Have you ever dreamt that you’re in the bathroom section of Sears and you need to pee and in this dream you convince yourself that it would be OK to go ahead in the Toro toilet showroom model?
Tonight I went to an interior style book-signing party and a celebration of “12 impeccable years of design, art and luxury” somewhere tucked between Fort Lauderdale airport and North Miami.
The invitation had come by mail and looked like a wedding invite with peacocks and “the pleasure of your company” requested by Ann Getty, John Hall Nelson and Iran Issa Khan. There is little friends of Iran won’t do for her. Iran is after all the most supportive friend anyone can have and so when Iran beckons friends follow her to the end of the world. Literally.
Cocktails and Dinner it said and I was ready. I had a vivid idea of what could be done in a decorating warehouse. Anything! All that furniture would surely become a fabulous set, a styled background for the most over-the-top party ever. I imagined the ambience of every movie Tilda Swinton had ever been in (Orlando meets Narnia meets I am Love). Rampant fantasy settings, dimmed chandeliers, mysterious rooms made up from samples, drapes, beds, not one chair or table alike, random but real, a wonderland that would have me dreaming….
Expectation will fuck with me every time.
First I drove through the suburban nightmare of Hallandale and Dania Beach, a monotonous six-lane with traffic lights every hundred yards and rush-hour traffic that leaves one brain dead.
I tried to stay hopeful. I reminisced about the final episode of Downton Abbey that lingered in my mind.
Then I drove through a dark landscape of ominous warehouses and imagined Hollywood Studios with the set of Marie Antoinette dedans.
But this was Hollywood FL.
I turned a corner and stopped in front of a very ordinary strip mall with a very ordinary looking furniture showroom.
A showroom, a huge showroom, a brightly lit traditional Miami suburban showroom. It was just that. Nothing more and nothing less. The place where trophy wives go to decorate their plastic Greek Revival home on steroids in gated communities with names like River Highlands, Princeton Pastures and The Governor’s Club and hope to look the nouveau part with all its Downton, Versailles, Deco Drive, Morris Lapidus, Versace, Shabby Chic, Chinoisery and Out Of Africa style like gilded mirrors, claw footed tables, deep fat couches with red zebra upholstery, ebony and ivory inlay tables, brocade drapes, satin sheets, bronze and glass coffee tables… all this inside while a steady stream of red and white lights whizzed by at 80 miles ph on I-95 just yards away.
But regardless, there were waiters with white gloves and trays with bacon wrapped scallops, foie gras and caviar. There were women in Louboutins and Oscar de la Renta cocktail dresses. There were old men in pink slacks, navy blazers and jolly ties, there even was one young gay man in a bright yellow short suit.
The first thing I saw upon entry was a king size four-poster bed made up in traditional dusty blues. The four tapered posts had mirrors that aspired to deco meets Morris Lapidus style. But at 5″ wide and 6ft tall, these four mirrored posts would make for very narrow sexy time, I imagined, walking in half dealing with my disappointment the other half busy with this bed – and the kinky couple that might be in it:
He (trying to see himself in the slither of mirror): “To the left a bit, no thats too far , to the right, up a bit yes now I can see, no dont move, well no dont stop completely…”
She: “Shit man, I prefer my mirror on the ceiling and my cuffs on the posts.”
Personally I had a vison of having the 12 impeccable years of design, art and luxury celebration in that bed, with our dinner on trays all together in bedjackets Joan Crawford style. I suggested it to my friends in attendance but every single one seemed creeped out by me.
Like it was me and not the actual place that was creepy.
Whats the point of having dinner in a Hollywood FL furniture showroom and act like its the ballroom of the London Ritz?
In the end it turned out that it was in the tassel room.
The tassel room was where it was at. The tassel room was what I’d had in mind all along, the tassel room was the inadvertent VIP room with not one tasseled red rope across the entrance but dozens on the walls. I had tassel room envy as soon as I saw it, but the tassel room had already filled up with women who were wearing tassel camouflage, like Hermes prints and feathered, beaded, puckerd, folded and pleated fabrics – it was hard to tell the tassels from the lasses tucking into their steak, asparagus and grilled veggies.
Dejected, I headed to the lighting showroom and persuaded one couple to dine with me, once there some thin ice was broken and a few more joined in. But I mean please, here we are dining in a lighting showroom with dozens of ugly wall sconces so why be ashamed to play with the dimmers? And why not joke about the brightest bulb in the room?
After this we remembered that Ann Getty had a book, but was this not a signing? She seemed to be there incognito, at her own booksigning party where no one ever spoke about a book but it was more of a discovery-like treasure hunt, first you had to find this publication (there was zero promotion, which was almost a refreshing, like new kind of thing) and then, once we found and purchased it, we went armed with her author picture in an attempt to find her and ask in a syrupy voice if she would be so kind to sign it.
And then it was over.