My friend Brandon and I were in the West Village looking at women’s shoes. The West Village in Dallas is one of these outdoor malls with $12 taco restaurants and boutiques that sell chunky jewelry and sheer candy-colored blouses that flutter in the breeze. There’s a Starbucks. There’s a movie theater that mostly shows indie films. There’s an Ann Taylor Loft, because every outdoor mall anywhere in America gets fined if they don’t have an Ann Taylor Loft, because where else would we all buy our cardigans?
But it’s also this prime people-watching location. So Brandon and I had set ourselves on a bench, and we were eyeing women’s shoes for my last D magazine column, and he was proving a great wingman. He knew just what to point out to me, and he could dictate the action while I scribbled in my notebook. “Did you just see that girl in a red dress?” / “No, let’s go follow her.” It was a grand adventure.
And as the night grew later, and the dresses got shorter and more sequined, I told him about a conversation I’d had with a fashion writer who used to live in Dallas. She said she always laughed at how Dallas women dressed so much more elaborately than the men they dated. The women would be immaculate and spangled and the men would be dressed in shorts and a tank top. Total visual dissonance. And right then, as if one cue, this gazelle of a blonde walked by in a tiny black dress holding hands with a guy in flip flops and a T-shirt.
“This is totally my next column,” I said. And here it is.