Sunday, October 31, 2010
The possibility of hors d’oeuvres had me running - dodging raindrops (unsuccessfully) as well as bike couriers and speeding buses (successfully). My stupid umbrella was useless.
Curiosity coupled with the desire to meet someone famous – someone I grew-up watching on TV - had me running to The Bay department store in downtown Victoria, BC. My death-defying race was in the name of fashion, and unfashionista me HAD to be there.
But hors d'oeuvres weren't the the only thing on my mind. I was racing to catch a glimpse of Jeanne Beker.
For all you unfashionistas out there, Jeanne Beker has hosted the Canadian produced show, Fashion Television, for 25 years. Television, journalism, and fashion design have her travelling the world, rubbing elbows with and interviewing the who’s who in the fashion world. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the show, Jeanne is currently promoting her new fashion line, EDIT, which brought her to The Bay that rainy day in downtown Victoria.
I grew-up watching the Canadian fashion icon. As a teenager I loved watching the show, but I had no interest in fashion - and still don’t. But it has always intrigued me - this other world so seemingly unattainable to suburban little me.
I haven’t watched the show since, and though the years of motherhood and working have made watching daytime TV next to impossible, I occasionally flick through channels, see her on some flashy-splashy fashion show and think “Hey, there’s Jeanne Beker!”
Spurned by the need to meet her (and heck, I’m always up to meet someone famous!), I raced through the doors of the department store, only to be met with rows of empty chairs and staff already dismantling the stage and lighting.
I missed the whole thing.
One of the staff, with her chic black outfit and coiffed hair, must have noticed my slumped shoulders and pitiful wet hair. Ignoring (thankfully) my unfashionista appearance, she told me Jeanne Beker was in a press conference and would be out shortly…if I wanted to wait, that is.
Well, HECK! Of course I would want to!
I grabbed a commemorative “25th Anniversary FT” magazine, and sat in the glossy white chairs previously set up for the fashion show, and waited.
Like an unfashionista dork.
I dug in my purse (straight from the shelves of Wal-Mart) for a pen, readying for an autograph should I be so lucky. With my hair now a-frizz from the run in the rain, and my crappy umbrella dripping on the uber-shiny marble floor, I knew I didn’t fit in.
But my fleece jacket was only 6 years old, and heck, it was in great shape!
Regardless, every inch of me screamed UNFASHIONISTA.
I waited, watching all the bustle and nervous flutter, everyone anxious for her re-emergence from the press-conference. When the bustling increased, signalling Jeanne’s presence, the kind staff person discretely waved me over.
I ‘glided’ towards her, all the while screaming at myself “Down Lisa, don’t act like an idiot. Walk like you OWN the catwalk. You ARE a fashionista.”
As I gracefully approached, the staff person indicated to Jeanne I had been waiting a while and would like to meet her. Oh great, now she thinks I am an unfashionista STALKER. Thankfully she left out the part about my crappy, dripping umbrella.
No one mentioned my hair.
I introduced myself, we shook hands, and Jeanne's smile was as big and gracious as I had seen on TV. Not once did she give me the 'once-over;' not at my hair, my ancient jacket, nor my $10.00 purse – none of it. She autographed the magazine and posed for a photo with grace and class, all the while chatting to me as if I was one of ‘them.’
It didn’t matter that I didn’t fit in. I didn’t want to anyways. I was me, and that was all she saw. I was, and am, happy being my unfashionista self.
But damnit! I missed the hors d’oeuvres!