I HAD LUNCH TODAY WITH VERA WANG. Technically, me and a roomful of other women, BUT LUNCH.WITH.VERA.WANG! I think I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I love Junior League! They get a lot of great speakers in, and it turns out Vera (I can call her by first name now, right?) is a friend of one of our members.

I was nearly jumping out of my skin when I got to headquarters, from coffee, B-vitamins and excitement. (And something you’ll find out tomorrow!) I had showed up alone, thinking I’d know people. I didn’t, but I quickly made friends, and we sat down for lunch.

We started with some kind of cold pea soup (meh) and then had the chicken crepes you see above, which were served with steamed asparagus (although, with all the sauce from the chicken, I think the steamed-ness was kind of negated) and a broiled tomato (stuffed with bread crumbs, again, negating any healthiness). Lunch was good, but it was Ms. Wang herself who was the best part of the luncheon, obviously!

She started off by telling us that she was going to talk about her life, and that we shouldn’t feel obliged to stay the whole time, that she’d been alive for more than 50 years. Her humility set the tone for the rest of her talk, and I think I smiled the entire time.

Did you know that Vera Wang used to be a figure skater? Apparently, she tried out for the ‘68 Olympics, and didn’t make it. Crushed, she ran away to Paris, where she fell in love with fashion. She called her dad and told him she wanted to go to design school

“Three words,” he said. “No. More. Tuition.” Dejected again, she returned to the U.S. and went back to Sarah Lawrence. Upon graduation, she moved back to NYC and got a job working at Yves Saint Laurent, working as a shopgirl. A Vogue editor was one of her clients and offered her an entry-level job at Vogue, where she ended up working for 16 years. Still in love with designing, she left and took a job at Ralph Lauren, designing accessories for him. She says she could have worked there for the rest of her life, but when she got engaged at the age of 40, her dad suggested she design her own wedding dress and that’s where her business was born!

And apparently, her daughter recently had a coming-out party, and just because your mom’s Vera Wang, doesn’t mean there are any less fights over the dress!

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