Mr. Diabolina and I hit Runyon Canyon this morning. First time I've worked out in a month. Saying it was rough would be an understatement.
At least it helped me burn off nervous energy for my big Phillip Lim date.
Now I know the invitation said that you'd be able to "meet Phillip" but I didn't quite believe it. Figured he'd be tucked away in a back room. That maybe I'd be able to catch a glimpse of him when he emerged, right before he was mobbed by throngs of frenzied fashionistas. I pictured the chaotic scene when a new H&M designer collection comes out. Don't ask me why.
So you can imagine my SHOCK when I walked in to the store and everything seemed eerily quiet. And just as I thought I might have the wrong date, I turned a corner and saw him. Just standing there. Like a regular person. Charming a couple of giddy customers, with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his pretty glowy face. I was so freaked out I snapped this horrible picture and ran away.
Tried to calm myself by walking around the store, petting new fall pieces, falling in love with their intricate construction and stunning elegance. Bad idea.
Seeing all the clothes and accessories up close only made me want to hyperventilate. Couldn't believe the man behind all this beauty was not only in the immediate vicinity but that I might actually be able to have a moment with him!!!
One of my most favorite designers. One of the greatest new design talents of our generation.
So I worked up my nerve and walked over. But the minute I caught his eye I completely lost my shit. Suddenly my legs turned to jelly and my brain turned to mush. I NEVER EVER get this star struck.
Thankfully Mr. Phillip Lim is as perceptive as he is talented and turned to say hello to ME. I croaked out, I can't believe you are really here. I must have looked like I was going to cry, like my childhood friend Wendy meeting Michael Jackson style, so he went to hug me.
And what did I do? Stuck out my hand to shake his! So we ended up doing this half hand shake, half hug. UGH! IT WAS THE OLYMPICS OF AWKWARD. AM NEVER AWKWARD. F.
Spent the next 5 minutes chatting with Phillip freaking Lim. I told him what a gift he has, for creating beauty, for making women feel beautiful. He put his hands together as if in prayer and bowed his head and said Thank you so much. Then he asked me (with genuine interest) my name and what I do. I sputtered something about being a writer stuck in the corporate world but I've started a fashion blog that I think will help me find my voice and maybe even my way. He listened attentively and kindly.
When I stopped blathering, he looked at me closely, like I looked familiar somehow. Then he asked me where I grew up and I said West Hollywood and he told me he grew up in Orange County and actually studied business at a Cal State. He said that while design was always an interest, it came later. He said things unfold in ways we can't predict. Career advice from Phillip Lim!!! I wanted to faint but instead I asked him how the company is fairing in this economic environment. He said they are doing well considering. He said it is a retail moment that's being felt globally, one that no company has quite experienced before.
He said he believes the secret to his brand's longevity will be focusing on service. Nurturing relationships with customers, I offered. Exactly, he replied earnestly. Then when I realized we were actually having a conversation and THE Phillip Lim was just a few inches away from me, I got flustered and ancy all over again.
So I told him - all nonchalant, like I meet designers all the time - that I was going to walk around the store and take a look and that I'd love to get a picture with him later, for my blog readers of course. He said sure, that he'd do anything for my blog readers, stand on his head if I wanted. His eyes were smiling when he said it but his tone made me think he might actually do it if I asked. Anything for a customer. UGH LOVE HIM! So cool and casual and humble and real. Should have snapped the picture right then and there but was UBER discombobulated. I really needed a friend there with me. Had asked my mom but she had errands to run. Biggest F ever.
Spent a few minutes circling the store again, talking to the sales peeps, snapping one's fierce jewelry. Then the manager came over, asked me how my gay (Sable Crow) was doing. I said he is naughty as ever, currently have put him on probation. They laughed and I kicked myself for being normal with them but not with Phillip. Then my mom called. We had a joint hair appointment scheduled so I had to go pick her up.
Waited and waited to get Phillip alone again but he was doing an interview for, I believe, W magazine. Finally realized if I wanted to get a picture I was just going to have to be a problem AH-gain and interrupt. Ugh. So I just did it and thankfully he was LOVELY all over again, treating me as if I were an old friend.
He asked where we should do the picture and I blurted out by the mannequin. Then I asked the Conde Nast reporter to take the picture! HAHAHA. Phillip went to kinda put his arm around me but I shrank back. Ruined the physical contact AGAIN. Like a weirdo. That's why there's enough room between us for the Holy Ghost. Worst, most amazing picture ever. I thanked him again for all the beautiful clothes and he thanked me for coming. As I reached the door, HE CALLED OUT MY NAME and said, Good luck with everything. I almost died. What a sweet brilliant man. Bigger fan now than ever.
Spent the entire afternoon at the hair salon, glowing as I blabbed the story. My mom spent the entire afternoon kicking herself for not coming with me. Biggest. F. Ever.
Then we went out to dinner with Mr. Diabolina. He was so excited that I said something to Phillip that Mr. D helped me come up with last night - that the L.A. store opened last year just in time for my 3.1 birthday. We are such nerds.
Pretty pigs but pigs.
Fashion District dress
Fashion District ring and bracelet
Marc by MJ clutch
Urban Outfitters sandals
Since I didn't REALLY think I'd be able to meet Phillip, I didn't really think about today's outfit.
Sure I thought about wearing one of my four Phillip dresses.
But none of them felt quite right.
Everything was too fancy or sooooo last last last season.
So I just threw on the dress I wore when I last felt prettiest.
Plus I figured a white dress would be a good choice since it was a key look in Phillip's Resort 2010 line.
And the fluttery, boho chic detailing was very Lim-esque
Could have worn asymmetrical too
Or polka dots
Or black and white
Pretty much I could've worn any one of my favorite things because my favorite designer, duh, loves what I love.
It wasn't until I was driving away, smiling AND cringing at how my close encounter had gone, that I realized why I had chosen today's dress. It's what I was wearing when Mr. Diabolina bought me a GORGEOUS Phillip Lim tank for my upcoming birthday. I have squirreled it away to the back of my closet, not to be worn until I am 3.2.
Completely forgot about it this morning in the rush to get ready. It would have been the perfect thing to wear. Biggest fail of my so called fashionable life.
p.s. I must have missed the Refinery29 photographer who did this story. The pretty kitty in the blue shorts is the sales associate I snaped with the cool rings.