Paupers go shopping on Rodeo Drive
Well that’s a hard one for us over 50s (but under 60s). We are faced with the Scylla of an off the shoulder mutton-dressed-up-as-lamb creation, and the Charybdis of some dowdy ensemble which makes you look as if you are on day release from the retirement home.
In the end, I had fixed on a lightly triumphal number…black leggings with a silver embroidered tunic over the top (my version of a toga picta), plus some shiny purple triumphal shoes. All of which were picked up on a one stop shop in Harvey Nichols when I was back in the UK.
But unless I was to go to the ball entirely without cash, credit cards or ID, or unless I was to take my usual clunky shoulder bag, I still needed something to carry things in. And so I arrived in Los Angeles.
So, staying not far away, we decided that we would go on the hunt for a bag in Rodeo Drive, shopping mall to the stars.
I can tell you, a couple of British academics, dressed in usual British academic style, have a hard time.
First stop was Louis Vuitton. They must have a bag that would do there, I thought.
Well maybe they did, but getting served was a struggle. In the absence of any obvious person to help, we picked up an OK looking back from a shelf – and were roundly told off for stepping behind the counter. Well, we wouldn’t transgress, we explained, if someone would help us.
Within a few minutes a girl reluctantly arrived and brought a couple of passable bags. But the husband wasn’t keen on spending large amounts of money on something that looked like the kind of fakes you buy from street traders in Italy .. and after a few minutes the girl lost interest. She was replaced by a desultory man, who didn’t get the spirit of the expedition at all , and produced nothing at all that would do.
By this time the husband was saying that it felt too much like the scene in Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts gets treated like dirt in Rodeo Drive – only we didn’t have a sugar daddy’s credit card to come back with.
So we said goodbye to Vuitton and wandered up the street. For want of anywhere better we went into Miu Miu. It couldn’t have been more different. There was a jolly sales girl who entered into the spirit of the occasion with tremendous goodwill and produced a range of bags that would do – plus one really gorgeous creation that was not exactly what I was looking for but too good to miss.
The result was that, thanks to the welcome, we actually parted with more cash than we intended. But thank you Miu Miu all the same.
Overall the sartorial choices were just right. The size 6 celebs were all dressed up in someone else’s frock and borrowed diamonds, but most of the others were sensibly clad in garments that wouldn’t have looked too out of place on Cambridge high table,