I had to headline an catwalk for ASSERT charity at an event in Hackney. This was all very well and good but when is it ever simple ay? I woke up in the morning and it felt like I had either been stabbed in the back by a pirate sword or I had a somewhat less dramatic, trapped nerve. This resulted in minimal movement without severe pain. I asked my boyfriend if he would let me wee the bed, he said he would look into plastic sheets like toddlers have but this time I was going to have to get out. So spent the next 10 minuets rolling around on the bed like a disabled turtle struggling to find its way to the sea. Needless to say-not a very good start to the day.
It all went downhill from there really. The dress I created was called ‘the doodle dress’ and came about after I showed my dad a cool picture I had done on Photoshop- I expected some sort of “wow looks ace Dais”. Instead I got a “so what. Make it.” Parents approval- strike one. So always searching for the seal of pride, I set out to make it. For the last four weeks I have been engulfed in spray paint, foambord and electrical tape. The finished product looks cracking but I am looking forward to not finding black tape stuck to bizarre and inappropriate places on my anatomy.
So we convoyed up to London, Pipcorn at my side as always (23 and cant go anywhere with out my mum. And what). I was in the back clinging to the dress like the wooden man trying not to move my head to the left. The first great thing was that the event was the same day as the London marathon, which meant we had a super fun game of dodge the traffic and road closures to arrive on time.
When we got to the picture house we were escorted by the security man through the back stage of the whole cinema, the corridors were built for Frodo et al. which resulted in doodles getting hooked on weirs and stuck in sockets. I like to leave my mark where I go, but this time I very easily could have wrecked a whole film screening by a bit of lone foamboard left lodged between two weirs. When carrying the dress I turned into the incredible hulk- I was like the worlds strongest man, running on adrenalin and too much sugar, I lifted and pushed and climbed and at some point I’m fairly sure I flew. However after I got the dress to safety I was hit by disgusting amounts of back pain. I felt like the dog of that old man on family guy who drags himself around.
I sought comfort and calm in the café downstairs however this didn’t have the desired effect. I was in Hackney- I expected to be surrounded by an air of style. But I was severely out of my depth, even the café mocked me, mum got what I thought was a harmless flapjack, but when I went to try it I found out that the red filling parading around as raspberry jam was in fact red kidney beans…in a flapjack?! You know you don’t fit in somewhere when you get out-trendied by the menu.
After I recuperated we went back to the event room and tried to figure out what was going on, I’ve found that with these events the only way to get out alive is to relinquish all control and resign yourself to ‘going with it’. It can sure as hell result in some interesting outcomes- like my dress being crushed by a DJ deck (more on that to come) but it seems to work. While everyone freaked out with fittings and models and hangers, I went and set up camp by the catwalk. I asked mum if she was proud of me- headlining a catwalk event at the infamous Picture House in Hackney, going to both New York and Vancouver Fashion Week, being crowned radical designer of the year etc.… and she said “no. I’m not proud of you because you told me to be quiet in the car when I was trying to help with directions”. Pah! Parents approval- Strike two. Swing and miss. Once again. Maybe ill have better luck on strike three, just can’t get the right parents these days.
The room started to fill up with London’s finest, dressed to the nines- someone wearing a leopard print blazer with a snapback, a man in a cravat and sandals?! It was like being lost in a drag act/pantomime/gay pride parade.
The show started off with a collection inspired by the following …
“A girl who is struggling to fit in, so she starts drinking to impress her peers, then she starts taking drugs as well, and then when she is high on drugs and drink she has underage, unprotected sex and falls pregnant. The collection is inspired by the things she was seeing at this time with all the drink and drugs reacting together forming a trippy world”
Genuinely. You just can’t make this stuff up. Everyone was looking around in complete disbelief at what the presenter just said. I could hear mum chuckling next to me; I caught the eye of some guy across the room both of us stifling back laughter.
This was then followed with a lingerie collection by a young girl inspired by “femme fatal and her father”. After that I was gone, totally lost it, I was in a fit of giggles, I had so many tears running down my face I couldn’t even look up and see what the garments were like. I caught the last one and it really was stunning (and highly provocative) lingerie…thanks daddy.
At the interval I went backstage to sort my dress out and track down a model willing to take on the challenge of corredenating stairs whilst in the beast. I then found out that the safe cubby hole I chose to place it in, was in fact at the bottom of a slight ramp and a huge 200 pound unit containing DJ decks with amplifiers had slowly slid down the ramp and crushed the dress against the wall. Its amazing that everyone can just stand around and watch me struggle trying to pull away this unit with my back about to snap and only (funnily enough) two hands. Anyway, I was in my mist of nonchalance and just dealt as best I could with the damage- nothing a pair of scissors and duct tape cant fix. Cough.
Did my business as usual and closed the show, people ooo’d and ahhhh’d, model didn’t face plant-always a bonus. But then I was unexpectanty called out on stage as the 2013 radical designer of the year, this was fine until they called up this years competeing young designers as well…Needless to say my boots with a hole in and brothers hoodie looked a bit odd compared to everyone else who put in oodles of effort in for their first ever catwalk show.
Anyway! All done now, and although full of calamity’s as always, Hackney is another one I can tick off the list. However I’m writing this in the most horizontal, stationary position possible on my bed. I have to turn my whole body one way just to look at something. Was it worth it? This time I actually just don’t know…
Obviously kidding. It’s always worth it.
Ps. Thanks mum.
Ps. Thanks mum.