Parker dress, Pyramid Collection blazer, Vince Camuto boots, UO purse
Hair by Danielle Blanchet at Renaissance Salon
Last Friday led me into the audience of San Francisco Fashion Week’s runway show. Sitting with my friend Sophia among actual media members and bloggers in the front row, I simultaneously felt like the belle of the ball as well as the awkward kid sister who snuck into her older sister’s college party. Model after model emerged from backstage wearing pieces that defied anything I had seen before. My blurry iPhone photos can’t begin to do them justice, but let’s just say that a particular white eyelet piece with an (actual) box skirt stole my heart.
It was the kind of night that seems unreal and impossible as I’m writing about it now. Growing up in small-town Minnesota (read: population 1600), I felt a palpable ache of longing when I’d look through the pages of Vogue or the Variety section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and read about globe-trotting, sequin-wearing women sipping Lemon Drops in clubs where colored lights flashed above them. It didn’t matter whether they were in Minneapolis or Milan; their lives enchanted me, and I wanted to live like them.
After the show, my friends and I teetered across SOMA in our high heels to sweet-talk our way into the upstairs lounge at Harlot and bounce on beds at Supperclub. Gazing at the shimmering disco balls above the bar, I caught my breath as I stopped to take in the fast-paced world around me. Now that I’m an adult (at least by some accounts) living in a cosmopolitan city, that glittering patina of exciting grown-up nightlife hasn’t even begun to wear off. So many of the things I dreamed of when I was little turned out to be nothing but puffs of smoke that held little resemblance to the long-cultivated images in my mind. This is not one of them.
I might pass on the street as a streetwise San Francisco woman, but inside me lives that dreaming Minnesota girl, clutching her fashion magazine and staring in awe at this world that moves and thrums around her but can’t possibly be where she belongs.