My friend Ciaran recently put on an event for the opening of Bel-Bambini, a new children’s store in Newport Beach, and asked if Annie would participate in what was to be the day’s highlight – a children’s fashion show! Since Annie is a little fashionista, and since I love fashion shows about as much as Kelly Kapoor from “The Office” (“Fashion Show! Fashion Show! Fashion Show at lunch!”), I said we were in.
Mike, Annie, and I made the two-hour drive South to Newport Beach where we found ourselves among docked yachts and expensive cars. (It is, after all, where they shoot much of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”) Upon finding the store we took Annie upstairs to a large room where the fashion show was to take place. After checking in, Annie and I were led to a backstage area and handed a little white dress on a hanger for Annie to model.
Crap, I thought. White dresses and two-year-olds go together about as well as the Hatfields and McCoys. And while Annie wouldn’t be eating any food in it, she has a knack for finding ingenious ways to dirty her clothes.
I took the dress off the hanger and couldn’t believe how soft the fabric was. I then noticed that the hanger also held a gold belt with a symbol I’d only seen in “Vogue” magazine. It was the symbol for…. FENDI. I immediately grabbed the price tag to see if it was indeed Fendi – it was – then spotted the price. It read: $625.00
That’s right. $625 dollars for a two year old’s dress.
After picking up my jaw from the floor I carefully put Annie into the dress and said, “Annie, this must be what it feels like to be Suri Cruise.”
After twenty minutes of watching Annie like a hawk to make sure she didn’t dirty her dress (because this could NOT be a “you break, you buy” situation), the Fashion Show began. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was almost exactly like New York City fashion week (according to Project Runway)- a DJ spun music, cameras flashed, and an announcer introduced the kids/models and what they were wearing.
I started to worry when I realized that Annie was going to have walk by herself to the center of a crowded room as people took photos of her. She was only two, after all, and prone to bouts of shyness in crowds. My worries only intensified when the other kids sashayed onto the stage, spun around, and smiled as if they’d been doing this their entire lives.
“Damn,” I whispered to another mom. “These kids can werk it, gurl.”
Finally it was Annie’s turn, and while she may not have “werked it”, I was ecstatic that she A) walked away from me to the center of the room, B) climbed onto the stage, and C) didn’t break into tears (it definitely helped that she had Ciaran’s hand to hold). And while she may not have smiled, she wore a pouty look on her face that was straight off the catwalk. Very Tyra. The crowd gave her a huge “Awwww”, which, I quickly learned, was the biggest complement a child model could be given.
Once the show ended I took Annie backstage to change. As I pulled the Fendi dress over her head I said, “Sorry, girlfriend. The next thing you wear that will cost this much will be a wedding dress.” She literally cried. It was like she understood that we didn’t get to keep it.
Luckily, downstairs a refreshment table was set up complete with Annie’s favorite thing – cupcakes. I gave her one and she went to town on the frosting. I love a model that eats.