My Life At Not Vogue, Chapter Seven
When we didn’t like the fall collections, we got really drunk.
Well, not quite.
More like, Alessa ordered a stack of wine crates from Babbo and said, “I’m doing a story on white wine skin treatments, can I borrow Ava to help with the piece?” And Marianne would nod in a particularly sardonic way, which meant she knew I was being whisked away to my doom, and then Alessa would hand me a bottle.
The reason for white wine: we had $500,000 white carpets and about $5 million worth of dresses in the office. Spillage = death. So there was Alessa, her assistant Elle, and me were all crammed in the beauty closet. We spread out on an Hermes blanket we had no intention of returning – weirdly Hermes was always very relaxed about their samples. I still have a little Kelly bag somewhere under my bed…
Anyway, this being Not Vogue, none of us had eaten anything that day, so the equation went like this: three women drinking. each a size two. zero calories consumed before the wine. And that equals, totally trashed in about fifteen minutes.
Which of course, is when Alessa’s phone rang. Elle jumped.
“Not Vogue,” she answered, almost laughing. “Marianne! Oh shi – I mean, oh, she’s right here.”
“Nice save,” whispered Alessa as the phone was passed to me. Except I was so drunk, it looked like four or five phones were being passed to me, all at once. I let Alessa shove the receiver in my hand before feeling a momentary pang of jeal0usy – why wasn’t my boss that cool?
“Ava, I’m going to need you back immediately – Kate is coming in to approve her February cover, and you’ll need to receive her. Please rush to the elevators.” Wait – my boss was that cool, just not with me. Ugh.
“Okay, Marianne, I’ll be right there,” I heard myself say in a stunningly calm voice. Then I slammed down the phone.
“Guys,” I whispered frantically, “I have to go get Kate. Right now! KATE!” Then I tried to stand up, which didn’t quite work – probably because the floor looked like melted marshmallows, and Alessa and Elle appeared to be underwater. Suddenly my head was heavy and it hurt. This was not good.
I tried to take a step towards the door and I fell.
“Here,” hissed Elle, “trade shoes with me!” She pried off her pink Dolman flats and tossed them at me. In turn I wobbled out of my Vuitton stilettos and shakily stepped into the new shoes. “This is so a permanent trade,” slurred Elle, and I said a little prayer that she’d be too drunk to remember it.
Stumbling to the elevators I saw a blurry pillar of cheekbones and bright eyes – Kate.
“Hi,” I smiled, wondering if my head would explode before her bank account did. “I’m Ava, Marianne’s assistant. Why don’t you come with me?”
“Of course,” she answered very quickly, and very soft, “but first, is there any way I could get a glass of wine? The paparazzi followed me here and I’m just really on edge. Also, can I smoke in here? Thanks, love.”
I tugged Kate’s hand all the way to the beauty closet.
Then I stole my shoes back.