Am I cowering my head in shame here or smising with glee at the fact that I drank the kool-aid on Fashion's Night Out at the Balenciaga store in New York and forked out $1,000 for what is essentially a glorified canvas tote? I'm going to go with the latter. Oh the irony of me scoffing at the whole charade of Fashion's Night Out beforehand – "Nobody ACTUALLY buys anything!" "Who can shop in these manic environments?" Then I toodle off to the Balenciaga store because it's right by my hotel, just to a) take a gander at those ubiquitous neoprene printed 'rebel' sweatshirts and b) see Grace Coddington in action with her limited edition bag that she had illustrated with her cat Pumpkin wearing iconic Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere looks from the past decade. Well, I felt up the sweaters, decided they were gonna be shot to death and desisted from buying one. Then I squealed at the tote, yelped "CUUUUUUUUUTE!" and immediately grabbed a shop assistant to say "Please-may-I-have-one-please-hope-you-still-have-one-left" in a shrill way just in case my senses got to me and I back tracked on myself.
I don't know whether it was the cats, the presence of Grace or the champagne slash lack of food in my belly. Either way, I ended up meekly going up to Grace to ask her to sign the tote after making my rash purchase. Then I asked her if she would give me permission to colour the bag in and she said "Yes of course! Make it your own." The idea struck me when immediately saw the bag in ecru but to be honest I was being a bit brazen and rebel-rebel by saying that I was going to colour it in. Right now, whilst figuring out the correct sort of coloured pencils and fixing spray to use, I'm actually not so sure about my initial idea. In the light of day, with not an ounce of buyer's remorse, I'm thinking it is quite perfect as it is. My favourite cats are the ones that look all rotund and ball-like, unexpectedly wearing the more voluminous Balenciaga seasons such as A/W 06 or S/S 08. It's interesting how every Balenciaga season harking back to the early 00s are so prominent in my mind, conjuring up a slew of campaign and catwalk imagery but then again that just indicates how seminal Balenciaga shows have become in the course of shaping 21st century fashion. I'm going to use that heavyweight sentence to defend my purchase should anybody squawk " You paid WHAT for THAT?"