Jill, from The Bumby's edits a "fair and honest appraisal" of this writer's appearance.
Were there celebs at the Guess party at the Viceroy?
Not sure. I’ve always been rotten at tracking these mortals. But there were free Guess beach towels, and head phones, and heart-shaped sunglasses. And did I mention the water pistols and free drinks.? It was all enough made-in-China-swag to sink an ocean-liner.
But perhaps what grabbed the most attention — at what may have been one of the more exclusive Coachella parties in Palm Springs — was the attention garnered by The Bumbys, a set of costumed figures in dark glasses, headphones and face-masks offering a “fair and honest appraisal” of appearances, ready to peck these impressions out onto lined index cards while sitting at plastic Brother typewriters. (Truly, a technological fun and ironic play on what’s surely archaic by now.)
One of the Bumbys, either Jill or Gill, slides a lined index card into the typewriter, looks you up and down for a few seconds, then starts typing. The findings are nothing long or overly verbose. All you get is one index card.
Jill – don’t ask for last names in this setting – found me “a little sophisticated for the scene.” I was wearing a white Locoste polo and seersucker shorts. Really? Sophisticated? And she imagined I might make be more comfortable in a wine bar in Manhattan making jokes about Senate candidates. Well, OK. No shortage of comments there. (Oh, and I was also perceived as a ‘foodie’ planning a trip to Portland.)
Based out of New York and LA, The Bumbys offers a “A fair and honest appraisal“ of what your appearance says about you. There are no questions, and no judgements, we are told.
Perhaps what makes this exercise so alluring is it needles that endless question about how much of what’s on the inside of us, shows on the outside? Just how self-referential is our choice of hair, clothing or for that point — eye-wear?
So it’s no surprise that most of this obviously LA crowd — can you get more image-conscious? — was on a search for more depth in those 50-word – yet bizarrely succinct “appraisals.”
Shelle Mannion, 37, an attorney in Venice Beach, noted her grandmother passed away only a few days before. Her analysis mentioned her mother, which seemed to make a connection.
Dominika Kasta, 36, who works in advertising in LA, said, “This is so me,” of her report, which noted that this part-time model is “not full of herself.”
“That’s me,’ said Kasta.
“It’s a fun setting, but we’ve been through every type of event at this point, and we enjoy writing about any people who are kind of diverse and having a unique look,” said Viranda Tantola, a spokesperson for The Bumbys. “And that can happen at a fashion event. But it can also happen at like a business event, an art event, you know what I mean?”
Was The Bumbys a sorta in-your-face-message to this (assumed) vacuous crowd to not take itself too seriously… Well, maybe. Did it work? As the free drinks and Guess swag keep flowing, that jury’s still out.