It was at least two in the arvo before I could drag myself out of the house. I don't even remember what I wore, but I knew I was shaky and dehydrated. I wobbled up to Oxford St. to get Bec and her beautiful assistant Tasj each a goody bag. This one contained Belgian chocolate, sesame snaps, green tea, energy bars, fresh mandarins and essential oils. I really enjoyed making these little bags because these two women not only looked after me, but they really put so much heart and soul into making this amazing production run smoothly. I know there is a massive team that puts it together and there were so many friendly people working and volunteering their time and energy. It made it a real privilege to be invited to attend and then to be treated like I was a special VIP. Great job, team!
When I finally made it down to the OPT it was almost four. I had screwed up my trains and ended up at Central Station instead of Circular Quay and then the train was late and then I was considering not even going and then I was there. Thank god!
Because it was the last day, it was a lot less hectic during the afternoon. Bec was sitting at the concierge's desk with her cute little daughter Lulu overseeing the venue. Lulu had dressed herself and was looking like a million bucks, just like her mummy! Lulu was there because Bec's awesome husband James was there with his mother and daughter. Lulu was too young to go to the bar area where daddy was treating Nan to a champagne while waiting for his other daughter to return from a show.
Bec sat me down on a stool and we had a nice catch up about the whole week and she laughed at how shattered I was. We made plans to have her and her family come up and stay with us in Red Rock when they were ready for some respite. I really hope they come up so I can show them a great time up here in the sticks!
I went out the back and bumped into James and his charming mum. We had a bit of a chat about Byron Bay as their family used to spend summers there while James was growing up and I had lived there my first seven years in Australia. I was not the best conversationalist because I was so cloudy from the night before and no doubt smelled like a booze factory. I had a coffee to sharpen up but that just left me with the physical shakes. They can't help but have been impressed with me.
The twelve year old daughter turned up and so it was time for them to head off. Pete had decided to have a quiet day (more on that non event later!) and everyone else was working or unavailable, including my main wingman Asia. I wasn't too worried though, cos there was no way I felt like drinking.
I bumped into Valerie and her friend Zoe and joined them on the couch which was tempting enough to lay down on and just have a big long nap. I could barely talk and they must have found it quite a change from the unstoppable flow of verbal diarrhea that I had the night before.
The call for the next shows came and I was more than happy to go hide my wrecked self in the dark. I watched Daniela-Stephanie Puglisi, Daniella Caputi, Del Playa Drive, Jaime Lee, and Virginie Lynn. This was a group show called the New Generation and was showcasing young designers. They were all very talented but my stand out fave was Jaime Lee. Her clothing was amazing - it was fun and quirky, very well made and had heaps of WOW pieces. They were very colourful with a large dose of fun and eccentricity. They stood out from anything I had seen so far. They were definitely designed with a woman who likes to be recognized as an individual in mind. I read up on Jaime and she started out as an artist and her clothing is inspired by her art. I say bravo and keep an eye on this young talent!
After the show, I caught up with Valerie, Zoe, the actress Natasha Cunningham and her friend Amber, who I just found out, according to her website, is a style icon. I thought we had a lot in common!
You will be able to read more about Carmel Toe soon.
They had moved inside as it was pretty warm and cosy. A brisk breeze was blowing off the harbour and without the fortification of six litres of alcohol in my system, I felt the cold.
One of the girls got a round of drinks but my hand was shaking so bad I could barely get it to my mouth. It was actually quite funny. I probably should have eaten more that day too. I was rushing so hard to get down there I hadn't had breakfast or lunch and now it was dinner time with no food in sight!
I was undecided whether to stay or go cos I was hanging for a feed, but the last show was on in a few minutes so I decided to stay. I went with Valerie and Zoe downstairs where the final show was being held. I hadn't gone to a downstairs show before and it was quite exciting. As the last show there was a huge crowd queued up and it really felt like an Event.
None of us girls had passes or tickets and I was unable to get hold of Bec to escort us in, but luckily Ranui, who was running the backstage, came by and brought us all in.
I actually scored a front row seat! There was one seat left on the corner and the two girls graciously suggested I sit in it and, having my hands full of bags, I was more than happy to take it. There was the final goody bag of the week sitting on the seat and I thought that would be a perfect ending for an amazing week. Then this troll of a thing sitting behind me snatched the bag just as I was about to sit down. I turned around and held it and it was a Mexican stand off. She glared righteously at me daring me to fight for it. I thought she was pretty pathetic knowing she had stolen it right from under me, but then I realised I actually wasn't even supposed to be there and, well, if she's that desperate for some Veet Strips that you are willing to humiliate yourself for them, just have em! She probably had a hairier crotch than me anyway.
I squeezed over a bit more and Valerie sat her tiny arse down next to me. I loudly explained about the mannerless desperado behind me and we tittered as though we were so above that. She and her friend must have felt guilty because they shoved their hairy weighty cans over and offered Zoe a spot. So we were all set and the lights were about to go down when disaster struck.
Our big tall Russian sounding security guy brought a lady over in a fantastic vintage floor length seventies gown and a turban. She had dark painted on eyebrows and a dramatic looking face. Unfortunately for me, wearing a turban can only mean one of two things. Either you are an amazing and important fashionista because who else could/would pull off a look that stepped straight out of a 1970's Vogue photoshoot or a camera still from an early episode of Dynasty. Or, alternatively, the person has cancer.
I'm not sure which, but I wasn't about to start arguing about the situation. So Valerie and I both spent the show standing. I had so many fricken bags of heavy shit in my arms it was like a Survival endurance competition. The show hadn't even begun and I wanted it to be over!
The final show was by a designer named Bowie and what a show it was. It was truly and extravaganza with long legged models, fantastic origami ornaments and gorgeous frocks in black, white, red, gold and silver. It was a stunning finale and really closed Fashion Week with a bang.
The girls were heading out for dinner, but I thought I better head home and have a bit of a break and change before heading out for the after party. I texted Pete on the way home. He was heading out for dinner with his boyfriend Rod, who is an amazing artist. As much as I know they would both have loved my company, I thought it was wiser just to spend some time lying in a bed with my eyes closed.
On the way home I stopped in at Don Don Restaurant. Don Don is the smallest, most packed and least glamorous restaurant I have ever seen. The kitchen is the size of an inner city closet but it pumps out meal after meal after meal. I was starving so I ordered tempura don with miso soup and a soft shelled crab. The miso was hot and rejuvenating, the tempura was perfect but the soft shelled crab was heavy, oily and really disappointing. I had soft shelled crab the first time ever in Toronto at Sushi Queen in about 1993. It was light and crispy and exploded in your mouth with flavour and juice. It was served with Ponzu Dipping Sauce and I crave it to this day. Is there anywhere in Sydney that can recreate this experience? So far, my answer is no.
I got a bit weirded out at one moment and just needed to be home, so I got the rest of my meal takeaway. Note to self: tempura and other deep fried delicacies do not go well as takeway. They become a steamed soggy mess.
I chilled at Pete's Palace for ages as Pete was already gone by the time I got there. After some time went by, I started to question whether I wanted to go out. Again. What is happening to me?!?
I realised I still had Megan's dress and that she, Heidi and Kristie were all hanging out so I thought I would return the frock and spend some time catching up with my girls. I packed a thank you goody bag for Meg's for the loan of style and headed up to the Cross.
I ran into Quentin Kenihan (not literally) on the way up to Megan's. I noticed that his face bore a striking resemblance to Pedro, who works at the Red Rock Bowling Club. Unusual.
I picked up a couple bottles of red for the girls and then headed up to the cute little flat.
Now I don't know about you, but if I was young, gorgeous, single and looking for a man, I don't think I would assume I would find him in a seventh floor unit at the top of the Cross, especially not while wearing trackie dacks and a hair bun. But oddly enough, all three girls, while lamenting the lack of a good man in their lives and their desire for a family, were all doing just that. Why was I, the old married one with children, the only one dolled up on a Friday night about to head out to an exclusive after party? I was shocked, to say the least. Megan was sick and the other two were getting up for a six am training session. I don't know if that was for running a marathon or to stay fit enough to catch a man, but I hope it works for them!
I couldn't convince even one of them to come out with me, so after tucking Meeg's in bed and sending the other two Nana's off in a car to their own beds, I headed out for my own Friday night adventure.
I just rounded the corner and there he was. Jesse Archer! Jesse writes a blog that I have been following since Matthew, my writing mentor introduced me to it about two years ago after I introduced him to my mum's quilting blog. I started commenting on Jesse's blog, we became facebook friends and eventually when he and his boyfriend, Bam, moved to Australia, they came to visit me in Red Rock! I had tried to contact him to come with me to Fashion Week but he had been back visiting in NYC and didn't get my message.
Bam, Jesse and I in front of the truck.
It's probably a good thing because Jesse and I in Red Rock is a dangerous combo, so I can't imagine us on a Friday night in Sydney. He and Bam had just finished dinner with a friend and were heading home, but we had time to take a few snaps. Jesse almost had me convinced to jump in the fountain for one, (Why would that be the first pose that would spring to his mind? Oh, that's right, he's Jesse!) but thankfully settled for one beside it. I was spewing that we hadn't been able to catch up and he and Bam will be top of my list on my next visit!
I walked up the stairs to The Beach Haus which was much different from the last time I was there. I keep calling it The Bath Haus, maybe from my teenage visits to Le Bain Douche in Paris when I danced the night away with Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell. No, I know what you are thinking, but I wasn't a model. I worked as a portrait artist in the Square in front of the Centre Pompidou but the owner of the club at the time loved a little Edith Piaf like street urchin flavour to mix it up with all the rich and glamorous and my sister and I fit the bill.
Me picking daisy petals on a break from doing portraits...you can see my easel in the background.
I think I am nineteen or twenty and I have my trolly with my easel and chairs ready to go to work as a Parisian artist.
Out front of the Pompidou Centre, my sister Cherie looks on while I show off how flexible I am.
Back in Sydney, it was great on the night cos it was jam packed. I recognized several regulars from the OPT and found myself a little spot on the couch to take it all in. Soon Valerie and her girls showed up.
Fashion week is definitely getting to me.
We ran into Natasha, then Ranui and Filip. The boys were all like cows to a salt lick for my tatas that night and I am lucky to have several photos to document the attraction that mammaries have for grown men.
Naughty Filip wants to get closer.
As my stylist he decided the off the shoulder look was now in. Any more and it would have been the one boob out look.
Ranui, a Grinspoon fan, wanted to make Joe jealous. Then he tried to use me as a pole for dancing on.
Not long after this, knowing I had a big day of packing and travel ahead of me, I decided to do the Harry Houdini and disappear. I slid out of the club with out any long good byes and headed back to Bourke St.
I met my tranny hooker again.
"How are you tonight?"
"Have you had a busy night?"
"It's a beautiful night for it."
It's obviously time for me to stop trying to recover and just shut the hell up and keep walking.
I entered the house quietly, trying to not make too much noise in case I wake Pete who had been working all day. It worked only because he wasn't sleeping there. He was actually still out getting off his face and came stumbling and crashing into the house at about 5 am, threw himself on my bed and started regaling about the adventures of his night.
Good morning Pete!