Beautifully Banded

I could see the door to the jet bridge closing, despite the fact that I was just a few yards away from it. Mind you, I was fully sprinting through the airport, dragging my bags behind me, yelling: “Hold the door! Hold the door!” Sure enough, just as I reached the gate, the flight attendant sealed the door shut and mouthed through the glass window: “Sorry, you’re too late.”

I backed away from the door and shook my head in disbelief. I knew that I had taken a major risk with my time, but I didn’t think it would come to this. I was officially stranded in Canada. Work was not going to be happy with me. It all started earlier that day…

I had been patiently biding my time in the hallway of a fancy hotel to interview actress Drew Barrymore. She was making her long-awaited directorial debut with the movie, “Whip It,” at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I had screened the movie (about a young, indie music-loving misfit, who soulfully finds herself by joining a Roller Derby team) the day before at its world premiere and fell in love with it. Even though it was dark, quirky and gritty; it was also empowering, heartfelt and poignant. I was excited to ask Drew about her first directing experience and why she chose this particular story.

After interviewing the entire cast that morning, I, along with a handful of other entertainment journalists from around the world, waited patiently for Drew to start the interviewing process. The word on the ground was (that’s television speak for what’s really happening behind-the-scenes,) Drew had imbibed a little too much at the movies premiere party and was going to be a no-show. I refused to believe it. In the past, Drew had always been so punctual and beyond professional.

Unfortunately, as the minutes dripped into hours and my flight time got closer, I had to admit, it wasn’t looking good. Even though most of us (reporters) were beyond exhausted because it was the last day of TIFF (a bonafide 10 day marathon of movie screenings and interviews,) Drew was the one to get.

Besides being Hollywood royalty, she had wisely cast (at the time) up-&-coming actress, Ellen Page, a Canadian native, in the movie’s starring role. Everyone in Toronto was talking about the duo’s collaboration and I wasn’t about to go back to Miami without the interview.

I waited as long as I possibly could (which, by the way, a lot of entertainment reporters do on a daily basis.) It’s part of the TV game. You wait it out, you do what you have to do to get the interview. Going back to your home city empty-handed is unacceptable, unless, of course, every other reporter does, too. However, if there’s even a remote possibility that the interview MAY happen, you push the boundaries of time and your own personal limits to make it work. Anything else would suggest complete and utter failure. Well…

Drew didn’t show up that day and I missed my flight back to Miami. I was so tired from sprinting through the airport in my five inch stilettos, a tight dress (in complete television hair and make-up,) that I just stood there, staring out the window, watching the plane taxi along the tarmac and take off…without me.

Defeated, I walked to the nearest seat, plopped myself down and proceeded to crunch a gift bag that a movie studio rep had hastily flung over my shoulder as I was running out the door of the aforementioned fancy hotel. We both knew full well that I had about a one percent chance of making my flight. “Oh, look, a pity gift,” I thought to myself, as I opened the campy little bag that said ‘Whip It.’

Buried under the usual gift bag paraphernalia was a matching bright green and yellow, terrycloth headband and wristband. Those were the official colors of the Roller Derby team in the movie. Not only were they completely charming, they were a total throwback to 80’s fashion.

After I made it back to Miami, for whatever reason, I tucked away my little movie treasures and forgot about them. It was an unusual thing for me to do because early on in my career, I had made it a point not to keep every free tchotchke ever given to me. I just didn’t have the room and the gifts were usually lackluster and lame. Besides, certain members of my family always loved a good regift. That was back in 2009.

Fast forward to the beginning of this Summer, when intricate hair and its accessories started making a major comeback. First, I blogged about stylish ways to twist and turn your locks in “Beautifully Braided” ( Then it was the frilly, flower crowns turn with “The Garden Goddess” ( and who can forget about “A Totally Turban Summer”? ( I can’t; it’s one of my favorite trends.

It doesn’t stop there, though. As the warmer months start wrapping themselves around the comfort of Fall, it’s finally time to let your hair down and get “Beautifully Banded.” I kept beautiful in the title, because it seems to be the word to best describe all the romance that has expressed itself in fashion lately.

The “Beautifully Banded” trend reminds me of the 80’s and of course, jarred my memory of the little movie treasures I had tucked away almost 5 years ago. Although I had recently pulled the wristband out when I took up exercising again a few months ago (“The Return of the Crop Top”, I hadn’t fully embraced the headband yet.

At least, not until my stylist, Shari, told me that the “Beautifully Banded” were flying off the shelves at “Koko and Palenki.” They could barely keep them in stock and for good reason. The modified head wrap is wonderfully versatile. You can wear it to style your hair up or down. It’s the kind of accessory that you don’t owe any favors to because it’s easy. Just put it on and walk out the door.

When styling my “Beautifully Banded” look, I wanted it to be free, happy and full of movement. I was attracted to the green dress (pictured in the blog,) because it reminded me of the spirit and texture of Drew’s movie, “Whip It,” which was wildly optimistic. The collar of the dress is woven into a gold choker and its material is comfy, slinky and beyond, soft.

While the silk-knotted (white, yellow, blue and burgundy) head band with golden grommets is an ode to Summer, it’s also a celebration of Fall. As fashion moves forward, colors are growing deeper, richer and bolder. Hair is loose, soft and big. During our blog shoot, I jumped around quite a bit to free my outfit, my hair and of course, myself. It’s time to release your braids, take off your turban and free your flower crown. Movement is everything now.

In the meantime, I eventually caught up with Drew again. We talked about a lot of things and as usual, she was every bit the fabulous movie star she always is. I also told her about my TIFF experience. A few weeks later, an extra “Whip It” wristband mysteriously showed up in my mailbox. I’m not sure who sent it; there was no return address, but I kind of have a hunch. Sometimes, life doesn’t work out exactly how you plan it, but if you just roll with it, you never know what other little treasure you might find and that’s why “Beautifully Banded” is one of my favorite things.

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Twitter @ShireenSandoval
IG @ShireenSandoval

photography by tod p/t4twophotography
Twitter @todp_t4twophoto
IG @Tod_p

styling: Shari Bloch for Koko & Palenki
Twitter @soblondie729
IG @ShariBloch
FB Styling by Shari

Hair & Make-up by Odette Hernandez
Twitter @Odettehernandz
IG Odett_Herndz

Editor: Matthew Auerbach