Afew nights ago, I came to the realization that I was indeed invited to a party put on by THE Vogue magazine on Sunday evening. The same publication that caught my attention as a fashion obsessed eight-year-old and never let me go.
But how does one prep oneself for one of the most exciting fashion events they have been privy to go to? I had 24 hours. And a budget of zero dollars. And just enough time to do one load of laundry, as I don’t have a dryer. So, I had one shot to get it right, one shot to make myself look like I belonged.
Not to just belong at Vogue but to belong at a Vogue Party. Did I want to wear a color? A print? Or just black? Yes, black. Better play it safe. All black always screams “fashion.” I wanted something a little ’80s/early ’90s to play off of the midi-length black front knotted jersey sleeveless dress I was wearing.
Thankfully, years ago I had snagged a pair of vintage gold Chanel coin earrings at a thrift shop for all of 5 dollars in Canada. And even more thankfully, I had managed to score the last pair of Marc Jacobs ankle length snake embossed leather booties at Nordstrom earlier in the summer when I was visiting home. I had the dress, the earrings and the booties. Now, I needed a statement piece. Ah, yes! My gold Balmain cuff! Like most of my purchases, I got it on sale, and even doubly on sale, as the cashier who rang it up entered in a much lower price and I was much too delighted/sneaky to correct her fortuitous error.
The dress was clean and drying. My boots were polished. All I needed was a good night’s sleep and blessings from the makeup gods for tomorrow’s push.
In my hasty and hazy cleaning of my apartment in the morning, I put “the” dress at the bottom of a pile of clothes. Later in the day, when I was getting ready, I panicked. The dress! Yes, it was still a bit damp and was wrinkled to high heaven. Moreover, because it was only semi-dry, it had the slight odor of potato water. I had no time to fret, because it was on to makeup application I have put on liquid liner pretty much every day since high school, so I figured it would be a smooth application.
[alert type=white ]It had the slight odor of potato water.[/alert]
Nope. I sneezed midway through and there was black, sticky, eye ink all over my lids and cheeks. Shit. Time was ticking. I thought I could solve the problem by dabbing some liquid concealer over the splatter. That turned my skin gray! Everything was falling apart and I had an hour to get to the party. I washed, reapplied and crossed myself as I left the house, in a thick cloud of Jo Malone, as I had to mask the odd smell wafting from the dress somehow.
The fates aligned and I caught the tram in the nick of time and it took me right to the Suomenlinna ferry terminal. Things were looking up. As the ferry docked, I realized that Suomenlinna was huge and I had no idea just where this party was being feted. I was certain that there would be signage to lead me to the event. After all, this is Vogue we are talking about.
I walked around Suomenlinna for a quarter of an hour before breaking down and texting my editor where in the heck I ought to be headed. Another stroke of unfortunate luck sent my data down the toilet and I was left to find my bearings sans Google maps. But I was in luck!
A man with dreads halfway down his back and gold studded high tops was marching with intention towards a building over one of Suomenlinna’s many petite bridges. I took a risk and followed him. Thankfully my fash-dar (is that even a thing?) paid off and I was IN. In Vogue. In a Vogue magazine Party.
It was just as I would have dreamed. Industrial film lighting, a bar stocked with free beer and San Pellegrino staffed by a disinterested club kid, exposed brick ceilings and sort of a downtempo EDM beat in the background. The people were young, diverse and hip. There were the people with dreadlocks, the people with half buns, the rainbow colored hair, all looking unwashed and unstyled, like they just rolled out of bed and didn’t care. Very French. There were the white sneaker folks, the flatform sandal bunch and the chunky-heeled ankle boot crowd.
[alert type=white ]It was just as I would have dreamed. Industrial film lighting, a bar stocked with free beer and San Pellegrino staffed by a disinterested club kid, exposed brick ceilings and sort of a downtempo EDM beat in the background.[/alert]
They all tried to look bored and perfectly out of place, but their giant professional cameras with thousand euro lenses gave them away as some sort of street style blogging gaggle. People stuck to their cliques and nervously chatted away. Then in came the big guns: the editor-in-chief of Vogue Ukraine, Masha Tsukanova.
She was model thin and model angular with a stripped down coolness of Tilda Swinton and sharp chicness of woman in charge. She took the air right out of the room. The groups of people rotated around her, like a celestial body, but few dared to make contact. This was Masha, after all. A few fan girls crawled up to her and gushed. I was one of them. She had perfect skin that just glowed and heels that screamed power. She was kind and thankfully her English was flawless. We chatted about the “it” designers coming out of the former Soviet bloc countries and her picks and pans for fall 2016.
She touched my shoulder as she walked off to be interviewed by another journalist. I nearly fainted.
I only stayed an hour. My dress dried. It was so dramatically dimly lit in the loft that no one could tell that my skin was a mix of gray and rosacea. My earrings looked bad ass and my trusted Vuitton Alma Epi bag looked glossy. I fit in. I fit in at Vogue.
Cover picture: Zizzie Fizz