Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Scene

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.

And pigs.

Pretty pigs but pigs.

The Outfit
Fashion District dress

The Accessories
Me&Ro necklace
Fashion District ring and bracelet
Marc by MJ clutch
Urban Outfitters sandals

The Grade

The Commentary
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 shorts

Or polka dots

Or black and white

Or sequins

Or lace

Or leopard

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.


Mar5195 said...

Wow Philip sounds amazing and so incredibly gracious. I love people like that!

You looked adorable. Have a fantastic birthday weekend!

wan said...

i think this is my most favoritest post of yours, ever. i even came out of lurkdom to tell you so!

happy birthday :)

tam pham said...

um, the fact that he is such a generous and thoughtful person in reality makes me love him more than i already did.

stop being so hard on yourself for what you were wearing (you looked great!) happy for an amazing experience that you will always remember.

Jessica Love said...

Awww...I LOVE it! I'm sure he was happy to meet such a big admirer of his!

Happy birthday!

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

Great experience!! Philip sounds darling. I get star struck too, but unlike you, I rarely get the guts to say hi. Good for you.

JCH said...

I'm so happy that you got to meet him. He seems so down to earth - totally gets it! I'm so glad you went back and got the picture! :)

Kate said...

Hysterical. I still cringe every time I think about when I met Leonardo DiCaprio. Why did I have to be a fat 18 year old wearing a jumper telling him he was really great in "Who's Eating Gilbert Grape"????? He was also very cool by the way.

Good for you for talking to him despite your nerves. He's right about the career though - it will unfold in it's own way. Of course it already is.

Rosemary Brennan said...

Agree with wan-nabe, this is my favorite post of yours! Your face to face time with him sounds like it went fabulously. I love stories like this: when we get to meet those we admire and they end up just as kind and intelligent as we picture them. And your outfit adorable.

Unknown said...

Love this post! It's kinda how I felt when I met you at a conference earlier this year. hehe

Grace said...

Amazing! You're such a lucky girl! :)

♥Rosie said...

Love your writing! Love this post!Love your excitement!

amber said...

Eeeeee!!! I about died for you when I got your text. So so cool that you got to meet him and even cooler that he is NORMAL! :D

The Modern Type said...

you seriously had me at OLYMPICS OF AWKWARD! i love you and your writing and your fashion sense. i should marry you in another life. =)

Amanda said...

Haha, I loved this post. Don't cringe about it though; I'm sure Philip appreciated your enthusiasm : ) I have only met one quasi-famous person and I completely lost my shit; I think you did much better than I did.

Have you seen the zipper headbands at Forever 21?? There are other variations, too.

Rachee said...

I felt nervous just reading this post. How fantabulous, so excited for you!

Olympics of Awkward = comic writing gold. Someone needs to snap you up STAT.

Fashion_Loving_Stylist said...

How amazing!!! So glad you had a great time. And you should have worn that tank top, girl its fierce!

WendyB said...

Sounds like an awesome experience! You're such a funny story teller too. Now, when are you coming to NYC to meet Christian Francis Roth and Zang Toi? And, um, maybe me too?

StartingOver@28 said...

Sounds like an amazing experience! If you hadn't been flustered you wouldn't be normal. You would be Sloan's character on Entourage!

PiGGiesGoMoo said...

...SO AWESOME!!..i'm star struck just by your story! and you looked great in the outfit! i think you looked very Phillip worthy!

Sable Crow said...

Love love love love love love love love this post!!!!

Love you for being you, and for being brave and open and letting those who inspire you also advise you. They see you and they know something special is waiting for you. Love his advice. Love him.

Love that you tell people that you've put me on probation. As if!

Totes understand the F. The evening I met Mr. Armani, I wasn't wearing a SINGLE THREAD. I could have died. Perhaps, inside, I did a little. I also didn't speak Italian. Both have been fixed in the years since.


Kinda weirded that they asked about me. Need to go get me some PL3.1...

...maybe you come with?

Sable Crow

Grace said...

I'm coming out of lurkdom to tell you that I loved this post and could practically feel your nervous energy. Phillip Lim sounds like a very nice guy, and now I love him too.

I hope you had a great birthday, and you looked great in the white dress.


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