This isn’t a street style blog at all.
But little back story first:
Last month, I was with my mom and my sister outside Colette in Paris. It’s a cool, concept store but it’s such a scene and way too packed. (I did convince my mom to get some expensive, fancy perfume there. ;-)) We were just getting finished taking a selfie outside when I looked across the street and there was Mr. Scott Schulman from the Sartorialist leaning against a building with his camera, waiting for someone to catch his discerning eye. I’m totally starstruck when I see even a D-list celebrity and, ironically, Mr. Schulman actually makes his living photographing others. Of course, only I knew who he was, but it was still exciting for me. I wasn’t quite ready for my street style debut in late January as a tourist: big, black, puffy coat (but with a vintage Dries skirt underneath to redeem it all!) with worn, black boots, and a reasonable, pilled, vinyl bag with a hand sewn strap. I made us unnecessarily cross the street and walk right past him so maybe he caught a glimpse of how cool I was and how cute the three of us were together in Paris after 35 years. (We reenacted a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower!) Well, we weren’t cool/distinct/blog-worthy enough because he didn’t stop and ask, but I imagine if he did it would be out of concern and go something like: “Can I take your picture? You look so tired and average. Have you had any l’eau?”
But now today, in Madrid, I was walking down the street and a senior gentleman with just a cane was walking toward me. As I passed him he stopped me and excitedly said something along the lines of, “What you’re wearing is a very traditional look! ¡Que valiente!!” I smiled and spun around for him and asked if he liked it. He said yes and nodded his head emphatically. Then I said thank you and went on my way.
I’m a total sucker for sartorial affirmation especially from random, non-fashiony strangers. I asked around and got several translations of “que valiente” but it seems best to translate to “so brave” or “very bold.”
As it should be. Right?
I think being called brave is a lovely compliment and it’s something I needed to hear these days. Being brave has much more to do with a mentality and taking a risk and going ahead even if you’re not sure. Admittedly, I was ready for some stares but I didn’t think it was necessarily brave. (Have you met Michele Lamy?) I knew people would look at me like I was weird but that’s fine since I’m a tall, pale guiri anyway.
So, gracias señor por sus comentarios. You made me rethink the possibilities of fashion and I hope you’re not reading this and you don’t care at all. (But I would totally read your blog if you had one.)