Thursday, May 1, 2008

Clinton Kelly: Watch Your Back

There’s a new sheriff in town and she’s taking no prisoners. Her name? Tonia.Her game? Reviewing and repairing one fashionably disabled individual at a time.

Tonia owns the dress shop in the next town over. We met when I interviewed her for a piece in the paper and we hit it off immediately…became fast friends…probably in part because I know how to talk the talk and walk the walk.

Yeah, that must be it.

I mean, seriously. I walk around all day with Clinton Kelly talking inside my head…give me a break! Fashion? Ya wanna talk fashion?

Do you want an “A-line skirt that floats away from the body” to go with that “pointy-toed shoe that elongates the length of the legs”?? And is that for here… or to go?

So of course, our dialogues were flawless…the interview practically effortless. It got a little intense hearing everything in stereo, (her voice in one ear and C-man’s in the other) but I got used to it after a while. The piece was a big success and my editor was happy, which in turn makes me happy.

Tonia does the workshops, not unlike Clinton’s Macys gigs (only for considerably less green, I’m imagining) and she also has the sincere passion for fashion. Basically, she’s the female version of Clinton Kelly…well, minus the cornflower eyes, the 6’4” height and the swooney-Clooney voice. Other than that, though…they could be twins.

Except for the fact that I can think (and of equal importance) hear clearly when Tonia’s standing in front of me. For the most part, anyway. When face-to-face with Clinton, I felt like I’d jumped into the deep end of my pool and sank like a stone, straight to the bottom…do not pass go. That underwater-surreal quality is extremely unsettling, let me tell you. What is that anyway…an adrenaline surge? I wonder if Clinton’s ever been made to feel that way…maybe if he met Oprah, or maybe Streisand…or how about the Clooney-man himself?? (Now that’s a meeting I’d like a piece of, pretty-please.)

Okay, now I’ve lost it. Where was I??

Tonia. So I stopped by her store today. She and I are working on some PR pieces for her workshops. I knew I looked good…I was wearing one of the spanking-new totally-happening outfits I’d bought the other day at Macy’s. When I walk in she’s with yet another customer (they are such a PAIN and always cutting into my Tonia-time), so I do what I always do: I browse the racks, holding the fashionable items this way and that, imagining myself eating a piece of key lime pie on some beach in Puerto Rico (you know how much I adore to shop, so I’ve gone on to my happy place. You may join me there if you like.).

Tonia’s spotted me, though…and I can see her eyes scan the length of my body and I know she’s checking me out. I can also imagine I know what she’s thinking: “Wow! Kathryn is walking perfection. Look at the way the blouse picks up the color in the pants….and those shoes! TO DIE FOR!” or something along these lines.

I’m already formulating my response to this in my head...”You’re too kind. Remember, I have that big meeting on Tuesday with that CEO and this is what I’m planning to wear...” when her customer pays for her items and heads for the door, stopping at the last second to browse the very rack I was just perusing.

Tonia picks that moment to turn to me and says in her most authoritative voice: “What’s up with those pants, sweetie? You’re gonna get them hemmed before Tuesday, right?” as she turns back to the still-lingering (and now somewhat amused) customer. I casually (but surreptitiously) hike up my pants in the back, only to have her say “Don’t pull them up when I say that. Do you think I don’t know what you’re doing??” and I realize she’s still got her back to me…and her attitude is eerily familiar…

Still, I say “Couldn’t I just…” and I’m hearing stereo once again.

“NO! Take them in to be hemmed! They’re too LONG,” I hear in unison….one in my head, the other standing not ten feet away.

The customer laughs at this and says “Tonia’s amazing…isn’t she?”

And grudgingly, I’d have to agree.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Can I make the same comment every time?

Anonymous said...

Yes, you may. In fact, it's ENCOURAGED.

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