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Why Don’t You . . . ? Start a New Year’s Eve Dress Tradition

Ah, New York City on New Year’s Eve. There’s nothing like it and, for years, we wanted nothing to do with it. By noon every December 31, we were a puff of cartoon smoke, racing away from the roar of the crowd on our motorcycle to a quieter Connecticut, where a six-course, home-cooked dinner for a dozen adults waited—alongside the roar of ten toddlers. Apparently, a certain decibel level is unavoidable on this holiday. Though we kept up with this tradition until toddlers turned to preteens, our New Year’s Eve celebration has changed dramatically.

We’ve found ourselves doing the most New York thing you can do: dressing to the nines for a packed subway ride to an intimate, old-school West Village jazz club, where party hats and noisemakers are passed around for a pause to roar at the flip to 12 a.m.

This past holiday season, a gift-giving Diana Vreeland challenge caught my eye, one that goes hand in hand with a new tradition:

Why don’t you . . . Give to the wife of your favorite band leader a jazz band made of tiny banquette (sic) diamonds and cabochon emeralds in the form of a bracelet from Marcus?

Sequined fabric and metallic linen being cut for a New Year's Eve dress
Cutting and sewing in a separate lining was essential for making the sequined dress for my friend comfortable enough to wear all night long.

The maestro and his mate

We met our favorite band leader, Ethan, in one such small venue—a club called Smalls, to be exact. An avid blogger himself, he recognized us from one of my usual online ramblings, where I talk about anything but the garment I’ve made. “I know you,” he said. “You’re oonaballoona!” And over after-hours conversations on fashion landmines, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and crime novels, a friendship began.

We…

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