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California Black Tie Report | Manolo's Shoe Blog

California Black Tie Report

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend who originally asked the question about the meaning of the “California Black Tie”, has given us the report.

Hello all –

In response to Plumcake’s request for a report on the art gala and the “California Black Tie,” I present to you a list of what I witnessed.

cocktail dresses
Hawaiian shirts and khakis
shirtsleeves and tie
the monochrome suit-and-tie look
vintage dresses
guayabera shirts
floor-length beaded dresses
jeans and sweatshirts
fairy costumes
batik print
68 variations on “the little black dress”
leopard-print coat and tattoos
t-shirts with flowing hippie skirts
Doc Martens
plastic augmentation of various sorts
tans of various sorts

I should note that one of my party actually called the foundation to ask what “California Black Tie” meant, and THEY did not know. “It was written by one of our marketing people. We’re getting a lot of calls asking what it means!” When pressed, they clarified “cocktail attire.”

And that…is the story of California Black Tie!

Thank you all for your help with this! I am proud to have been part of this sartorial moment in history.

Fabulous regards,

Monica E.

In the other words, it is the come-as-you-are party with pretensions.

13 Responses to “California Black Tie Report”

  1. Style Spy August 30, 2007 at 11:33 am #

    Ooooh, I do love a good tiara, and those are mighty fine! If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put one on and do my ironing now.

  2. Monica the tiara chick August 30, 2007 at 12:55 pm #

    To have presented Manolo & Co. with my report was honor enough. To be named an Internet Friend of Manolo & Co. and to have my websites linked is…I have no words, except “thank you.” And “thank you” some more.

  3. Miss Janey August 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm #

    Sounds about right for Cali.

  4. Poochie August 30, 2007 at 4:18 pm #

    Sheer madness.

    What has the world come to. Apparently manners are in short supply these days even when etiquette is called for.

    “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

    Gawd! I’m depressed now.


  5. daisyj. August 30, 2007 at 5:11 pm #

    And the silly thing is, knowing what fork to use is the easiest thing in the world (it’s the one on the left).

  6. beckyj August 30, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    Sounds like opening night at the SF Opera which I once attended. Quite the spectacle!

  7. la petite chou chou August 31, 2007 at 1:28 am #

    “Oregon black tie” would consist of the following from your list:

    Hawaiian shirts and khakis
    Jeans and sweatshirts
    Flip flops
    t shirts with flowing hippie skirts
    Doc Martin’s
    and additionally not on your list, Crocs and Birkenstock’s worn with socks.

    People dress like this to go to opening night of the Oregon Ballet, or the nicest restaurant in Portland. Appalling.

  8. daisyj. August 31, 2007 at 3:14 am #

    The question remains:
    What would Rhode Island black tie look like?

  9. quakerchic August 31, 2007 at 11:01 am #

    At least some of us Oregonians read The Manolo. Thus guaranteeing that there will be a few super-fantastic people in the great Northwest.

  10. la petite chou chou August 31, 2007 at 8:21 pm #

    Haha! Yes, quakerchick.

  11. Anonymous September 2, 2007 at 2:19 am #

    “In the other words, it is the come-as-you-are party with pretensions” pretty much sums up California society parties. Thank you once again, Manolo, for boiling it down to the essence.

  12. Retro Fashion October 12, 2007 at 6:02 pm #

    All the old stuff I wore as a child is coming back. Kinda scary and makes you feel old, but it looks great most of the time.

  13. Hawaiian Shirts Gringo December 20, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    Black tie to me means putting on a Hawaiian Shirt. What else could possibly be formal, and still comfortable? Think about it.

    But here is my question. Above I see a clog, or whatever you want to call that shoe. At least that is the photo above while I am visiting here. I have always wanted a pair of clogs that are painted, or dyed, or styled or whatever … like a Hawaiian Shirt.

    Anyone know where I can get them?