Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rachel Pally gets into the Loop for Lupus Awareness!

I was beginning to feel as if my actions were making a difference. In the name of LA Lupus Awareness, I was taking action. I had participated in a clinical trial to advance the cause of Lupus Research. There was a tweet from Alec Sulkin, a writer/producer of "Family Guy", @thesulk on twitter featuring Lupus for the punchline. I had given an orange Lupus Research bracelet and information to Constance Marie. {read more in my previous blogs} Yet I still had to let people know about Lupus LA's "Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon" -- one of the reasons I started LA Lupus Awareness in the first place.

The annual event is taking place on November 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The Lupus LA event is fun and fabulous. There is a silent (and somewhat wild) "handbag" auction, this year's honorees are Melissa Joan Hart and Janice Arouh of Hallmark Channel and a fashion show by Versace highlights the event. With the luncheon in mind, I thought it would be perfect if I could get Melissa Joan Hart involved in my LA Lupus Awareness campaign.

Now I have a new found appreciation for the power of social media because when Melissa Joan Hart @MellyJHart tweeted about "getting into the loop" I felt LALA (aka LA Lupus Awareness) success instantl, as if getting Melissa Joan Hart to tweet was the official earning of the stripes.
Getting an orange Lupus Awareness bracelet and information to Constance Marie and having @MellyJHart 's tweet (specifically she retweeted me: "RT @LALupusLady did you know that @MellyJHart is going to be honored by Lupus LA on 11/18? please get into the loop before she does.") were great steps on my path to create and raise LA Lupus Awareness. As I mentioned before, I can be shameless and I began asking for and getting positive response wherever I went. I wore my orange bracelet and Lupus t-shirts on my daily errands and trips to the market. I had asked (via twitter) Sandra Bernhard if she would support me in raising LA Lupus Awareness. She did. Sandra tweeted "@lalupuslady that's a big job bless you of course i will support you #LA Lupus Awareness we've got to beef up our immune systems kids!" (I was bursting at this point)

The only thing lacking from my awareness campaign was pictures... I was determined to get evidence of my next "awareness action" on camera. In fact, I wanted to actually get someone in the loop (An orange elastic loop!). Thank goodness once again for social media. It was on twitter that I found out that Rachel Pally was going to be at her Pop Up Shop personally styling shoppers. Rachel Pally is a Los Angeles-based designer who understands a woman's body and her collection is a constant staple of California style. Rachel created the classic caftan dress and her jersey is perfect fabric for the easy-to-wear clothing she designs. It was kismet that Rachel was going to be in her shop. My only hope was that she would be as cool and fun as her designs.

As I entered the store, Rachel greeted me and finished up with stylists who were there to select some pieces for Drea DeMatteo to wear on a future episode of Desperate Housewives. Then Rachel turned to me and as we started talking about how she loved to wear long dresses everywhere even to the supermarket and post office, she handed me one dress after another to try on. I love her style; it seems effortless and yet so put together. I never would have thought to try on a black and grey floral print wrap-around dress. Usually I shy away from prints, but the floral pattern was subtle and the ultrasoft fabric simply made this dress a "must have" and a classic. Yet Rachel thought it would work --not only did the dress work but it flattered me. The dress hugged my body in the right places and floated as I twirled around the store.

Rachel is beautiful--her long brown hair and infectious smile, as well as her energy, made it easy for me to tell her about living with Lupus. I gave her an orange Lupus awareness bracelet and a brochure with information on symptoms of Lupus. Then I told her about how I started LA Lupus Awareness and I needed something to wear to the "Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon". With that, Rachel headed to a rack and handed me a basic black dress. It didn't look like much on the hanger, but once on it turned into an upper-body-hugging v-neck long sleeve dress that I could style in a number of ways. For the luncheon, Rachel said I should wear it with a black peep toe slingback; after the luncheon I could wear it with my black boots and take it anywhere from the post office to a Beverly Hills fund-raiser to shopping at Whole Foods. Rachel showed me to enjoy comfort and style wherever I go, and that you are overdressed as long as you feel pretty.

Rachel agreed to get into the loop for Lupus but only if I would join her. I happily present the picture of Rachel Pally and me in the loop for Lupus Awareness. I am truly grateful to Rachel Pally for getting into the loop for Lupus and especially for helping me achieve the first photographic evidence of a successful LA Lupus Awareness campaign.