By Lisa Ross
I found myself recently in Redding, California which is a 9 hour road trip from where I live in Los Angeles. It was the second time I’d been and it is the type of place where one goes to mend a broken heart and get some clarity on the madness of this thing we call life. It was spectacular. Redding is a beautiful part of the state, chock full of loving warm souls and rich in spirituality. It is God’s country for sure.
With what seemed like a B12 shot to my self esteem and the tattered seams of my heart sewn up, I began the journey back to Los Angeles with my friend Jason, who was on his own soul searching mission and looks like he just walked off the pages of L’Uomo Vogue. We had one last stop. A visit to the set of our friend Trevor’s photo shoot for The Luxurie. It was hot beyond hot, like desert hot, as we pulled into the parking lot of the apartment building. I got out of the car and pulled myself together. I put my hair on top of my head in a bun and I thought about my days in fashion when I launched the tents at Bryant Park in NYC. Every season there was a new crop of male models and every season I think I fell in love.
On this one particular occasion I was working at Tommy Hilfiger’s first show on 39th and 11th. He wasn’t famous yet. There was this one model from Israel and I told him he looked like Prince Charming.
“Who’s that?” he asked.
OMG, how could he not know who Prince Charming is?
“He’s the prince in Cinderella.”
The next day when we had a run through for the show, he told me that he went to the library and looked up Prince Charming. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. He asked me out, we kissed on a street corner and he gave me a rose from a deli. It was magical and I never saw him again. Sigh.
Anyway, back to the shoot in the desert.
We made our way to the second floor and Trevor greeted us. He was rakishly handsome and carried himself in such a way that I knew he could hold his own if I plucked him from obscurity into Testino’s studio on a whim. He had cleared out the living room and put down a white sheet against a plain white wall. I think he rolled his eyes at the shag carpeting but of course he made it work, he keeps it moving. He’s a genius in the making and turned this second story flat into a den of fabulousness. Cat who runs The Luxurie, looked like a fashion model herself, a natural beauty with red hair and a smattering of freckles; she has a killer South African accent and worked the room like a pro. I loved her. Winnie helped style, a mini Rachel Zoe in the making and Mariah knew her way around a pencil, she could do a smoky eye and nude lip like no other.
Caleb and Meeks were the other models and they were gorge as well. We also threw some girl who came to visit into an oversized sweater and placed her next to Jason (Trevor put him in the shoot too, well because you know, he’s everything a model should look like). Snap, snap, snap. She was a natural and I think all of us were impressed with our find. I was bursting with ideas but didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.
“Caleb tilt your hat and scrunch your forehead.”
“Wear the suspenders with just a tank”
“Yes, a nude lip on her.”
And three hours later, that is how our day went. It was Ffffab….I always hesitate when I say the word fabulous. I think it goes back to my boutique days in Boston. There were these two sisters that lived on Beacon Hill and summered in Nantucket. They were twins and would pop into Armani every season and leave with rolling racks of the entire collection. Fabulous, fabulous..air kiss, air kiss. I remember swearing that I would never say fabulous because I thought it was extremely overused. But then it started to shift. I worked an event for Chanel when I was in PR and I met Linda Wells from Allure and she said my hair was fabulous. Smile. And when I met Anna Wintour from Vogue, I spontaneously uttered “fabulous.”
“Excuse me”, she sang from under her bangs as she handed me her fur to hang in the closet.
“I..I think your shoes are fabulous.”
She broke her death stare with a grin then turned on that white patent leather heel, leaving me in a waft of No. 5. (It was winter and she was wearing white shoes which is probably why I thought SHE was fabulous, she broke the rules).
So with all that being said, I have been exposed to the top of the top in the fashion game. Fabulous and not so fabulous. I am miles and years away from that time in NYC but I found the same essence in this second floor walk up with the shag carpeting. Trevor, Cat and their crew were so creative and had “fabulous” down to an art form. Fabulous meaning that palpable feeling in the air where it is all working and you look fierce while doing it. I was happy to be a fly on the wall.
I taught, and most importantly I learned, and in the end it made me more fabulous just being there.
(Picture below – Lisa and Cat)