How Much Effort Is Too Little Effort?

by Monday, April 29, 2013

Every morning I wake up to an inbox full of invitations, which is undoubtedly a better prospect than a breakfast spent glossing over bills. Nevertheless, the amount of e-mails where I’m asked to RSVP to a party, exhibition, show, opening of a new venue etc. scares me more than just a little, as there’s a lot of effort in preparing for these events.

Don’t be fooled by the glamour, attending a party isn’t all about having a good time, in reality it’s almost always work related and that means dressing in my usual immaculate style, wearing something new or customised, from my previously worn ensembles. That’s hard work, making sure that there will be no repeat of costuming, as you can be damn sure that there will definitely be a repeat of people in attendance! So how much effort is too little effort?

Being decidedly high maintenance and joining Joan Crawford in what she once said about herself “I never go outside unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.” I therefore need a good couple of hours to look like… me. It’s Beyond My Control. So I always start my evening with a soak in a bath filled with detoxifying body oil usually by ESPA or Epsom bath salts. This helps to eliminate body toxins and to relax the body and mind.

Dorian Leigh wearing an evening dress by Piguet. Photographed by Avedon in Paris 1949

Dorian Leigh wearing an evening dress by Piguet. Photographed by Avedon in Paris 1949

Being a confirmed addict of several beauty products, my weekly pre-party routine begins with a face scrub (not more than once a week!). This is followed by a beauty mask, either from Sisley Cosmetics or the ESPA collection. Once cleansed, the process is finished off with a rose oil facial massage, which works wonders to moisturize the skin, amongst its many other uses. You can read more a about it in my post Top 7 Beauty and Make-Up Products. Lets also not forget to moisturise the body and apply perfume not only on the wrists or neck but as Coco Chanel would say: “A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed”.

Sunny Harnett wearing an evening dress by Gres. Photographed by Avedon in 1954

Sunny Harnett wearing an evening dress by Gres. Photographed by Avedon in 1954

As I’m getting older I’m becoming more and more appreciative of the little free time that I have for myself, not wanting to waste a minute of it. Nevertheless, I will always find the time to at least put on mascara and lipstick. I’m particularly annoyed by a trend in recent years, among younger celebrities or to be more precise, children of famous parents, who love to look as if they just woke up and out of huge effort put jeans and a t-shirt on. The attitude of being too cool to care I find rather appalling and I will never approve of even though I have to admit that sometimes I’m so tired after a long day of working on my blog, writing, interviewing people, running from one press preview to another, that I would like nothing more than go out in my pyjamas a ‘la Hugh Hefner and not even think about applying make-up… But then I think about all those beautiful Hollywood stars from the 1940s, 1950s and I blush with embarrassment because after all, you would never see them pictured as anything less than perfect. I also want to be a part of the standard set by two of, in my opinion, best examples of incredibly well-dressed woman at parties are; the stunning and extravagant Daphne Guinness, who you probably would never catch not wearing couture and my fabulous designer friend Veroni Deco, who always gives a damn about her appearance. So how much effort is too little effort? The answer is that you should always find time to make the effort and I would hope that you will take heed of these words, again quoting from that most effortlessly stylish of women Coco Chanel. “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen

Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen

Veroni Deco wearing her own design. Photographed by Wayne Tippetts

Veroni Deco wearing her own design. Photographed by Wayne Tippetts

 

Dovima wearing a dress by Patou, photographed by Avedon in Paris, Maxim's 1955.

Dovima wearing a dress by Patou, photographed by Avedon in Paris, Maxim’s 1955.

Avedon

Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay. Evening dress by Patou. Photographed by Avedon in 1956

Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall.Evening gown by Gres. Photographed by Avedon in 1947.

Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall.Evening gown by Gres. Photographed by Avedon in 1947.

 

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