Last night, MrB and I went to the annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner held by the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ is a cause near and dear to our hearts — so dear, in fact, that MrB served as chairman for six years. The organization is an independent nonprofit that promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. I’ll write more about what that means in another post because it’s serious business and, right now, I need to get my mind off the world’s serious business! We’re living in crazy times. At least for a couple of minutes, let’s look at outfits.
MrB and I have gone to the dinner together since the late 1990s. I started blogging in 2007, so those are the photos close at hand. Here is a decade of CPJ outfits; click the photos to go to the original posts.
I can only find a tiny picture of a chocolate-brown Zang Toi gown I wore in 2007. I used this picture size on the blog back then, and the original file seems to have gone missing. Alas!
That gown was new in 2007. I wore it again in 2010 to a party in honor of the first lady of Malaysia, so there’s a bigger photo, but it’s still not full-length. On the plus side, a few months after the Malaysia event, my story of the wild and crazy party was discovered by a Malaysian blogger critical of Malaysia’s politicians. I was a tiny bit famous in Malaysia for about a week!
In 2008, I rewore an unlabeled vintage dress that I’d gotten from Allan & Suzi’s store for the 2004 Oscars. I was thrilled that this one caught the eye of the late, great, New York Times style photographer Bill Cunningham, who habitually stopped by the CPJ dinners to take a few pictures.
Someone call Inside Edition, because I’ve worn this dress a lot!
I even wore it again this New Year’s Eve.
See? I’ve been doing this rewearing thing, and as long as I can fit into that gold dress (which is getting to be a challenge, to be honest), I’m going to keep wearing it. Same with the Zang Toi cityscape dress that was new in 2009 when I wore it to CPJ’s awards dinner. That was another one that was photographed by Bill Cunningham.
As you may recall, Bill died last year, and I still feel the same as I did when the news came out: That there’s no one to dress foranymore. Well, I dress for myself, obviously, but it was much more fun dressing for Bill. I miss him.
As far as evening dresses go, the one I’ve probably worn most often is the infamous leopard-print Patrick Kelly I wore to CPJ in 2010.
I first wore the leopard dress in 2008. It looks like I most recently wore it in 2014. That means it is due for another outing!
I made it into Bill Cunningham’s CPJ photos one more time in 2011, thanks to another previously worn vintage dress.
At the 2012 dinner, I went wild and wore two new pieces: a hot-pink gown by Zang Toi and a blue ruffled moto jacket by Junya Watanabe.
I liked that look so much that I rewore it within months.
The next year, I did that CPJ-Oscars rewearing pattern in reverse. I first wore a new Zang Toi mullet gown to the Vanity Fair party in 2012, and then wore that same gown to CPJ in 2013.
For 2014, I took my rewearing game to the next level by rewearing a dress to the exact same event. I had already worn this vintage Donald Brooks gown to the CPJ dinner in 2004. Unusually for me, I added a new accessory: a top hat.
I thought this was one of my best outfits OF ALL TIME, so I wore it again to Vanity Fair’s Oscar party in February 2015. I was very happy that I did that.
In 2015, we missed the CPJ dinner for the first time in memory! We just couldn’t turn down a family trip to Costa Rica. I kept it casual for zip-lining (but check out my shoes).
We were back in business in 2016, and my CPJ gown was a vintage Guy Laroche with a butt bow, previously worn to an Oscar party in 2007.
Finally, at this year’s dinner, I wore a new-to-me dress that I bought from my old friends, Allan & Suzi, right before their store closed down this May.
What Wendy Wore
Dress: Nina Ricci (bought on resale in 2017)
Purse: Louis Vuitton (2016)
Unseen Gold Shoes: Prada (2010)
Choker and Earrings: Same as in 2007.
I’ve got to say that this is my least spectacular CPJ dress by a long shot. It looks good in person, but in photos it’s a total dud.
I’m glad I didn’t take any outfit pictures until the dinner was over. That would have been a buzzkill. I have no desire to wear this piece again in the near future. Maybe my best bet is to put it in the back of my closet for 10 years and see if I like it any better in 2027!