Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Take This Job And Love It

Back to real life! London Fashion Week and London Fashion Weekend were so fun and amazing and exhausting and fabulous. I already wrote about my experiences at the beginning of the week, the most exciting being the Fashion for Relief show. (I mean, helping women and babies in Haiti while getting a good hard look at your fantasy BFF? And champagne? Come on!) But there were a few other fun moments like my brief stop at Fashion Mavericks, the A la Mode Fashion Show put on by Le Geneve North, the Elle/Warehouse Fashion Week shopping party, the Warehouse Utility Collection Preview Party, and the free events and workshops at Topshop. All totally awesome.
On Sunday February 21st, I manned Pistol Panties at the London Fashion Week Exhibition in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House as a favor to the designer Deborah Flemming (http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/daily/100223-pistol-panties-diffusion-line-disco.aspx ) who is the friend of one of my old friends from my summer in Paris, Liz Entin (http://www.runwaypassport.com/ and http://elizabethentinstyle.com ). Liz suggested that I look Deborah up when I got to London. I did and she immediately invited me to coffee. There I got to meet her amazing, talented, and beautiful assistant Lizzie, who I got to know a little more over the last week and I must say I am smitten. From what I can see, Deborah has hired the right girl. Lizzie is incredible and savvy beyond her years.
Working the Exhibition basically meant staying with the clothes (in this case, swimwear) and being available to talk to press and buyers and answer any questions they might have about the line and the collection. What I didn't realize until that day, was how essential it was for the designer to get the contact info from all the journalists, stylists, and buyers, so that they could follow up with anyone who was at all interested. Having only experienced fashion from the point of view of a shopper and avid reader of glossy magazines and fashion blogs, I think I just imagined that the mags and stores went to the designers and asked for things, or maybe the designer sent over some samples. I had no idea the amount of phone and email follow-up required on the part of designer in order for their designs to be seen and made available for purchase to the public.
It was very interesting to see the other side of the business and to realize that sometimes it is actually boring. The other ladies in the Lingerie Collective were fun to talk to and really interesting, and seeing all the beautiful things on display at the exhibition was such an exclusive treat, one that I never imagined I would ever experience. I also developed an obsession with bangs (or fringe) and may just march into the salon and demand some someday soon. I'm obsessed!! (I also have a new obsession for hummus, but we'll leave that for another post.)
That night after the exhibition there was a digital presentation for the Lingerie Collective. It was an arty little black and white number with a gorgeous girl modeling bras and knickers from the exhibition. Everyone was in a festive mood and there were waiters offering wine and champagne as we walked in, and then always at your elbow, ready for a top-up. From there the crowd moved on to a club in Soho for the after-party. I tried to rally, but when I stepped off the bus and realized I was closer to home than the club I decided to call it a night.
Four nights later I returned to Somerset House for my VIP night at London Fashion Weekend. Chambord cocktails, special lounge access, FROW, personal styling session, and Elizabeth Arden make-overs. And shopping! So many incredible discounts! That night I came home with a Luella bag and I paid 75% less that retail! Amazing! I also snapped up 3 Ella Moss tops for 40 pounds. A (just okay) goody bag was handed out at the end of the night and I went home satisfied with my night out.
The next night I was there again, but this time to help sell Pistol Panties to the throngs of champagne-fuelled bargain shoppers. It was fun and the time flew by. I did the same on Sunday. The prices were slashed even lower and I couldn't resist a Philip Treacy hat and some cute lingerie from Aloe (http://www.aloeloungewear.com/about_us.php *love the designer, Claire Judge). Everyone was getting a little nuts at the end of the weekend, even the bar staff were sticking it to the man and slipping me free champagne. Lizzie and I broke down the display in record time, she managed to snag a dude to help carry, and got the whole lot of bikini bins into the car to be taken back to the shop. Whew!
And that's that. I do miss it already actually, but I don't miss missing weekend fun with my boys. I didn't miss laundry and dishes, but (lucky me!) there were some waiting to welcome me back home. I am glad to be off the champers and espresso and back to tea and water (for now, anyway.) I'm over organizing bikinis by color, style, and size, or digging through bins finding a gazillion different sizes and styles for a customer to try on, only to have them decide against them all, leaving me to reorganize and hang them all back up. I am glad to be back with my kid, reading books, playing with clay, doing math (Wowee. I know!), and watching movies. All that said, I am looking forward to another chance to play "fashion girl" sometime soon, either with Pistol Panties, or whomever I can convince that I am not psycho and that I am fashion savvy enough to help out for free. Though, I may wear a sign around my neck saying "Will Work For Bikinis." I'm telling you, I have not quite reached my fitness goals, but Deborah Flemming works some magic. Girls, get thee a Pistol Panties bikini!!! You won't believe how amazing you look. xoxo

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