My Life At Not Vogue, Chapter Six
I knew Marianne was in a good mood because she’d gotten her own Starbucks. It was early on Monday and I was on my way to a beauty shoot, where “face of the moment” Lily would test the latest in radioactive lipstick – “huge in Paris,” mentioned Marianne, which I took to mean, “Nicolas bribed me to feature it in a shoot.”
“Ava,” she purred from her desk, “get the publisher’s office on the phone please. I just had a meeting with BME” – the Biggest Makeup Company Ever – “and they’ve bought all the beauty ads in the June issue.”
That’s about 2 million dollars. That’s a lot of shoes.
“Oh and Ava?” calls Marianne, “At the beauty shoot, I need you to make sure that Victoire didn’t bring his toddler again. You remember what happened last time.”
Victoire is ur chief makeup artist and “his toddler” Sammy smooshed ten crayons onto a Chanel couture gown during a Collections shoot last month. Try explaining that to Karl.
I crammed into the subway and arrived at Milk Studios, ready to “supervise” – Marianne’s word for spy and report back – the entire beauty department, plus one notoriously gloomy British supermodel and Victoire, who has indeed brought Sammy, plus his entire Crayola Big Box of Markers. Shoot.
“Darling,” he says as I arrive, triple kissing the air and pulling me into the studio, “Disaster.“
“Dizzyter!” echoes Sammy, holding up an orange marker.
“Oh no,” I answer, “Will Lily not pose until she can recite the first chapter of the Canterbury Tales in Italian?” This has happened before, but no.
“It’s worse,” moans Victoire, “the makeup that Marianne insists we use for the shoot? From BME? It’s crap! You see, the shoot is supposed to be about radioactive lipstick, but the stuff looks like mud! It’s so colorless, so blah – and it smells like cherries.”
Lily, of course, is allergic to cherries.
“Ava, what are we going to do? This is the only makeup they sent for the shoot! I could have an assistant buy some more…”
“But this studio is costing $2000 an hour and that’s not going to work,” I say, finishing his sentence. “Okay. Well. What about…”
“Ooh!” a shriek and I look up. Lily has bent her emaciated frame over 3-year-old Sammy. “Ooh are you colouring?!” she exclaims. “I love color!”
“Color!” giggles Sammy. “Color! Color! Color!”
And then the swipe. The marker sails up, and onto Lily’s perfect puggy nose, and suddenly a streat of ultraviolet goes across her face.
“Color!” giggles Sammy, and here’s the miracle, Lily joins in. “Color!” she echoes, and whoosh! Another marker sails up to her face, this time neon pink. It gets her left eye and looks sort of cool.
“Lily,” instructs Victoire, “Don’t move.”
He grabs the photographer by the scruff of the neck and points. “Shoot that,” he says quietly. “Shoot it now.”
“Sammy,” he grins, “Keep coloring, sweetie. Lily, turn your face to the light, okay?”
A red marker streaks across her lips and voila – radioactive lipstick.
The next day we get the shots back; Marianne and I review them in her office.
“This is brilliant,” she muses, “I mean, absolutely brilliant. You see? There’s no way Victoire could get this kind of genius with a child around the set. It was good of you to make sure there wasn’t any baby sitting going on. Oh I’m just so pleased,” she continues. “This shoot will ensure that BME totally sells out.”
Yeah. Totally sells out of Toys R Us.