Posted by: Vicky V | September 18, 2009

London Fashion Weakness

My first London Fashion Week began today. And it was “fierce”. In all respects.

I had been expecting to provide my usual administrative services to the office; being the Cinderella to everyone else’s Ugly Sister as they swanned around central London dressed in Balmain and supporting our clients through parties and catwalk shows. I’d already ordered a container load of ibuprofen and interesting water (i.e rehydration with enough of a novelty factor to make stressed and overtired models feel like they were eating something for a change).

I’d even carried out my own Pepsi challenge on the water with Bernard (Badoit – too salty, Highland Spring –too belchy, Evian – too French) ending up with Fiji water flavoured with fresh limes (less than one cal and the Hawaiian pattern on the bottle is relaxing to look at).

I was on my way to the loo for the sixth time since arriving at the office, when Cream Horn grabbed me by my M & S lapel (a pleasant, purple blazer), tells me to borrow something a bit more “fierce” and rush down to Somerset House to provide support to Zack who flew back in from NYC this morning and “is at his wits end”.

When my heart had re-started, I set to raiding the makeup drawers and wardrobe. Maybe I was being mindful of the last time I saw him, maybe it was CH’s use of the term “fierce”, I don’t know, but I gathered as much animal print as I could find (scarf, leggings and boots) and hot footed it down to Somerset House, applying as much touché éclat and blusher as my excitable little face could hold.

Karen greeted me as I got out of the cab. “Greeted” is too generous a term. Rather she swayed on her shoes (with heels that looked banisters), waved a mini Moet in my face and told me I looked like a giraffe. Ben rushed up, looking a bit bedraggled (who wears a cravat nowadays?), muttered something about Karen overdoing the sauce and shuffled me off in the direction of the catwalk show at which our client Lydia Markhova was about to make her debut. You may remember Lydia as the model I found at Alternative Fashion Week and who ended up being Karen’s first client.

Zack was standing at the entrance to the tent, looking even better than when I last saw him (dark circles under his eyes just made him look even more powerful. He was probably taped to his ibook the whole flight. Too important to stop working. He is amazing). He greeted me coldly, said I looked rather hot and passed me a mini Moet to “cool down”. I must have overdone the blusher.
Clown Face
I was shuffled off towards Lydia again. When I eventually found her (having fought my way through asphyxiating hairspray and champagne fumes) she was collapsed in a sodden, tearful mess. She’d ripped the drapery of her black Victoriana gown and couldn’t find either Karen (drunk) or the designer (having a meltdown with a model who was refusing to have her leg hair removed on principle).

So I found some dress pins and set to work. It was near impossible to make the very heavy velvet hang where it was supposed to and my fingers were red raw just trying. Vicky Cinderella Victorious, I sang to myself, as I arranged the fabric in loops and drapes around her neck and pinned it to her shoulder straps.

Cut to half an hour later when the show had finished. Lydia was a massive hit. And so was the designer. The audience whooped and cheered and I kept hearing people say how utterly “fierce” Lydia’s dress was!

I had to leave, get back to normality. But, as if out of nowhere, like he’d hovered up behind me on a cushion of air, Zack appeared. Up close. Like, invading my personal space close. Except it was a welcome invasion. A bit like standing next to a radiator when you’ve been rolling in the snow. All that running around, the heat of the room, the nylon leggings, all that makeup, the chemistry… I had to make a quick exit otherwise I was going to sweat my way to embarrassment city.

And then Karen swung round the corner, caught sight of us and mouthed the words “don’t you dare”.

In a flash I remembered Meredith. I remembered my resolve not to compete. And I turned on my heel to leave, but not before Zack has pressed a party pass into my hand and asked me to stay.

And now I am at home, having left one of my leopard print boots at the ball.

I’ve just noticed that the pass lasts all week. But can I?



  1. […] interesting than I gave it credit for, so I popped along to Somerset House with my all access pass (still with traces of Zack’s DNA on it). Dressed in my best casual chic (denim plus new M & S neck scarf) and bare yet dewy makeup, in […]


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