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Flipping the Glossy Page

That's me, glam-ed up. 
I wrote this entry back in October 2010 when as a part of my job with a PR firm, I attended the Elle Beauty Awards. You can imagine, the excitement of attending one of these in my first job... So glad I wrote about it back then, it brings back so many memories. Enjoy the read!

Ever since I watched ‘Devil Wears Prada’, I secretly cherished the thought of working for a magazine, as I am sure, did heaps of other girls. The lure of pricey bags, exquisitely crafted shoes and artfully designed dresses has for so long enraptured the senses of womankind. Courtesy those clich├ęd ‘girly’ novels and ‘chic flicks’, we have envisaged a surreal portrait of the girl that works with a magazine.

Well I did not end up working for any publication but working in PR for an established and renowned brand in hair and beauty is the closest I had come to it. Recently my team and I received an exciting invitation to attend an awards function hosted by a popular fashion and beauty magazine. This was my chance to briefly step into and live a glossy page out of the apparent glitzy magazine life.

Organizing appropriate dresses and footwear for this occasion was a task by itself and one that we all took very seriously. The function was preceded by an elaborate makeover session of sorts. We arrived at office fully equipped with make-up kits, freshly pressed dresses and newly purchased shoes. Colleagues quickly transformed from PR professionals into skilled make-up artists, aesthetic hairstylists and frantic photographers. Meanwhile we the team, turned into the models ofcourse and much to the chagrin of hastily pacing seniors, the otherwise boring old dump called our office became our bustling makeshift studio. Once we were all spruced and groomed, we animatedly set off for the venue.

So there I was, in a short black satin dress and heels to kill standing without a glass of wine amidst an elaborate crowd that reeked with the stench of superficial pretentiousness but not one that dispelled the scent of style and elegance. Never before have I been amidst so many well-dressed and strikingly beautiful people, all contentedly exchanging conversations under one glistening, chandelier-adorned carved roof.

Did I say beautiful people? Ofcourse I did! There were gorgeous ladies everywhere you looked, gorgeously ‘Botox-ed’ I mean. We were having a conversation with a charming accomplished senior from the magazine but do not ask me what she went babbling about for all my eyes could focus on were her razor-sharp nose and pouted lips, evidently fresh out of cosmetic surgery. Like someone rightly remarked, in this industry it is better to look ugly after trying to look pretty than having never tried at all. After closely observing her, I ardently believe Botox doesn’t beautify, instead it bedevils.

Two other things that struck right out at me on that chic afternoon were the men and the food. Let me indulge in the first one first. Before you get any ideas, let me clean the slate for you. The banquet hall was replete with women and even more women. The only men I saw were those behind the buffet counter serving the guests, while the remainders of the male breed were – you guessed it – gay. I felt safety and pride in belonging to the majority sex; at least this was one profession where dresses unabashedly crumpled suits, where heels walked over shoes and lipstick smudged over after-shave.

For the second part, what can I say; the food was delightfully simple and simply delightful. Some of the best Thai food was laid out; I have to comment the green curry was even better than the one I relished in the sacred land of curries, Bangkok. The hors d’ouvres were microscopic in size, unique in flavor and fancy to look at. Let me give you a little taste. How does a small square piece of watermelon topped with a drop of cheese and a shaving of spring onion sound? A visual and gastronomical delight it was indeed! Following my lunch were sweet crepes shallow-fried in orange syrup and for the first time I tried some charmingly named pastry balls called ‘Saint de goiteux’ with vanilla custard generously oozing from within (I maybe very off on the French name since the overwhelming flavors got my mind wandering away from the name to the taste).

Alas! Sooner than we knew it, the function drew to an end. The day of excitement turned into just a page of experience. The dress was sent to the drycleaners, the make-up washed away and the new shoes shoved back into the dusty rack. We returned to our routine of conducting the thankless job that PR is. But all in all, we had good fun and it was fascinating to dress the part and play an otherworldly role even if it was just for 1/365 days. If nothing else, the food was unforgettably enchanting! My hungry stomach and the ticking clock remind me to stop writing so I can get back to working on my CV over my glass of hot chocolate. If you must know, I am looking to write for a magazine, so wish me luck! :)


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