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New Account Registrations Part Deux
Topic Started: Feb 12 2017, 04:25 PM (280 Views)
Bailey
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In an effort to keep spambots out, the board now requires manual admin approval of new registrations. I'm not here all the time, and if you register a new account, it may be a day or two before I activate it.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self Reliance (1841)
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thomas

My Date With Rihanna

It started off benignly enough. “They” would like me in conversation with Dries Van Noten for the first Vogue Forces of Fashion conference on October 12. I’ve known Dries since he presented his first-ever collection of delectable Brideshead-ian blazers in March 1985—I remember fighting my way through a forest of polyester taffeta faux–Lady Di wedding gowns in the cheapest part of a fashion trade fair in London to see them. It’s been love ever since. I’ve swooned to decades of his fashion shows, visited his Antwerp HQ, and spent spoiling weekends in the intoxicatingly beautiful house and gardens he has restored with his partner, Patrick Vangheluwe. I was looking forward to spending a half hour romping through his working life as a true fashion independent.

Then came the kicker: “They” would also like me to converse on stage with Rihanna, deity of pop and fashion.

Je died. In fact, the last time I had my heart in my mouth like that was at the beginning of the Spring 2018 Fenty x Puma show, when a trio of motocross daredevils flew into the air across a mountainscape of pink sand dunes, and I nearly fainted from the adrenaline rush.

Once before I’d spent time with the fabled RiRi—when she sat at my table for the 2012 Met Gala celebrating “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.” She was an impossibly beautiful wraith in Tom Ford’s serpent sheath, and spent most of the dinner in giggly conspiracy with M.I.A., who had used Wite-Out as nail varnish in a truly 21st-century Schiap gesture.

To get myself in the mood for this daunting assignment, I’d stayed up most of the night listening to RiRi’s irresistible hits—from “Pon de Replay” to “Love on the Brain”—reminding myself how many hours I’d lost in her music on dance floors around the world. So much cardio! She may have been almost single-handedly responsible for me maintaining my girlish figure in the face of unmitigated culinary greed across the last decade.

Rihanna was to be the closing act of a packed day that began at breakfast, with Tonne Goodman and a preternaturally poised Stella McCartney discussingsustainability in fashion, and romped on to yours truly with Dries.

Naturally, at the appointed hour there was no sign of Rihanna. Thirty years ago I waited four hours in the midday Tangier sun for Elizabeth Taylor to appear, while the famed Alexandre de Paris attached sundry hairpieces. I keeled over from sunstroke later that evening and lost what seemed at the time like half my bodyweight in perspiration, but Taylor was, of course, worth the wait, and the coiffure was sublime, and I’ll always have the memory, so I have no problem with waiting for genuine stars. The conference organizer, however, likes things to run with Swiss watch precision. “How about we give the guests a coffee break, and if she doesn’t appear by 5:45 we send them all home?” she suggested tartly. Then came the reassuring news that Rihanna was en route and moments away. I’d been watching Sarah Mower in conversation with Demna Gvasalia when news came that Rihanna was in the house, so I raced back to the green room to see her walk in with a phalanx of bodyguards and zhoozhers, rocking a Tom Ford ’80s Alaïa-esque broad-shouldered jacket and mini skirt, and torrents of pink gold and diamonds. Her eyes are the color of melting caramel, and her skin is aglow, and she radiates star power like there is no tomorrow.

We start to go through the questions as hairdressers tease and makeup artists bedazzle and her stylist tweaks and the technicians fix her mic, but she zones out. “Let’s just go in there and do it,” she says in that lilting Barbadian accent that could rock you to sleep. So moments later we are pacing into the room and the crowd stands and roars, and I feel like I’m accompanying Rocky Balboa into the ring. I take a metaphorical swig of a dry martini and we take our places in the formal Louis Seize chairs on the stage and settle in for a fireside chat. From the first question, Rihanna is poised and engaging and thoughtful and revelatory and funny and touching and I cannot get enough, and no sooner have we started than Selby Drummond, droll mistress of ceremonies, is flashing a 10-minute card and then, moments later a five-minute card, and then we are done. The crowd roars, I’m officially in love, and in a galaxy of iPhone flashes, we are romping back through to the green room. In moments Rihanna is off into the night trailing clouds of stardust, and I’m heading to JFK for Marrakesh and the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, flying high on glamour.

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