Sometimes I Get Invited Places and I Don’t Know Why

Last night Anna and I went to a Hunt & Burns estate in Hancock Park to see the new Mad Men line from Banana Republic.

The event began at 6 and we arrived just a few minutes after 6. Early I suppose. Outside the front door stood two publicists with a clipboard to check us in. We entered the house and in the entry way were models. They were wearing the spring line of Mad Men inspired clothes that premiere today. They looked nice, they’re models, everything looks nice on them.

banana republic mad men party

Periodically a short and well dressed man would come out and maniacally wave his arms telling the models to stop talking to each other. He was Simon Kneen (Banana Republic’s creative director) and his foul attitude immediately endeared me to him. The guy was working and he made everyone look beautiful.

In one room there was a pianist and two caricature artists who were remarkably entertaining. It’s a good thing too because the only drinks were scotch, bubbly water and white wine. I waited patiently for red wine and then grew impatient and drank the white.

After a few minutes Janie Bryant emerged. She’s the costume designer from Mad Men. She started by shaking hands and introducing herself to the folks next to us, and as Anna was about to say hello she did the once over look (you know top to toe with a sneer), turned on her heel and went to talk to someone else.

Completely fucking awesome Janie. I know you don’t need me on your way up but you might want to rack up some love for your way down… it softens the landing.

A publicist shook my hand and introduced herself. She was sweet and told us about the line. It’ll be available tomorrow and they’re doing in store events with booze and shopping, “You know, people buy more when they’re drinking.” She whispered. Every parent who’s ever been to a school gala knows to watch out for that one.

I knew it was time to leave when she tried telling me that the house was owned by the actor who plays Sally Draper. Well, I thought it was a line of bullshit, but when the 12 year old emerged in smaller version of one of the Banana Republic dresses while being guided by a publicist I thought I might have entered Dante’s eighth circle of hell. Not only was an empty house staged to “belong” to this child… but how are you supposed to interview a 12 year old about fashion for the masses? Further, why would want to?

I love staring at models who are told to shut up and be still for a few hours. I love looking at pretty clothes and the pretty people wearing them. I love a cocktail and a grand estate. I noted every bit of luxury in the grand estate from the crown moldings to the leather ensconced light fixtures.

There were three people to score an interview with. One was a child. One was too self important and one was actually working. After 30 minutes we left. No swag either… I have no clue why I was invited. I have no clue why I attended.

On the upside we had amazing tacos at Cactus #1 followed by a little homemade Limóncello.

Facebook Comments


  1. Sound like you got a fab free meal.  Why ask why?

    • umm… no, we left after half an hour and stopped at a taco stand. It WAS delicious. I got a glass of wine and insulted though… so I guess I “got” something? 

  2. Yikes…that sounds atrociously pretentious.  Maybe the restricted drink list was the 12 year old’s idea?

  3. I’m currently making Buddhacello. Let me know if you want a jar when it’s finished. Yes, I’m bottling it in jars.

    • did you ever for a SECOND think that I would say no? 

    • I would like to put in an ebay bid for a taste. 

      • I think we have SMCLA’s next event.. Pepper’s hooch

  4. I could have written this post about a few events. ;) Some certainly make you wonder.

  5. I’d have attended too because I’d be too curious not too.  Bizarre!

  6. Again, your stark honesty and candor amazes me. Thanks

  7. I would have attended out of curiosity (I don’t get invited to things like this), but it definitely sounds like a let down and a waste of time. What a drag. At least the food afterwards was good!

  8. Info


  9. I have a low bullshit tolerance for events (and all things in general) as well. However, when I write the post I have to remain positive and re-word it so it doesn’t quite smell like bullshit. At least you get to call bullshit. I’m envious. 

  10. I’m thinking Jessica you get invited to many, many things and very carefully select which are worth your time… this smelled of nothing more than a chance to see some of the cast of Madmen which I would totally understand being worth the schlep – did you at least get to see John Hamm?! Otherwise, glad that tacos were good!

    • No no. There was no promise of the cast of Mad Men. I don’t even watch it.

  11. Adriennevh

    Whatever they did worked, you wrote about them and brought attention to their brand.  You will be invited back.

  12. I just feel bad for the 12-year-old. What the heck was she doing there? That was out of place.

    • To be fair she has more of a career than most adults I know…. which is something to note on its own.

      • That is impressive. I wasn’t knocking her, it was just that it’s adult fashion, so her presence confused me.
        I love looking at BR’s clothes, but can never afford.

        • I can never fit in them. They don’t have much boob room.

  13. Kate

    Wow! I actually heard about the event but am glad I passed. Let’s have our own Mad Men party with LOTS of drinks. you free tonight? ;)

      • Kate

        Well then what are we waiting for! Let’s set it up! Who should we invite?

  14. It is not yours to question why, it is only yours to do.  I have no fucking idea what that means, but I think it’s a quote from somewhere. I have no wit left.  It’s Friday.  

  15. Tanialuviano

    Awful!! totally understand. I’ve been in similar situations.

  16. Stumbled this one — I feel sorry for that 12-year old actress as much as I feel bad that you wasted some of your day. Now…when does Mad Med start again? ‘Cause I love that show!

  17. God I would have hated to be in that situation. thanks for being honest though.

  18. natalie

    what a shame you wasted your time! sorry about that

  19. Caryn B

     Wow…ok…the clothes *look* nice so that’s a bummer they didn’t do more with it…utilize you and the other press there….I have been in that situation too…where I’m wondering why am I here?

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