Saturday, September 18, 2004


is about to clatter into town. Sharp men and women ready to cut through the crap and make or break designers with a dash of ink across a news page or with figures scratched across a company cheque. This is not for the faint-hearted and in order to survive here you need a healthy detachment or at least Blair-like skin density. Mine is a detachment and its not healthy - but I really can’t do it for long. I end up salivating over clothes I can’t afford and wishing I hadn't eaten for the last two years within minutes of arriving at a fashion show.
First the battery hen hustle for a seat that’s not mine before the lights go down and the catwalk glows white. The music cranks up - last season a heady mix of 80's rock and disco and this season - who knows? Let it be anything by Josh Rouse. It's a bit like doing a series of one-night stands in one day. First comes the buzz and while its going on you feel like it’s the most fantastic thing to happen for a while and then the lights go up and its a slap in the face. Reality kicks in and fashionista shuffle past in an effort to get out first and get a seat on a coach for the next one. All past shows filter into the one you've just seen and you're lucky if you remember 2 outfits by the time you pick up your goody bag to leave.

THIS IS A STORY ABOUT 2 PEOPLE (ALISON WHELAN & LISA PRIOR @ bestshot productions) MAKING A FILM taken backstage during the S/S05 SHOWS OF bora aksu and ASHISH at LONDON FASHION WEEK.

Cut to Lisa who was having lunch around the corner from my house, we said we'd speak about 1.30 and arrange to meet up. I called her mobile and SHE DIDN’T PICK UP. I called her again and again. Still nothing so I just RETURNED TO WHAT I WAS DOING – THE usual stuff that takes UP my time like panicking about money and not having a link with BBC Nicky Colton for the documentary I'm trying to sell HERE AND NOW. Finally at 2.30 my buzzer SOUNDS and I see Lisa propped up outside the main ENTRANCE. I buzz her in and leave the door open for her. 20 mins later she walks through my door tilted to one side like the Titanic - post iceberg. She's put her back out.

Of course I think about her first and offer up the DEEP HEAT and all the time I'm wondering if she will ever be able to lift a camera again and I’m watching BBC AWARDS slip through our fingers. So I ask if she's GOING to be OK and she says 'YES'. Awards are now swimming back into focus.

Poor baby has to walk oh so slowly and can’t even carry her handbag to the bus stop to catch the no.38 into Soho. We have an appointment to meet Michael at BLOW PR and pick up our backstage passes. I CANT WALK SLOW ENOUGH and keep finding myself talking to walls and other people with Lisa way back down the road. Children and fast moving people become death threats - moving targets to be avoided at all costs.

We miss the first bus because its moving ever-so slightly and although normally we would both hop on it - I settle down into Lisa's world of slow motion. We catch the next bus and lurch up Berwick Street counting the atoms in the market stalls, which you can ACTUALLY see walking at this pace. I tell her its number 90 we need and we get to 91.
lisa:: ' look alison its 91'
alison: 'yeah ok, we need 90'
lisa: 'yeah but this is 91. look 9 and 1'
alison: 'it's close Lisa'
SHE is now in agony and we find 90 down a little side street. Blow PR has a few stairs and we inch up them to meet Michael. Not quite the dynamic pairing I was hoping to present to him but he's great. Just offers Lisa a chair and gets us the passes. ONCE he's handed us the passes he says 'its OK Lisa you can stop faking about with your back. You've got the passes you wanted.' Bless him.

IT gets worse when MICHAEL asks about our BFC (British Fashion Council) security passes - which we didn’t know about and definitely don’t have. We look blankly at each other and Michael hands me a comp slip with Talk Pr details on it. I TALK to Rachel who says I have a serious entrance problem. And she's right, I do but Michael has given us passes so ISN’T that OK?
Apparently passes and invites and a big nod from Michael have saved the film, the stills, and us from being tousled to the floor by the same bouncers who do the Big Brother show. The whole thing was off again for a moment. I'm learning I should have made a plan a lot earlier for this - but then if I had Michael wouldn't have confused me with a film production crew and I would not be playing out a secret wish right now. So maybe everything is exactly as it should be.

When we leave Soho everything is back on again. We have a film to make.
Lisa POTTERS off to get the no 24 bus to Hampstead Hospital. Hopefully her back and her pain will be a distant memory by SUNDAY AFTERNOON WHEN She’ll be shadowing Michael. I sit on the no 38 back to Victoria and make a phone call to Ashish - I have missed him and I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

WRITE OFF time - more to do tomorrow


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