Dejeuner sur l'herbe

We've been invited to a picnic on the beach at the very posh La Posta Vecchia, a Baroque beach-side palace built by an Orsini prince and once owned by J. Paul Getty. Aptly described by my aunt, Manhattan socialite and hyper-critic, La Posta Vecchia is smashing. The rooms are luxurious: Baroque ornament of carved wood, frescoes, tapestries with every detail and service done to perfection. The Caesar, La Posta Vecchia's restaurant, proudly shows of its Michelin star--though I must admit I was underwhelmed by the menu and dishes last time I dined. The cherry on the top of this pedigreed cake is the subterranean Roman villa and mini archaeological museum. As Auntie Manhattan would say, "What do you expect for that price?!"

My demande appropos is this: Knowing the setting, what do I wear? Romantico chic? Starched Wasp? Long dress? Short dress? Pant suit? The choices are endless, but the options are none, meaning I need to go shopping. Unfortunately, my favorite partners in crime and closets are oceans away- most especially, Alexis, laid back, level headed and with a 6th sense for fashion. (You know what I mean, she finds stylish, edgy pieces that I would overlook.) A few years back, Lexi introduced me to Yoox, the Italian love child of Net-a-Porter and Billion Dollar Babes, all excellent on-line fashion resources if you have neither time nor money to walk the fashion walk-- and more importantly, as I have just discovered, a virtually shopping trip with your best friend.

For the past two days, Lexi and I have been putting frocks in the dream box and discussing them via email. I don't think I have ever taken this much time to shop, but I have also never had as much fun. Maybe it's because I miss Lexi terribly and it's been quite hard to catch her over the past year. She and her husband moved to US as the next phase for the luxury hand bags she designs, Alexis Fallah-- also @AlexisFallah. She was in Paris for job interviews, and whirled back to Milan for fashion week 2009 as a featured Vogue Talent. *Yes, I am subliminally promoting Lexi but what else would a proud friend do?* I may have seen her for all of 25 minutes so I will greedily enjoy our virtual shopping and email tete-a-tete. *seriously annoying that I can't find the right e.

Here's one of the dresses she's picked out. What do you think?