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?”
“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.