From The Archives: Saint Cloud Interview

Let me preface this by saying this is old, so in no way am I dating anyone who's name rhymes with 'Taj' or anyone for that matter. I have been circling back to some earlier writing and found it more entertaining than the informercial playing in the next room, so enjoy!


I thought I would go over a typical tuesday. With Raj in the restaurant business and myself in fashion retail, Tuesday’s in the Mendelssohn Natarajan household are like a Monday morning slammed into a Friday night, so bear with me.


7 A.M. The cat is meowing for breakfast. This is my daily alarm clock. Raj is already up and says he’ll take care of it, so I enjoy a few more minutes of slumber. In the erotic film of a cat lady’s life, this would be the intro. 

Tamar Mendelssohn The Shoe Diet Coffee Gallery Wall

7:30 A.M. I wake up to find a cup of coffee that Raj has brought for me at my bedside along with a fed cat snoozing peacefully at my feet. I hop out of bed and start my pre-shoot routine. This involves hair, makeup, and going over each outfit to coordinate shoes (my favorite) and accessories. Traci, a brilliant photographer, and I text about who is going to get our prop coffee, where we are going to meet, and if I left a pair of shoes that are crucial to my outfit in her backseat. 

The Shoe Diet Vincent

9:00 A.M. Traci and I meet at the parking lot in front of a mural on Westheimer. She snaps along while I walk back and forth, jump, run, and lots of other verbs. Luckily Montrose is known for ‘character’ and no one skips a beat. I might even look less crazy than some other people out here. At some point Traci and I have to get innovative and use a pant hanger as a clamp to keep my shorts from falling down. I order an iced coffee with the hanger still on at Blacksmith. When I explain our big short conundrum everyone thinks we are so clever. If that becomes a look we want full credit.


11:30 I head to Saint Cloud to drop off accessories that I pulled for the shoot. I am debating whether I should drop some cash on their new Outdoor Voices delivery or shoes that I have on hold from work. Julie and Cecilia know me well and decide that I should get both. I leave with the best athletic pants and crop top ever. 


12:30 Tootsies is my next stop. I buy the shoes I had on hold and see my coworker, the shoe buyer, unpacking a new delivery of Alexander Birman. I do a quick calculation of my retirement savings and debate liquidating it. I ultimately decide to not make any irrational decisions on an empty stomach.


1:30 I grab lunch with my friend Claire Webb, a local jewelry designer  We catch up about our last weekend; the art show we went to, the bars we went to in downtown, and the brunch that Raj and I hosted. We both swear we are never touching alcohol again and with the money we save we will each commission large art pieces. We then laugh wildly knowing the idea will only last until happy hour.


3:00 I tell Raj I’ll help pick up some of the ingredients for the dinner he’s planning for us. I consult my list & realize I'm in way over my head - he’s really fancy with his kitchen work. I wonder if some of the ingredients are for our dinner or for a floral arrangement.  


5:00 I write for a while on The Shoe Diet (I do my best writing during happy hour.) I just wrapped up a series of denim culotte looks for every day of the week. I’m now springing into a denim jumpsuit (stay tuned, Traci says it her favorite look yet!) I write in my evening caftan look, a Camilla from Tootsies (my daytime ones are from Saint Cloud). It is 5 o’clock after all.

Tamar Mendelssohn The Shoe Diet

7:00 Snacks and wine are served. Favorite around the house for summer are pickles, watermelon, nuts, and Sancerre. I Sancerrely doubt you’ll find a better combination.

9:00 Raj has dinner ready, he’s outdone himself again. The only way he can up the ante next is by riding in on an elephant, but I’m sure he’s already thought of that.