La Marionette Rouge
This image, "La Marionette Rouge" captures more than a story...it is the result of weeks of strategy and work.NO joke.
It all started with a dress....or better said...it all started with a party, where the dress was to be worn.
I had committed to going to the WWD CEO Summit in NY. I knew from the past, that this venue was an amazing opportunity for me to hob-nob with 'la creme de la creme' of the fashion industry.Mahlia Collection is a small, YOUNG company. I guess if I had mega million investors, I would not be so small; but that is not the case. I have built this small company by my bootstraps through the last five, [and the last three, very difficult] years....from Tucson. One more time..from "Tucson." which means I do not run into these people on an everyday basis. I run into them when I'm out of town, because my work has caught their attention, but not because I live in the center of their universe.SO, I decided to go,which was a big financial comittment for me. then I was told that it was W magazines 100th anniversary, and that the black tie event was going to be a very big deal, with everyone who was anyone from the industry invited...not just the CEO's that were gong to attend the summitt...who are an impressive group on their own. SO...being me, being a girl and being a fashionista...all bets were off... and I was going to wear a 'killer' dress that was going to get attention. If I was going to go...I was GOING TO GET ATTENTION.
The dress I designed demanded an excellent back...it was going to be open and cut down to by back dimples.that meant upping my workout schedule by at least a couple of notches. The fabric for the dress inspired the cut... an amazing devore silk velvet, with this sort of abstract floral/peony pattern in an unusual wonderful peach apricot color that could not be missed. It shimmered, gleamed and changed to shimmery red when the light hit it from a certain angle. Magic. femine, unusal, soft, sweet and sexy...it had it all.
I had enough for a short dress. Cool.The event was a 'coctail party'. Perfect.
Workout schedule began... all fats were cut OUT of my diet, ( which meant chocolate...'sigh'... as well) and the dressmaker and I met for the first appointment to get the muslim started. ( The muslim is the dress pattern, cut out of cheap fabric so that the real fabric won't be spoiled with the mistakes) I have to say, that my goldsmiths, dressmakers, carpenters... all LOVE to execute my designs. They not only are my biggest fans, but they love that I challenge their considerable talents.All of them have lost sleep trying to figure out the engineering of what I want them to do. The dress was ostensibly simple...but to the trained eye...very difficult to make perfectly. I was going to be with Ralph Lauren, Stefano Pilati of Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera- my dress was going to be prefect.
Shoes. The shoes had to be prefect. The dress was short- mid- thigh length-...my legs...if I may say so...quite nice...so the scale and color had to be perfect to finish off the composition. Hours and days later...'eureka!'...I found them.-" 5" red satin slingback stilettoes by Guiseppe Zanotti. You wanted to sleep with them and only them, they were so beauitful.And my legs looked pretty good in them too;)
We got a call from W Magazine. If we liked, we could include something from Mahlia Collection in the gift bags. If I wanted? "Are you kidding?!!! " 50 of the top CEO's in the world...a captive audience to whom to spoon feed my brand? I was going to find 250 of something, anything... but something from Mahlia Collection was going to be in those bags.That call came in at 3:45 Wednesday afternoon my time. The product had to be delivered to WWD's offices in NY by 3:45 pm Tuesday...which left me three working days to get them there packaged and delivered. I had 45 minutes to make a decision... and the only thing I had 250 of ( soon to be 300) was my book, The House of Many Faces...warehoused in New Hampshire.And the best way to get 250 copies to W's offices on time for the lowest cost ( they weight about 1lb each, and at this point had to be overnighted- which cost their weight in gold)..was to fly to NY myself, package them myself, and deliver them myself by 4:30 Tuesday, and then fly home the next day.I had just been home from my Paris trip for a week. And I was sick.
My plane ticket was booked, the hotel reserved... and I was flying out Sunday. The warehouse was called, and the books were to be delivered to my hotel in NY by Monday as well.We had a plan; not free, easy or even cheap...but a plan that was going to work.
I was less than thrilled to be putting my memoir into the hands of these 250 people. The book was worthy...a finalist with both the New York and Hollywood Book Festivals in 2008 wasn't chump change...but it was a pretty personal book, and I had written it five years ago.' Sigh." still not happy about it. Biting the bullet...but not happy.
Friday morning I got a message on Facebook from Esther Marie...an FB acquaintance whom I could not add as a friend because of FB's restrictions. She had messaged me that she had some question about my background. I GOOGLED myself to accurately answer her, and this link came up which surprised me." Eric Hoffer Award" Finalist. What !!? And that was how I found out that I was an Eric Hoffer Literary Award Finalist in 2010...just in time to make labels and attach them to each book that went into those CEO"s gift bags. That was what we did all day Sunday at my office... and I still hadn't had time to do my Paris trip laundry... was to make Eric Hoffer Ward Finalist tags for every book. Which i was more than happy o do. We were pretty excited...believe me.
To Be Continued...next segment tomorrow of "La Marionette Rouge"
We bought me a ticket.