A little late, but at least the new Toshiba laptop is still holding up and hasn't died on me (I am in fact celebrating every single day the laptop lives with a thanksgiving ritual....). The day of the event arriveth last Wednesday and indeed there were jitters in the stomach. Nothing a heaping plate of French toast and maple syrup wouldn't cure though - God Bless American breakfasts.
As I said, the day was spent Century21-ing and also introducing the boyf to the sprawling mass of a place that is Chinatown in New York. When I got back, it was like, make-over time! Gucci set up two hotel rooms designated for hair, make-up and manicures for their invited guests. Hair wasn't the problem (sleek, straight, loose) but due to my past 'pro' make-up experiences, I was dreading the maquillage. Thankfully, the guy got what I was all about (though because of my British accent, he did constantly insist that we were all eccentric Isabella Blow types and kept on saying 'You're British, you're London - I get it!'). I explained to him the extravagance of the dress and that the make-up can't be too OTT and he was like 'I get it! I understand!'. Hurrah! A very sweet manicurist did my nails which has impressively still stayed put without too much chipping and if I'm honest, I'm now considering paying more attention to zee nailz because they do add a certain something to an outfit (just need to NOT blob it all over my clothes...).
THE dress went on and the picture snapping went ker-razy in the hotel room. Sadly they're all lost so let's not dwell on that and I'll just keep staring at the 'roid that the boyf took. I then met sweet Elisabeth from La Coquette who had on a great turquoise dress and had the sweetest vintage Yves Saint Laurent heart shaped sequin purse she had just bought from Reciproque in Paris (don't hate her just because she lives in Paris.... even though I do, just a little...). We made our way over in the car with some Asia press people.
The paps were already lined up outside the tent which was set up on the North Lawn of the UN building (I did think it would have been strange to have the party inside the ACTUAL builiding) and random passers by seemed to be hanging around to see what the commotion was all about. As soon as we stepped out, flashbulbs went off, even though we were in fact nobodies which confirms my suspicions that paps just go through the robotic motions of photographing people. People were yelling 'Nice dress!' from the crowds but I couldn't quite read the levels of sarcasm.
I can't thank Elisabeth enough for being there with me because as soon as we entered the tent, the levels of surrealness just shot up sky high. Gwyneth Paltrow had just entered the red carpet area and she somehow managed to appease every pap there was there who were yelling directions at her. I never thought there was an artform to getting papped but Gwyneth, pro that she is, got it spot on. I rarely ever do commentary on 'sleb' outfits but as it is, the event was over-runneth with a ridiculous amount of 'slebs that to not comment and get a bit 'Heat-like' would be plain silly. I share Fashionista's verdict on Gwyneth's dress which is that it was a short pale pink risk of a dress that worked fantastically well.
Quaffing cocktails and mingling around the pre-dinner area, me and Elisabeth were craning to see who we could spot and also pissing ourselves for not bringing out cameras as we were told we weren't allowed but then found out everyone had their cameras (more of that later...). I must have sounded high as I just kept on saying 'This is surreal... really surreal...' as Kimora Lee Simmons greeted Cynthia Nixon with a 'Hiiii!' (I've noticed 'slebs like to turn 'Hi, how are you?' into a 20 syllable phase as opposed to 4....), as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were beside us and I bumped my dress into her lovely red satin one. I got all excited when I saw Amy Adams because I loved her character so much in Junebug. I was sort of getting 'sleb sensory overload as I started noting different things: Camilla Belle is STUNNING in real life, Amy Adams is really teensy tiny, Pharrell Williams and Nigo are also very petite, random girl (who later I found out was Cassie...) had a wicked dress on and Demi Moore looked flawless. Though a lot were Gucci-ed up, it was a good thing that yellow and pale pink looked really fresh with the simple cutting that Frida Giannini had in place.
We then sat down for dinner and organised a 'Get cameras into' tents strategy by utilising the helpful boyf to bring them to the UN building from the hotel and though later I was regretting it, he was a hero to Elisabeth for bringing her's over. The tables were organised by origins of press so Elisabeth sat with French press (with the fabulous Jalouse editor mother and her wickedly stylish daughter!) and Betsy from Fashion is Spinach and I were seated at the British press table including *gasp* Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou of 10 magazine, Charlie from GQ, Harriet Quick from Vogue and Laura Craik from Evening Standard.... good thing we didn't get onto the subject of why the hell I was sitting there....
The performances began with a performance from the African's Children Choir, and then both Madonna and Frida Giannini gave some welcoming speeches. I did find Madonna' speech to be heart-warming and sincere and the excerpts from her documentary 'I am because we are' though a little heavy handed, I'm sure tugged the heartstrings of many a rich patron who were guests there. The auction hosted by Chris Rock was hilarious and I was more impressed with the Christie's auctioneer Christopher Burge who managed to keep up with people all around this massive room waving their glowsticks to bid for various packages which included training sessions with David Beckham, Gucci VIP fashion show tickets and most random of all, a yoga class with Gwyneth and Madonna. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were flying around the room and it was clear that everyone in the room was 'sooo money'.
The performances by Rihanna, Timbland and Alicia Keyes did get me Top of the Pops style wooting and hooting down by the stage. I don't mind a bit of 'Ella, ella ella' and a bit of 'The Way I Are' - quite the contrary! The after party seemed to chaff out most of the celebs who weren't down with the idea of hitting the dancefloor so the bloggers did instead.
The 'sleb spots carried on and i was surprised to find that both Gwen Stefani and Devon Aoki are teensy tiny in real life. Even under the glare of the portaloo, Devon looked really outworldly. Dita Von Teese along with the Jalouse daughter of the editor's outfit probably topped the 'Outfit Poll' of the night.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn't actually drink that much (well not by my standards anyway...) and slipped away at a decent hour of 1am. It was the searching of the dollar bills in my clutch bag that led to the fate of the missing camera. I don't think I will ever be in a room where I can literally sniff individual scents of such a vast array of 'slebs ever again as the event was literally on a scale that I don't think I could ever cope with. Even with my camera, I didn't snap many a 'sleb because I was quite honestly overwhelmed. Other bloggers had more balls and got their 'Facebook' snaps sorted. I was just taking it all in, making sure my dress was in-tact (it is...thank God!) and letting the mind reel a ltitle.