Anyone who knows me recognizes how misleading this title is.
I don’t have celebrity sightings—ever—even when I should, like last summer when I worked across the street from the epic Transformers film set. No Shia to be seen, despite my attempts to linger at cafes in the vicinity. I think I was actually the only one from my department who didn’t emerge from that month of loud helicopters and repeatedly staged bombings with some sort of scintillating cocktail party story.
Apparently, my celebrity-spotting powers fail me.
My feeble brushes with fame all fall under the perfunctory industry event umbrella. When I was working in the home décor biz, the bandwagon of fashion designers-as-home-décor-licensees was charging full speed ahead. Oscar de la Renta had lent his name and signature style to a line of furniture, and so I attended the opening event at the Merchandise Mart. He was also promoting a coffee table book, which I purchased and had him sign for my mom. I remember gingerly asking Mr. de la Renta if he would be so kind as to sign a magazine of mine too. It was a W spread—gorgeous blank white page opposite a dark and dramatic tableau featuring one of his designs. He graciously signed it, and what did I do years later? Lost it in a move.
I still hold out hope that it’s somewhere in my boxes of photos and ephemera.
Also at large? A photo of me “interviewing” Todd Oldham at another industry event years ago. In the photo (on the cusp of my film and digital periods, it may be in some kind of photo purgatory), I’m wearing a sheathy black dress and high ponytail. I must have looked like a gawky, giggling schoolgirl, so enthralled I was to be speaking with a former House of Style-er (oh, the 90s…). At the time, Todd was just concepting the Charley Harper book pictured. I loved his genuine warmth, his lack of pretence and his enthusiasm; I share Todd’s fascination with Charley’s iconic style.
There were other designer/’personality’ meetings, including a brief one with Nicole Miller (High Point), an awkward one with Robin Leach (High Point again) and a remarkable three with Tim Gunn. I actually do have photo proof of the third Tim encounter. I remember a harrowing day and a very crowded, stuffy Kate Spade boutique where he was making an appearance. I looked like crap, truly, so when I stepped up to take my picture and he said I looked lovely, I was touched.
But that picture—sweaty hair, bulky jacket—why on earth didn’t I take that off?— will not see the light of day. Sorry, Tim. Maybe the fourth time is the charm?