Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Devil does indeed wear Prada

I haven't done one of these photo shoots since the kids were born. I spent a good part of this afternoon, decked up in clothes I wouldn't normally wear and pretending to away from the camera when in actual fact I am actually looking into it.

While waiting around in between changes, I realised how The Devil Wears Prada the fashion magazine is. At any photo shoot, there's a makeup-artist, a hairdresser, the fashion editor, her minion and the photographer. Of course, there is the model. There is an obvious hierarchy going on. The fashion editor, of course, rules the shoot. What she says goes. Too dark, too bright, shoes too high, too low. Whatever she says, whenever she snaps her fingers, her minion comes a scurrying. And this poor minion has the thankless job of having to do everything for the editor including read her mind as to how the editor wants me styled. Me, I'm standing there like the clothes horse that I'm supposed to be while the hair stylist combs every strand of hair into place and the makeup artist adds more blush or more tint onto my face or lips and this poor girl, and she is literally called "GIRL" is left rolling up sleeves, unrolling them, stuffing the bag slung on my shoulder with too much stuffing only to have to take it all out with the slightest 'tsk' that I would have missed had I not been looking in the direction of the fashion editor.

The photographer is not spared either even if he's given a little bit more 'face' than the hapless Girl. She directs the shots, she tells him what she wants to see in the photograph. When he just takes her instructions rather than look at the shot she is using to issue the instructions, she delivers rather icily the question of whether he can read her mind from all the way across the room.

So, even though I'd once loftily imagined that models had it good because when they were being photographed, all attention and eyes were cast upon them, I am having to admit, that isn't really true. Yes, they are all polite to me where I know I could have been yelled at for not having been able to cast off the perfect ballet posture fast enough and replacing it with a chillin slounch but I suspect that had to do more with the fact that in this circumstance, I knew someone in their organisation that trumped even the fashion editor in her ability to wear the Prada.

All in, I had fun. The clothes were great but I don't do this enough to actually be able to demand the clothes though I liked the bags more. The shoes I wasn't too keen about especially when I realised the key to throwing me off my centre of balletic balance was to put me in shoes I couldn't even stand in. This meant I had to hunch, round my shoulders, centre my weight all on one hip, cling onto the wall... all making wonderful shots but one extremely unhappy clothes horse. And when I commented to the GIRL that they were the most uncomfortable shoes I'd ever been put into and the designer was obviously a masochistic hater of women, she stared unbelievingly at me and whispered "but...they're Jimmy Choos". In her book, I had violated all things sacrosanct by complaining and that I should have been grateful that I had been deigned worthy to have those clogs on my feet. I refused to budge and stood my stand, as much as I could and pointed out that regardless of whose pencil it was that drew them on paper, the real product had no centre and all my weight was distributed onto my outer heels and if I tried to firmly centre my weight in the middle of the shoe, I'd break my kneecaps. So the sooner I got out of those 6 inch dominatrix stilletos, the better. That's where I left her standing gaping, open mouth, unable to believe that I was so cavalier about the Jimmy Choos.

We'll see how the pictures turn out and if they look presentable enough, I might post them. If they don't, well, shrug.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:01

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