Time to wake up and smell the wet, hot garbage. Summer is coming in hotsy totsy, Washington. So, gird your face wipes, baby powder, and Evian spray, because it's about to get real hot and sticky up in the Swamp. If you’re an average gal who starts dumping sweat the moment the temperature breaks 60 degrees, like me, then you’re also plagued with the looming anxiety of staying relatively “fresh” over the course of the next 4 months...
In February, the runways of Paris Fashion Week gave a preview of what designers have on the docket for Fall/Winter ‘18. Gucci, for example, held their Fall ‘18 runway show on a set designed to look like an operating room with models casually carrying baby dragons and lifelike replicas of their heads. The invitations were hermetically sealed bags with digital timers inside, ominously counting down to showtime. The whole thing was very Game of Thrones meets Nip/Tuck and leaves us wondering what the heck we’re going to be wearing come fall...
My charts are telling me today calls for some serious realness. Therefore, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide some 3-pm-on-the-Friday-and-hangin’-by-thread inspiration. So, let’s get it. As brash, crass, and first-class, New Orleans-based artist, Ashley Longshore, says, “Don’t ever save anything for a ‘special occasion.’ Being alive is the special occasion.” Sometimes we need a hero to order a round of reality shots to get the party started. Today, I’m that hero. I guess, technically, Deb is really the hero. So, I’m basically the person at a party who overhears a real, heater of a joke and repeats it later to a group of innocent guests hanging out in the kitchen. Then the people of the kitchen hail me as the funniest girl they’ve ever met. I accept the crown, and the glory, and the fame. But, alas, I am not the rightful heir. But everyone deserves a seat on the throne, a chance to abandon their station as the jester, even if only for a moment. Life’s a party and when you roll with us, you’re always VIP. Now, let the revelry commence!
Model, actress, producer, and inspiration, Tyra Banks, once asked, “Wanna be on top???” So, my mom refused to let me watch America’s Next Top Model. She was horrified after watching an episode where one of the models didn’t know how to pronounce ‘chartreuse’ while reading from a teleprompter during a fashion forecasting challenge. From then on, she only allowed me to read books about women, like, Amelia Earhart, Marion Anderson, and Anne Sullivan. This way, my brain wouldn’t rot from watching aspiring models weep as a stylist chopped off their long, yellow hair, and dye it a shade that can best be described as, “rusty.” I think she pretty much hid the channel changer, so we’d be trapped in channel 8 (PBS) purgatory. Anyway, the answer is: yes. I do “wanna be on top.” Unfortunately, I am too elderly to enter the competition, as I am 26. Fortunately, I work with ~real~ models who know how to pronounce the names of colors. Their level of hair meltdowns is on a scale of zero to “there are a hundred pounds of dry shampoo on my head.” They are smart. They are fierce. And, they are willing to share the behind the scenes goss from their recent shoot in Park City, Utah.
I hear the drums echoing tonight. But, she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation. She's coming in, 12:30 flight. The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation. I stopped an old man along the way. Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies. He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you..." It's gonna take a lot to take me away from YOU. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever DO. I bless the rains down in AFRICA.Gonna take some time to do the things we never had…
When it comes to packing, especially for those weekend getaways, many of us are idealists with big dreams and aspirations. I'm one of these dreamers. But, I know how the ambitious packer plotline unfolds, and it ain't pretty. I’m not going to try to disprove the “better to overpack than under pack” theory. I've personally developed some core values for packing smart. For example, if you haven’t worn it in the last year, then don't kid yourself. You're not going to wear it this weekend. I’m truly sorry, batique tube top I bought at a street fair in Argentina five years ago and have been “saving for the right occasion.” It shouldn’t come as a total shock that you’ll be sitting this one out with the rest of my 2013 Music Festival Dust Rag Collection.
Spring. Alive. Awakening. Baby animals. Birth. Bloom. Blossom. Born. Bright. Bunny. Cheerful. Change. Clean. Crisp. Delightful. Daisy. Daffodil. Duckling. Eggs. Flower. Fresh. Garden. Grass. Grow. Happy. Hatch. Hyacinth. Iris. Incredible. Joyful. Light. Lovely. LITTLE TRIPPER... Oh, hey. Didn’t see you there. You caught me doing a little exercise us writers do, called “word association.” I’ve got spring on the brain, in case you couldn’t tell, and I think I was having an A-Ha Moment (blessed be Oprah). We have a triple threat coming up this Sunday with Easter, Deb’s Birthday, and April Fool’s Day. My heavens, how can we possibly cover them all? We can’t! So, we won’t. It would be so long winded, and the children would cry. We want the children to smile, and if there’s one person who can make the children smile, it’s our in-house birthday girl, Deborah Waterman Johns. You want your children to smile, right? Of course, right!
Deb’s been on the run, driving in the sun, looking out for number one (That’s you, Gussie Johns!). Little Debbie has left us for the Golden Coast to visit her all-star daughter and fan favorite, Gussie, at USC. She’s been giving us 5-star live updates, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s California, most certainly, “knows how to partay.” And how to eat tacos, apparently. So, like, get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10, then switch over to the 405 North, and let it dump you out to Mulholland, where you belong!
Deb’s design inspiration for this pattern came from a print on a dilapidated wallpaper plastered to the side of a building in Paris. I remember Deb telling the story of her Parisian pattern inspo after returning from her bi-annual Europe trip last September. The a-ha moment occurred just as a wrecking machine was about to smash an old boulangerie/boucher/banque (could have been any of these v French places) to smithereens. Untethered by her own inspiration, Deb shotgunned her tea and smashed the cup on the sidewalk. The woman would not be stopped. With the blind determination of a protagonist from a Victor Hugo book, she charged through ongoing traffic as irritated cab drivers honked horns, screaming, “sacré bleu! Qui est cette petite dame en noir!?”
A wise man once said, “Oh oh oh oh it's international love. You're international, so international.” Some of you may know this man as “Mr. Worldwide” or “Mr. 305.” I prefer to call him by his birth name, “Pitbull.” I can’t think of a more fitting quotation for our spring break remix of “What’s in the Bag." Come fly with me and our resident travel-bae’s, Laura Doherty and Charlotte Allen. They’ve crammed their Overpacker’s with all sorts of essentials for their trips to Dubai and Miami, respectively. What a time to be alive. Prepare for liftoff.