03 May 2010

Dreaming of Dior Book Launch in the USA for Simon & Schuster Included the Famous New York City Style, the Glamorous People & the Fabulous Vibes!!

Day 6: Official Book Launch!!
The day I never anticipated happening to me 2 years ago – preparing for my book launch in the US – is here. Who would have thought inheriting a clothing collection would allow for this kind of adventure. My day starts with a quick walk to 59th Street and Lexington where I buy funky 60s inspired tights for one of the models to wear with the pink wool Guy Meliet mini dress. Of course I get distracted and find myself in several other shops, all having 50% sales which I just can't resist before I realise how little time I have to prepare for my first appointment. 

I race back to the hotel and shower and change into my outfit for the S&S filming of me discussing my book. They will use this short feature film to market the book and to offer bookshops like Borders and booksellers like Amazon to play as a promotion. I decide to mix vintage with contemporary and put on my newly acquired dusty pink Chanel jacket with skinny Guess jeans and towering black stilettos by Dune (Bath, England). I also wear my dramatic opal chocker (again!).I meet Jess and Riku Campo who will be doing my make-up this evening. He is another S&S author and his book will be launched in September. Riku is renowned for his fabulous make-up styling he does for celebs in LA and for the movie industry. His book gives tips on how to apply and what type of makeup to buy. I am instantly charmed by Riku, he is down to earth  and funny. While we wait for the cameras to be set up he does a quick make over on me politely making no comment about my very amateurish attempt.  My filming takes 20 minutes or so. I answer 5 questions which allow me to explain how the book came to be, a bit about the collection and a quick talk about the Dior dress and the 1940s green suit which I have brought along with me like show and tell. Riku is next and then we are sent back to our hotels to rest up for the evening. 

I decide to treat myself to a nice lunch at the up market Oceana restaurant instead and have a delicious fresh tuna salad and a glass of Californian Chardonnay. I sit outside and watch passers by under the shade of a large umbrella. It is relaxing. I don't get many moments like this

My car arrives at 4:30 and I am whisked down to 30th Street to what looks like an Art Deco bank building entrance. Even the old fashioned lift with a polished brass interior is appropriate. I take 9 dresses up to the fourteenth floor and walk out of the lift into quite an extraordinary space: colourful furniture and creative 'chandeliers' give colour to the open plan kitchen area. Tables, soft sofas and armchairs are positioned around the room. There is a terrace with maple trees in large pots. Riku, our hair stylist (extraordinaire) for the evening, the models and a team of cooks await me as do Brandon and Jason, the 2 suavest (is that a word?) men I have seen in years dressed in Savile Row style suits with bespoke pointed shoes. They are the party planners hired by S&S to coordinate the evening. Music is playing, the chefs chopping and dicing and we all sit and are made beautiful by 2 maestros.I am wearing a gorgeous sapphire blue silk velvet 30s gown. I choose a pair of large pearl and sapphire stud earrings and my favourite leopard printed Dune shoes (bought in Bath England) with diamanté on the toes. My make-up and hair will be in the same period – a bit Barbara Stanwick I am assured.The party begins at 7pm sharp and guest arrive on the dot. I am still in the make-up room at this stage beginning to twitch. 

About 15 minutes late the doors are thrown back rather dramatically and I am thrust into the midst of the party. This is downtown NYC cool – cool guests, cool food and cool conversation. Of course, I know no one, but with suave Jason guiding me around I am introduced to the coolest people in NYC. Soon after, our speeches are made, the models' gowns are described in storybook fashion and the BOOK IS LAUNCHED. The party begins. Aside from the wonderful Simon & Schuster team, the only other person I know in the room is my great friend Suzanne who was my comrade in arms for many of my adventures I wrote about in the book. It is very special she is there to celebrate the launch of the book with me. 

The evening flies past. I meet tons of enthusiastic and happy people. By 9:30pm the lights are switched on to hurry along the last few party goers. I leave with my driver and arrive at the hotel around 10:30. had planned to join Suzanne and friends for dinner but felt exhausted and decided to play safe and retire. My train for Philadelphia leaves at 10am and I need several hours to pack up three gi-normous suitcases of clothes before I check out. 

Tonight was truly incredible. It was a book launch every author (who like a glam party) would dream of having to launch a book. It was wonderful and I feel very privileged to have such support and trust from S&S. Night night!!

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