Shireen Fashion Blog
Posted by Shireen Sandoval 10/19/12, 10:57am
I don’t remember what I was wearing when it happened but I do remember like anything fancy or important in life, the texture and feeling of the moment reverted into slow motion. Like a movie. It went something like this...
With his index finger, a proper looking doctor slid a piece of paper across the desk with something scribbled on it. As the note brushed against the wood it sent tiny little dusk particles into the streaming sunlight. I looked down and read “Myelitis”-or-“Guillain’-Barre” one name piled atop the other.
My-ah what? Ge-ah who? Is that Italian? After all I love Italian leather, so developing an Italian illness seemed acceptable, in fact rather stylish of me. Unfortunately, I would learn it was something called GBS (Guillain’-Barre Syndrome) sparked by an innocent virus and to be fashionably correct it was discovered by a French doctor named Jean Baptiste Octave Landry de Thezillat in the 1800‘s. It’s when your immune system attacks your nervous system and frankly it’s never really “in” season. It just sucks.
Two years, five IVIG treatments (Intravenous Immunoglobulin) and one HUGE sob story later, I slowly recovered albeit with minor lingering neurological problems. So, what does this have to do with fashion?
Before I got my sixth and final IVIG prescription, my stylist dropped off a bag of clothing at my flat for a fashion shoot (modeling gig) I was doing for designer Jill Zaleski’s “One of a kind Jewelry” line.The wardrobe was borrowed from Hollen and Jen’s Vintage Showroom in Bay Harbor Islands.
I unzipped the bag and found beautiful 40‘s inspired dresses, a cool 70’s black polyester Studio 54-ish pant suit, a black 80’s box styled blazer with subtle faux fur and then I spied the most beautiful hint of light baby blue fuzz.
I pulled out a 1920’s Great Gatsby inspired feathered jacket. It was as if an angel had been in my closet and when I came in she hurried out leaving a trail of heaven behind.
There was no denying it, I was feeling blue leading up to my last treatment but this gem of a jacket twisted my mind into more say The Blue Period. Afterall, Pablo Picasso made the world a better place with his monochromatic shades of blues and greens. When I put it on I imagine the lady in Renoir’s “Le Moulin de la Galette” the one in the light blue off center to the left. I’m present, enjoying life, lost in the decadence of the moment. No illness, no pain, no sorrow.
I kept the fuzzy Ann Green creation out of its wardrobe bag and hung it just so in my walk-in closet ("just so" I could see it from every angle). It wasn’t just perfect for the shoot, it was perfect for me. It’s Inspiring, wistful, gentle and one of a kind. By the way, it hasn’t left my closet since.
I bought my cotton candy like couture at Hollen & Jen’s Vintage showroom for $160. Find your own angel wings at www.hollenjen.com
update - after this blog was written my husband’s insurance denied my last IVIG treatment. If you or someone you love suffers from GBS, find more information at www.gbs-cidp.org/