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I’m still getting back into things after the wedding, several deadlines, two Passover seders, and a bout of that weird malaise that hovers over April when it should be warmer than it is. This weekend, there was a chill in the air in New York and I felt not just forlorn, but accosted! A personal confrontation between Mother Nature and me in which Mother Nature was—as usual—winning.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of good, beautiful fortune lately, so no complaining, but even those of us who basically know how lucky we are are entitled to get that shivery, nostalgic feeling where really the only thing to do is queue up a playlist of the songs that were most popular the year you graduated from high school and cry a little on a brisk run.
Does running not sound good at the moment? You don’t feel up to it?
OK—here’s another recommendation.
A few weeks ago, I was in Los Angeles to celebrate Drive My Car—a gorgeous film about grief and longing and art that happens to star some of the most attractive people on earth. (It won Best International Film at the Oscars, which I think we all know is the most important headline to come out of Oscars 2022.)
I decided to be a slightly different person for the occasion. I had planned to borrow a dress from whomever I could convince to lend me one, but instead I accepted a friend’s offer to whisk me downtown to Orchard Street so that I could find something suitable. She told me to meet her at Kallmeyer—where I had never been. The store turned out to be filled with clothes that make me think of Julia Roberts in 1991, with a dash of Amanda Peet in Something's Gotta Give. Later that same month, Vogue called its designer—Daniella Kallmeyer—the “best women’s suit designer in New York.” I have to say I liked her immediately—even before the Vogue stamp of approval. She has impeccable taste, a keen sense of proportion, and a nice dog. It’s a perfect store.
I tried on a few outfits. It was one of those uncharacteristic shopping experiences where most of what you’re putting on your body makes you feel better about yourself. If you can hustle to 83 Orchard, I recommend it for that sense of peace alone. The dress I ended up with is simple, with a secret. Sleek and streamlined in the front, bare in the back with criss-crossing straps that remind me of sandals I once pleaded for in middle school. Great dress.
So things were off to a good start. In terms of makeup, I resolved to ask the stupendous makeup artist Liz Lash—and that is her real name—to help. We had batted around a few ideas and landed on something straightforward—glowing skin, a hint of liner, blush, lots of sweet, pale pinks.
But when she sat down opposite me and opened her kit, I scrapped the plan. I wanted to borrow someone else’s zest for life and carefree attitude! Someone else’s embrace of pigmented makeup! What about something more adventurous.
Liz rustled around. She turned up the Dior Backstage Eye Palette in “002 Cool Neutrals” and swiveled it around so I could see. The brand calls these particular formulations “neutral shades with cool tones,” but there is no mistaking the overall effect. It’s purple. These are purple colors.
Does purple eyeshadow sound like not a very big deal to you? I get it. There are more important things going on. But the truth is it thrilled me—thrilled me!—to do something that runs so out of character. I wear black, white, and about three shades of blue. I spent 14 months hunting for a beige trench coat that I could feel reasonably confident was the right shade of beige. Will I ever feel fully confident that I made the right decision? I don’t know.
So the purple eyeshadow was kind of a revelation. It made me understand that obvious thing—that I could do this whenever I want. That I don’t have to try on someone else’s personality just to believe that I’m capable of pulling off a few square inches of festive eye makeup. I like knowing the option is out there for me. Like a plane I can get on when I’m yearning for a little trip.
Back when I was shopping for a wedding dress, I spent about a week being zipped in and out of gowns. In the end, I was left with two choices. One was a sleek, silk Lela Rose gown with the tiniest spaghetti straps and a simple, flowing silhouette. I found the other at Spina—a boutique in Chelsea. It was encrusted in beads and seed pearls and weighed several pounds.
Everyone I showed pictures to loved both dresses. The glamour of the first! The glitz of the second! But everyone was convinced I’d choose the first. It was so me—exactly what they’d expected I’d wear. I spent two nights agonizing over it, desperately unsure. But then I surprised everyone and myself and chose the second dress. I didn’t want people to see me at my wedding and think, “That’s so her.” I wanted people to see me at my wedding and gasp.
Purple eyeshadow—it can do that for you too.