Thursday, September 08, 2011

High-Heeled and Half-Assed*

*this would be a pretty solid title for my autobiography.

This post is mostly about Fashion Week but some of it is about Other Things like giraffes, and the giraffe part is in italics so you and I don't get confused.

Last week I went to New Zealand Fashion Week for work! This was a surprise as my sole qualifications were being one of two girls in our team, and having watched enough Project Runway to roar "One of you will be named the winner... and one of you will be OUT!" at inappropriate times (hint: almost every time).

The initial thought process was as follows:

1. Holy shit, Fashion Week!
2. Oh. I don't know ANYTHING about fashion.
slightly later:
3. What the fuck am I going to wear?
slightly later:
4. Oooh! There might be goody bags.

Whenever I go and cover events for work (not very often) I always feel like someone's about to jump out from behind a curtain, point at me theatrically, and shout, "SHE'S not a real journalist!" I mean, I am, technically, but sometimes I forget*.

This was especially true going into fashion week because quite honestly what I know about fashion could fit onto three squares of toilet paper, and that's barely enough for a wee.

I knew I was out of my depth when on the first day a beautifully dressed woman - who was the editor of some magazine or other - said my dress was gorgeous and asked where it was from.
I invited her to check the tag, which in hindsight is probably not the done thing, and she paused then said... "Jay Jays".
Jay Jays, for those not in the know, is a rather inexpensive chain store.
I giggled and said, "Shhh! Don't tell anyone! It's Fashion Week!" because that is what a serious journalist does.

*Last week I went to the zoo to see a giraffe being transported in a crate, and interviewed his keeper - I was prepared and had many Important Serious Questions about vaccinations and travel times, but sadly most of these were forgotten in the excitement of asking things like "do giraffes get seasick" and "are there any animals which do get seasick" and "what happens if you put a gorilla in a plane" (answer: you don't).

I took this photo while following a giraffe through central Auckland in convoy. My job is cool.

Main piece of advice for Fashion Week: don't go by yourself.
I had the lovely @angeebabiee (that is her Twitter name, she is not one of those people who had 'alternative' parents) at my side for most of the week, and also a small but perfectly formed Fashion Posse of @rosie_dawson and @StudioWeir for wine breaks (Fashion Week revolves largely around wine, possibly to distract from any dodgy fashion), which was nice.

The times I was there on my own were fun, but daunting. Fun because you're wearing your best outfit (because you're at Fashion Week) and wandering about feeling important (because you're at Fashion Week), but daunting because there are SO many people and almost all of them are more important and better dressed than you (because you're at Fashion Week).

Also, prepare to be shoved out of the way in queues for shows, tickets, and (especially) drinks. Many fashion people are not very polite. There were a lot of Toyotas with Rolls-Royce badges. And a lot of mutton dressed as expensive lamb. And a lot of lamb dressed as expensive lamb. And a lot of mutton dressed as some sort of bizarre disco mutton, especially in the Moet lounge.

On an actual work front, writing about shows was heaps of fun and also a massive learning curve, because I'd never written anything about fashion before (except "jeggings are shit" which, while true, doesn't really count) . had a workout finding synonyms for 'diaphanous' and 'draping' (and 'trousers') but it all turned out okay!

Here are some of my more accomplished sentences:

"Fur coats and pussy-bow blouses dominated an elegant collection from Helen Cherry that revelled in femininity and easy luxe."

I'm not really sure what easy luxe is. Also, real fashionistas probably don't get slightly uncomfortable saying 'pussy-bow'.

"Asymmetry and one-shoulder designs lifted the collection from confident to accomplished."

Yes, they sure did. Wait, what? What I mean here is, 'I thought the one-shoulder designs showed a design confidence not apparent in the rest of the collection.'

One day there will be a Nobel Prize for bullshitting and I will receive it.

"The colour story remained grounded in blacks, greys and charcoal, with yellow and blue adding striking highlights and white making a brief appearance in tailored separates."

It turns out that I LOVE saying 'colour story'. "The colour story was dominated by jewel tones." It sounds so... fashion writery! (It is statements like that that make me worryabout the person leaping out from behind the curtain.)

"Shift dresses in orange and black with purple panelling stepped away from the clearly defined tailoring, but definition continued in strong colour blocking."

I don't know what colour blocking is, but references to colour blocking lifted the review from confident to accomplished.


cerebral e said...

I love that you're a real journalist and put "pussy" and "Cherry" in the same sentence

cerebral e said...

PS how embarrassing for some fashion bitch that she likes Jay Jays. I'm sure she was mortified

Johi said...

I love everything about this post, particularly how effortlessly you worked in the part about seasick giraffes. P.S. I'm jealous too. I have a ton of cute super cheap dresses that I never get to wear anywhere.

Frankie Jane said...

So since you said the italics part was going to be the part about giraffes, I just have to assume that all the clothes you were describing at the end were modeled by giraffes. New Zealand Fashion Week is clearly the most awesome Fashion Week.

Rob's Blockhead Blog said...

The word is ARSE. 'ass' is a prissy Americanism.

chris.dadness said...

The colour story of that giraffe is "blotchy". And he seems to doing that thing that suave men do in books when they "regarded her evenly". To you. Maybe he suses that you are not a real zoo journalist.