It was hard to see through the bright lights as I peeked out from behind the stage. I could hear the low din of the audience as I scanned the crowd for my family, resisting the urge to stick my head out and wave. Instead, I straightened my teal Tracy Reese dress and returned to join the others. The giddy anticipation in the air made it feel like my third grade school play, but the 17 other bloggers-turned-models around me were too sharply dressed for a re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln’s life.
This was the Fashion Is Never Bottomless charity benefit for Bottomless Closet NYC. During the season of giving, I was honored to join bloggers, designers, make-up artists, musicians and performers who donated their time and resources for a great cause. I am an avid fan of “teaching a person how to fish,” and the Bottomless Closet NYC does exactly that by providing clothing, resume writing services, workshops, financial management, and professional development services to disadvantaged women in New York City.
As a side benefit, it was a great opportunity to get out of the kitchen and strut around in fabulous larger-than-life outfits. I have never felt the urge to describe a woman as fierce, but it was the only word that could adequately describe Christie Neptune (Under the Mush) as she rocked a camel colored Rose cape by Viva Aviva. Taylor Van Allen (Taylor Rockette and Skillslate) looked like she was plucked straight out of a fairytale as she melded her fun personality with the Viva Aviva Amaryllis dress. In fashion, details such as hand-rolled roses and floral hairpieces elevate an outfit from the ordinary to the runway.
Kristin Klonoski of astrophel + stella knows this well. I may be biased, by the Lindsey dress I wore was hands down my favorite. (I am also pining for the elegant Frank coat.) Silver pleats and bouncy feathers transform the typical little black dress into a show stopper. I would have run off with the dress at the end of the evening, but it was way too chilly to be traipsing around New York City in a strapless mini.
I seem to find an analogy between everything and food. I like to think it is because food is fundamental to our survival, yet emotional and complex. (That, or I really need to get a life and pick up more hobbies.) Food and fashion have a lot in common. You can have expensive, gorgeous pieces in your closet, but you need to know how to mix and match them so as not to end up in a magazine as a fashion “don’t.” The same goes for combining flavors when cooking. Although, instead of joining the fashion hall of shame you may just end up with a queasy stomach.
Similar to Aviva’s cape and Kristin’s dress, attention to details and accessories can elevate peanut butter fudge to elegant salted peanut butter truffles. Take your basic peanut butter fudge and enrobe it with milk chocolate for a dressed up look and flavor. This is a classic combination that Reese’s created in 1928. Next, add a sparkly accessory such as fleur de sel. Fleur de sel is a mild sea salt, and surprises your tastebuds by providing a pop of contrast against the sweetness of the fudge. The result is a creamy, tantalizing truffle that you would be proud to bring to all of your holiday parties (as a hostess gift…if you want to wear the truffles a la Lady Gaga, just remember that it melts).
Whether you take inspiration from Jean Paul Gaultier or Reese’s, you can create your own show stopper by taking a classic and adding details to make it your own.
Salted Peanut Butter Truffles
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
18 ounce jar smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound box confectioner’s sugar
1 cup chocolate wafers
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (can be substituted with regular sea salt or kosher salt)
In a large bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high power. Add the vanilla extract and salt then mix with a spoon until smooth.
Add one cup of confectioner’s sugar and mix until incorporated. Continue to add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, melt 3/4 cup of the chocolate wafers in the microwave for 1 minute on 50% power. Mix the chocolate with a spoon and continue to microwave for 30 minutes at 50% power until it is melted. The chocolate may not appear melted until you mix it. Add the remaining chocolate wafers and mix until smooth.
Spoon small mounds (approx. 2 teaspoons, use a mini ice cream scoop for consistently sized truffles) of the peanut butter mixture and roll into balls. Place each peanut butter ball on to a fork and dip into the melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper to cool. When the chocolate is partially dry, sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel on top of the ball. Do not wait until the chocolate is complete dry, otherwise the fleur de sel will not stick.
Let the chocolate completely dry (approximately 1 hour) before serving or transferring to mini cupcake liners.
Fashion Is Never Bottomless Charity Event
On December 13th Desi’s Random Thoughts, RedRoverStyle.com and Herjourneymag.com hosted the “Bloggers Soiree Presents: Fashion Is Never Bottomless” charity benefit for Bottomless Closet NYC. Designers included Gwen Beloti, Viva Aviva, Hare + Hart, Caycee Black and astrophel + stella. Sample loans were provided by Tracy Reese, Rebecca Taylor and Dr.Jays.com. TouchOfFabulous.com, Social Exposure Media, Girls in Tech, MySkin Inc, Urban Pearl Public Relations, The Independent Handbag Designer Awards, DrJays.com, Glaceau Vitamin Water, GoodGirlPR and Social Fashion sponsored the event. Gift bag products were donated by Sacred Space Acupuncture, Avon, Sephora, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Arbonne International, Arganica, Salon DP Lorana, Carol’s Daughter, Pooka Pure and Simple products, and Lauren Luke. Make-up and hair were provided by MUD- Make-up Designory School. A live performance was given by Alexis Foxe, and music was provided by DJ/Designer Haleh Nematzadeh.