martedì 30 settembre 2008
Next time I'll keep my mouth shut
Sometimes I think that the great puppeteer in the sky is looking down on my life and laughing til he cries. Having bitched about Milan fashion week, and how mere mortals are effectively excluded from breathing in the same air as the ‘in crowd’ for its duration, I promptly found myself invited to a very exclusive, invitation-only private sale event this weekend at Christian Dior. As it turns out, my best friend’s other half (who works at Ralph Lauren) had two tickets and since he was too busy to go, offered them to us and put our names on the list. Panic stations. What does one wear to an exclusive invitation-only private sale of Christian Dior in Via Montenapoleone? One’s best H&M shirt? A nice pair of boots purchased at Bata in a moment of desperation two years ago? The faded Armani jeans bought in the summer sales in 2004 - an unforgettable moment in which the shop assistant delighted in telling me that my size was the “biggest Armani does”, and “even so they’re a little tight on the hips, no?”.
Knowing it would be a “if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in” situation taken to the extreme, we equipped ourselves with photo ID and tottered down Via della Spiga, into Via Montenapoleone, and straight into the back of a queue of around 50 people. Ah, but we have invitations! We are ON THE LIST…. It turns out that everyone else is too, only they all seem to know how it works and have come prepared in some sort of leggings / ballerina shoes combo, which means that an hour and a half later when the queue hasn’t budged and our eyes are watering with the pain that only high heels can inflict, those around us remain dry-eyed and blister-free.
Two hours in and we’re hungry. By this time there are only 12 people ahead, but it’s a one-in one-out system and no one seems to be in a hurry to get out. I have the brilliant idea to go to the bar on the corner and grab a sandwich and a drink to take away. Sadly, the ‘bar on the corner’ in Via Montenapoleone is Caffè Cova - the only bar on the street, and with prices to rival those at Gucci across the road. My friend thinks it’s hilarious when I return to the queue with two miniature crust-free sandwiches and two miniature 200 ml glass bottles of coke, having spent a grand total of 18 euros…
After two and a half hours of hardcore queuing, we make it to the front of the line, where we are asked for the name of the person who had invited us. Errrrrr….. Well…… It was someone at Ralph Lauren who knows someone who knows someone else who works at Dior. Can we go in now please? One quick panicked called to K’s other half and we’re past the pitbull and on our way up the stairs to ‘the showroom’. No bigger than my living room, it’s stuffed full of clothes, shoes, bags and belts, and looks like a teenager’s bedroom; you couldn’t see the floor for stuff lying around. It’s a complete smash and grab – elbows everywhere, screams of “I found it!!!” and girls fighting like cats over shoes that are too small for them anyway. To be fair, the discounts were enormous – the biggest bargain I saw was a bag which was reduced from 5000 euros to 450. How can a bag possibly be worth 5000 euros in the first place?? I guess it’s all relative.
Much as I would like to say I’m now head to toe in Dior, the truth is I’m back to the day job in my ever-so-slightly-tight-around-the-hips jeans and an old jumper from last year’s Zara sale (or was it the year before…?). I think I’ll leave the high fashion to those in the know.