Beauty is skin-deep, but only at first
Feb. 9, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2018 at 6 a.m.
A few days ago, I was invited to a private event at Niemen Marcus in Atlanta.
My longtime friend and professional beauty and fashion influencer Emily Foley was hosting "A Fashion Chat" with cast members of The CW's reboot of "Dynasty," which is filmed in Atlanta.
A runway was set up inside Niemen's, nestled among the designer fashion lines and high-end beauty counter. Some of Atlanta's best-dressed fashionistas and media influencers moseyed through the aisles, sipping from their passed champagne glasses and themed cocktail straws.
When the show finally started, Elizabeth Gillies, who plays Fallon Carrington; Nathalie Kelley (Krystle Carrington); and "Dynasty" costume designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack sat in the captain's seats at the helm of the runway and answered questions about each model's look from a Neimen representative.
Each model was perfectly ensembled in Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Celine, Christian Louboutin and even Kendra Scott. Each outfit was a fusion of elegant, feminine chic with a hint of bad girl. The shoes, the handbags, the dresses and jewelry - it was something to behold.
I wanted every outfit, but the designers were beyond the constraints of my pocketbook.
I actually heard the phrase, "The earrings are Oscar de la Renta, so they're very affordable."
I couldn't help but smile at that one.
I took extra care to wear an outfit befitting the event. I wore a Ralph Lauren navy jumpsuit with a matching cape, and my sling-back heels were burgundy, pointy-toed and fabulous.
Of course, in this crowd, Ralph Lauren was like the Gap or Old Navy of designers.
But still, I was asked several times about "who I was wearing" and offered many nice compliments on my outfit.
One woman even wanted a photo of all our fabulous shoes.
It was a strange night. The event was fun and educational. I learned the new color of the season is pink. And I learned a little more about the modern-day looks of "Dynasty."
But what truly struck me was at the end of the night, as I gathered with my new fashion event friends and talked about the looks, we slowly began to peel away the layers.
We put away our ideas of superficial perfection and ceased complimenting one another's clothes.
We stood around as women do, talking about life, relationships, body insecurities and imperfections and yes, God.
It was as if we traded in the Gucci and Prada surroundings for Walmart sweats and $5 slippers.
We were all ourselves. We were all struggling with something.
We were all opinionated and strong, successful women full of ambition and too many to-dos.
But we all acknowledged how blessed we are and how God will bless our future.
I realize fashion is a lifestyle, and for many of my friends, fashion is more than that - it's an occupation.
For me, it's a reminder of beautiful things designed and assembled by real people.
The event was also a reminder of the regular women who sit around the runway and the importance of their looks, their voices, their beauty.
These women are the true icons and trendsetters. They're the ones with true, authentic beauty, the kind that doesn't need to be perfect all the time because they realize true beauty is flawed, selfless and beneath the surface.
We can still love our runways and fruity cocktails, but at the end of the day, we're all just wearing sweats and sitting around the table with friends.