I awakened Wednesday of last week and began the day as usual.

Calisthenics with Vladimir, my personal trainer.  

Thirty minutes of scales, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff at the Piano forte.

Two and a half raw eggs. Bee pollen smoothie ‘cause I was feeling extra peckish.

Ten minute mirror pep talk culminating in a twenty second mental karaoke rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter”.

Only one of those bullet points is true.

What was utterly authentic was my ignorance to the fact that I was about to embark on a profound spiritual journey akin, I’d imagine, to summiting Mt. Everest or attaining the highest level in Candy Crush.

Fast forward several hours.

There I was, casually perusing the racks of one of the local thrift stores I frequently stalk, when it emerged.   

Balmain.

Vintage Balmain.

Pink vintage Balmain. With sparkles on top.  

“Am I worthy?”

I waved the thought away and held the revered blazer up to the light, like a skeptical pawn shop owner inspects his incoming Benjamins. For several seconds, I pondered whether or not to say anything. I’d seen Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I knew what people were capable of in the face of a priceless treasure.

As my heart rate slowed to some semblance of a normal pace, I noticed something odd.

Observe:

IMG_4999

Fashion of Florida? Was this some kind of sick joke?

Rushing like Niagara Falls, I headed home to research.

Here’s the Sparknotes version of my findings:

In the 1950s, Pierre Balmain decided that there was, in fact, a party in the USA and designed a line specifically intended for American ladies. He whipped up the patterns in Paris and sent them over the pond to Miami, where a firm called Fashion of Florida did the producing bit.

Nifty, eh?

It’s a concept not so far off from what’s happening currently with Olivier Rousteing and his Balmain X H&M extravaganza. When you have a treasure trove like Balmain, everybody wants in. It certainly behooves the house to widen their net and include customers who don’t quite have a Kardashian level budget, but are nonetheless craving even just a touch of glamour.

Zooming into the past again, Pierre knew what women wanted. The 1950s cradled a zeitgeist rampant with the desire to discard the hard shell of wartime austerity. Women feeling like a rag-encrusted pre-ball Cinderella found a sartorial fairy godfather in the form of Balmain.

Sixty-five odd years later and I’ve scored my own version of a powder-blue gown and glass slippers.

Let the naysaying tongues wag, but personally, a little glitz in my life and on my bod only “Makes me that much stronger”.

*Resumes mirror session*