Last night, MrB and I attended an event that’s very important to us: the annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The dinner honors journalists from around the world who risk their lives to report from war zones and in defiance of brutal regimes. On its website, CPJ explains what it does:
“By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, CPJ effectively warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press freedom are occurring. CPJ organizes vigorous public protests and works through diplomatic channels to effect change. CPJ publishes articles and news releases; special reports; and Attacks on the Press, the most comprehensive annual survey of press freedom around the world.”
I’ll write more about the event and honorees tomorrow. I think press freedom is a good topic for Thanksgiving. In the meantime, welcome to my outfit post! I’m very particular about what I wear to this event. In 2010, I wore my Patrick Kelly leopard gown. In 2009, it was my designing friend Zang Toi’s cityscape gown. In 2008, I wore the gold, one-sleeved vintage gown that I bought at Allan & Suzi. Back in 2004, I wore the vintage Donald Brooks couture Sex-ay Pilgrim Dress that I got for $60 on eBay. Here’s a picture from 2004:
I loved all those dresses and wasn’t sure how to live up to them until I remembered an unlabeled vintage dress I’ve been keeping in storage. I got it in 2004 or 2005, probably from eBay, and it was a tent before Jean of Ghost Tailor fixed it for me. I last wore it in 2005 to the Asia Foundation. Here’s a photo taken after that event:
Here’s how the same dress looked last night.
I tried on several pairs of shoes, but nothing looked right, so I finally decided on the exact same shoes I wore with the dress in 2005. I continue to fail in the wardrobe-remixing department! I got these beaded Badgley Mischka sandals in 2002.
I’m sure of the year because I got them for my sister’s wedding. (I believe I wore my matron-of-honor dress and shoes to the CPJ dinner later that year, but I can’t find any photographic evidence.)
I carried a plasticky clutch I got in les soldes in Paris this year and wore bracelets I’ve collected over the years. Those of you who worry about mixing metals should note that I’m wearing yellow, rose and white gold all together, and nothing bad happened to me.
The oldest bracelet is the yellow gold bangle that’s closest to my hand in the photo. It was a 16th-birthday gift from my grandparents. This picture reminds me I’ve been meaning to comment on the use of “arm party” to describe a stack of bracelets. Whoever said it first was very clever. Every single use of it since then has annoyed the hell out of me. I hate it more than “effortlessly chic” and “pop of color,” and I hate both of those with a passion. Do NOT invite me to your arm party. Ever. I will not attend.
Now that I got that out of my system, here is the full outfit list.
What Wendy Wore
Dress: Unknown vintage (acquired 2004/2005)
Shoes: Badgley Mischka (2002)
Clutch: Sequoia, from Galeries Lafayette (2011)
Earrings: My own
Bracelets: My own
Rings: My own, plus my Empress Wu dragon ring
Lip color: Lasting Lust from MAC
Hair: Superstar stylist Julie Matos. Get in touch with her here.
Makeup: Superstar artist Tennille Nielsen. Get in touch with her here.
Manicure/pedicure: Minx by celebrity manicurist Tracylee Percival
As I said, there will be another CPJ post tomorrow, followed by photos of some fashionable dinner guests on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers!
Megan Mae says
A lovely dress! The graphic print is fantastic and the colors are gorgeous. I think the statute of remixification is probably lifted after six years.
Both you and your sister have such ageless beauty! You’re both so gorgeous.
It’s okay, Wendy, my arm party is a party of one. And I’m the only one invited. ^_~
I think it’s so cool that you are still wearing jewelry that you got at 16 and it just meshes perfectly with the rest of it. Plus the good memories attached to it make it a special piece.
Now I’m going to eat my words — of course I would never turn down an invitation to YOUR arm party!
Megan Mae says
Haha! Well, I think we both agree to make an exception.
I am loving you hair!
I must have missed where you changed the style. I have been buried in photo editing so if you mentioned it, that would be the reason I missed it.
Wonderful dress as well!
And how fitting is “trueblood” as my anti-spam word?
Are you looking at one of the old pictures? I haven’t changed my hair lately!
That's Not My Age says
Sounds like an excellent cause. I think journalists need protecting – particularly in the wake of the News International hacking scandal.
Well, in that particular case, they need protection from their insane bosses!
Im so over the “arm party” term as well. Now everyone who uses looks like sheeple to me. I have bracelets enough for that but too many bug the crap out of me so I rarely stack. That dress is so pretty an that print is pulling an association somewhere. I’ll have to ruminate further.
Some people think the print looks Asian…but Jennine from The Coveted thought it looked like mustaches! Which means it was the right choice for Movember.
Pam @over50feeling40 says
You looked gorgeous, Wendy! I would have loved to be sitting right there with you. As a journalism teacher, this event is very important to me as well. I discuss a lot with my students the courage it takes to be a journalist and how many are willing to put their lives ont he line to make sure stories are told. It is important that we protect freedom of speech and the press no matter what might be reported that is personally distasteful…the truth must not be squelched!
It’s consistently the most moving event I go to.
Love that dress! Also hate “pop of color.” It just sounds very lame 80s women’s magazine (i.e., Ladies Home Journal) to me…some picture of a woman holding onto the corner of her collar.
That is the PERFECT image for that phrase. A+ to you!
slow southern style says
All of your dresses are gorgeuous and fit you perfectly! I love any excuse to dress up.
That pilgrim dress is all kinds of fabulous, and (of course!) I love the graphic print dress. You look so gorgeous.
I’m very fond of the pilgrim dress. I haven’t worn it since 2005, so it’s due for an outing. I seem to be wearing all my 2005 stuff this year.
Penny Dreadful Vintage says
I love that dress to bits, you look amazing x
The Style Crone says
Love your vintage dress – colors, open back, length. Gorgeous ensemble!
Funny, I’ve never been sure about the length of this. I thought I hemmed it too short. I did that for a while because I was paranoid about tripping on things. But in the photo, the length looks fine to me, which it didn’t in the mirror!
Thank ewe! (Boy, I was in good shape for your wedding. I have to get back to that!)
You looked effortlessly chic! And elegant too. Hehehe. I’m sure Bill C. was in love! BTW, you were keeping the sexy, peek-a-boo back a secret from me!
Hahahaha, you’re right, it does kind of remind me of mustaches! And I looove the back!
That's Not My Age says
Yes – insane bosses, the police and MPs!
You and your sis are so gorgeous! Love the dress you wore this year for such a great cause!
Man Repeller said in a video that she coined the “arm party” term. I hate it too!
Then she’s entitled to use it. Journalists explaining what it means to people interested in a trend can use it. But no one can use it seriously while referring to their own arms. I have spoken.
One thing I love about your outfit posts is the surprise of seeing looks I’ve never seen before. You claim not to be a “wardrobe remixer,” but I can’t remember seeing the same look twice, not in more than three years of reading your blog.
This dress you wore to the dinner is so graphically interesting! I also love that you bulked up on your bracelets. I’ve never seen you do that before. (Perhaps you have, but I missed it.)
Here are the same bracelets in 2009, plus one additional one that went with the pink gown: http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2009/02/vanity-fair/
I only wear that combo for formal events, that’s why it’s not seen too often.
I give the finger to anyone who says arm party.
Susan Tiner says
You and Mr. B inspire me. What an important event to support.
I love the pilgrim dress, but the dress you wore to the event, the one you had altered, looks fantastic! I love your hair do too.