A few weeks ago I attended the grand opening of LIV la Vie, Los Gatos' newest clothing store. I had waited seven long years for Karen Giordano's next venture after she sold Bella Rosa Boutique, and nothing was going to stop me, not even a torrential downpour.
I sloshed up the red carpet and into LIV where it was warm and lovely with the aroma of St. Barts—scented Vie Lux candles wafting through the sleek space. Right away I could tell it was going to be a fabulous night. There was champagne flowing! A D.J. spinning! Delectable bites passed around on silver platters!
No sooner had I walked through the door and scored a glass of Rombauer chardonnay than a gorgeous saleswoman poured into a blush pink dress introduced herself.
“Hi, I'm Gina, Gina Martina.” Only she said it so fast I heard her name as “Ginamartina.” Ginamartina had flawless Sophia Loren skin and more curves than Highway 17. “If I can help you find anything, please let me know.”
After Ginamartina flitted away, I checked out the store. The clothes were amazing (indulgent cashmere sweaters and wraps, ultra soft T-shirts and colorful pastel denim leggings.) The decor was stunning (triple-tiered white birch chandeliers and pops of orange throughout—an homage to Karen's favorite designer, Hermes.) And the women were smokin' hot. Every where I looked throngs of L.G. tennis babes stood sipping champagne, their tanned, toned gams exquisitely showcased in short cocktail dresses.
The crowd was so chic I half expected Kate Middleton to breeze through the door at any moment. After all, vibrant dresses by her favorite British designer, Issa, graced LIV's windows.
And then there was me—Wonderbread white skin (more on that in ) and furry legs (my Lady Schick hibernates in winter) splotched with patches of poison oak.
Intimidated? Lil’ bit. Maybe that’s why I said yes to a second glass of wine. Just as I was eyeing a diamond seahorse necklace in the jewelry case, Ginamartina appeared at my side again, this time holding a blue and yellow sequined shift dress. “You ARE trying this on! You would look sooo gorgeous in it.”
It was cute but I thought, No freakin' way am I trying on a skimpy cocktail dress tonight in the pouring rain surrounded by all these bronzed Glamazons.
“Oh, you’re very sweet,” I demurred. “Maybe later.”
For the next hour I noshed on hors d'oeuvres, caught up with old friends and made new ones. The buzz was unanimous: Karen was a star at opening stores. She had thought of everything—down to the bright orange bags imprinted with LIV's logo.
Twenty minutes later Ginamartina was baaack. “So are you ready to try on your fabulous dress?” she asked. Damn, this woman could sell Ambien to a narcoleptic.
Finally I succumbed. Ginamartina tucked me into the dressing room, a cocoon of tangerine velvet and winter birch wallpaper. My head was spinning from the chardonnay. My family was texting me wondering where dinner was, but I was having much more fun hanging out, nibbling on goat cheese and blackberry compote stuffed endive. All was wonderful. Until I slid the dress over my head, and stepped out.
Gazing at my reflection in the mirror, all I could see was my white skin, my hairy legs and the fact that I was totally wearing the wrong bra. I looked at the women behind me sipping champagne in their pricey dresses, and resisted the urge to scratch an oozing patch of poison oak on my ankle.
“Oooh! Don't you feel sexy?” Ginamartina cooed.
Um, did she forget to put in her contact lenses?
Two seconds later the dress was returned to its hanger. “I'll think about it, Ginamartina, I promise.” She gave me a warm hug. Then I swept through LIV past the Glamazons and out into the rain.
Once I shed my winter coat, my poison oak subsides and I get a spray tan, I can’t wait to return to LIV so I can feel sexy again.