Hot Coco - Or How To Chanel Your Inner Fashionista

Fashion may not save lives, but it can definitely save the course of an evening. Fab Editor Sarah Fones recalls such an occasion.

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A pair of vintage Chanel earrings on sale on Fab now. 

Picture it: Manhattan, 2005.

(Props to anyone who gets my ref to the greatest show about four sexy single women, ever.) It was a year before I would move to the city, and names like “Marquee” and “Bungalow 8” loomed large in my imagination. I was taking a short vacay to visit my best friend, Q. He promised to show me a good time, and it kind of went without saying that “good times” would entail dancing like fools to Whitney Houston and Gwen Guthrie at a club with men and women of questionable sexual persuasions, all of them dressed to kill.

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A pair of vintage Chanel earrings on sale on Fab now. 

The hot spot du jour was a place in the West Village called Luke & Leroy (RIP). (It was there that the black-garbed fashion phenom/proto-hipster/are-they-or-aren’t-they-actually-playing-music DJ trio known as The Misshapes got their start.) Getting in was no easy feat, according to Q, and we had to dress the part. I was game because, duh, and also because our track record in LA, where we attended college, suggested our chances were quite good.

It wasn’t until we arrived at our venue that my confidence started to waver. Also, my feet hurt. It was early-ish in the evening, but a long line had already formed outside the club. The doorman was taking his sweet time, torturing us with glances up from his clipboard and empty conversations with club employees who happened to peek their heads out. Despite having averred never to stand in a line, period, I resigned myself to doing so.

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A pair of vintage Chanel earrings on sale on Fab now. 

Occasionally the doorman would walk the length of the line, probably to make sure that a model or someone’s friend wouldn’t have to shiver in the cold. His eyes lingered over me and Q for a second, and that got me hopeful. I won’t lie: getting in would have been a source of validation, both emotionally (I know! I was 23!) and sartorially. I had worn some of the coolest clothes in my closet and topped off my look with a pair of early ‘90s Chanel earrings (borrowed from my mother). They were kind of awesome, kind of come-on-girl-you’re-playing-dress-up clip-ons—legit costume jewelry. Their oversize faux pearls and gold dangling CCs weighed down my ears ever so slightly and left telltale black marks on my lobes by the end of the night. They were a last minute choice, which in fact was a reversal of Coco Chanel’s old style rule: “Before you leave the house, take one thing off”.

Suddenly, I heard the doorman’s vaguely arrogant monotone rise in pitch. “These two!” he said, beckoning to me and Q. As we found ourselves ushered into the club, he gave me the once-over, halting his gaze at my danglers. “Nice earrings,” he said, a hint of a smile crossing his lips. I entered the club grinning to myself and oh-so thankful that I had chosen not to follow Coco’s sage advice that night. 

Hankering for a pair of vintage Chanel door knockers of your own? You can find them here. 

Notes

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