One of the things you quickly realize about being nominated for something like a GRAMMY is that, while your project may be cool, artistically ambitious, and even culturally significant, there are things that are simply far more important to consider. Chief among these is the question that suddenly becomes very pressing: “What are you going to wear?”
For instance, consider this exchange:
“Mom, guess what? I’m nominated for a GRAMMMY. Me, your oldest son—your boy!”
“Wow, that is fantastic. But what is Claire going to wear? Does she have a dress? This is too exciting. Wait, you made a CD?”
Or this note, sent from my wife’s good friend. Let’s just say that, upon seeing a mention of the nomination on Facebook, she cut right to the chase:
“What is she wearing?”
These are the questions that try men’s souls—or at least their pocketbooks.
Luckily, however, we got some help in that department. In Lafayette, where Stuller is located, we’re fortunate to have an extremely supportive network of people in business, in government, and in the non-profit sector who support the music and culture that makes the area unique. A fundraising event was hastily organized, and the local nominees received grants from the city to help offset travel expenses, which in turn enabled us to find the right dress for my beautiful wife to wear down the red carpet.
Now, when you suspect that you could find yourself walking in line right behind J-Lo and just ahead of a rather hopped up Keith Urban (which we were, it turns out), you really have to take things to the next level. And we knew that one of the surest ways to do this would be with a bit of bling.
Fortunately, as a Stuller man, I had a connection or two on that front as well. With a bit of help from Stuller communications maven Randi Bourg, visual merchandising mastermind Elise Diaz, and Vice President of Merchandising (and Awesomeness) Maren Rosen, we were able to borrow two stunning cocktail rings (a Missoma and yellow gold freeform) for the red carpet, perfect complements to my wife’s elegant and minimalist black dress. I even joined in on the fun, wearing a simple yet smart silver tie bar, a black tungsten ring, and some silver fleur-de-lys cuff links in honor of our state’s French heritage.
On the one hand, perhaps it seems a bit silly to fret so much about clothes and fine jewelry and these material things that take on such sudden and momentous importance. But the reality is that it does matter quite a bit.
In our finest and fairest moments, the ones we know—or hope we know—will sparkle through the years, we need splendid physical things. Objects that will live up to the radiant moment, framing it and refracting it into the unknowable future. We need bright things that will befit our most precious memories.
And as it is with good songs, so it is with fine jewels: Creations of sound, light, passion, and craft, they are suitable vehicles for the soul.
Sitting here writing out this blog in longhand on the plane ride back from the City of Angels, we didn’t win the Grammy. But my wife’s sleeping head is resting gently on my shoulder, and the sun is setting over hundreds of miles of soft clouds. And I feel very lucky to live in a place and work for a place that helped me—when the simple yet overwhelming “what is she wearing?” question arose—to come up with the right answer.