Last Tuesday night, I dressed like I was from the 1920s and was approximately twenty inches from Nicole Richie—simultaneously. How did I accomplish this feat, you may ask? My friend Olive (yes, the very same Olive that you may remember from this article) and I went to the H&M Fashion Star Event at the store’s flagship location on 5th Avenue. NBC’s show “Fashion Star” was celebrating the fact that two of the contestants’ designs were being sold at H&M, and seeing as Nicole Richie is one of the program’s judges, she was hosting the party along with John Varvatos. I didn’t get to see him, but we were in the same building, and that’s enough.
Olive and I arrived at the store at around 7 p.m. and were surprised to see a mini red carpet laid out in front of the entrance and a small crowd of people gathered to see why there were so many flashbulbs going off inside the building. There were well-dressed, high-heeled, perfectly coifed women standing at intervals along the carpet with iPads, ready to check the attendees in. We signed in and were nearly immediately engulfed by a crowd of paparazzi swarmed around another red carpet, awaiting celebrities, no doubt. We waited for several minutes, my camera at the ready, but no one came. Instead, we walked around and explored the store. H&M really does have awesome clothes. I saw a denim jumpsuit that was somewhat reminiscent of what a gas station worker in the 1950s would wear—but denim. Yeah. I was basically in love.
We hobbled around on our high heels for a little while longer (let me revise that: I hobbled, Olive gracefully sauntered) before returning to the red carpet by the entrance. After a few minutes of waiting, Nicole Richie herself entered and the paparazzi went mega cray-cray. They kept shouting, “Nicole, look over here!” and “This way, Ms. Richie!” Their big cameras were swinging around all over the place and the flashes were nearly blinding; they were pushing and shoving and hollering. And there I was, standing extremely precariously on my three and a half inch heels amidst this crowd of scary men with my little—in comparison to the others—Canon Rebel XTi. I refused to use flash because I prefer not to jeopardize the integrity of my photographs. I just kind of stole everyone else’s flash, and I was able to snag some really nice shots that way. At one point, one of the guys holding the sound equipment for a huge video camera tapped my shoulder and showed me where I could move to get a better view. He even helped me stand up on a step stool because I was simply too short to get a clear shot over the sea of cameras. I love that guy. We were great friends.
Nicole Richie made her way down the carpet and around the corner into a bigger mob of people waiting to interview her and bombard her with questions. I tried to shove my way in there, but to no avail. I probably spent a good fifteen minutes just getting my toes stepped on, literally, in an effort to be close enough to even hear what other people were saying. Needless to say, the struggle was for naught, and I came out empty handed in that sense. I have pictures to compensate, though. Now no one can pull the “pics or it didn’t happen” thing on me, because it most certainly did happen, and I got da photographic proof. Check it out up above.
All in all, it was great fun. The night included interesting hors d’oeuvres with obscure names, beautiful people and some nice conversations with two women visiting from London “on holiday” and the fashion bloggers Natalie Suarez, Nadia Sarwar and “Claire Geist.” All us bloggers had met before during New York Fashion Week in February (minus Olive, and I’d never officially met Claire; I could more accurately say that I admired her from afar) so we caught up on what had happened since then. I was a bit starstruck because they’re famous and they were talking to me. Whoa. You know where this is going…that fish cray. One of the highlights of the night was definitely after the party when Olive and I were leaving and I had my sister take photos of us for my blog and some random woman on the street thought we were famous. She started taking pictures of us, too. My sister thought it was hilarious so she asked if the woman wanted to be in one of the photos with us and she got really excited. I was shaking with silent laughter throughout the entire experience, but I still don’t think she got it.
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Photographs (and article) by Odelia Kaly