Today was the day, or evening, of the fashion show. I always love doing these events, it's the same group of girls every time, and we only really see each other twice a year when we meet up for the show, lots of wine is drunk, stories told, and catch up on what's happened since we last saw each other.
Tonights show was a new venue, we had met the previous week to do a show at the Restaurant we do twice a year, so this was the same clothes just a different place. I mentioned that we were going to have our hair and make up done which was a lovely treat. Normally we do our own hair and make up.
I duly arrived at the salon at the appointed time, and got checked in..then realised that everyone else was there, I just didn't recognise them! It was lovely to watch everyone else getting prettied up and pretty soon it was my turn.
Now, I have a wonderful hairdresser. My trips to her salon generally hit the three hour mark as we factor in a visit at the same time, and she updates her skills regularly and will always come back with some funky ideas which she knows none but me will go for or can carry. I sent her a quick text just to let her know that I was modelling and having hair and make up done, just in case she found out that my car was parked out the front of another salon, (these things have a strange way of getting about), and said that if one hair on my head was touched apart from having a wash and blow-dry, I would not be responsible for my actions. You see, I am terribly vain where my hair is concerned and always have been. I like to look groomed and my hair is a big part of that.
I was offered a cup of tea, what would I like. Plain and ordinary Tetley's. Well come and see what we have, Pumpkin Spice, Pomegranate, Cranberry....... can I have Tetley or plain tea, No. I'll have water then thanks. I drink gallons of it anyway I really don't mind. I don't understand the popularity of flavoured teas, but appreciate that others do, I feel unfulfilled.
So what did I want to do today? Well, your the hairdresser, and you know I'm doing a fashion show, so it's a pretty good guess I just want a wash and blow-dry. Ok, no problem. The wash was lovely and then I was led to a chair, a robe put around me, and the drying began. Dear reader, the one thing I have been blessed with is plenty of hair, so why do they use volumiser to make it look bigger? I have a lovely bob straight fringe, (bangs), so not too difficult a style to deal with. The Big round brush came out and it was blown dry ..........backwards? It's a bob, surely it should be down and under? Oh well, go with the flow and let her do it. Well, it's bigger than normal but I guess it will fall into place. Oh good, the flat iron is out, not to bad I guess, except one side sticks out more than the other. Oh, now what's she going to do?
Backcombing.........SERIOUSLY???? I thought that was pretty much dead and buried except on little old ladies, (sorry if I offend any little old ladies). I just wanted to giggle and say what on earth are you doing? She lifted sections and dusted a powder onto the roots then backcombed. I was beginning to look a little slack jawed by this time as I couldn't believe it. It was a little pouffy but not like my Mother's used to be. Mother would go to the hairdresser every week to have her hair done, washed, put in rollers and under the dryer, once dry, the rollers came out and it was backcombed to within an inch of it's life and then doused in hairspray. That "do" did not move - ever. In fact, a very good friend of mine once referred to her hair as a steel helmet because there was never a hair out of place and it just couldn't move it was so lacquered.
As a child, I was never allowed to have long hair. It was always short and I hated it. In my teens it wasn't too bad because all the mods had short hair, including the girls, so I was sort of in fashion. I came home from the hairdressers once with hair cut short, but she had left longer tails at the back, mother was furious and whipped those off with a pair of scissors. Once I was 18, I could do what I liked with it, so I grew it and loved it. I have quite a small head, so short hair always make me feel like a pimple.
I used to go up to the Vidal Sassoon School of Hairdressing. That was a real experience, and probably the first time I got a decent hair cut. It was a training school. You would turn up at either 10 am or 2 pm, and check in, you had an appointment for one or the other, then sit with lots of other girls in the waiting room. Eventually the students would come in and look around until they saw something they wanted to work with and then you were taken away into the main salon. The first time I ever went there I was around 18 or 19, and a young Japanese boy decided to take my hair in his hands and off I went. His instructor was good, showed him how to look at the hair, how it fell, where the crown was, the idiosyncrasies, after all, hair does'n just pop out in a straight line, it will have kinks and swirls just where you don't want it. After some discussion it was washed and then the cutting started. I can't really remember what the style was but think it may have been a pageboy and it was beautiful. It was the first time I had ever spent two hours at the hairdressers. After that, I decided to graduate to a proper salon, and chose Michaeljohn, and went several times.
And so started my journey on finding the perfect hairdresser. I did once, and am pretty much close to it again with my current one.
Trevor became my best friend. I met him at an Antique Fair, and once we became friends, he started cutting my hair. He was another one who would change my style frequently. I used to pretend I was the junior in the "salon", he used to do the husbands hair too, and I would sweep the cuttings off the floor, and watch in fascination as he trimmed away with the scissors.
Anyway, I digress. Once bouffanted, I was then able to join the others for a glass of wine, a new experience, wine at the hairdressers, but fun to do! And we just sat and chatted and watched the others get their makeup done too. I love having makeup done and it didn't look too bad when finished, it was a fun afternoon, but, as I told my hairdresser, I wouldn't be changing her anytime soon.
The evening went well, always difficult to judge in a new venue, but it was lovely, the ladies eat their meal while we model, and love to have a quick feel of the clothes. It's very informal and we all have a good time. All to soon it was over and time to dress in our own clothes.
Which brings me to fashion. I love clothes, I have a wardrobe full and probably far more than I need. I envy those people who only have six or eight items which all mix and match, but they are missing out on so much. I am sure my wardrobe is like 90% of the populations, I love it, got to have it............and it goes with absolutely nothing else in the wardrobe, but never mind, I'll find something one day that will be perfect for it! And there it sits.
However, I tried hard when I was England not to buy anything that didn't go with something else, and managed pretty well and was pleased. If I had a report card, it would say "must try harder........"
My original career prior to Conservation and quilting was fashion retail. I was a management trainee at Harvey Nichols, (darling, shades of Patsy from Ab Fab always come to mind when I think of Harvey Nicks). A lovely store, or was, as I didn't think much of it on my last visit. The one thing I loved about stores such as Harvey Nicks, Harrods, Selfridges, etc. was that you might not be able to afford the clothes, but you could get up close and personal with them. I never made clothes, just the worlds worst and I don't have the patience for it, but I used to love looking at how they were put together, there is something so different about couture, the way the lining is made and how it is attached to the garment, the detailing, stitching etc., is just a joy to study and look at. I was lucky enough to own a Yves St Laurent skirt once and I treated it with reverence. I would look at it in great detail, the waistband, the fabric, the lining, how the lining was attached not only at the top, but to the hem of the skirt. I didn't wear it often sadly, it was just to special to wear everyday, but YSL is probably, or rather was, the best designer in the world. The French really have the rest of the world beaten on couture I'm afraid. I have books on his clothes and I love to look at them, the designs are timeless and I wish I could have more.
Bicester Outlet Village was my favourite shopping destination. Situated just outside Oxford, it had a lot of designer outlet stores, Versace, Ferragamo, Max Mara and many others. Max Mara was a big favourite and I liked going through their racks and stores too. It must be the Italian styling.But, it was good to be able to have designer clothes at a much reduced price. I think the husband is glad we don't live in the UK now, it's cheaper for him to clothe me!!
I am now a big Joe Fresh fan. I can get my groceries and clothes in one store, and before you pooh pooh it, just turn a dress or coat inside out and look at the finishing. It may be inexpensive, but the detailing on the seams and other small touches impress me. Now they have Internet shopping it will be my downfall!
Oh well, that's it until the Spring, when Fashion Week starts all over again.........