Dear Dolce & Gabbana,
I know you don’t want to hear this, but who’s gonna tell you besides a girl like me? We actually met this year, when I slinked backstage after your show at Milan Fashion Week in February and pretended to be one of your inner posse. It was fun for all three minutes before I got asked to leave by security; the hugs, the pretty models drinking champagne, the bigwig editors of the world giving you their respects. What a life! That’s why it’s going to sting a bit when I say this: The best thing you can do right now is just go to jail.
Don’t put up a fight. Don’t try to argue for something less glamourous like 10 years of garbage duty. No one wants to see the two of you moping around Milan with spears in hand harpooning cigarette butts and discarded receipts from fashionable shops on Corso Venezia. In fact, going to jail for a year and eight months could be the best thing to happen to your career and, I mean, you’re already insanely famous.
Don’t get me wrong, your Fall 2013 collection was divine. Seeing it from an actual seat at the show just a few rows behind Anna Wintour was a young me’s dream come true. How could my life ever get more spectacular than this? I thought. Well, I can tell you how: When I’m at your post-prison show two years from now for Spring/Summer 2016, completely blown away by how you’ve re-invented the over-sized onesy and rocked the colour spectrum with your fifty different shades of orange all in one groundbreaking collection.
There’s so much creative potential here! And to think, you could even come out with your own prison-inspired line of soaps! I will make myself 100% available to you to work on what will obviously be the biggest revolution in the world of fashion since Dior’s New Look in 1947.
Here’s the tricky part, and some might call it the sad part, too. You will lose a lot of friends and admirers. Take it from me – I went rehab two years ago. When I got out, I had four missed phone calls, and two of them were from my bank. That’s just how it is. The hangers-on of the world won’t want anything to do with you when they see that you’re temporarily not useful to them, and since your future as style icons will seem utterly in limbo, they might not want anything to do with you until you fully reclaim your statuses as the reigning kings of fashion.
But there’s beauty in that, too. Imagine ridding yourselves of all the people who don’t matter. The truth is, before a major life crisis, it’s impossible to see that most of the people you know are really just fair-weather friends. Suddenly, you’ll have a lot more free time to read, work out and just think a lot. Despite all the people you lose, the ones who stick by you even though you have nothing at the moment to offer but your friendship will shine like diamonds in the rough, and that kind of beauty is inspiring beyond your wildest imagination. Trust me.
The cool thing about stepping outside of your life – in your case jail, in my case rehab – is that it gives you a bit of time to question what it all means; everything from “Why do I wear the clothes I wear?” and “Do I even like my job right now?” to “Do I really like this group of friends?” and “Who the hell am I, anyway?” It’s strangely refreshing, though at first it is utterly terrifying. When I finally got out of rehab and stepped back into my life, it took me a bit of time to finally leave the job I hated and to stop dating people who weren’t there for me in bad times, but eventually I started working on my real life goals again and even moved to a new city to embark on my real dreams. It changed my life in the most unimaginable way.
I know rehab isn’t exactly prison, but I went to a government-funded one, and half the people in there were going to prison right after rehab or had already been there at some point. It was in an old convent and the rehab gym was in a freezing cold shed. I kid you not! But in the end, I think I was better for going somewhere completely devoid of glamour, somewhere where the cushions of life were swept away and all I had was the strength of my own brain to give me hope and the power of my imagination to make me rediscover what it is about life I actually love. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t wish rehab on anyone, but the truth is I do, and not for spiteful reasons. It gave me time to re-evaluate what I was giving all of my passion to and redirect it to what matters most to me, from people to art and everything in between.
The other thing is, guys, you did commit a crime. Tax evasion is pretty serious stuff, especially these days with the economy the way it is. The same way I took too many prescription pills and drank too heavily, you guys tried to cheat your way out of money you legitimately owed. That’s bad! And you got caught. In some ways, I got caught too. I had a seizure. My body just basically said, “Homie, we are not doing this anymore. You can’t cheat life like this, not forever anyway.” I didn’t want to pay the price life was asking me to pay back for my errors either, but I sucked it up and did it. I also didn’t expect to stay sober two years later, but here I am. Who would have thought that the path I most feared going down could lead me to a place that is so much more interesting than the road I clung to so desperately before?
Great and unexpected things have happened since. Fast-forward two years since I first left for rehab, and I have a job I love, a circle of friends I completely trust with my life, and a skinny-a*s sober body that’s a size 2-4. That means I can fit into your sample sizes, and I expect to be sliding into them two years from now when you come back to the fashion world with your most unbelievable collection you’ve shown yet. I’m sure Anna Wintour will be in the front row again. She seems dope like that. Just know that some of us will be waiting for you, some won’t, and some will just be watching in hopes that you fail at your return.
Along the way, you’ll end up making some new friends, too, who’ve been through similar things and come out all the better for it, like Martha Stewart. Jail did her wonders in the end! There’s brilliance to be had and found in our most trying of life moments.
And don’t worry about the friends you’ll lose. They’ll be back. But by then, you’ll be so over them it won’t matter anymore. Maybe I was a fake member of your inner posse this past spring, but I’m totally available in two years to be your new inner posse if you’re interested in meeting more genuine people. We’ll have a blast calling security on the fair-weather ones who try to sneak backstage once they realize you’re totally back on top and better than ever. So go rock those orange onesies and pay your dues. Every true artist needs to be tortured once in a while, anyway. Maybe this will be the inspiration you’ve never been seeking. And, in the end, that will be what makes the next phase of your career beautiful.
Vicki @ View The Vibe