Monday, March 02, 2009

Through the Looking Glass: The Horror of the Milan Shows…. From a publicist's perspective Part Two

Welcome back to the second installment of my publicist deep throat's account of what it's really like to be a fashion publicist at Milan Fashion Week. Part three tomorrow.

5. Lunch? Hahhahahaha. This will be crappy espresso from a machine and special Italian sandwiches (mystery meat on dry white, no crusts) eaten during the Endless Meeting which will make you wonder why Italy has such a reputation for great food. There may be mysterious dried up pastries too. Do some phone call stalking of editors remembering all the while and through the haze of embarrassment, that if they don’t come to the show, you will probably get sacked. You would not believe what a motivator this is.

6. If you are especially unlucky, your client will insist on you wearing pieces from the current collection. Which will be in sample size. Which you might not be (despite the lack of food and espresso based diet). You will all try these on together – the fun! - in the clients showroom. The Japanese PR will, of course, look incredible. Ho hum. Your blackberry is still flashing with angst ridden fashion assistants double double checking seating allocations.

7. Show time! This is actually the easy bit where you, wearing something ill-fitting and for which you are not in the right shoes, stand next to the catwalk and herd your editors into their seats whist dealing with the two or three melt downs caused by editors not understanding the runic symbols your designer has chosen to indicate which block and row of seats their squiggles, stars and stickers actually refer to. You will continue to do some phone stalking to make sure your senior eds are not skiving off to do anything as lame as eating or worse, go to some other designer’s showroom.

8. You will then be invited to a dinner, this is unless you are unlucky enough to have a proper ‘intimate dinner’ hosted by your designer for key editors. Assuming not (frankly the ‘intimate dinner’ scenario is a whole world of pain that I cannot at this point delve into without regression therapy), you will then be given a scrap of paper by someone you vaguely know from sales or merchandising, with details of a restaurant somewhere miles away, if not in fact actually outside Milan. Dinner will be from 11pm. Remember you have been awake since 3am at this point.

You will politely chat with a member of the sales team who you will be stuck talking to for hours, as you get steadily more tired. Try to drink your way through this without getting embarrassing. Remember to wait for the Italians to fill up your glass though as they are pretty convinced that self-service indicated alcoholism.