Friday, February 4, 2011

the epiphany

Some weeks ago I had an experience that doesn't sound like it should have been life-changing; I went to a hair salon. It wasn’t packaged in a Lower East Side tenement-turned-beauty parlor, or amidst the next we-swear-its up-and-coming pocket in Brooklyn. It was on Fifth Avenue in The Plaza Hotel: the Warren-Tricomi Salon.

I remember exactly what I was wearing, a key in my mind that usually signifies some noteworthy occasion. At the 8th grade Christmas dance I wore a silky brown miniskirt with an off-white angora sweater and flip-flops (cringe), a pale blue kimono from Melrose Avenue to my 23rd birthday, and high-waisted silk pants with espadrilles and an opaque black top to the first fashion show I shot. In my closet I have the perfect black 1950s dress to wear to the offices of Vogue. But on that particular day I donned a shearling coat, long black velvet skirt, a Chanel-inspired green woven jacket and a terribly vintage—but very cute—grey felt hat. Eloise could have gotten away with the outfit, were she 25 and dealing with a pauper’s budget. I rode the train that morning to work reading a Bazaar Special Runway Report, and took my time with a profile of Linda Fargo, the senior Vice President of Bergdorf Goodman and front row Fashion Week staple. The day had started typically enough. I checked my email and followed up on a lead for a TimeOut New York article. By seven that night I was waltzing through gilded marble hallways and up red velvet steps.

When I met stylist Edward Tricomi, the subject of my TONY writeup, I first mistook him for a bell boy in his bandleader garb, then as the reincarnated spirit of Mick Jagger before realizing besides that being impossible, none other than Linda Fargo was sitting in the chair he beckoned me to visit. How could it be that the subject of my morning meditation should be sitting in front of me less than 8 hours later? It was then that the epiphany occurred: You have no idea what adventures are in store each day. Because of this, you must be prepared.

But how? I was right to have read up on Edward and the salon before embarking on the interview. If there’s a journalist that wouldn’t have I hope we never meet. As for the Linda connection, I believe it was both chance and fate, two words I believe stand for the same thing. The cosmos aligned and our three planets converged simply because the time and the universe had moved in such a way. Though Edward and I hit it off during the ensuing hour-long interview, I doubt Linda registered my name in the seven minutes it took for her to get her platinum silver hair trimmed. This epiphany wasn’t a celebrity encounter, far from it: I simply hadn’t noticed I was barreling though space during the past few months filled with endless work days and quick weekends with the typical distractions of a New York twenty-something (where do we eat? Can I make rent if I buy these boots? Why is the library waiting list for The Corrections so long? Shouldn’t they have extra copies?) The evening was proof.

It’s not to say I don’t try to slow down and refocus amidst the bombardment of everyday life. What I was reminded of was the glorious nature of chance. I had been moving towards that moment my whole life, since the days I’d spent writing poetry in a collaged journal and clipping cerulean and lime Narciso Rodriguez creations from the first fashion magazine my mother ever gave me (it was, coincidentally, Bazaar). The runway recaps I wrote though college, first in the student newspaper then in a local weekly paper garnered experience and research that made my transition to New York an easy one. But along the way, with all my plans and dreams and aspirations I forgot to budget for surprise, which of course needs only a seam to permeate.

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