When it comes to dreaming up an outfit for a specific event, I have a vivid imagination. Such was the case with this gorgeous dress by Costarellos. Let me back up for you. I knew that I would be attending the premiere for the film “Mary Poppins Returns,” which my very close friend, Marc Platt, produced. A few days before the event, I had a vision of dressing in black velvet. I happened to text this to my friend and stylist, Nima Ghassemian, who works for Bloomingdales in Century City. Nima and I have worked together for several years. When I met him, he was a mere 20 years old, (but wise beyond his years), and was getting his start in the fashion industry by working as a stylist at Bloomingdales. I followed him to Saks, then to Barneys, and finally, after much begging by me, he returned to Bloomies in Century City. For me, he is the best….period, the end. I told Nima that although I had a plethora of dresses in my closet, I wanted something special for this night, something in black velvet, tight to the body and with sleeves, as the weather forecast predicted heavy rain and low temperatures (low 50’s is cold for LA). I knew that I had also accrued a lot of gift cards, and I planned to use them towards the purchase of this dress. As an aside, of all the major department stores, Bloomingdales has the best rewards program. Since Bloomies is my one- stop- shop for nearly everything, (from clothing and lingerie, to housewares and makeup/skincare,) I have become a Loyalist Luxe member…although Jeff informs me that this is no great honor since I had to “EARN” this status! Be that as it may, I feel as though it is my home away from home. The staff all know me… from the incredible Kathy Suto, Bloomingdales Century City general manager, to the magnificent seamstresses who work magic on my alterations, and in record time.
Back to the dress. Nima told me that he had a couple of things shipped from the 59th Street store in Manhattan, but that they were still in transit. We were running out of time as the premiere was 48 hours away. He assured me that he had found something very “Mary Poppins” like and when he showed me, I nearly broke into song and dance. The original collar is extremely high and rested right beneath my chin. I couldn’t possibly wear it all night as I feared it would drive me mad. Nima called the alterations manager to see if there was anything they could do with that neckline. He assured me that they could shorten the collar and install an entirely new zipper…and do it all in less than a day and a half. How incredible is that?!
Sure enough, by 11:00 am on the day of the premiere, the dress was ready, and I was amazed, but not surprised, as this is exactly the service that this store provides. They always come through. We decided that I should wear my Dior pumps with the hearts on the back to add some color and whimsy.
My enormously talented hair stylist and makeup artist, Sholeh Mogadam, created the final look. Since the neckline is high, we decided that she should create a messy bun. And since I wanted red lips, we kept the eye makeup more sedate. The results speak for themselves.
The moral of this story, if there is one to be found, is to surround yourself with talented people who can support your vision and collaborate with you on the final look. And above all else, always surround yourself with people who are kind. Kindness goes a very long way.