Monday, January 26, 2009


Note to Readers:
The following is a long article I wrote about my exciting times at the Sundance Film Festival. I was not commissioned to write an article about the event, but I wanted to anyway. So here it is, from me, to you, my loyal readers. Also, I think today we are going to hit 10,000 hits on this fashion blog, so thank you.

My Roller Coaster Relationship, With a Film Festival

I am one of those people. The kind of people that everyone makes fun of, when the Sundance Film Festival takes over Park City each January. I logged some serious hours up at the Festival, at parties, fashion shows, dinners, but I did not see one film. Not even a trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I did my research and had a list of films I wanted to see, September Issue was at the top of the aforementioned list, but I did not make it into the theater.

What was I doing instead? Well readers, sit back and relax as you hear a tale of my Sundance experience. It started out with an invitation to a private fashion show. (I will not put the designer’s name, and don’t worry I am doing that intentionally) Now, I was excited to go to the show, because I have an all-consuming love for fashion and some of the models with the agency I work with were in the show. The clothing however, not my personal favorite. Let’s just sum up the clothing with a quote from an observer, “It looks like the designer got inspiration from the tattoo machines at Walmart,” her words, not mine (although I agree with her).

Later in the evening, event organizers handed the models trash bags, and asked them to clean up the trash around the party. Seriously? I guess I’m not in LA anymore, but I’m pretty sure no matter where you are, models are hired to look pretty and make clothes look just as good. They are not hired to pick up half-finished drinks. After night one, Sundance and I were on the rocks.

The next night I was invited to a fabulous dinner, with fabulous food, and fabulous company. I guess Sundance was wooing me back. I was worried about what to wear to this dinner, but I selected, skinny J Brand Jeans, black boots, and a black sleeveless top with a Balenciaga-esque bow on one side, with a white long sleeve shirt underneath. Simple yet sophisticated, was the look I was going for.

I dined with Dree Hemingway, fast rising supermodel and granddaughter of Ernest, her charming booker Chris, Stacey and Shayna Eastman from Pulse Management and its partner Elite Modeling Agency. Yes, the Elite Modeling agency that has brought us everyone from Heidi Klum to Ali Stevens. Also at dinner was Wayne Sterling, a man who needs no introduction. (But in case you need one, basically he is to the modeling world what Anna Wintour is to Fashion) There were also people from the worlds of music, massage, and of course more from the world of modeling.

I sat through the decadent meal, enchanted with tales of demanding designers, first-rate fashion, and life in New York, Paris and LA, three of my favorite places. My only grievance from the night was apparently minutes before I arrived at the restaurant, John Krasinski (Jim from TV’s The Office), finished his meal and left. If only, I found parking faster, I could have caught a glimpse of him. My feelings for John were revealed in this post. After night two, Sundance and I were back on and better than ever.

The next night, I attended the Pulse Management/Elite Model Management private party, at new venue Downstairs on Main Street. The party was beyond expectation. Dree, whom I met at dinner the night before was there, along with Chris, and Wayne. Stacey Eastman, the host, was all over the party. Chatting it up with Elijah Wood, dancing with his wife, doing interviews, and pretty much making sure everything ran smoothly. Rest assured Stacey, everyone enjoyed the party, and judging by the masses lined up outside the venue, this party was the place to be.

(Beautiful Pulse/Elite Model Danielle and Me)

Throughout the evening, guests buzzed about who was in attendance. Some people were confirmed, others may have merely been rumors. I know for a fact, Calvin Klein was there, along with Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, some of the Smashing Pumpkins, Ian Ziering, Emily Vancamp and Woody Harrelson. I heard Steven Spielberg was there, along with Colin Farrell, along with a lot of film execs, actors, and indie darlings. Fashion is my main interest, my memory gets a little fuzzy when it comes to film. Then, I heard someone was in attendance, and immediately I was on a quest to find him.

Generally if I encounter a celebrity (which in LA is inevitable), I mind my own business and allow him/her the same courtesy. However, when I heard Shaun White was at the party, I had to meet him. My normal rules of decorum were temporarily abolished. Turns out one of my new friends, was also friends with Shaun. This is Shaun White we are talking about here, Olympic Gold Medalist, back-to-back X-Games Superpipe Gold Medalist, pretty much the Anna Wintour of Snowboarding.

Upon our introduction, I had no idea what to say, so I blurted out, “Hey, The White Album is my favorite thing to watch before I go snowboarding.” (The White Album is Shaun’s epic snowboarding movie)

To which Shaun replied, “Oh thanks, you’ve actually seen it?” I guess a lot of people in the fashion/movie/model crowd at the party were not extreme sports aficionados.

“Yeah, I have two brothers, so I have seen a lot of those movies. The part with Jukebox Hero is my favorite,” I shouted in his ear, trying to be heard over the music and noise of the party.

“Wow, so you really have seen it,” he said impressed.

So, that was it, my conversation with Shaun White. Oh, I may have embarrassed myself and taken a photo with him too. I know, apparently when a professional snowboarder is present, I’m shameless.

The night continued with more dancing, and conversing, and a lot of photos. Note to self, having your photo taken surrounded by models, is not exactly the best way to boost one’s self esteem. Luckily, wearing Marc Jacobs patent platforms, puts me around the same height as them, so I had that going for me.

I left the party around three that morning, and Sundance and I not only on good terms, I was ready to say the “L” word. Yep, I love Sundance.

After my consecutive late nights, I took a couple off to recover and prepare for my next outing. I was asked to style the Danny Nappi fashion show, at a private party in a Park City mansion. After the last Sundance Fashion show debacle, I was a little hesitant about it. This time however, I knew I would love the clothes (Nappi makes some of the best jeans around), and since I assisted in the casting, I knew I loved the models-- who would not be multitasking as the cleanup crew.

Every detail about Nappi’s fashion show, reversed my opinion of Sundance Fashion Shows, formed a few nights earlier. The clothing looked fabulous on each model, the music was perfect, and the crowd loved it, both at 11 PM and again at 2:30 AM. Things backstage had potential to be chaotic, with models doing three or four changes each, but everything went smoothly. I was beyond pleased.

(Fashion Designer Danny Nappi and me)

So, Sundance and I had a few wild nights together. We ended on great terms, and I am looking forward to our reunion next year. Next year, things will only get better, and I am vowing to see a film. I won’t be one of those people two years in a row, that’s a promise.


ben said...

Pictures?!?! Where are they? Did you say that there is a picture with Models AND You in it? That's like frosting-topped-frosting.

nicole said...

what a week! you are one hot commodity. i was just waiting for you to tell us that at the elite party you and your long legs were finally scouted!! Mr. Sterling must have been distracted.

thank you for the story of Sundance. i enjoyed hearing all the details, i was sad to miss it this year. and i am talking about the films not the parties. i don't know the right people obviously.

and i'm with ben, where are the pics?

absterradster said...

One day I am going to say yes I am Lisa Hongs Aunt and I know her when she was..... Yes you are going to be famous How fun and what a nice comment by Ben he is so adorable love Suzanne