I stayed up late (for me) last night to watch the Project Runway finale, and I was not disappointed. (SPOILER ALERT: if you don’t know who won, and don’t want to know, STOP READING NOW! And to the person who informed me that they’re in Canada, and a few episodes behind, and that I spoiled the final three for them, I apologize. Whoops!) Okay, so how happy was I that Chloe won? So very. It was clear to me, anyway, that she was the whole package: I liked her clothes, they fit and were sewn well, and she’s already proven she has a knack for business and is going places. Daniel I loved, but he’s so young and has so much time, and besides Michael Kors basically offered him a job right then and there, so that’s not bad, right? As for Santino, I actually felt kind of bad for him. His stuff was beautiful, and he’d clearly tried to take his ego and personality out of it a bit and just make it about the work, with mixed results. All in all, though, very enjoyable. I am sad to see it end.
Watching the collections—and the show, for that matter—I couldn’t help but think that I, myself, am not very fashion forward. I mean, I know that most normal people don’t wear stuff from runway shows anyway, but I found more often than not when I DID like something and think, “Hmm, I would wear that,” it was then immediately called safe or boring, and the judges underwhelmed. I guess I’ve always wished that I could carry off more exotic looks, in the same way I’d love to have exotic hair or wild shoes and make it work (as Tim Gunn would say). The truth is, though, if you’re uncomfortable in anything people can tell from a mile off. So maybe it is better to stick with what feels good, or looks good to you. I think some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen weren’t “perfect” in terms of fashion or makeup or hair. It was something else, a kind of inner confidence, a comfortableness in their own skin, that you noticed first. And you can’t buy that in a store.
On the other hand, change can be empowering. When I was in New York last week, I went into a MAC store (love Mac!) thinking I would just buy yet another brownish-pink lipstick, which is my basic normal shade. I have about a million of them. Instead, I got talked into this darker, more crimson-y (I know that’s not a word) color, along with a lipliner and some gloss. When the girl was putting it on, I was nervous, and then even more so when I saw it, as it was much darker and redder than what I usually wear. She kept telling me it looked great, and even called some other guys who worked there over to weigh in: they loved it, too. (Then again, these weren’t exactly unbiased opinions.) Sitting there, looking at it, I had to admit the effect, at least to me, was startling, different. But at the same time, I kind of liked it, because it made me look like someone else, someone who doesn’t only wear brownish pink lipstick and balance their checkbook religiously each month and pair off all their socks into neat little balls. So I bought it, if only because it was kind of nice to know I had that option. When I’ve worn it since, I’m kind of surprised when I pass a mirror, or catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview. But not necessarily in a bad way. Whether I’ll ever feel totally comfortable in it, I don’t know. But it’s nice to have the option of, with just a tube and a pencil, transforming yourself. At least temporarily. And when you want to go back to your brownish-pink, checkbook balancing, sock-rolling self, all it takes is some remover and a swipe of Kleenex. If only all change was so easy, and so easy to reverse.
Okay, enough inner reflection. The O.C. is back tonight, and the ACC tournament starts today. Forget lipstick: THIS is excitement.