Look, here’s the first event we have gotten dolled up for together in a long, long time. The Poop (what a great name) had a pithy little posting about taking fashion critique shows and turning them on moms and dads. Since I do host a show where we rip on celeb fashion, I so relate. Yes, I too am often in my mommy track suit, but when it’s time to dress up, sharpen the fangs.
I recently realized what an occupational hazard I have with this. I can’t turn off the Fashion Team brain. I am also in Star Magazine every week doing the jokes for Worst of the Week, so it’s like I can’t turn ever turn it off. Yes, I can be snarky, but I love when someone looks great.
My husband Mark Peel’s restaurant, Campanile, was recently nominated for Best Restaurant in the country for the James Beard Awards (the Oscars of dining). He lost to Gramercy Tavern, though he did win it in 2001.
Mark was fine with losing this year, and I was fine because it brought us to New York and allowed me to get dressed up with my husband. He spends five nights a week in chef’s white while I toil in my track suit, so good times. At these food events, Mark has plenty of old friends and such that he wants to talk with. I want the free wine and food that goes with it. So I have learned to bring my best gay friend Michael with me. He is the perfect date. Mark likes him too, since then I am not saying, “Can we leave?”
Michael is fab and works in fashion so needless to say, we had a constant fashion critique going. Food people are not the toniest types, so there were some errors. Flips-flops at black tie event at the Lincoln Center, really? Two women thought that was okay. Then there are the re-used prom dresses. And, I’m sorry, but the bubble skirts need to stop.
But this year, people looked a lot better than when I went to the Beard awards in 2004, when I swear I saw nail art. There are also those who don’t have the figure of a model or the budget of one, but clearly made an effort, so good for them. By the way, Kim Cattrall co-hosted the event with Bobby Flay, and she looks great and committed like a pro to all the banal banter she was forced to say.
Now, there were about three women who we really thought looked great. And we made a point of rushing over to them and telling them, which always makes someone feel good. The last lady we championed ended up being the wife of the chef of Quince, a restaurant in San Francisco that I have heard nothing but good things about and wanna go to when I have my 36 hours of child free time in SF in August.
At midnight as the security guards were yelling, “Go home, this event is over,” to us and the other stragglers (I mentioned there was free food and drinks, right?), a sweet young man came up to me and said, “I noticed your dress earlier and I wanted to tell you how much I love it.” That made my night. He was a cooking student who was volunteering, and when I told him about Mark, he got so excited. He had written a paper about him, so I introduced them. And it proved we aren’t the only ones sizing up everybody’s fashion.