1) Conversations and their fight with depth
‘You know what’s really annoying? Like, oh my God, I have to get to London from here, and then back to Milan and then I have to like, fly back to Paris. It’s totally crazy, man!’
‘Yeah, but travelling around Europe is alright, but when you like have to fly to New York like me, then back to Paris, then to LA, it’s totally insane man!’
(It sort of feels like a "Mine’s bigger than yours" conversation)
You got to have an iPhone or at least a Blackberry to belong. Even if you have broken the glass of your third iPhone, you still need to buy a fourth, because otherwise you will no longer be accepted and you can kiss your fashion career goodbye. Maybe this is no different than me buying an Apple laptop for my photographic use.
A recent Irish film entitled "Hunger" is a close approximation of what life was like these past couple of days (luckily, there wasn’t shit on the walls of our hotel rooms, so maybe this is a slight exaggeration). Proper food is not something you get, not even when you’ve been somewhere for a whole day. The best you can count on is a light snack, a salad and some biscuits, provided you can live with the fact of having to absorb these substances amidst clouds of cigarette smoke. Also, when you make a joke about always putting your finger in your mouth after you eat, people will believe you, because how else could you remain skinny.
4) Clothes – "Al draagt de aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding."
Not all that important in the fashion industry. Reasons for this are simple: the people who have the money to splurge 1200 euro on a basic pair of trousers with a crazy extra button on the side don’t really care about the clothes they are wearing, not really, being able to afford them is much more important. Deep-down these people know that these clothes won’t make them look beautiful; their good looks vanished a long time ago in a tsunami of aging and self-obsession. The models who present the clothes show an idealised image these people hope to imitate by wearing them. The models themselves don’t or very rarely buy these clothes, because they know they don’t really need them to not be forgotten by the world. (it’s a vicious circle of course: when the models are old and ugly, they might have the money to buy the clothes, and then they do, because it reminds them of what it was like when they were young and beautiful – a sad image).
5) Simplifying yourself
How do you make life bearable when you are forced to spend a week among people up to eight years younger than yourself? You make yourself simpler. It is not something I generally do, but what on earth do you say to people you have nothing in common with? (exceptions to this rule exist of course, and my deepest affection goes out to those I met in the past week). And that way you can have at least some fun, even when talking to puberty-affected individuals who feel the need to always clarify their sexuality by talking about some pretty girl they met. This process of self-simplification takes a while to accept for oneself, but the liberation is great once it is attained.
The shoes I had to wear these past couple of days were always two sizes too small. Much like the hats, which were also very small for my big head (apparently). This hat thing was probably the cause why I couldn’t walk for Ann Demeulemeester (it just fell off all the time); though it might have also been because my walk was not really perfect at the time (after 2 hourse of sleep, I just had a rush of fatigue flowing through me and it must have had an effect on the way I walk).
Really, if one does a casting and they don’t like you or you don’t fit their thing, instead of just saying that, they take a picture (really clumsily at Paul Smith (a very unfriendly man), they had two cameras, one for pics they needed, one for those they didn’t). Really, is it so hard to tell the truth? It’s not like it’s a personal insult. I would think it common courtesy to say the truth, instead of just wasting everyone’s time.
8) Pretty boys
And the lack thereof. You’d think a men’s fashion show would be gay heaven for a bender like me? Think again: in every show there was only one, maybe two guys that I would label as cute. I don’t care what this implies for me: looks fade and we’re all ugly in the end, but I do wonder about some guys I saw on the runway (in shows I was in and others online) who were chosen instead of some really gorgeous boys I saw at the castings. They say it’s not about how cute someone is, but about how they "fit" the image. The ugly boys now mistakenly roam the streets, thinking they’re gorgeous even though they’re so obviously not. This way, monsters are created: the agencies make these young and gullible boys believe they’re the next best thing, until a couple of years later, nobody will ever look at those boys again, because now that they’re men, there’s nothing about them any more that would make you look round. All they have is this Dorian Gray Picture that was never really all that appealing to begin with, but nonetheless it was painted, and all those pseudo-Dorians will suffer from it, no matter what; if they’d never been cast, they wouldn’t have had to deal with this pain.
9) A picture (from the Rick Owens show, I did two others, but I like this pic the best)
A shame you cannot see the 10 cm heels I was walking on and the elegance with which I did so. I completely imagined myself stumbling and falling in front of all those people, but sadly, that didn’t happen. (Well, I did really like the Rick Owens guy, he was really sweet (even told me I should send him my pictures after I explained a bit about my dark themes), so maybe it’s okay it didn’t happen).