La Marionette Rouge II
SO...got my self to Phoenix to catch a direct flight to NY, and arrived to be picked up by my good friend Michael.So nice to see a freidly face upon arrival when you travel as much as I do.A small carry on and a BIG box of books, tags, bags, labels and pretty Mahlia matches to go into the gift bags ..and LOTS of silver ribbon to tie them all up with.
I was still coughing constantly...a leftover from my Paris trip, so Michael's first stop was at a pharmacy, the second to drop me at my hotel so I could get myself organized.
I was up at 5:30 in the morning( so 2:30 for me) ....worried that I had to get a head start to make sure i wasn't short of time at the end of the day. I had 8 crates of books in my room. It was crowded...and there were going to be three of us working in there later on.
Rene arrived at 8:30, Dan at 10 and we were "rollin". We just finishing up at 3:30...ahead of schedule when my office called.W had asked for 300 books, instead of 250. I had 250 books..ribbons, cards, bags etc...for 250 books- and they had to be delivered in the next half hour. Now what?!!!
I told Andrea( my assistant) to let them know that this was pretty UNCOOL..to up the ante at the last minute with no notice. We needed more time to deliver the last 50 books... and they would have to ship from Tucson.
Dan had an SUV..so we packed all the books downstairs and down to SOHO ( I was uptown).That took the next two hours... and I was done. Dan left me back at my hotel...one of my best friends...I adore him... and I walked around a bit until I went to the hotel. I was beat. I went into the bar for a snack and sat down a a single table with tall stools to hand my feet and let them relax, and as soon as I did, i felt this guy nearby eyeball me. I willed him to stay in his seat, but no...he had to come over and say,"You should find another seat where your feet don't danngle like that." Now...even a few months ago...my ingrained Canadian politesse would have responded politely...lest I 'hurt' his feelings. I was a bit more evolved now.
He saw the look on my face. "Am I bothering you? Would you like me to go away?"I look at him directly and said, "Yes."
You are bothering me." He looked startled and turned away. Thank you...
Packed, in a car to JFK and on a plane ( AGAIN) the next day to Phoenix... and then drove to Tucson after dinner with a friend. It was Thursday... and I didn't feel like going in to the store the next day...but...oh well....I had all of my Paris contacts that I still hadn't followed up with... and two weeks had gone by now...packing books.
Sunday I had another fitting for the dress and small changes were made; but it was looking good. Since the back was completely open, it needed a small wire to hold the sleeves in place and the bodice had to fit perfectly. The red silk tassels for the back had finally arrived, and the red crystals for the shoulder detail. Gym... light food, sunbathing because I had hardly eaten in NY and had had no time to excercise... and I just needed some quiet time and to REST!
I also had a show to do for clients after the WWD summit...so we were pushing the goldsmiths like crazy to get the jewelry ready... and then I had jewelry out at some photo shoots in NY...so there was a LOT to manage.All the fixtures for the jewelry show had to ship almost as soon as I was back in Tucson to get to NY in time. We still hadn't unpacked everything from PARIS..they had just arrived days ago.
The last lot of books had arrived, were packaged and sent of to NY. We wer also working on the new website..still not officially launched because there were so many details I wnated fixed... and that sucked up major amounts of time...hundreds of images to be sized..hundreds of descriptions to be written, hundreds of data entries to be made...photos that still needed to be taken and uploaded...( we're still not done...2 weeks later).
Then I needed to pack...to get back to NY.te dress was perfect for travel...it didn't crease at all. I would take out my shoes and prance around in them once a day...they were so pretty... and SOOO unconfortable!
NY bound..red eye flight, because the day before I was up at 6 am and still going all day until I got on the plane to get everything ready. Crazy.
Arrived with just enough time to get my luggage, blot for a taxi, and run up to my room at The Plaza( where the SUmmit was being held) to change and run downstairs again to the registration and meetings which started at 11:30.
One of my strategies..and it works very well...in Paris, New York or Dallas...is that I represent my brand. I wear, walk, talk and AM Mahlia Collection.My style, my clothes, my jewelry... are all my brand... and people remember, and notice...even in that group.
I listened to Henri Pinault the first day,Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren; it was exciting..it was stimulating and it was such a whirlwind of activity. Lots of compliments on my outfit. I was wearing a short black wrap, suede skirt with an irregular hem edged with heavy crocheted lace and a see through peasant style silk chiffon blouse with a opera sleeve length jacket in soft black/grey chequered soft wool also edged in heavy lace and thigh high, high heeled fitted black suede boots.
That night was a formal dinner and Salma Hyack was nearby, absolutely beautiful in Alexander McQueen.My book was on my mind when we met, and I spoke to her in spanish to ask her to take a look at the book on top of the gift bag in her room,; my memoir.
After dinner there was an after party set up in the lobby and that lasted until 1 am, even though we had a 7am breakfast on the agenda the next day...which meant 4 am wakeup call for me AZ time.The BIG party at CIPRIANI was the next night as well.I need very little sleep....but was way past my own limit by now.Bed was looking pretty good...with soft sheets, comforter and mounds of pillows.
The W staff had sent wine to my room, a beautiful coffee table book and note to thank me for my contribution to the gift bag for their event.Super nice of them.
"Up and at em" the next morning - talking and talking and networking from 7 am onwards. The rooms at the Plaza are GORGEOUS. they have been refurbished so beautifully...but OMG were they freezing. the Euros especially were complaining about the American penchant for overly cold rooms.."My god" they said..."It's November...why do you Americans need air conditioning?"We all agreed. And I kept thinking... my dress for tonight is not covering much skin. And it's thin. Oh well...the sacrifices we make.
As soon as the last lecture was over I bolted for my room ( Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen..charming sweet and savvy). A sweet heart of a stylist Nicolas was waiting for me with his assistant to do my hair and makeup for the party. I am not good at that stuff....at all. I'm actually pretty natural every day.We had an hour..I was supposed to be at Cipriani at 6 pm... and it was 4:45. Wheew!!
I wnated a stick straight ponytail.. and smokey eye makeup so that my earrings would show, and the back of the dress as well. We all agreed that was the way to go. Flat ironed my hair....pulled it back into a 'tight' ponytail and went to work on the makeup. We were trying to be calm...but we knew we were running late.
We all looked in the mirrior when they were done...transformed! WOW pretty cool and dramatic for me with slanted black eye liner on my eyes and poppy red lips to boot.My earrings hung down to my chin, and my rings were rubies, diamonds and red jade. I put on my dress. "LOVE IT" said Nick. "Just wait" I said..."When I put on the shoes...the focus shifts and the legs compete with the dress"...which was what happened. 5 inch red satin platform stilettos with 40 inches of toned and tanned bare leg will do that. ANd a back cut down WAY to THERE was all tanned and toned skin from the backside as well.The dress fit me like a skater's dress..slim and to the body...but the fabric made the magic. This gorgeous apricot, peach silk devoree velvet, with a red shimmer was captivating....and then the cheeky red tassels anchored the back straps and swung against my back.We got into the elevator and I walked out into the lobby. Heads turned.I could feel it. Nick could see it. We had done good.It was working.We said our goodbyes and I went to hail a cab. It was 6:55.
I stepped out into the cold air, and stepped down the red carpeted steps slowly in my red shoes. At the bottom was a gentleman from the summit in his tuxedo, waiting for his car to go to the party. I wasn't the only late one.He was soon out of superlatives. He definitely LOVED the dress , the legs, the shoes..all of it... the whole get up- and he was a designer. Did I have a ride? No. Could he offer me a ride? Of course. So I got to go to the party in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. I felt like Cinderella.
The crown at Cipriani's was amazing. We drove up and people didn't know who I was...but they liked the look and started taking pictures. I don't know where they all are...but a lot of photographers took my picture and asked me to pose for them,The dress was a great success. At one point the Dean of Parsons stopped me to compliment me, as well as many others. Pretty cool.
Courtney Love was one of the last to arrive, and we were amongst the last to leave. She was quite a mess. Sad to see.
We ended up at Cipriani on 5th Avenue for a late night snack. More eyes on me. My escort was thrilled by all the attention I was getting....my back was to them so I had to listen to him describe the room.
A lot of fun. It was very satisfying to know that all of my 'designs' worked; that the composition I planned on..this real life composition...could be as effective as the still life ones.
Then Cinderella got to walk across 5th Avenue back to the hotel in painfully beautiful red satin stilettos, her apricot silk velvet dress, dark ponytail and red tassels swinging in the evening air.