On Sunday night, I melted into my couch and watched all five hours of Halston in a single sitting, forgetting a pan of chicken cooling on the oven for so long I had to throw it out, which infuriates me.
It’s not that Halston blew me away artistically; it was more like eating an entire bag of Doritos without realizing what I was doing. I could have watched Ewan McGregor slink around Manhattan in a turtleneck for another four hours, easily, but the pacing was weird and the writing didn’t work for me. What really sucked me in were the perfect visuals, which were so mesmerizing that I suddenly find myself confronting a very strong and very unexpected feeling: I am absolutely desperate to dress up and strut into a swanky Manhattan office.
I first realized this was happening when I watched the scene where fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert is attempting to persuade/cajole/bully Halston into participating in the design showdown to raise money for restoring Versailles. All of a sudden, I found myself flipping through pages and pages of dresses, trying to figure out where to even go to shop for something plus-size, sophisticated, and properly fitted to my body in a way that leggings can never be. It’s all the fault of these two jackets.
It’s not that I want an Ultrasuede dress, exactly—the proportions wouldn’t quite work for my body, even if they came in my size. But I want the equivalent, for me in the year 2021, of an Ultrasuede dress. I didn’t relate to those post-pandemic dressing essays until now, when suddenly I want to burn every last piece of athleisure garbage I’ve worn for more than a year.
And, of course, that office, with its mirrors and its bordello-red carpets and its window view of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Not commuting has made my life easier in so many ways—I’m saving money, I’m dramatically less rushed, and quite frankly I like working at my kitchen table (or at least I did once I borrowed a laptop stand and stopped destroying my spine). But three lingering shots of this palatial office and suddenly the desire to get on a train and head for Manhattan is pulling insistently at my psyche.
I am too old and too settled in life to partake of the candy dish full of cocaine, at this point—and too impatient to put up with anybody’s coked-up creative temper tantrums, for that matter. But I do like the idea of waltzing into an iconically positioned, voguishly furnished showcase office, professional statement handbag carried in the crook of my arm—and then walking right back out promptly at 11:30 in order to have a lunch meeting at the Central Park Boathouse. Perhaps I swing through the first floor of Saks on the way back to my desk. Who knows, maybe I’m wearing a hat! My hair is done! I’m wearing a full face of makeup because my entire face is exposed to the open air!