Isn’t London the loveliest? I think so.
My first trip to London was during a high school trip ( WATERTOWN CYCLONES! ) in 1994. I saved for that trip for almost a year. I worked at Little Caesars, waitressed at Bob Evan’s (I got fired pretty quickly after skipping work with my friend Tanya) and waitressed at Tin Pan Galley. To this day Tin Pan Galley (in Sacket’s Harbor, NY) is my favorite restaurant in the world, although NOBU is a close second.
At any rate, I worked and I worked, ok and I skipped work. I saved my change, spent little and had the trip of a lifetime. The next year I did it all again. We did all of the basic touristy things in London. We went to Piccadilly Circus and got some awesome Doc Martens, saw Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and all that good stuff. Of course, after the teacher’s were safely in bed we explored the parts of London that every teenager is interested in seeing. Something tells me they could tell the following morning.
Two and a half years after my first trip to London I started going back much more consistently. The only difference was that instead of visiting, I was now working. Instead of knowing no one, British girls were becoming some of my closest friends. Today, I see London in a much different view then I did years ago as a high school girl. I see all of the amazing British talent, art, history and incredible sense of humor. I see a home to many of my friends and a place that I’ve been welcome in and come to love over the years.
I spent the last week in London shooting with one of my favorite editors, Nicola Rose. She brought some amazing pieces, many of which are now on my shopping hit list. We spent a few days shooting at Big Sky studio’s, where photographer Jonty Davies turned me + incredible clothes into art. Meaning he took some really gorgeous photos. When they come out in May, I’ll be sure to put them up!
I have traveled to many places all over the world, a few times. Unfortunately I’ve done it mostly with a full head of extensions, glamorous makeup and haute couture pinned on. It’s rare when I’m working to ever have a day when I’m traveling to just be me. The jeans and a tee-shirt me. On this trip, I decided to take an extra day to catch up with some good friends and I’m so happy I did.
When I first started working in fashion I was scared, lonely and considering booking myself into the psych ward for choosing this profession. Seriously. Soon after that I met a group of girls who were very much like me. They loved working as a model but, understood that it’s a pretty nutty job and that there really are other things in life then the perfect pose, photo, or haircut. Models do get especially excited about haircuts and color, it’s odd. Over the year’s these girls grew to become some of the closest people to me. We relied on each other to keep ourselves sane and to check the reality of fashion, quite often. “If that size negative 4 dress is a little tight does it mean I’m a cow?” “Is it ok if I don’t take that job on my sister’s wedding day?” “What exactly does she mean that my knees are fat?” “I haven’t had a day off in 4 months, am I allowed to be cranky?” Sometimes, as obvious as those answers sound, you needed to hear them from someone who really got it. And we did.
This past Saturday I had a wonderful day exploring Kew Gardens with my two gorgeous (inside & out) friends Jade Parfitt and Erin O’Connor. It’s been quite a while since we had a chance to be together but, it was long worth the wait! We caught up on what one another has been doing for the past few years and reminisced over some pretty hilarious things we did in the past. It was the perfect way for me to spend my first day that I was in London not working, in a very long time. Later that night Jade made us a delicious dinner at her beautiful home. We shared some great stories, too much champagne and then attempted to take photos. You’d think it would be pretty easy for three models to take a few simple photos but, it’s just not. I’ll blame the champagne for the photos below and my inability to look at the lens. I’ll also blame it for the majority of the photos I deleted.
On a side note, Erin is doing some really amazing work for models during London fashion week. I’m going to take an easy stab in the dark and assume she’s done it based on our horror stories of show weeks. Such horrors may or may not include:
being photographed naked by photographers who’ve snuck in back stage
being told not to drink water because “I don’t want you to look fat in my clothes”
possible drugs being pushed by an agency owner (only one that I know of and he’s gone) ahemm ELITE
drivers driving on the sidewalk and ignoring all road rules so you’re not late (no joke)
working until 4am (and starting at 6am)
Check out Erin’s twitter page and her website. She’s doing some amazing work to help protect girls and to educate them on what’s not normal in the fashion world. Yes, some things are not normal. http://twitter.com/#!/modelsanctuary erinsmodelsanctuary.com
It’s always a special thing when you meet up with friends after not seeing them in a while and you’re able to pick up right where you left off. It just goes to show how strong the relationship is. Jade, Erin and our wonderful friend Karen and I used to meet up in random places all over the world. When we’d find out the other was in the same city it would be as easy as that and we’d make time for coffee or dinner. We’d try at least, even if all we got was running past one another in the studio. This weekend it was just as simple as it used to be. For some reason with life carrying on outside of modeling, we don’t always remember to take the time for friends. We forget about getting together and assume the time will always be there. Instead of making time we catch the red-eye and go about our life. I’m lucky to have had this time with them and I hope we’ll all remember to make the time and remember why we always did in the past. I will bring the champagne.