Was I Pushed A Pashmina?

My dear friend Theresa works at Betty Lin on Fillmore street.

I met her in the early aughts at Susan, the kind of place you get buzzed into, which is awful, especially to the likes of me who’d rather slither in unnoticed, rather than enter to stares from Pacific Heights ladies of leisure, smug in their Tod’s driving shoes and Chanel bags full of money to afford anything in the store they wanted.

But there I was, in sweatpants worn as trousers (well before Athleisure made this a thing), tees sliced-down to tanks, and boots cut into gladiators before that was a thing. Theresa looked past my drawstrings and deconstruction and extended Lay-Away to me and me alone: She understood my mutual appreciation for the ugly in Undercover and the clean lines of Jil Sander, and that I had to struggle and stretch to afford anything there. Because of her generosity and kindness, I have special pieces that I will have forever: Bruno Frisoni vivid pink peep-toe pumps (I wore them to my wedding!), a Balenciaga evening coat, Junya Watanabe striped trousers and an Undercover shoulder bag. And now I have a special friendship with Theresa that I will have forever, too.

Theresa may want to kill me for this photo! Here she is at Loro Piana in her "Burger King" uniform, pregnant with her son, Oliver.

Theresa may want to kill me for this photo! Here she is at Loro Piana in her “Burger King” uniform, pregnant with her son, Oliver.

After over ten years at Susan, she moved onto Loro Piana, became a mom, and then onto Betty Lin, where she works on Saturdays. This is the scene of the crime. At least I think it might be a crime.

Let me explain.

There are few people I trust when it comes to fashion advice, especially when I am on the fence about something; Jslow and Theresa are probably the only two. So while visiting Betty Lin a few Saturdays back, Theresa swaddled my shoulders in the softest shawl-slash-scarf-slash-shruggy cashmere Avant Toi wrap and sent me back out down Fillmore Street, the shawl-slash-scarf-slash-shruggy thing draping and dangling behind and around my body just so.

The Avant Toi shawl/scarf/pashmina? In its natural state.

The Avant Toi shawl/scarf/pashmina? In its natural state.

Once home, I made a bee-line to my full-length mirror to inspect my purchase.

Sure, it was still lovely and velvety warm, but it had lost the perfect shape that Theresa had constructed, and now hung limp, losing the the magical powers to transform me into Parisian style urchin I craved.

Me at my wits end.

Me at my wits end. And no, that’s not toothpaste on my top. My bathroom mirror is filthy.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can sling on a silk scarf and look chic without trying, to look casually cool without the calculated “trying too hard” look which is such a fine line not to cross.

And talk about a fine line: on some necks, the scarf takes on the awesomeness of a antique diamond choker, on others (mine), it’s just a basic scarf.

But I’m not giving up. I vow to fold and fluff and finesse the fuck out of this find until it has no choice but to play dead on my shoulders.

Or I’ll kidnap Theresa to permanently attend to my wrap wrapping needs.

I’m open to suggestions.


Leave a Reply