So even though I was tired and a bit groggy after the night before, I was excited to get a phone call from Asia in the morning. She the one with the broken leg. I knew there was no way she was going to be able to maneuver around Fashion Week on crutches, especially since this was to be her first day vertical in over two weeks! So she was dropped off at Pete's palace and had a look around while I finished getting ready.
We got in another cab and headed up to a chemist at the top of Oxford to get her some wheels and me some new shoes. This meant that we would miss the Shakuhachi show that Samantha E was promoting or publicizing or selling or something. I don't really know anything about it, except that Karissa was wearing it head to toe the night before and it certainly got HER noticed! lol
So Asia got a nice set of black wheels - pretty hardcore looking for a manual wheelchair. My grandma and my auntie were both in wheelchairs and theirs' were not as tough looking as this one!
I had asked Asia to bring a leopard print throw but she didn't much to my dismay. Never mind, I thought I could always throw my coat over her legs for effect. Mind you I was wearing a little pink shifty petticoat thing that would have been great for a 20's party but was definitely not going to keep me warm from the cold breezes that come off the Harbour. I guess that's what all that alcohol was for!
I pushed her down the street to a shoe shop I saw in the passing taxi and scored two cute and relatively sensible pairs of shoes that would be a good combo for fashionista/nurse. I decided my charge needed some fresh air after being cooped up in houses for the last fourteen plus days, so I wheeled my Super Size Baby down to the bottom of Oxford St. I was still a bit seedy and parched so I grabbed a Powerade at the same time as we got bus tickets. You should have seen my face when I couldn't get the damn thing open properly. I thought my head was going to explode.
We took the bust down to some street with some building and went in and up for a great Yum Cha meal. I think it was called Sky Phoenix and it was a great place to eat. Asia had called ahead and they were very accommodating in regards to cripple seating.
I ordered pork belly cos I've always wanted to try a proper cooked one but I have to say, I think my version would give it a run for the money. Asia has had Yum Cha many times before and was pointing at this dish and that and making the waitresses scurry! Then she got the cranky one and I swear there was almost a fight. She was wanted her spring rolls cut and the lady wouldn't take the dish out of her hand. I finally grabbed it and put it down then the lady chopped it so hard it was flying off the plate and onto the table. Tensions were high. I think it started over a steamed bun or something.
After finishing with a mango pudding thing with condensed milk we both were ready to roll ourselves out. Alas I had to work off calories pushing my designer pram with my designer baby but it was probably a good thing, cos you can never be too skinny for fashion week!
Asia was learning all about being disabled and I was remembering heaps of my childhood as a helper to Grandma and Aunt Alice. At times it seemed that Asia had a temper similar to Alice's too, but there will still heaps of laughs.
We divided people into three categories. One group is the people who think being in a wheelchair is contagious and they don't dare look for fear of catching a limp or worse. They scurry pass, eyes averted, grateful not to have a pointing child asking them what happened to the lady's legs.
The next group is the I'M-OKAY-WITH-YOU GROUP. They are so keen to let you know that they are comfortable to talk to the leg mentals that they overcompensate with compassion, forced I UNDERSTAND YOU smiles and overly loud voices. Note: Hearing problems do not come hand in hand with leg issues. Feel free to speak in your normal voice. The final group is just the regular person who is totally fine with being an extra bit helpful, can make a few jokes, but isn't pitying or condescending. This included our bus driver, some lovely gentlemen on the street who helped with some of the tricky pushing and a lot of the Fashion Week staff. Who ever was in charge of employing people at the OPT did a bang up job for sure. Golf claps all around.
Having Asia as my partner in crime at Fashion Week was awesome. Large handbags? Small dogs? Pretty babies? Having my very own talking cripple left those fads in the dust. Everybody coveted my arm candy and I know of at least two people who tried to steal her. Luckily, I had showed her how to lock the breaks probably or who knows, the might still be in the possession of one particularly brazen gay boy!
Not only were we treated like royalty but basically we had people falling all over us with offers of help, table service for drinks and VIP entry to all the shows we saw. Plus we had started figuring out the gift bag thing and Asia's chair handles made great bag storage.
We went to see Foxton Danger, the Karen Neilsen Collection, Roopa Pemmaraju and Terri Donna. The Karen Neilsen Collection includes her cotton swimmers, from what I remember, but they were definitely in the catalogue. They are such super cute retro numbers! I haven't had a proper cotton bikini for years and have resorted to wearing cotton bras and knickers from Cotton On, but from someone who hates lycra swimmers with a passion (why pay for thrush?!?) the catalogue with the selection of cotton numbers was drool worthy. Roopa Pemmaraju does the most amazing takes on caftans I have ever seen. I so would have loved to own the caftan with the big sleeves that turned into pants at the bottom. I was so inspired, I think I would have whipped the Janome out on the bleachers if I'd had a power point and some fabric! Foxton Danger was quite bohemian but I think it was them that sent the models down barefoot, which I personally think is a mistake, but the clothes still looked like you'd feel good wearing them. Terri Donna was another swimwear designer. Her stuff was cheeky and fun, although it was very eighties and that era makes me just look like I never left high school. It was a bit Paris Hilton trashy, but I have never shied away from trash so I guess I can't really complain about it.
One thing I have to say is that Aussie designers sure can do resort and swimwear. I know it's part of the lifestyle here, but it's amazing to see all these amazing swimmers and bikinis that are so well cut, well made, creative and above all wearable. You could sip champagne by the pool as you admired the young fella cleaning it or you could hop on your surfboard and go play with the dolphins. Personally I'd be eyeing up the cabana boy as I slowly got pissed under the hot sun, but to each his own.
While getting our Fashion Week champers hit at the bar, I was lucky enough to be offered an armful of goody bags by the guy standing in front of me. We ended up chatting a while later on the sunny deck and he was a really nice guy. His name was Ranui and he was Chinese and his ex-girlfriend was doing the Terri Donna show. He was also doing the after party for the final show on Friday at the Beach Haus and offered to put us on the door. Stoked!
We also met a lovely young actress named Natasha Cunningham who Asia recognized from Underbelly. Now wasn't that a funny coincidence considering my night the evening before! I just noticed on her IMDB page that she was also in Bogan Pride, a show that I really enjoyed. And you should check it out cos you would probably enjoy it too. Yes, I'm talking to you Gregory H! I know you love your Aussie comedy and this one is pretty damn funny!
Natasha was at the show with one of the girls that had competed in the Aussie version of Project Runway. I love all forms of Project Runway - I've even watched the Filipino version and half of it is in Tagalog! Her name was Amber, but I didn't really know who she was until the last day but I'll have to rewatch the show to see what she was like on the show compared to "real life". You can read one person's opinion here. I'm going to say she had on a gorgeous frock.
Asia and I were knocking back free champagne quicker than you can say "drunk" so we decided it would be wise to leave before it got really dark and we'd have to figure out our lift home in an even worse condition.
Luckily for us, Heidi offered to come and pick us up, but then she got stuck in traffic, so Hamish and Kristy came and picked up the gimp. The wheelchair wouldn't fit in the boot of their wee red car, so I offered to take it back to Pete's Palace on the train.
I was huffing and puffing and regretting my decision as I dragged it up the tenth set of stairs at Museum Station while trying to answer Heidi's phone call, but at least the damn thing was empty! Heidi was pissing herself laughing as she drove up to meet me at Liverpool and Oxford and saw me crossing the intersection like some leopard print wearing gold digger who's lost her sugar daddy and doesn't know where to find him.
I folded the chair shut with a kick to the wheels and we zipped back to my room so I could change before we went to catch another show. I slipped into a little grey skirt with ruching up the front and back, a light grey t shirt, a black blazer and a pair of grey heels. The skirt fit like a sausage skin and I had to do some crazy steps to actually get up the stairs but neither that nor the crap traffic would stop us from getting to the start of the Alice McCall show.
I was pretty excited to see the Alice McCall show cos she was one of the few designers who I had heard of before going to Fashion Week. Her clothing was really like and pretty like a summer afternoon garden party. Not flashy or wild, but there is really nothing like cucumber and watercress sandwiches served with a Pimm's cocktail. Delicate with a hint of spice, the collection left me feeling pink cheeked and happy.
Heidi and I managed to score a goody bag each although someone stole the one off her seat just before we were about to jump rows as the lights dimmed. She grabbed the one on my seat and I asked a lady who had two for one of hers (how could she say no?!?) and Heidi and I both went home happy that we had each bagged a couple boxes of Veet Strips. Nothing says fashion like a hairless crotch.
We decided to head up to King's Cross to Cafe Roma as Heids had a penchant for pizza and we managed to convince the ailing Megan to join us. We ordered a pizza and a bottle of red and scored some cosy seats under a heater. The gossip flowed under the watchful eye of the owner. I say that with a bit of sarcasm because I think he was slightly cross eyed. But at least one of them was on us the whole time and he kept smiling/leering any time I caught one of his blinkers. We complimented him on his establishment as he passed and Heidi told him to take our finished plates. He must not have been insulted because he returned a few moments later with a shot of limoncello for each of us. I love limoncello. When we left we thanked him again and he repaid our compliment by kissing his way up my arm. Being the object of an aging crossed eyed cafe owner was no more enticing than being the token lesbian the night before, and it makes me feel grateful for not being single.
Heidi had to drive home but Meegs and I got a bottle of red and headed to her amazing little pad right beside El Alamein Fountain. It's a beautiful fountain in a seedy area and because you can hear it from inside Megan's apartment, so you always kinda feel like you need to pee.
We polished off our bottle of vino and were going through Meg's rack of designer clothes. She has exquisite taste and it was like going into a private boutique. I'm not sure if it was the booze talking but Megan offered to lend me a pretty silk Manning Cartel dress for the shows the next day.
Because we were out of booze and the shops were shut, we decided we should go back to Pete's and see what we could dig up there. Megan packed her Louis Vuitton overnight case and we headed down the street. Whoever designed that bag should be shot cos the thing rattled and rocked and wouldn't roll in a straight line and we both decided we hated the person who gave it to her for making our journey so laborious.
We were just crossing William Street to do our final two blocks up Bourke when disaster struck. My box, my little wooden box that I love, the little wooden box with the Chinese writing, my little wooden box so cute it makes the gays want to touch a box for the first time in their life BROKE! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET. There I am, standing in the middle of traffic, handle in one hand, wonky Louis Vuitton in the other as I watch tampons roll under car wheels.
We finally got everything gathered up and trotted up the hill home. Of course we were back on the hooker end of Bourke St. and I was making pleasantries with the ladies without thinking.
"Lovely night for it!"
Christ, sometimes I just know it's a good thing I live in the country.
So Megs and I laid into the rest of the Stoneys and a sour tasting half bottle of red that had been sitting in a dark cupboard for far too long. We gossiped a bit more, solved all the world's problems and most of our own and then at about four in the morning called it a day and hit the sack.