Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Day With Isaac: In Words

So today started out auspiciously when my usually-slightly-late friend Sarah Marie arrived at my house 5 minutes early for our scheduled 9am departure. You see, there was an Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne fashion show being held at Belk in South Park, and the man himself, Isaac Mizrahi, was going to be there. Damned if we weren't going to get there early, get our front row seats and hope to see a glimpse of the genius himself.

Doors to Belk and registration opened at 10am. The show was at 1pm. Sarah and I arrived at Belk at 9:48am with a lot of giddiness and lots of silly items to keep us busy while we sat patiently for the next 3 hours.

I will digress to say that we showed up: DRESSED. I was wearing the watercolor floral dirndl skirt from the current collection along with a big black hat and giant sunglasses. Sarah arrived in a flowing cream skirt and kick-ass red heels.

So when the doors opened at 10 we were the first ones in the store and the first ones at the registration table where we were given our pretty teal colored wrist bands and told that if we spent $150 in the department, we would be given a FREE copy of Isaac's book, How To Have Style, AND he would personally autograph it for us.

So - about 3 weeks ago, I had received a phone call from someone at Liz Claiborne telling me that there was the chance to meet Isaac in person, but I had to pre-spend $150 at Liz Claiborne and put it on a Belk credit card (which wasn't an issue seeing as I had just opened an account). I was kind of pissed about the whole thing because I had just spent well over $150 at Liz Claiborne not one week earlier. I asked if my earlier spending could somehow be applied retroactively. I was told no. So after discussing with Sarah Marie, we both decided that we did not need to spend the money and we would get our Isaac fix some other way.

However, dressed up the morning of, nearly high with anticipation, and seeing as there had clearly been a change in the rules, we decided to browse. And try things on. We both tried on the strech pique sweetheart dress in pink. It was really cute (and really pink) but it didn't fit so well on top which was kind of a disappointment. Then I tried on an awesome silver skirt that even though it is silver, I will wear it ever day. Really - it is just that fabulous. It wasn't enough to get me to $150 but combined with the super cute belted seersucker dress I tried on it was. And I do have a weekend coming up in Sullivan's Island and that dress is so perfect...

Meanwhile, Sarah Marie became smitten with a stunning navy eyelet dress with a dramatic shawl color. So much so, that she bought it and had her very own wardrobe change!

While she was changing, I was browsing over in shoes (they still don't have the yellow heels I want) and just as I was making my way back over to Liz Claiborne to grab Sarah, who did I see shuffling toward me with his entourage? Isaac freaking Mizrahi. The man himself. And he was all bundled up with a scarf around his neck and he had his sunglasses on and he saw me standing there in my full on glamour and he gave me a little wave, and then blew me a little kiss, and then I near about fell over and said something really awesome like: You just totally made my life. I don't know - it was all a fabulous, Isaac blur...

So after that moment, and having picked up our neon green bracelets to assure us a chance to meet Isaac in person after the show, we decided we did not need to get seats now and so instead we headed to Chick Fil A for breakfast and then we browsed a little bit. But by 11:20am we had our seats (front row, center - right at the end of the cat walk) and an hour and forty minutes to kill.

We read Isaac's book. We played Totally 80s Trivia In a Can. We made up stories about the various people who were starting to trickle in and take their seats. There was one woman we were fascinated with - she and her companion had gone to Chick Fil A also but while her companion had eaten a sandwich, this woman was using a fork at first and then a spoon to eat mysterious items that just didn't seem very Chick Fil Aish. The fork kept disappearing into what appeared to be a french fry bag but I only saw little slivers of something come out - no fries. And then the spoon kept disappearing into a cup and emerging with some sort of white concoction on it that looked like mayonnaise but couldn't have been mayonnaise - could it have been? And she kept taking a few dainty bites and then putting it away and then bringing it out again and then putting it away and it was just fascinating. I still want to know what on earth she was eating.

By the time 1pm rolled around - the place was PACKED. And I was so glad that we had gotten there early, gotten our shopping done, gotten our neon green bracelets and the chance to meet Isaac, and gotten our seats.

We started with a video clip of Isaac being Isaac i.e. just totally fabulous and warm and funny and amazing and then the man himself emerged. He was seated on a white sofa at the top of the runway (which a whole crew of 8 people had set up for him) along with the top Trend Buyer for Belk, Andrea, and they would dialogue a little bit and then some models would come out and show off the clothes. And then Isaac and Andrea would gab some more. And then more clothes. And then there was one more gab fest and one more round of clothes and then it was Q&A time.

The best part came during the Q&A when a woman asked if heavier, plus sized women (such as herself) should stay away from certain styles or colors. Isaac gave an emphatic NO and then added this. Look, for every 4 people who think you look fabulous, there is always going to be 1 who doesn't...And we HATE her anyways. It was Isaac. It was genius. We love him.

Then it was a mad dash back downstairs and everyone was trying to turn in their surveys to get their free gift (a rather lovely but not so exciting white LC notebook) and then there was chaos as women ripped clothes off racks, lined up to try items one, and backed up 3 deep at the register so they could get their neon green bracelets. We already had ours. We got in line (we were about 5th) and waited calmly for our chance to meet Isaac.

I wasn't quite sure what I would say when I met him. I thought about some clever quip about his performance in For Love Or Money but in the end, I talked about having Seder with his mother. So when Isaac asks me my name, I tell him it's Sarah with an H. And he says that Sarah with an H is also his mother's name. And then I said: I'd like to have Seder with Sarah Mizrahi (for the record, he had talked about Seder during the show) and I think he kind of looked at me a little oddly but it didn't matter because I was conversing with Isaac Mizrahi. And the whole reason why we were conversing was because before he signed my book, he sketched me in my fabulous hat and so we had some time to chat. Really. And then Sarah Marie took my picture with him and I took one of her and we left the madness and had limontinis and hummus on the patio of M5.

It was fabulous. It really was. And then we came back home and watched the Dolly Parton segment from 60 Minutes a few weeks ago because Sarah hadn't seen it and because really, how else do you follow-up Isaac? Dolly was perfect.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

(ps A separate post with pix to follow because Sarah Marie has all the good ones!)


Daisy Girl said...

Is the head trend lady at Belk Arlene Goldstein?

She is so fab. We met her at the Kristin Davis Fashion Show in Birmingham, AL.

LOVED your report!