When the world Is on your shoulder
Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down
If you can’t hang with the feeling
Then there ain’t no room for you this part of town
‘Cause we’re the party people night and day
livin’ crazy that’s the only way
So tonight gotta leave that nine to five up on the shelf
And just enjoy yourself
Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life ain’t so bad at all
If you live it off the wall
Life ain’t so bad at all (live life off the wall)
Live your life off the wall (live it off the wall)
– Off The Wall, by Michael Jackson (Lyrics by Rod Temperton)
Sometimes, in spite of whatever life fetters are holding you down, you’ve just got to grab your glitter pants and go where the love is. That’s how I felt when I left my worries on the shelf for Chicago a few weekends ago. The day before my departure for the Windy City, where I was bound to celebrate my dear friends wedding, my car stopped dead in the middle of a six lane road in Buckhead, and little Maria Rilke Fassbender, he (yes he) refused to start back up. So, I sat in the car, right in the middle of a six lane road. What else could I do but wait? Wait for the tow truck to arrive, right in the middle of a six lane road.
Well, before American Family Insurance’s factotum arrived, an English gent in shinning Acura asked me if he could at least help me push my car off the road. I thanked him. (I should look for him on Craigslist Missed Connections). Maria was towed eventually. I left for Chicago with my shimmery trousers, all the joy in my heart for my friend and her soon-to-husband, and an entire gingerbread bundt in Maison de Chocolate shopping bag: I travel like a maniac.
The sequin trousers were born when a friend in Atlanta told me she wanted sequin joggers for New Year’s Eve. Sequins on New Year’s Eve, groundbreaking! Still, the minute I spotted the bronze paillette fabric for the trousers I had sketched for her, I knew the last two yards were coming home with me. What can I say, livin’ crazy, that’s the only way! I planned to wear the textured absurdities to the pre-wedding shabbat dinner, the dress code of which was “dressy casual”. MC Hammer’s trousers were casual, no? And sequins, those are certainly the harbinger of dressy, right? Problem solved.
But when you raid the King of Pop’s closet for bottoms, what does one wear on top? Something elegant to offset the brazen ostentation of such ornamentation as these trousers are, and unfussy enough allow the disco pants to dance unencumbered. A white silk blouse! Voila, I was ready to go and just enjoy myself.
(The real definition of living on the wild side? The fact the my friend and I, in the wee hours of the morning before our flight, sat, each with a nail clipper in hand, and clipped away at every single stray sequin on each seam of these trousers because I told him the untidiness was eating away at my life force. These are the adventures soliloquies are made of. Thank you, friend.)
There is always, of course, the small matter of jewellery when you are already wearing jewellery as trousers. Well, since my dear friend and future family jeweller, Lisa Owusu, the power and prowess behind New York brand, Charlton and Lola, was the one to christen my pantaloons “Off The Wall pants”, logic would demand that I wear the signature Waves and Curves ring on which we collaborated. She fashioned 18 carat gold into subtle sine wave, linked irrevocably to a second band to form a minimalist’s dream in a two-finger ring: infinity for the fingers.
If anyone knows about living life off the wall, it is Ms. Owusu. A lawyer by training, Lisa has chosen to hang with the feeling that churns deep inside her: to create things; to be an alchemist in a manner as close to the true definition of that word is it gets. She left that 9 to 5 up on the shelf fell into the groove and heave of life as a full time artist and entrepreneur.
Lisa and I are conjoined in our desire to create and to experience the living with abject fullness. It is a joy to see her pour her mettle into metal and stone, living at the center of her longing. I think of her often, as I too prepare to live my life off the wall.
Photography by Tyler Leiby
*Use the contact me link to place an order.
P.S. Maria Rilke Fassbender needs a new engine. There shall be no more sequins…for a long while.