Q. My top story for today?
A. Last year I wrote a feature for the San Francisco Chronicle about a period costume event called Gatsby Summer Afternoon produced by the art Deco Society of California. At the Dunsmuir Estate in Oakland, this event recreates a 1920s late summer picnic with a Great Gatsby theme. I’m preparing to write about it again this year from the perspective of an attendee. For my fashion blog – overdressedforlife.com – I will write a first person account and include how I put my 20s outfit together, what it’s like interacting with other attendees, and my overall impression of attending such an unusual fashion event.
Q. My dream assignment?
A. I dream of interviewing British journalist, Joan Bakewell. Ms. Bakewell was a late night interviewer on television back in the 1960s - the first woman, I believe. I’d like to ask her what it was like to be one of the few women in television journalism at that time and if she used her femininity on the job as an advantage. What role did fashion play in her work? Was she ever the victim of discrimination or sexual harassment and if so, how did she feel about it?
Q. Wackiest story?
A. I’ve had a lot of strange things happen in pursuit of stories, but the wackiest story was a Q&A I did with a closet for 944 magazine. I went into the penthouse closet of a wealthy businessman in San Francisco, sifted through all his expensive clothing and built a Q&A around what I saw in the closet and my interaction with the man. The trickiest (and most enjoyable) part of this assignment was creating the voice of the closet character. The voice had to be quirky and humorous but not too obnoxious. It was a fabulous exercise in journalism, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
Q. PR Pet Peeve?
A. Ignored e-mails. I know it’s now accepted, but I still find it rude not respond to legitimate business e-mail messages. It is particularly bad form when one has an established working relationship with the sender. The thing to do is respond right after reading the message, even if it’s just a quick note acknowledging receipt. Good manners are always a plus. (My tip of the day.)
Q. Top trend of interest?
A. I don’t think this is really a trend (yet) but I’m fascinated by the growing movement among young men to dress well. When I say dress well, I’m talking quality suits and ties, slacks and wingtips, tweeds and even hats. Some men are moving away from sloppy jeans and flip flops and adopting an old-school look of a gentleman. I am interested in what has inspired this shift and what it says about these rare young men.
Q. Something about me.
A. I am a freelance journalist specializing in fashion. In addition to writing features for local newspapers, I write a fashion column for Examiner.com and a fashion blog – OverDressed for Life. On my blog I cover current fashion issues, but I also have a page called Mom’s Closet where I share stories about my mother and her fabulous style and clothing from the 1960s.