April 3, 2011

I was first introduced to Irene Lutzig when she emailed me about a dress.

“Dear Emily,
So I think the last time I wrote a stranger a fan letter was age ten when I had a precocious Audrey Hepburn fixation. But I just bought my second dress of yours this afternoon (I bought my first about a year ago not long after I first moved to Santa Cruz from New York), and for some reason felt moved to let you know how incredibly happy your clothes make me. Last year I saw your dress in a store window and had to try it on… and then I had one of those amazing rare moments where I try on a new dress there’s that shiver of recognition when you meet a new best friend for the first time — perfect dress made exactly for me. It was more than I could afford, but I bought it anyhow, and it’s one of my few happy memories of my first lonely months in Santa Cruz (I love the idea of stories attaching themselves to dresses). I still wear it all the time, and it’s still perfect.”

Irene is a filmmaker, and a very good one, and I was nervous about writing her back. Would I live up to her experience with the dress? We were lucky enough to hang out a couple of times at Friends of Filly gatherings before she moved to Cambridge to teach at Harvard. Recently she sent me a book. Who does this?! California is a beautiful little novella written by Amra Brooks. It contains stories of Santa Cruz that strike my heart.
Today I was picking out colors for Fall 2011 when I realized the color palette I was attracted to was spelled out on the cover of the little book. I share all of this for two reasons. One, Irene is a rock star. Two, moments like this confirm the theory I just wrote for the Filly Space page. Nothing is accidental. It all matters. Even the slim little novella finds its place.


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