A passion for food + fashion

Havana Nights

In Fashion on March 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

My son’s preschool gala is somewhat legendary. People go all out—and I mean ALL OUT. Last year’s theme was Mad Men, complete with lipstick-smudged water glasses on tables, champagne cocktails, a tranny Marilyn auctioneer and unbelievable vintage frocks. This year the edict is Havana Nights. I’m a believer in wearing something you’ll wear again (which is why I’m having a devil of a time getting Mr. Foodinista into theme), and so for my getup I hunted down via ebay this sold-out (internationally) Lanvin H&M red silk ruffle dress in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is winging its way stateside as we speak. Perhaps it’s not quite Cuban, but I thought the color, ruffles and fleur fit the bill.

For Mr. Foodinista, I’m feeling like any Guantanemo Bay riffs are too…political. (For the same reason, I walked away from a Junya Watanbe Comme des Garçons camouflage frock.) So, ruling out berets and fatigues, it looks like my best shot at getting him in theme is a simple black suit à la Michael Corleone in the “I know it was you Fredo” NYE scene in Godfather II (my all-time favorite flick). He won’t wear white, I’m afraid.

Some simple styling will surely bring our ensembles together, and so I turned to three of my fashion muses for inspiration.

Dana Dickey, writer, editor, mother and all-around it girl.

“YOU MUST WEAR RED LIPPY AND A BIG TRASHY FLOWER IN YOUR SLICKED BACK HAIR IN A CHIGNON. And little gelee-ed spit curls, si? A Cuban theme means go big or stay home. And big black patent heels or something.

I guess you can’t get Mr. Foodinista to put on a pair of short short gym shorts with piping and a muscle shirt and go as a gay prossie? Well maybe a funny string tie with the suit you have in mind for him, or am I thinking of Rango? Oh, dear.”

Monica Corcoran Harel, author of The Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men, and wearer of the best dress in the room, always.

“Finally, an excuse to rent Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights with Diego Luna, Sela Ward and John Slattery! It’s set in the 50s, so you can glean retro inspiration there.

The red ruffled dress sounds perfect—high heels are a must. Maybe a faux mole on la cheeko? Come on! I second the red lips and super high heels—a T-strap.

I guess Mr. Foodinista won’t go as Tony Montana, but I think a stingy or snap brim straw would be cool if he opts for casual. (Go to Hollywood Hatters on Melrose.) Maybe you could go as Tony?”

Vincent Boucher, celebrity stylist and red carpet maestro

“Yes, a huge black flower either in your hair or at the waist. Center part and spit curls absolutely. If you don’t wear a flower then one of those big jeweled combs through your chignon.

Speaking of Fredo, can’t you get Mr. Foodinista to wear a white dinner jacket and the rest black? Alternatively, how about some kind of fancy bandleader jacket a la Ricky Babaloo Ricardo?”

  1. “@thefoodinista Speaking as a polisci student of the Cuban revolution, you may want to check out: http://www.havanabeforecastro.com

  2. These are fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  3. SO fun. I adore that H&M dress–congrats on such a find. LOL, I was totally going to suggest Ricky Ricardo, too.

  4. Close, but no cigar?

  5. Senora Foodinista: I was about to beg you to settle down with Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, with its cameo routine by Patrick Swayze, but I see that Monica Harel beat me to it. By now I hope that you have downloaded the soundtrack* and you and Senor Foodinista can rumba for months to come. I LOVED that movie. Based on a true story. *The music is deliberately not completely 50s-Cuba authentic, unfortunately, but the director decided to bow to the whims of circa 2004 audiences.

  6. Where did find those super cute t straps? Or even who makes them? I love ur whole outfit, super cute idea!

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