A year ago, Bernie Madoff wiped out Alexandra Penney—whose new book, The Bag Lady Papers, comes out in February from Hyperion. In the latest installment for The Daily Beast, she’s says she’s been daydreaming about Aston Martins, black diamond earrings, and other things she’d buy if she was still a millionaire.
Eleven months ago, post-Bernie Madoff, aka the MF, I was dead broke. The economic meltdown had brought consumerism to a full stop, and the thought of shopping made me gag.
Pre-MF, if I reached a work impasse, I would leave my studio and idly walk around, looking into windows and sometimes stepping into stores.
Click Image Below to See Alexandra Penney’s Fantasy List
Today I consider that kind of pursuit a bygone luxury. I’m frantically writing and doing photography to pay the bills. I’m still poor as a button, but hey, you can always have fantasies, right? It’s the holiday season, and merchants of desire are displaying wares that a girl can only dream about. Given my PoRC (Person of Reduced Circumstances) bank account, the stuff I conjure up on traffic-clogged bus rides can never be a reality, but I’m leaving Santa a glass of fine 2 percent milk, and homemade “special” brownies with a handwritten list...
1. Aston Martin DBS VolanteI need the seriously soignée Aston Martin DBS Volante for open-air touring, specially custom colored in British racing green. Such a vehicle is a fine replacement for my broken-down money-guzzling ’95 Mercedes wagon. If the Goldman Sachs boys have gobbled up all the available Volantes, I guess I’d settle for a sweet little Jaguar XKR convertible. It’s a relief that this isn’t real life and I don’t have to pay a whit of attention to fuel efficiency.
2. Hermès Croc Bugatti PurseSpeaking of cars, an Hermès Croc Bugatti purse in 90 percent bitter cacao brown might be too showy for the Lexington Avenue subway, but it’s so divine I just want to look at it as an “objet” when I open the closet door.
3. Albert K Black Diamond EarringsAlbert K has a plethora of the kind of earrings that make great investments, should you ever lose all your savings. I’ll take the JAR-inspired black diamond ones. In fact, I actually did tuck a pair into my bag, when Albert graciously said, “I want you to have them. Pay me when you make money again.” I took them back a couple of hours later because who knows when that will be? Plus, Con Ed gets first dibs on whatever comes over the transom.
4. White No-Iron Land’s End ShirtsA decade’s worth of white no-iron Land’s End shirts, $44.95 or less when they go on sale once a year…great fit, nice buttons, makes you feel crisp and ready for whatever comes your way—and you never know what the hell that might be.
5. Citarella Aged Balsamic VinegarCitarella’s aged balsamic is $24.95 for a smallish bottle and worth every penny. Ditto Bistro Blends white truffle essence, combined with olive oil, for $23. In pre-MF days I doused fresh burrata with it for dinner parties, but as one who gains weight just by looking at such stuff, this is one area I’m glad to be a PoRC.
6. Pashmina ShawlsI own a couple of the most fabulous I Pezzi Di Pinti shawls, but my fantasy is to have one in every color. Since you can order any hue you want, I’d need a new apartment in which to store them. A smartly designed one-bedroom at 21l Elizabeth Street would do the trick.
7. Canon S90 CameraDon’t get me started on cameras! I want at least five new ones. I make my living using them in the studio, but the one I’d like to stash in my Hermes Bugatti would be the new Canon S90 (around $400). It takes great pictures and also has (not what you may think they are) RAW files, as well.
8. Damien Hirst Skateboard DeckI’d love a Damien Hirst skateboard deck, plus some wheels, propped in a corner of my studio for the cool factor, since I am not very.
9. Dom PérignonA case of Dom would be much appreciated, as the last of my pre-meltdown cache was popped open to celebrate the day the MF was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
10. Sugar DaddyLastly and best of all—a gorgeous, smart, hunky, witty, kind, near-sighted sugar daddy with an Amex black card to make my fantasies into reality… Well, we can all dream, can’t we? Happy Holidays from the Baglady, aka PoRC,
Alexandra Penney is an artist, bestselling author, former editor in chief of Self magazine, and originator, with Evelyn Lauder, of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness. Her new book, The Bag Lady Papers, comes out in February from Hyperion. She also had a one-person show at Galerie in Berlin in April and her work was shown at Miami’s Art Basel. She lives in New York, has one treasured son in Los Angeles and more amazing friends than could ever be imagined.