“Do you mind if I sit?” she asked us, a glass of wine in hand.
Almost a year out from spinal surgery, and Stacy London had just taken us to style church for over an hour in a vintage sweater, side-button pants…and leopard print Louboutins. We didn’t mind one bit if she sat.
A group of almost 150 women gathered in the intimate amphitheater at The Frick Art and History Center on Friday evening to see Stacy speak. I had always admired Stacy’s ability not only to make women see themselves in a new light on their exteriors, but also to allow women to see themselves for who they truly are, as corny as it sounds, on the inside. From the time I was in high school, I had wanted to be more like her, and maybe eventually, do what she does. So, when I received a Facebook notification that this event had just been created, I immediately bought tickets for my mom and me.
Ms. London did not disappoint. She began with a disclaimer, which was totally appropriate in light of the recent takedown of the (mostly male) sexual predators across several industries.
“Whatever a woman chooses to wear is her choice,” Stacy told us. “It is not an invitation.”
However, she continued that she has always believed that the way we choose to present ourselves to the world can have implications that can be limiting, and even damaging, to our progress.
“There’s a huge connection between what you wear, and what you want,” Stacy said.
Early on in the evening, she told all of us, “There is literally no way to dress yourself unless you start with your body type.”
Because geometry is so very important, Stacy encouraged us to first examine our body types. Then, she implored us to “Get drunk, go home, get naked, and stand in front of the mirror…You need to look at your body and think truly what you love about it and what you hate about it. Sit there until the emotions of love and hate burn off, and you’ll know what you want to highlight and what you’ll want to consciously camouflage.”
After walking us through everything from the difference between style (it’s personal, and it’s how YOU decide to stay relevant) and fashion (“The industry runs on insecurity,” according to Stacy), Stacy helped us to see our closets as a “living, breathing organism” that needs to constantly evolve with us. She told us that shopping should add two things to our lives: use value, and joy. She also took some questions from the audience, as well as gave some advice to those women who are looking to use a personal stylist (although I took her advice as someone who wants to be a personal stylist!).
Throughout the entire evening, Stacy’s humor, wit, sass, and kindness were omnipresent. Her kindness was most evident at the post-discussion reception, which was held in the middle of the gallery. Stacy came out after her talk, and those of us who hung around were treated with a bit of quality time with the style guru. She sat with her glass of wine and talked to fans one-on-one.
I have never met a celebrity as genuine and sweet as Stacy. Her demeanor put me at ease immediately as I gushed over her earrings, her career, and her entire existence. When I told her I was a fashion blogger, she told me she had seen my Instagram post (I had tagged her in it) from earlier that day. As we chatted for a few short minutes about my outfit (“You nailed it!” she told me) and Pittsburgh (“I just got here, and I have to leave!” she lamented, after exclaiming earlier in the evening that the city had become “dope,” her adjective of choice), it became crystal clear that Stacy isn’t just as cool and nice as the woman you see on television and read in her books; she’s somehow way cooler and way nicer than you could ever imagine.
After our chat, I walked my mom through the Undressed exhibit currently at the Frick. When we emerged about fifteen minutes later, Stacy was still there, chatting with the women who had come to listen to her speak. After one last glance at my long-time heroine, we headed out to our car. I was immediately struck by the fact that her driver was waiting outside with her car, ready to whisk her back, presumably, to the airport. Stacy could have made a quick exit at any point, but instead, she remained, giving of her time and her compassion. It was one final reminder of the generosity of one of the dopest women I’ve ever met.
What To Wear to meet the star of “What Not To Wear”