The next day was a full schedule. I had meetings in NY with different people from breakfast until late, and the day after a private event at a Park Avenue client's apartment( which lasted all day) and then dinner which lasted until 1 am at Cipriani's downtown. The Cipriani family did VERY well with my NY visit this time around.
A six hour flight back to Phoenix was highly entertaining as I got one of those rare and great neighbors all the way back. I like to get home on Fridays... because I am so exhausted...I need two days to hibernate and get my self back to normal for the real world. With a week like that in NY, I am "ON" like a marionette 24/7... and it's just not healthy.NO normal schedule,no normal diet, too much energy expended and too much attention.

And then Monday catch up from NY.
A phone call, came in. Elite Traveller which services the private jet industry had been after me for MONTHS to advertise with them. Their advertisers are, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Hermes..These guys have enormous advertising budgets. Just to get them out of my hair... to call the wolves off, I spoke to the agent. ... and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. The deadline to submit the ad was November the 19th. It was November the 8th. Ten days,and two of those non working. And then I had an idea that required a photo shoot; something fresh, new and great enough to compete with the big boys.

Call in to Sylvia Hardt...who ususally works with me to see if she could fit in a shoot on Saturday the that she could send me the raw files to select from, and give me another day to edit and compose the ad for submission. On a fast track day after getting home.Again..not an opportunity I could pass up. This ad was going to be seen by a captive audience for 6 months, who would have it in their hands for hours at a time... and their average household income was my clientele. I played around with some ideas all day... and who knows from where ( I do have a very fertile imagination)..but the idea of the puppet, puppet theatre came to mind.

Most of the images I have taken for Mahlia Collection are me. Me in the sun, me in a chair, me in different clothes with different jewelry. But the two shots I have taken with the guys in the picture and me get so much commentary , you have to wonder why. And my conclusion is...people like a story and they like pictures that have a story more than those that don't. SO, I decided to tell a story with the picture, and the dress from the WWD summit party could not have been more perfect, because I wanted a mirror in the shot, and this dress had a story form the back and the front, it was a great color, and it would get the readers attention.Attention would then hopefully, create curiosity and then a desire for everything Mahlia.

Then I decided that unless you are a photographer, or a stylist, you have NO idea how much work it is to pull one of these shoots together. I decided that I wanted flowers strewn on the 'theatre stage...for the end of performance for the puppet. I didn't want rose, I wanted poppies, or something that looked ruffly to complement the dress.Those had to be ordered online with a company who would ship them from Japan, and I had to order a minimum of 200.( Sylvie has flowers, I have flowers, the store has flowers...EVERYONE has red aranunculus flowers from the shoot right now. There are three in the picture...all of THAT ...for three flowers.).They HAD to be delivered by Friday..or they wouldn't make it for the shoot. The florist guaranteed they would be there on time.( The flower saga continues...)
I wanted a puppeteers stick...LIFE size to set the scene. That meant trips to Home Depot, looking through the lumber section, getting my carpenters to cut them, glue the sections together and drill holes for the finials at the ends- all on Friday afternoon. I needed to paint the marionette sticks.Which I did at 9:30 at night on Friday... after going to the wholesalers for ribbon, because the ribbon to tie my wrists had to be the perfect, red satin to match the dress.Of course.
Meanwhile I thought, "This is interesting. It's complex. I never have a record of the shoots so people can see what it's like behind the scenes. It would be fun to have someone take a behind the scenes movie. Right?" SO then looking for someone to take the movie. Then it occurred to me that the marionette would look cool with a Venetian mask. Dramatic. SO then I had to track down a Venetian mask for the shoot. Thank fully, Sylvie could pick it up.

It was Friday at 3:30 pm, when the florists called that the flowers had been delayed, BUT NOT TO WORRY. The VERY expensive flowers would be there for pick up at FEDEX Saturday morning.

Up at 6 am Saturday to get clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, puppet stick ( still a bit sticky) in the car, to then go for the flowers. At Fedex. No flowers.

I was upset. How was that possible? They were so sorry, but could not help me. My mind always switches to damage control mode, which is" How do I fix this without flowers...even as I was trying to get Fedex to find the flowers I ordered.
Half an hour later..."OH"...the flowers are found. They were there the whole time. Off to Phoenix, where I arrived at the studio at 2 pm. Something light to eat, and into makeup. Sylvie loves the music I like, and luckily, I had left the CD's I had burned there from the last shoot. The guys helped to unload the 'stuff' and the had to run to the antiques dealer for another mirror. I wanted a BIG mirror... and the mirror at the studio was not big.Sylvie started on my hair and makeup. I was going to be a puppet... so white face, rosy cheeks and a cupids bow mouth in cheery red take a lot of time to do right. I became the canvas and Sylvie painted, and painted and painted, while the video guyed filmed, and talked to me when Sylvie had to supervise the set. My hair was straightened and I was ready.By now, it was 6 pm. Dress on, shoes on. Sylvie looked at me and said, "Somethings not right. Let's try a wig.""A wig?" I don't think so"."Let's just try it." She did, and it was perfect. I was... a marionette.

The 'set' was set on black plexi-glass, which smudges with every little fingerprint, and I had to get in position, and then not move, because sitting on the floor with my hands tied above me...I had nothing to leverage myself so that I could change position.I got claustrophobic very quickly.And hard floor HURTS, ankles, knees, anything without padding and even that with after a very short time.We were shooting until 8. We lost the lights, we got light again, I changed positions several times, we tied my fingers, then we tied my wrists when my fingers started to get blue and I lost feeling in them...etc. It takes while to get,"THE shot". But here it is...The shot..."La Marionette Rouge".
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