Cracking the Dress Code

As publisher of this magazine, I am invited to many charity events, galas and fundraisers. When I receive an invitation, one of the first things I do is check out the suggested attire.

Twenty-five years ago, attending a black tie event was like going to a high school prom—it was out of the ordinary, a special occasion that came around once or twice a calendar year. Not so much anymore. In October alone, I counted no fewer than six black ties among the tidal wave of special events that arrives each fall.

More and more, event planners are getting creative with their suggested attire. Here is a short list of some of the more unique suggestions I’ve seen in the past year:

  • Literature-inspired attire
  • Hawaiian luau attire
  • Palm Desert attire
  • Country/western attire
  • Favorite baseball attire
  • Cruise ship attire
  • Sophisticated casual
  • Halloween costume
  • Safari chic
  • Holiday attire
  • Resort wear
  • Roaring Twenties attire
  • Western attire
  • Red tie
  • Mardi Gras attire
  • Casual chic

In terms of dress, black ties are a cinch, and business, casual and cocktail attire are easily understood and don’t require a lot of pre-planning. But I can fret for weeks considering what to wear to other events—so much so, that my enthusiasm can begin to wane.

I understand why event planners want to do something different—and I applaud them for their creativity—but sometimes an inspired vision can get in the way of the basic "who, what, when and where." Anyone who has fielded phone calls asking for further explanation of an event’s suggested attire can relate.

As you can see in our social scene photos, those who figure out what to wear enjoy the fun of participating in the theme. But I’ve also heard horror stories of those who misinterpreted the "dress code" and, upon arrival, turned around and left so as not to feel uncomfortable. Just something to consider when planning your next event.

When you first saw the cover of this issue, did you wonder if "that’s a cake?" You wouldn’t be the first—the expression was used so often to describe Susan Crisler’s cake sculptures, it ended up as the name of her business. Crisler worked with us to design a special cake that would tie into the social side of art & society, and what a magnificent—and tasty—job she did!

Gemstone Confections is another local business doing some interesting things with confectionary delights. In this issue, we take a look at both of these artists, whose unique offerings would make perfect gifts for the upcoming holiday season!

If you thought that the end of the summer’s farmers’ markets meant the end of fresh, locally grown foods for the season, Gina Edwards shows you how to buy local all year ‘round on page 28.

Finally, with the FBI’s real-life "Indiana Jones," coming to Lakeview Museum on November 13th to speak on international art theft, we were fortunate to get a sneak preview of former Special Agent Robert Wittman’s tales of intrigue—see page 10.

The holidays are a hectic time for all. As you’re bouncing around from event to event, don’t forget to take a moment to breathe…and enjoy yourself! a&s

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