In case you were wondering (and I know you were) the iconic fashion designer Carolina Herrera, 76, has zero chill, per this article in the Wall Street Journal.
The same astute reader who sent me the NYT wedding announcement of the century which in turn prompted last week's most popular post, recently alerted me to the Way of Life Herrera, and naturally, it's worth emulating and commenting upon.
As far as I can tell from the Wall Street Journal's Q&A with Carolina Herrera, I have exactly one thing in common with this woman, and that is presumably a vagina. Everything else I need to work on, as I will explain. The black text is taken directly from the article. My editorials appear in red.
Every morning, Ms. Herrera takes a walk around the Central Park Reservoir for one hour. She "wear[s] tennis shoes but not exaggerated ones. [She] wears Keds." Every morning, I look at the treadmill in the spare bedroom and think what a waste of money it was. I still can't believe we spent several hundred dollars on that piece of shit. We certainly don't walk on it, much less run on it. Its basic role is to be a source of acrimony between me and my children, as I am constantly yelling at them to stop playing on it because IT'S NOT A TOY. It's a coat rack, for fuck's sake. And I HATE "exaggerated" tennis shoes, whatever those are. I'm not one for drama. But I also haven't worn Keds since 8th grade. Is that bad? I'm hoping this means my "tennis shoes" a.k.a. sneakers (?) are not "exaggerated." I have no fucking idea how shoes can be exaggerated, but it's no exaggeration to say that I never wear sneakers for their designated purpose, which I think is exercise.
Ms. Herrera never leaves the house without lipstick, and makeup mogul Bobbi Brown resurrected a discontinued lipstick just for her and named it Carolina. She "think[s] it sells very well now." I have about 20 drugstore lipsticks stashed all over my bathroom and in my work bags. They are all crumbly and disgusting, and make me look 100 years old when I wear them. I don't care because they're probably carcinogenic and I already drink diet soda like it's water in the desert. Fuck knows I don't need yet another carcinogen in my daily life. Thus, I only leave the house with lipstick by accident, as it doesn't occur to me to ever divest myself of unnecessary crap like loose Mentos, pennies, and lipstick. I think it's safe to say no one will ever name a lipstick after me. But if they did, I think One Hot Mess is a good name for a vibrant red. Just saying.
Ms. Herrera has her breakfast in bed with her dog by her side. I have my breakfast of coffee, sugar-free French Vanilla Coffeemate from Costco, and Prozac while standing up at the kitchen counter. I "eat" it as I empty the dishwasher from the night before, and while my children demand more syrup and a separate plate for eggs versus toast, like our house was a Greek diner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Also, I'm allergic to dogs.
One thing Ms. Herrera wears every day is her "Verdura watch from the '40's. But this summer, when traveling in Italy, [she] wore the most beautiful white Swatch. It was divine." The last time I used a watch to tell time it had Winnie the Pooh on the face. I was 23, and I looked down at my watch in the middle of the 9/11 attacks and thought to myself, incongruously: (1) I might die; (2) I might die at age 23 with a Winnie the Pooh watch on my wrist; (3) It's time to get rid of this watch. I haven't worn a watch since, though I will take Ms. Herrera at her word that a white Swatch in Italy is divine.
Ms. Herrera's fashion pet peeve is "how people dress at the airport. It's terrible." Because "if you dress up at the airport you will actually be taken care of perfectly." Totally. Whenever I travel, I act like it's 1956 and I'm getting on a Pan Am flight from New York to L.A. Except when I don't, which is actually always. Then I put on what I call my "flight pants," (i.e. black yoga pants/pajamas) and a hoodie sweatshirt. The only difference between me and all the teenage girls you see at the airport is that my pants don't say "JUICY" on the ass, I don't have a pillow under my arm, and I look old and wretched as fuck instead of like jail bait for a frat bro.
Ms. Herrera does not "eat junk food." She said, "If someone puts potato chips in front of me, I'll probably eat a little, but I'm not one of those people who goes to buy them." I am "one of those people" who makes a trip to the basement vending machine every day at 3:00 p.m., sticks four quarters in the slot, presses C340/OK, and waits for the dull thud of a 8 oz. bag of Cheddar Jalapeno Crunch Cheetos to fall out of the coil, into the trough, and mainline straight into my arteries.
Ms. Herrera's favorite hotel is the Ritz in Madrid. She's been going there for 50 years and it's "like a second home" to her. It's "very classic; the service is impeccable." My favorite hotel is the Travel Lodge out by the Juneau airport, though I haven't actually slept there. There's a "Mexican" restaurant in the lobby by the name of "Mi Casa." Every Wednesday night, they have a "Ladies Night," or as the local Top-40 radio station bills it, "LUH-LUH-LUH LADIES NIGHT!" Their brunch is also "world famous," so they say.
Ms. Herrera is a "maniac about setting tables and making beds. Both have to be perfect," she said, "my mother taught me that." Oh I'm a maniac alright. I guess in addition to owning a vagina this is one more common trait I share with Ms. Herrera. My mother was and is an even bigger slob than me, God love her. She leaves a seemingly self-regenerating trail of empty wineglasses, coffee mugs, and pistachio shells in her wake. The main things she taught me were: (1) Yell at men who fuck with you at work; and (2) Immediately jettison any romantic partner who is under 50 and exhibits signs of erectile dysfunction. I haven't made my bed in about fifteen years, and I have made my children's beds probably five times in their lives, collectively. I haven't forced my kids to make their own beds even once, thus perpetuating the cycle of domestic neglect. As for setting the table, again, I mostly eat standing up. It's a good day if everyone in my family sits down in underpants and eats without disruption for more than six minutes at a time.
In short, it looks like I've got quite a ways to go before I begin to emulate the class act that is Carolina Herrera!