The dresses tend to be couture knockoffs that hover around $700.00 to $900.00 for the best. These gowns are surprisingly convincing : beading, draping, embroideries, the full freakin' 9 yards. This insane operation has it AWLL.... So in come the girls: cute, short, tall, skinny, full figured, you name it.
One by one that certifiable family of Jersey Crazies dressed each and every girl....beautifully. There has to be a dramatic twist to keep me (I mean US) on the edge of my seat, so in comes a girl that is a size 24 and they don't have anything. Ma ( Diane) utters her trademark line, "Holy Shit" and I said to myself, "You got that right, Ma". "Whatcha gonna do bout this?" Well Ma gets on her Blackberry and calls one of her suppliers to send over whatever he's got in sizes 24 and up.
By the time the commercial brake was done , in comes one of the daughters who ran down the street in her Laboutins to find the goods. She's carrying a big old brown plastic trash bag full of something. The poor girl who is the last to get her dream gown is standing there quietly, patiently waiting. No attitude, just praying. Off to the area behind a mass of hanging dry cleaning (the dressing room) go Ma and Cinderella. Moments later they emerge and this girl reappears as a princess; a beautiful, glamorous, elegant , glowing dream. I actually got choked up.
There's a lot to be said for the generosity of this over the top family. They made every girl's dream a reality. They gave them a sense of their unique beauty, strength, and a huge lift to their self esteem. It doesn't get better than that. On top of that, they did it for free with as much heart and enthusiasm they give to their paying clients. Whenever they succeed with the most difficult task , it's a family cheer or high fives all around. These ladies LOVE their work. These bigger than life Babes love women and it's infectious. They're an example for so many in this very precious business.
" Go Jersey, Go Jersey, Go Jersey, Jersey, Jersey!!!!!
Well, where were you, I thought you had been kidnapped by some angry designer !
I will watch the jersey show. Cannot wait ! Did you write a review on Chanel, or the 2 pictures said it all ? I guess so !
Since I'm located in Europe, I can't see the show yet, so maybe I should limit my comments to your - excellent, as always! - blog.
However, your rundown and your comments on the show piqued my curiosity to such an extent that I went to the Oxygen website and looked these girls up.
When two things happened. First, an attack of the worst, snarkiest, snidest European superiority (since we don't have that teenaged rite of passage called The Prom) complex, because everything I saw was -a bit m-u-c-h in that general way that can only come from the US, and then in that particular way that always seems to originate out of New Jersey! ;-)
Too much...beading, pleating, color, pattern, volume...it was visual OD in the key of Cake.
Somewhere along the way, however, it hit me. It hit me looking down my nose was making me miss a very valid point - with the show, with these ladies, and with the girls who choose to wear them - for free or not.
The point being - for the huge, vast majority of us, dresses like these are the closest thing we poor scum will ever get to couture and to what is the main allure of such fairy-tale gowns, which is...the Cinderella fairy tale of just for one night, just for one moment, feeling ourselves transformed not just into a better version of ourselves, but to be Goddesses - to feel that magic transform something inside us from our bones to our smiles, and The Dress is the vehicle to do just that.
To own the world for one night, to be 100% present in the moment, to feel, however fleetingly, that perfect meld of body and soul and The Perfect Dress - that's what these ladies are supplying, and they know it, which I'll bet you is why they love their jobs to begin with.
The women who wear them - the girls who get to go to their proms feeling the proverbial million bucks - will live off those events, those nights, those moments for the rest of their lives.that moment where LIfe Was Beautiful, and they were, too!
So - thank you for making me aware of that. And thank you for reminding this not-so-perfect snooty European/American hybrid - Nicole Kidman's coloring on something akin to Salma Hayek's body, so I don't have it too easy, either - that a woman's pursuit of beauty in whatever form is that aspiration - for that One Beautiful Moment, when body, soul and The Dress all came together.
Something got messed up in the process of publishing Chanel. I took it from the top and have now re-published it....3 hours later. Thanks for giving me a heads-up. On Safari it was f***** up , but firefox was showing it. Anyway, fixed now. Thanks!
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