Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Foreign Dignitary Fashion

When you get asked to emcee a major foreign policy event, the first thing that goes through your mind, is God Help Me Not Screw Up Their Names. Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Zhou Wenzhong, Tung Cheewah. Say those ten times fast. The second is, what do I wear? I was asked to co-emcee the annual Committee of 100 Gala to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and the US in DC. I got to work with my fellow emcee, David Henry Hwang, who was the Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly. The palatial Andrew Mellon Auditorium, a stone’s throw away from the Washington Monument served as a dramatic backdrop for the black-tie event. I wore a Just Cavalli slinky dress that had architectural detailings throughout; mermaid-style with a lively animal-slash-graphic print. A gay architect at the event said “Wow, that is some dress!” Now, coming from him, that’s a great compliment. Mr. Kissinger and I took pictures backstage, but his secret service minder insisted that there be no flash since “Mr. K.” didn’t want to exacerbate his recent eye trouble, so that’s my excuse for the grainy photo. The Ambassador from the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Wenzhong, was presented an award at the event. It was an honor to meet him since he has been China’s top representative in Washington, Australia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We stayed at the St Regis Hotel and what caught my eye was what appeared to be a normal looking bathroom mirror, until you turned the remote on, and presto-chango, a TV magically appears inside the mirror. Watch the mirror while applying mascara and CNN, without ever having to turn your head. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the scariest multi-tasker of them all? Missed a spot! Downstairs, the St Regis had a lovely and surprisingly swanky looking bar: all deep purples, grays and silvers. It inspired me. Wouldn’t that be a lovely outfit? Al the bartender told me Mariah Carey and Nick Cave were the latest guests in a whirl of celebs who stay here. He also told me with great enthusiasm and intrigue that there are trysts-a-plenty that go on between “countless” Congressman and Senators and their mistresses. He refused to divulge everything, but certainly said enough to whet the carnivorous appetite. But he did fess up to many obligatory secret back doors and entrances throughout the building and how all the staff knew about all the shenanigans. All this talk of Capitol capers made me take a little gulp. Wouldn’t you know it? My husband and I had hectic schedules that day so we checked in separately and checked out separately. Yup…I’m sure we had the staff all a-twitter and all a-wondering. After all, it is DC: a hotbed of hot beds.

Foreign Dignitary Fashion

When you get asked to emcee a major foreign policy event, the first thing that goes through your mind, is God Help Me Not Screw Up Their Names. Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Zhou Wenzhong, Tung Cheewah. Say those ten times fast. The second is, what do I wear? I was asked to co-emcee the annual Committee of 100 Gala to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and the US in DC. I got to work with my fellow emcee, David Henry Hwang, who was the Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly. The palatial Andrew Mellon Auditorium, a stone’s throw away from the Washington Monument served as a dramatic backdrop for the black-tie event.

I wore a Just Cavalli slinky dress that had architectural detailings throughout; mermaid-style with a lively animal-slash-graphic print. A gay architect at the event said “Wow, that is some dress!” Now, coming from him, that’s a great compliment.

Mr. Kissinger and I took pictures backstage, but his secret service minder insisted that there be no flash since “Mr. K.” didn’t want to exacerbate his recent eye trouble, so that’s my excuse for the grainy photo.

The Ambassador from the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Wenzhong, was presented an award at the event. It was an honor to meet him since he has been China’s top representative in Washington, Australia, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We stayed at the St Regis Hotel and what caught my eye was what appeared to be a normal looking bathroom mirror, until you turned the remote on, and presto-chango, a TV magically appears inside the mirror. Watch the mirror while applying mascara and CNN, without ever having to turn your head. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the scariest multi-tasker of them all? Missed a spot!

Downstairs, the St Regis had a lovely and surprisingly swanky looking bar: all deep purples, grays and silvers. It inspired me. Wouldn’t that be a lovely outfit?

Al the bartender told me Mariah Carey and Nick Cave were the latest guests in a whirl of celebs who stay here. He also told me with great enthusiasm and intrigue that there are trysts-a-plenty that go on between “countless” Congressman and Senators and their mistresses. He refused to divulge everything, but certainly said enough to whet the carnivorous appetite. But he did fess up to many obligatory secret back doors and entrances throughout the building and how all the staff knew about all the shenanigans.

All this talk of Capitol capers made me take a little gulp. Wouldn’t you know it? My husband and I had hectic schedules that day so we checked in separately and checked out separately. Yup…I’m sure we had the staff  all a-twitter and all a-wondering. After all, it is DC: a hotbed of hot beds.
 

Cynthia Gouw
About this blog
She’s walked the catwalk in Paris, Los Angeles and New York and appeared in fashion magazines, in her 20s, with Elite Model Management and again, (“miraculously”, she says) in her 40s, with Wilhelmina Models. Now, she's excited to be the Host and Executive Producer of SnapGlow.TV on Philly.com, the only place dedicated to celebrating the glamour of real Philadelphia women. Reach Cynthia at cgouw@philly.com.

Cynthia Gouw