Thursday, 11 March 2010

Portfolio Careering

I have just finished a photo shoot for an article (no, not the kind that will bring me fame and glory and sycophantic profiles on the Late Review. More slightly schlocky bodyshock trauma for money. Look out for me soon in Real People claiming that I have an extra head growing out of my left thigh, it will almost certainly come to that. I can totally see myself selling a kidney just so that I can write about it). I am wearing a very great deal of make up and I think I am in at least second stage hypothermia, the bit where you start hallucinating, but before you get warm and sleepy.

I was supposed to bring summer clothes. However this morning, after a week of FaceGoop, a little light law, a new exciting writing gig, discussions with my new DOG SHARE (oh please, sweet jesus, let the weepette behave. Beatrice? Are you ok?) and the requisite amounts of sitting around staring into space, punctuated by phone calls from parents about Fingers's birthday party ("Un petit Lego fera bien l'affaire. Oui oui. 9h30"), I realised that I was fucked. My summer wardrobe - or the parts of it that fit, which are few - comprised:

1. 45+ unflattering tshirts and vest tops

2. One acceptable top in this year's complexion draining nude (dirty - blood stain on the front)

3. Two dresses, neither with hems

4. 1 crumpled pair of giganto-trousers, also with no hem.

I packed the top, reasoning that if the dry cleaners thought it was clean, it was clean enough (history does not entirely support this theory), poked the trousers vaguely with the iron and shoved them in a case. Grabbing a handful of other items and already painfully late, I belted off to the station. Given that I had already fucked up the shoot venue and had to shimmy around embarassingly trying to sort it out, I thought the least I could do was not miss the train (I have been a total rockstar of incompetence this week). On arrival several hours later, I realised that I had no bra that could go under the acceptable top and no time to buy one. I headed, anxiously, to the shoot. After make up (So! Much! Makeup! I am wearing the world's blusher reserves on my cheek. I have never had this much colour, ever) ,We all stood around and surveyed the crumpled, dirty jumble sale of my case.

"Shall I try this?" apologetic, I pulled out a stripy skirt and a blue t shirt, reminiscent of a 7 year old's summer school uniform.

The lovely magazine ladies tried their utmost to look positive.

"Yeah! Erm, let's try it!"

"I scuttled off to the ladies. The blue t-shirt was see-through; whichever of the 3 bras I wore lumpily visible. I picked the least worst, wrestled far too much cleavage into far too little undergarment and surveyed myself. Despite the peachy, glowy makeup, I looked old and bleary and saggy. I wondered how much a chin lift could cost, plucking at my jowls abstractedly in front of the mirror. I am sure that a couple of months ago I was feeling all world-conquering and sexy. For ooh, at least a couple of days. What happened? I ought to sleep more. A lot more. Maybe for all of 2010. Eventually, I forced myself back out.

"Oh! Great, er, skirt!"

The photographer took some pictures. My greying bra strap kept appearing, unbidden and having to be poked back in. I was not unaware of the irony of spending 90% of my disposable income of fancy underwear and still not having anything appropriate, let alone attractive, to wear under a t-shirt.

The light was deemed unsuitable in the venue, so we headed out to the park, me in a sleeveless, ultrafine t-shirt, cotton skirt, bare legs, peep-toe shoes. Temperature: 5°C with a significant wind chill factor. The photographer strode out towards a bench. The make up artist and I trotted after her, my pillarbox red heels sinking into the muddy turf.

"Can you lean back against that bench? Oh, is the metal very cold? Your eyes are running! Careful of the eyeliner! No. It's ok, I can't see the goosebumps from this angle. And now, can you lie on it? No, that looks awful, your blue skin is clashing with the green of the bench. Look at me, Belgium! Now look away. Look at that swan. Lean on the tree. No, don't lean on the tree. Can you try and stop your teeth chattering? It's accentuating your double chin. Can you just hold your .. no, not your tits. Oh, never mind. That'll do".

We finished an hour ago and I have been warming up in the Pain Quotidien ever since. Don't judge me. I am old and saggy and this blusher is really really heavy. I need a bit of belgo-comfort.

I go back to Brussels tomorrow lunchtime, and head straight to the children's art exhibition. Saturday morning is Finger's birthday party. It clashes with the Charleroi Urban Safari I am signed up to attend for my Shiny New Writing Gig. I have not quite reconciled these two yet. I do know I am spending the rest of Saturday in Charleroi and the rest of the weekend reviewing beauty products. Don't even say biscuits. Sssssh. I may be becoming slightly deranged, but at least I'm not bored. Long may it continue (but with sleep).


Lisa-Marie said...

I bloody hate the whole 'specific clothing' thing. It is not something I ever get right, unless the look is 'scruffy and layered with a hint of quite cool jewellery/scarf. And my god appropriate underwear is difficult!

once I actually said to a grown up family member(my great-aunt) 'We live in Scotland for fuck sake, of course I need two t-shirts'. I am not supposed to speak to the grown ups like that apparently, even if the question is
" why are you wearing that long sleeved thing under your t-shirt, do you really need two? you look like a 15 year old boy."

I look forward to more facegoop!

the polish chick said...

i could brave the multiple layers of make-up and kiss you for being one of exactly 0.003% of the english speaking population who uses the word "comprise" correctly. thank you, thank you, thank you.

i do hope you'll post the pics eventually. how could you not?

Anonymous said...

I just bought three new bras with MAGNETIC front closures! They'll look fab under t-shirts, but I worry that they'll inadvertently snap open at some inopportune moment (like when I'm leaning over some 12-year-old boy at school).

And I second the motion that you post the pics when you can! I'm sure you can't really see the goosebumps that clearly.

Em said...

Gwyneth! It's you isn't it? The Goop, the photo shoot, the writing gig, the 'forgetting' to take an appropriate bra...

It's all getting a bit fancy. A design blog type fance.

Please post some pics - need proof you're a waffle.

Jessica said...

*stroking forehead* "There there, everything is just fine. We just need to clone you, that's all."

(I laughed out loud at least twice while reading this.)

Madame DeFarge said...

Your wardrobe sounds like mine. I long for the return of winter and the retreat of the summer armies up their sleevies.

screamish said...

blood stains on your top??? do tell...

Anonymous said...

Sadly your new FaceGloop website has been banned by the techno monkeys at work. When I click on it I get the following message:

"Potentially Damaging Content
Sites likely to contain little or no useful content, with potentially harmful elements."

I think you scare them.

awhirlinlondon said...

Oh, oh, oh! Heavenly you! Not just one perfect blog but two! Love the new Goop (& the suggestion by Em that you've been swapped out by the spirit of Gwyneth P).

livesbythewoods said...

Thanks to my recently-begun weight loss regime, my bras are still annoyingly tight around my lardy torso, but the cups are slightly too big. Not at all what I was hoping for.

I'm not buying new ones till I have lost more weight, or they'll not fit either after a couple of months and I will feel like I have wasted my money.

I think I might use the old ones as hanging baskets.

Happy Frog and I said...

I know it is good blog fodder but I reckon you are being to self deprecating. I bet you will look amazing in those photos. :-)

The Spicers said...

Everything I own is bloodstained. Glad to know I'm not alone.
I do hope you'll post the results of the photoshoot. And have you considered doing some YouTube makeup tutorials to go along with the new goop site?

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