Friday, October 24, 2008


Obamafit (Obama Benefit)

My friend, Laurence, invited me to an Obama benefit last night, which took place at N boutique in Harlem. Since returning home from the Scottish wedding, I've spent most of my time squirreled away in front of my computer, trying to put the finishing edits on my novel. When I am sucked into work like this, extroverted Marie disappears and is replaced by introverted Marie, which is another way of saying that I become less and less adept at picking out a nice outfit to wear to a party, let alone socializing! But still, I went.

There was a man at the party wearing a "That One" T-shirt. I wanted to take a photo of him, but was too shy to ask. So here is a picture of the T-shirt itself. You can buy one here if you would like.

So, how does one hold a benefit in a boutique? Well, there was a hosted bar, which served a kind of cognac which had been "especially designed for women." Since I was coming off of a migraine, I had no cognac, but stuck to water (sigh). We paid an entry fee, then proceeded to drool over the clothes; the proceeds of any sale went to benefit Obama's campaign.

I have to say that the clothes were marvelous--a combination of high end name brands, interesting independent labels and local designers. Laurence warned me that the clothes would be wonderful, and indeed they were. Here we are trying on some hats. He eventually bought the one on my head.

I'm sort of fascinated by the way that fashion writers these days use the term "well edited selection" to describe the inventory of an admired boutique. The implication is that a "well edited" boutique doesn't have a lot of crap in it--like a well edited short story. But why has "edited" come into favor when there are similar terms that don't reference writing? I suppose that "carefully selected" doesn't do the trick--it doesn't capture that sense of a ruthless merchandiser turning down fluff or unnecessarily overpriced nonsense. I wonder if the term "edit" is going to morph in meaning over the next decade to be applied to more than writing and fashion.

Will anyone every run a well edited campaign?

I admired this Tshirt (for men) and pondered buying one for my husband. Eventually I passed because I wasn't sure the color scheme was right for him, but a salesman did come over to explain the graphic. I thought that the shirt was a random print of subway life, but actually it was inspired by Rosa Parks, sitting in a bus. Who says politics and fashion can't come together?

The party was catered by Food for Life Supreme, an organization that fascinated me. It originated in Kansas City, Missouri and now runs about 15 different stores. Its aim--and it is a nonprofit--is to teach healthier eating habits. Though no one explicitly brought up the fact that targeted clientele are African American youth, I'm assuming this is the case, reading in between the lines and looking at the literature. Stated goals also include the use organic ingredients, grown in partnership with farms, cooking and dining room decor. Of course, considering my rants over the summer, this was of interest to me.

After leaving the party, I was hungry, so we decided to check out Harlem's local Food for Life Supreme, in lieu of the soul food joint across the street. I only managed to eat about half of my white fish and quinoa and broccoli dinner, but I will certainly save the rest for lunch. It was quite good.

What is it about Obama that he or his name begs for appendages, mergers and morphing? Obamafit, Barrack attack, I recently had call to name a type of fundraising event an Obamarama as it was based on an Obama style grassroots event. I am convinced it is not merely lingual (although those lovely open vowels front and back are inviting) but has someting to do with an affection people have for the idea of Obama, if not the man himself (as he does not seem like the nickname type). Lee just did some music for an Obama ad and the ad itself is pretty funny. I'll post the link (or try to).
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