Friday, January 09, 2009

And...I'm back...

I find it hard to believe that it’s been nearly nine months since I stopped blogging in the guise of Libertylondongirl. A day has not gone by when I wished I was able to blog here. The histrionics, inflated egos, back-stabbing, tantrums, tears and flouncing that I encountered each week, both in and outside my office, made my job a window into the sheer lunacy that pervades the high fashion world and I itched to give you all the inside track.

Because, believe me, the view from the front & second rows is not as shiny as those perched there would like you all to think. (Although I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy placing my Alexander Wang-clad bottom on those tortuously uncomfortable seats.)

Sure, some people glide through the industry, secure in their talent and, mostly, their self-belief but what I saw most frequently was the fear lurking underneath most senior magazine editors’ immaculately made-up faces. It’s not just the current fiscal climate and lack of advertising pages that makes them insecure, it’s the knowledge that editorial caprice, jealousy and insecurity or internal backstabbing could see them demoted or even fired in an instant. And that’s why so many of them behave so badly. Their (misunderstood) mantra is Charles Kingsley’s, “Do as you would be done by”.

Even those people who loudly prided themselves on being down to earth, “Of COURSE I take the subway”, tended to believe their own publicity. (Make up artists for the most minor public appearance, only flying on BA – the world’s most expensive airline when budgets were being finessed everywhere else, an inability to attend any public event without a chaperone, a refusal to engage with basic technology, a narcissistic lack of empathy.)

Don’t make the mistake tho of writing off fashion & magazine publishing as vapid and pointless just because so many denizens of the fashion world seemingly masquerade as exhibits in a 21st century freak show; the gloss of idiocy, the dispensing with of manners and politesse, and the shiny trappings of success camouflage (rather too successfully to the outside world) a functioning multi-million dollar industry.

But God I’m glad to be back writing again. Because writing features at home at 4am because you’ve pulled a week of food-free and coffee-fuelled, under-staffed and over-worked fifteen hour days in the office overseeing the production of a flagship shoot for a disengaged, bitch on wheels stylist and her incompetent assistant is not what I call writing. That’s just word-churning.

(And, speaking of eating, I never thought the day would come where I would count myself lucky to have carved out a spare second between a model casting and a features meeting to mainline my one, stop-me-collapsing meal of the day: two Americanos, a handful of candy and a brownie. And I don’t even like coffee.)

So, hallelujah, I’ve decided to go back to doing what I have enjoyed most in my two years in Manhattan. Observing, writing and, above all, living properly with my feet firmly on the ground in New York City, rather than floating along on a tide of coffee, adrenalin, sweat and, far too often, mine and other people’s tears of sheer exhaustion.