Of fashion accessories and poodles

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By Cathy Rae Smith

founder of Culture Magazine

In the 2001 film “Legally Blonde,” Reece Witherspoon’s character, Elle Woods, sported her constant companion, Bruiser, from Beverly Hills high school sorority to Harvard law school, always fully accessorized with complementary outfits for every occasion. I also had returned to school, though for me this sojourn down “academia lane” in pursuit of a new degree was after decades away. Part of my studies included a steady progression of sculpture classes. With a focus given to sustainability and eco design, I chose materials that were elements either natural or reclaimed. Hence, I came up with the idea to fashion Poodles from the ubiquitous clear plastic water bottles.

When I went to L.A. to ring in the New Year with friends last December, I made a Poodle that would be an easy “carry on size” and took it along. We went to another friend’s home in Bel Air, (envision scenes from Disney’s 2008 film “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”). They had a dog, Chloe, who was a very gentle spirit, but quite camera shy. I managed to snap a shot just as she realized a camera was present and took a rapid retreat out back to the poolside gazebo. Not quite as froufrou as the pampered pooches depicted in the aforementioned film, Chloe wore no coordinated outfits, though her home was fancy digs.

Now, having just finished this degree mid-June, I went back on campus with the Poodles to take a photo there. Mother Nature seemed as reactionary as Chloe was to the camera. No sooner had the shutter closed and the skies opened up. I clutched the Poodles, (five in all: Fifi, TouTou, Piddles, Fido, and Simone), in my arms and high tailed it back to the car. I suddenly recalled the celebrity image of the clutched petite pup, (a la Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears). Of course, mine was not a highly coifed red carpet stroll, but rather a mad dash on wet pavement in slippery flip-flops with my hair pasted to my head resembling soggy worms – oh, the height of glamour, to be sure.

So, do tell gentle reader, what (or perhaps who) are some of your favorite accessories? Do you sport a “best friend” about town with you? Care to share any stories of adventures, mishaps, or social strolls?

Thanks,
Cathy Rae Smith