Though this story culminates in Paris, it begins on a dirt road in New Hampshire. Growing up in a tiny town in the woods of New Hampshire, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that I had little access to fashion. I had my Teen Vogue subscription, and that was about it (the internet wouldn’t be invented for a while, and we didn’t even have cable t.v.).
But I found a Canadian television show called Fashion File, hosted by Tim Blanks, and I would watch marathons of it whenever possible. It was like a lifeline to a different world, and Tim’s poetic descriptions of the fashion shows he covered transported me to that world.
While in Paris last month, I happened to be seated across from Tim at the Chloe show, and I kind of (inwardly) freaked out. It was like this huge full-circle moment in which I ran into the man who had informed my teenage self about fashion when I had no other way to learn about what was happening on the runways of the world. Now I was across a runway from him.
After the show, I ran up to Tim to tell him this story and to ask if I might take a picture with him. And this might have been the most surprising part of the story, because I swear, Tim Blanks and I felt like we became BFFs for ten minutes after that show. He could not have been nicer to me and not only took a picture with me, but asked me to check to make sure it was good (it wasn’t, so we took a few more). We chatted about our thoughts on the show (he said that he felt like he knew the Chloe woman featured in the show before; that it reminded him of Marianne Faithfull– he later wrote about this in his review of the show; I said I was thrilled to see more rainbows in the collection after the glorious color in the Spring collection).
Together, we chatted about San Francisco (where he’ll be receiving an honorary doctorate in May), talked to Linda Fargo about the collections she was loving so far, and said hi to Suzy Menkes as we walked out of the Grand Palais. Before we separated to find our respective cars he said goodbye and gave me his email address, to contact him before he comes to San Francisco.
It was a dream. And it happened. Which makes me think I need to come up with some new dreams. Because about a thousand of mine came true in Paris a few weeks ago. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
If only I could go back and tell that girl on the dirt road in New Hampshire what life has in store for her. I don’t think she’d believe me, anyway.