Friday, January 18, 2013

Frock Fridays: Power Broker

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know that I work right in downtown DC, where the corporate veins of the city lead into its political heart.  I love being in the center of the action, and I get a total rush every time I emerge from the depths of the metro in the morning with my fellow commuters - who knows where all of these suited and booted men and women are going and what decisions they'll make that might one day affect me and my country?

the Old Executive Office Building; January 2013

There's never been a TV show that captures this energy like The West Wing.  Confession: I know that everyone's obsessed with Scandal, but I hated the one episode I watched!  Eliza's almost convinced me to give it another try, but Aaron Sorkin's writing wins every time no matter what.  Actually, Twitter probably gave that away, too, since I follow Leo, Josh, Toby, and President Bartlet.  (Leo once replied to a tweet I sent; it was the one of the best experiences of my life, right next to the time I called into the Kojo Naamdi show on NPR with a question about COPPA and got yelled at on air by one of the panelists. God, I am such a nerd!)  There are so many reasons to love The West Wing - the acting and writing are consistently on point, of course, but the storylines are also incredibly inspiring.  As a Vanity Fair article from last April explains,

"There’s a cultural meme or cultural suggestion that Washington is boring, that policy is boring, but it’s important stuff,” says Ezra Klein... In his view, The West Wing served an important cultural function by dramatizing “the immediacy and urgency and concern that people in this town feel about the issues they’re working on.”  ...The West Wing didn’t exist in a bubble. It wasn’t ignorant of, say, the way rapacious lobbyists wield untoward influence over unprincipled politicians; it simply suggested that Washington didn’t have to work that way—if those in power were righteous and good.

One of my favorite things about the show is its exploration of women in power.  From Dr. Bartlet, the president's wife, to CJ Cregg, the Press Secretary, to Donna Moss, the assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, each female character has just as much substance in the professional sphere as any of the men.  (By the way, Kate did a really cool post devoted to CJ on Election Day - check it out!)  I was delighted that Josh and Donna ended up together, of course, but I have to admit that I really love the character of Amy Gardner, Josh's occasional love interest and, also occasionally, his legislative sparring partner.  She's intelligent, driven, and savvy, and her very human flaws make her warm and relatable.  Amy considers her femininity an asset like any other and wields it with strength and tact.  Here's the first time we meet her:



Can you imagine what Amy Gardner would have to say about the unrelenting assaults on reproductive rights in this day and age?  Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi) would be shaking in their boots.  If she were on the Hill in 2013... well, a lot of things would be different if life were imagined and scripted by Aaron Sorkin.  But here's how I'd imagine Amy might dress as she fought for women, walking and talking in the corridors of power in Washington today!

power broker

[ dress / blazer / iPad case / shoes / bag / earrings / watch ]

linking up with {long distance loving} today!

35 comments:

  1. Do you read my mind? The first time I visited WAshington, we stayed in Bethesda. As soon as we got on the metro to get into town, I fell in love with DC for exactly the reason you described. I had just graduated college and lived in slow, laid back Louisiana, where people my age lived for the next football game. On the train, everyone was my age and there was just this feeling in the air, like everyone was on a mission to change the world somehow. I think it was contagious, because I felt important and like I was a part of something bigger at that moment.

    Unfortunately my husband doesn't feel the same way, so there's not really a chance we'll ever live there. But now I think I'll watch the West Wing on Netflix and live vicariously through you and your cute power-woman outfits and pretend. :)

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  2. I went to DC twice in high school, a week each time, for the Close-Up program. The whole experience was incredible, but sitting in on committee meetings was so eye-opening for me! The cogs and wheels on which our country runs aren't boring in the least. I do wonder, though, if being a bit less naive and star-struck would make me a bit more frustrated and bitter now, though. I learned about riders then, but I hadn't quite realized the ridiculousness and bargaining that goes on with regards to them (and other processes). But The West Wing? YES! I wasn't a fan of Amy Gardner, though, but Mary-Louise Parker always grates me, so it could have just been her delivery. Allison Janney can do no wrong in my book, though :)

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  3. Love those buildings in DC! Great outfit!

    Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

    Shia

    World According to
    Shia

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  4. I love this dress! I LOVE the West Wing. And I love you! So much love happening on this post today. Scandal is one of my favorites, and that's because I love the fast-paced dialogue, outrageously scandalous story lines, and smart writing. When it comes to political shows - West Wing will ALWAYS be the winner ;) I hope you do get a chance to dive in from the beginning of Scandal and get caught up - season one was so fun. xoxo!

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  5. the name of ur blog is so funny!!! i love it!! and your blog is really cool!!

    love this post!!

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  6. how gorgeous is this red dress! i love it

    happy friday!

    Redheaded Daybook

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  7. Oh, what a cool location to work! I've had several work trips to DC in the last year and just love walking around thinking all these official looking people could totally be going somewhere to do something important. It's exciting. And every time I glimpse the Capitol or the White House I start humming the West Wing theme song. (Which, speaking of, so glad it's now available on Netflix instant!) And I love your outfit inspiration - that would make any lady feel powerful.

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  8. So chic and put together! LOVE the darling watch and fun iPad case!
    xx, Emily
    http://soanthro.com

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  9. I LOVE THIS! Like you said- while I of course always routed for Josh and Donna, Amy just rocks! I love this outfit you put together, it's perfect! And thanks for the shout-out :)

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  10. I used to love watching West Wing! I wasn't a die hard but this makes me want to go back and rewatch it!

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  11. oh my goodness DO! just take a whole weekend and start at the beginning...

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  12. I picked a way easier character, fashion-wise, than you! had to credit your imagination :)

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  13. I know, I want the iPad case! first though I need an iPad, right?

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  14. exactly :) thank you! and now I have the West Wing theme stuck in my head too... haha

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  15. yay for all the love! Scandal is outrageous, I'll give you that - but I'll try again :)

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  16. haha thank you. it's the little things :)

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  17. YES. yes! Allison Janney is amazing always everywhere. did you know she's in 10 Things I Hate About You? HILARIOUS.

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  18. oh YAY I'm so glad I'm not alone in this :) you always have a place to stay when you visit!

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  19. In an outfit like that, you can't help but be a force to be reckoned with! I've never actually seen West Wing, but you've convinced me to give it a try!

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  20. Sassy blazer! I love it. I just started work at a law firm, and I need to enhance my "adult" wardrobe...(wait, that sounded wrong).


    -Julie
    www.jbound.com

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  21. haha I know EXACTLY what you mean. no shame :)

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  22. oh do! you will fall in love with Josh - consider yourself warned!

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  23. Love that outfit. Very professional and sophisticated. I love those little Chanel studs.

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

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  24. Girl, you have no idea how much I wish every single day that we lived in the same city. We would take that city over!!! I've watched the first 4 or so episodes of The West Wing because hubby loves it. I love what I've seen so far.

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  25. I know! if I had all the money in the world, I'd collect vintage Chanel earrings...

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  26. GAH, I love this post!!! Massively love it! I've been going through a major West Wing binge lately, as well as just having lots of DC love, and it was great to read a similar sentiment here. :)

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  27. You know how to make my heart sing! I loved Amy! She was such an amazing and inspirational character. And yes, I was overjoyed when Josh and Donna finally got together too, but boy did I love Amy!

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  28. I LOVED Amy!!! She was just the best thing ever. And I know, I know, I am one of the only ones who hated when Josh and Donna got together. First of all, so predictable, I felt the only did that in the end to please the fans. Blech. I found the whole thing so weird, as someone on ye olde LiveJournal summed it up well for me, it was like a student dating a teacher. I'm sorry, but even in college, ew. Just NO.


    I started off hating SCANDAL too, so trashy and some of the dialogue sounded like it could be "West Wing-y" (I heard someone on that show say, "Can we have the room please" and I wanted to pull my hair out) but it has found its place and if you can get on board with craziness and trash, then you'll be fine. I'd say give it another chance, but lower your expectations buy A LOT.

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