Recent Posts

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Devil is in the Details

G.Valli & MK Olsen-aftershow OCT 2007
Being Watson to my"devil's" Sherlock, I was pretty much by her side at many of the shows, ranging from the bizarre "Manish Arora" to the sublime "Gianbattista Valli and I was sitting pretty in most cases. That is when I wasn't rudely jostled and left swaying by Anna Wintour's gorilla's as she was escorted to and from her seat or being swamped by every member of "Paul and Joe" designer Sophie Albou's family and friends. This shamelessly ranged from the surly teenager flicking the pre Justin Bieber fringe,down to unruly 5 year olds playing tag while we were serenaded by the symphonic overtures of crying babies. It actually felt like I had  inadvertently stepped into someones private party with a side order of catwalk show to accompany the main meal.This was obviously before the show actually started and became less of a distraction from people watching as the seats started to fill.That and the mesmerizing mountain backdrop with the changing light from day to night dulled my senses and kept my urge to strike at bay.
For you to get the feel of things:Picture a jam packed venue,photographers on one end of the catwalk and the rest of us,the fashion hungry,the fashion savvy stacked up like designer club sandwiches around the catwalk in horseshoe unity. We sit on benches with postage stamp allocated spaces ,sweating artfully beneath the intoxicating aromas of perfumes already fighting their own air born battles, all the while unwilling to shed one item  of our carefully coordinated clothing  no matter how hot it gets under the unforgiving lights. We are cattle that converge together,chic and clean,manicured and plucked,content with our image preening to flashing bulbs.But other than being a celebrity,we invariably blend in rather than stand out. And yet wanting attention,we seek anonymity.
Now to the fashion:I have seen some of the most extraordinary examples of visually unforgiving clothes and accessories, this predating any of Lady Gaga's antics...and all this in the audience alone.The sharp intake of breath when the eccentric and artfully attired would walk in ,was simply an audible acknowledgement of true showmanship ,for where else can one perform than in this most publicized arena?A prime example of when the eccentricities of one becomes the focal attention of many is Anna Piagi.She may not be conventional but her presence at a show packs a punch. Another such character is the quietly fabulous Diane Pernet, a well know figure at these events whose website " a shaded view of fashion" is a trip. I would spy her at most events during fashion week and once had the chance to share my "umbrella,ella,ella"with her after a show. She cuts a fine figure in her all black attire and is rather more formidable than foreboding with her beehive,rivalling both  Amy Winehouse and Marge Simpson in the coiff department. I pity the fool who sits behind her during any of the shows. 
I believe it was during a Vivienne Westwood show when I began to notice the jerky foot mouvements from a young journalist beside me. It immediatly drew my attention to her feet,she was sporting the open toe boot du jour,something I have never found appealing.Is it for summer when it gets a little chilly after a day out on the beach or for winter on an unseasonably warm day? Seriously! What was unforgivable beyond the blatant fashion infraction was the state of her toenails.Protruding out of these contraptions were toenails that appeared to have been cut by either a short sighted pedicurist with a penchant for jagged edges or someone who mistook a hacksaw for clippers. The jerking indicated the need to pee ,so I gathered when she asked me to watch her bag and her seat,while she bolted to the loo.... to hopefully file her toenails ,before she slashed her way back to her seat.
She never made it back..the show began and  she was left stranded behind standing room only,while I was berated by my "devil" for foolishly accepting to watch her bag.
"Are you nuts?What if there is a bomb in there?"
"You better turn your head towards me. If it goes off,at least your face will be saved..."
Needless to say I spent the duration of the show with my head twisted in one direction while pushing the offensive bag away from me with my foot.


Post a Comment