Friday, December 30, 2011

Kelly, Age 26

Enjoy this post reprinted from a guest blogger appearance Anh Dinh recently asked me to do --- and be sure to check out tha-darlinh for even more fashion deliciousness from the Berlin-bred student. 

Kelly Mason, Bartender, Fall 1977
     Mama, this is all your fault.  You taught me to treat my heart like a vault.  Warned not to let bad boys crack the combination --- or good boys open it for my own validation.  If true love is a such a "jubilation", then why ... doesn't it FEEL like it?       
     Only you can fix this.  Somewhere in that sewing basket of yours, find me a hook to reel in what's scattered of the heart that he shattered.  Truth is Mama I'm all at sea; and some miserable dark tide will soon carry away, all that is here remaining of me.
     So hurry Mama.  'Cause I'm thinking real hard 'bout taking, every last pill for the things that are making, you sick.  My champagne days have all ended --- caviar nights long gone.  Only you can give me a reason to go on.
     Yes, this is all your fault Mama.  Don't you dare blame me.  'Cause you taught me how to give love, make and receive.  But, there was never a lesson on how to deal when he leaves ...

In Kelly's Closet

In Kelly's Closet

In Kelly's Closet by thequeenknowsbest featuring clutch bags

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph found here.*

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Camille, Age 32

Many thanks to our first guest blogger, Emma Olson of crescendoing couture for today's post.  Her refreshingly unique blog "marries music and fashion by creating a unique look and giving it a song."  The 24 year old explains:  "It's a way for me to be involved with my two biggest passions and helps me feel an even deeper connection to some of my favorite tunes."  Olson's fave blogs (for the moment) are &  And her favorite piece? "My current favorite piece of clothing also happens to be one of my newest - a turquoise vintage wool coat that I picked up from my favorite hometown thrift store. It's so simple in design, but the color is so bold, and it's incredibly warm, perfect for my Minnesota winters." --- Aleah Rae

Camille Stephenson, Consultant, Fall 2002

     Camille cautiously stepped off the empty stage and exited the theater. There, it's done, she thought. Her first audition. When was the last time she was so nervous? Did she even get through her monologue? She could hardly remember. All she remembered walking out of that hopelessly plain space, was the faces of the director and producer. Blank, disinterested. She had anticipated that they would be rather cold, but it was still unsettling to receive no reaction as she delivered this heartbreaking tale of how she lost her mother. She had never heard someone say “thank you” so disingenuously. “Thank you, please leave, we've got a lot of spirits to crush today.”
     As she walked back to her apartment, Camille couldn't help but notice how much more aware of her surroundings she was. Her senses had become heightened somehow since she decided to focus on acting and walk away from her previous life. Everything was brighter, the air was more pungent. She had been doing her best to incorporate this new recognition to aesthetic detail into her work. She even brought her boyfriend to tears when she practiced; he told her that he forgot who she was as she spoke. It was like she became someone else. That was how she had to think from now on. She was the character. Nothing mattered to her anymore but being able to understand and communicate the human experience to theatergoers.
     But everything was now in the hands of that director and that producer, and whether they felt anything from her performance, Camille felt exhilarated. For the first time in her life, there was a very real opportunity for her to fail. And she couldn't wait. --- By Emma Olson

In Camille's Closet

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph found here.*

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nina, Age 31

Nina Tan, Defense Attorney, Winter 1990

   My father always told me this moment would come.
     The right side of his brain has never quite been able to fathom how I could give up the stage for the stand.  "I raised you to create your own music", he would say, "not to play someone else's."   
    He had been disappointed before though.  When my mother left us.  When my brother went into rehab.  But, this time was unlike any other.  This time, the disappointment in his voice was peppered with fear.  Allergic to change, I could tell he was afraid for me every time I'd introduce him to one of my law school study mates.  They were a foreign species, and every paternal fiber in his being wanted to keep me from them --- from becoming one of them. 
     But, I am one of them now; and like a good little lawyer, I listen intently to my new client tell his side of her story.  My sympathetic tone and reassuring eyes convince him I am on his side.  Hunting spoils line the tall walls of his old family cabin, and I wonder how he can lie this easily with so many pairs of glassy eyes glaring down at him.
My father always told me this moment would come. 

In Nina's Closet... 
Nina's Closet

Nina's Closet by thequeenknowsbest featuring leather jackets

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph found here.*

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Amanda, Age 17

Amanda Segall, Student, Summer 1993

     "You know," Steph says with a pause, "This will probably be our last summer together."  Observation blended with resignation makes quite a bitter brew.
     Contemplative, Steph slathers on the Coppertone, fighting tears with every stroke.  She was always the more sentimental --- dare say, dramatic --- of the two. 
     "Just because I'm going away for school, does NOT mean I won't ever see you again!"  Snatching the bottle in her most playful-manner, Mandy protests ... and proceeds.  "It's Boston Steph.  Not Bombay."  She was always the more realistic --- dare say, grounded --- of the two.  But deep down inside, Mandy knows that this time, Steph's fears have feet. 
     Reality steals a point.  But, Mandy goes in for the rebound.  "Well I don't know about you, but I'm sure not gonna spend what's left of this summer, down and out about the next!"  Pulling Steph to her feet, she shimmies her hips to a song only they can hear ... And summer never sounded so sweet.
 In Amanda's Closet...
In Amanda's Closet ...

In Amanda's Closet ... by thequeenknowsbest featuring high top shoes

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph found here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Doreen, Age 34

Doreen Morales, Costume Designer, Fall 1943

     I have it down to a science now.  When I turn my Singer just right, I fits perfectly in this old splintered crate.  I don't mind packing most days.  But today feels different ... 
     The morning's cold rain has muddied my spirits, and I shiver because the next time I hear his voice, I'll be too far away to feel its warm raspy crackle.  The rain smells strange too --- a mixture of exotic animal fur and year old dust collected from all the cities we've visited.  My stomach runs through its normal tumbling routine, as if it needed the practice, and by mid afternoon the rain has stopped.
     From no where Cesar barks a suggestion masquerading as a command.  I oblige --- partly because it's a good one, and partly out of habit.  The atmosphere seems freshly laundered now.  I decide to inhale. 
    Cesar is wearing the bow tie I birthed from a belly of boredom one spring afternoon; and I, a scarf embroidered with a single leaf not unlike like the multitude Fall would harvest from my grandmother's front yard each and every year.

In Doreen's Closet...
Doreen's Closet

Doreen's Closet by thequeenknowsbest featuring peep toe high heels

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph by John Midgley.

Nadiya, Age 27

Nadiya Gibson, Dance Instructor, Spring 2005

There's this bench in the park near the my studio.  And for the third time in a row, when I arrive brown paper bag in tow, someone else ... is sittin' on it. 

The nerve. 

Even a blind man could see how the imprints of my legs, rear and thighs are already engraved into its city-issued planks, like pairs of sockets with deep set eyes. 

The audacity.

Call me rude, but I refuse to compriseSo when young kids and ole' heads stroll by with weary legs and a lustful eye, I guard my bench like a starving Southern warrior protecting that last piece ... of sweet potato pie. 

The thought!

And it just isn't working --- my mean girl stare.  This guy doesn't even seem to care!  Gesturing and mouthing, "Why don't we share?"


Lunch is almost over now.  Wasted my time on this tall, dark and han ... stranger!  Bright smile, sharp style, and numerous attempts to beguile.  Why don't I just "sit a while?"  He must be crazy!  Only five more minutes?  Well I guess I could ... 


In Nadiya's Closet ...
In Nadiya's Closet ...

In Nadiya's Closet ... by thequeenknowsbest featuring high heels

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph found here

Friday, December 2, 2011

Anna, Age 23

Anna Warwick, Executive Assistant, Spring 1974

      "On Fridays he is most predictable ..." 

Mr. Goodwin:  Morning golf at the country club.  Lunch at 1:00 --- The Hibachi House on Adventura --- with one of the partners (sake, shrimp and Sam are his usuals).  Back to the office for a short conference call at 3:15, and a jolly "Have a great weekend ladies" scheduled for 4:00.
Me:  Pick up his dress shirts from the Kims.  Confirm all of Monday's appointments.  Lunch --- a la me --- with Angela from the 4th floor round 1:30.  A dozen roses to his missus.  A single to his mistress.  Answer any general correspondence, and a cheery "Same to you sir" scheduled for 4:01.

     "... so Mrs. Goodwin, if you DO decide to go through with it, Friday is best." 

In Anna's Closet . . .
*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph by Jay Maude.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Helen, Age 19

Helen Dumas, Student, Winter 1967

   "I'm surprised Mom let you keep that", Claire mumbles.  There's a tinge of frustration in her voice, and I'm sure the buttons are only partially to blame.  Claire is right.  "Mom doesn't know I have it", I reply.  It's tinge for tinge now. 
     A hole in his sleeve looks like a tiny a fiber wound --- one most likely acquired some chilly Coors night on campus.  And it smells like him too ... which isn't nearly as surprising as it should be, considering he was the last to wash it. 
   I never asked mom if it was okay.  Had I not rescued it, I know for a fact it would have just ended up in a place full of "good will" and bad memories.  What she doesn't know, won't get me in her bad graces.   
   Claire has finally figured out how to turn the flash off.  It's perfectly overcast outside, but thanks to a lack of drapery on our massive old windows, there is just enough natural light to color this shoot sad.  "I'm not changing into a dress.  I'll have to just wear this sweater.", was my only demand; and while a roll of her eyes was her only response, I can tell Claire is secretly tickled about capturing a little of us both in the same frame.  

In Helen's Closet . . .

Helen, Age 19

Helen, Age 19 by thequeenknowsbest featuring high rise skinny jeans

*The quote above is a fictionalized account inspired by the people and fashion of a photograph by Emiliano Granado