III Crystal & Me

“What do you think? How cool is this mask?” Crystal Renn asked me showing off her silver mask that made her look like cat-woman from space.”
I love it. I want the same one.
“And the whip? What do you think? Do I need the whip?” she asks me showing me a silky whip snapping it against her thigh.
I love the look. It’s so Newton. Wow. Yeah, get the whip.

And the suddenly, she says, “Okay wait. I’m going to go get my outfit on to show you and you can tell me if it needs anything. I have it with me.”

I took advantage of this little interlude to realize that Crystal Renn is right there in front of me, scantily clad, and asking my opinion of her whip, and then I remembered why I was there to begin with. I picked out a few things to try on and hoped into the dressing room next to hers.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried on an Agent Provocateur corset, but it’s a pretty funny little exercise. Because yeah, a corset is pretty much impossible to put on all by yourself. You need someone’s help. You become pretty intimate pretty quickly with the hostesses who strap you in or lace you up… You tell yourself the same thing you say at the doctor : No need to worry. She’s seen quite a few.
So, pretty quickly there you are barely clothed in the dressing room.
And Crystal, weeeeeeelllll, she’s a model. Scantily clad ain’t nothin’ to her.

So there we were, Crystal Renn and me, exchanging notes on our outfits.

“Wow, that corset makes your breats look great!!!” she says to me.
I love “plus-sized” models.
“And what do you think of mine?”

She was wearing a skintight jumpsuit, all in black, just to die for. Around her neck was a sort of giant feather collar… So classy. Add on her silver mask and her whip, right in front of my eyes she turned into a living fantasy.

Eyes Wide Shut ? Check.

Ohhhh great. I’m not gonna look stupid in my trench.

IV – The party.

The only really good thing about being so late to a party is that you don’t have time to ask too many questions. I would have loved to just burst out crying on myself for a little half hour (no dress, no mask, flat hair) but right when I opened my mouth to sob, Scott stopped me :

“Uh oh, no time. It’s 10. Let’s go.”

Pfffff, not even allowed to complain. I had tied my hair up (no choice), closed my trench like a dress (no choice), and made up my eyes AND lipsticked my lips (even is you’re not supposed to do that at all).

Ah, I almost forgot. To complete the picture here, “the price of preparing for party of the century in the classiest way”, I have to tell you… We realized at about 9:59, right when we were totally ready to head out, that we were DYING OF HUNGER.

We had about 3 mins to find something to eat (Yeah, I have nothing at all in my fridge during fashion week.)

And here’s how we ended up dressed to the nines eating McDonalds on the floor (mountains of clothes everywhere around the apartment, what’s necessary to get ready for Carine’s masquerade ball).

V – The Party – but for real this time, not the pre-party with Mc Donald’s.

We get the rue de l’Université, into Karl Lagerfeld’s mythic apartment. It’s almost a mansion with a huge garden in the heart of Paris. Sublime. The ideal place for a masquerade.

Before you can enter the party, we are asked to do the photo call… It’s where you pose in front of a wall of photographs, like in Cannes, you know? It feels weird to me, I say no. Little by little, I am getting used to people recongnizing me on the street and it’s always very nice, but there are some things that I just don’t know how to do.

So now we’re making our way into the actual party. It’s beyond fantastic, I feel like in a movie. Everybody really played the game. The outfits are mesmerizing. Everyone has a mask on. You recognize them… sorta… and are never quite sure. Everyone gives you a big hug and then asks you “Who are you?” It right away gives a perfect lightness to the atmosphere.

We take a tour through the rooms.

In a dark little corner, in costume, I see Hedi Slimane and I get chills up my spine.
On the stairs, a strangely beautiful couple are heading up the steps, intertwined. She’s got a long dress on and he’s in a black suit… Both are masked and I can’t make out who they are until I see that the guy has a tattoo on his neck. “It’s Freja!!!” I whisper to Scott. She hears me and smacks the ground with her whip… and then sends me a huge smile.
In the garden, Alexander Wang’s gang is complete. He cracks everyone up with his disguise : no venetian mask, he’s wearing a… Ski mask. The kind you wear to rob banks.
Giovanna comes and sits next to me. She’s wearing studded Louboutin leggings that must weight 200 lbs. She gotta take some breaks. We have a cigarette (Cool French Girl attitude, right?) and then off she goes and off I follow.

We get back to the main room.

And there I see… a living sculpture. Hidden behind a spectacular feathered mask, weaved into a white dress with a giant train is Anna Dello Russo. She is amazing… But she can’t really move. So we make a circle of friendship around her. We bring her something to drink and make conversation….

And Crystal Renn finds me and gives me a big hug. I think this woman is an angel.

The party is everything I could imagine and more. The second I stepped foot in the house I completely forgot about my outfit. We danced, we drank, we gossiped and told secrets. It’s very subversive and very refined at the same time. And it’s soooo beautiful. I could have spent hours just watching people go by, beautiful and happy in their costumes. It gave me the feeling I was at one of those mythic parties where you see the photos and everyone says they don’t exist anymore.

It was the ideal party where every age mixed, where the temperature was always perfect, where the champagne was cold and never far, where you had enough space to dance, or find yourself alone in a comfy corner. Yes, it still exists. Like a dream. It’s rare, but it exists.

Eventually, it was time to leave. Once we got outside, no taxi in sight. Aaaaah, reality. Paris. It rains, it rains, it rains…

Oh I don’t care. I’ve got a trench on.

Bonne journée !


Translation : Tim Sullivan