once i had a gig as a styling assistant to a seriously flamboyant, over the top, emerging designer who'd come from london to new york in order to show her first collection in the big apple.
she appears in all those society pages from time to time now. new york times, women's wear daily, town and country, etc.
at this early juncture, she was just getting rolling. fresh in the city, she'd rented a room at the landmark and historic chelsea hotel, the same place where sid viscous, of sex pistols fame, stabbed his girlfriend nancy.
the chelsea hotel had long been a haven for writers and artists, who wanted or needed a place to set up while working. bob dylan, allen ginsberg, janis joplin, iggy pop have all taken up residence there, along with countless others.
i went out of my way to avoid the sid and nancy crime scene room and hallway.
the hotel wasn't haunted, it just had a dark and heavy vibe.
this designer no doubt felt the heaviness too, bc she draped her entire suite, floor to ceiling, in yards and yards of white gauze.
this was long before the mariah carry's and jennifer lopez's of the world came along.
everything was light and white, and kind of airy feeling, but she herself had long dark hair, teased up witches of eastwick style, and fiercely made up dramatic eyes.
in addition to the filmy white gauze, she hung only one other thing on the wall.
it was a tear out from andy warhol's interview magazine, a full page black and white photograph of a guy with a pirate patch over one eye.
she said to me, see that guy?
i said yeah.
how could i not?
it was the only thing hanging besides all that gauze.
she said i'm in love with him.
i said ok.
(what would you have said? it's not like i knew her that well.)
she said isn't he beautiful?
i thought hmmm. hard to say really. that patch is covering his eye. so i said something half assed.
i guess so.
is what i said.
is what i said.
she said can't you see it?
and i wanted to say see what?
i didn't know what she was talking about.
but as my life has gone on, and i've grown past that whole cultural perception of what 'beauty' is, especially beauty that pertains to symmetry, i realized she was right.
he was hot.
i didn't understand, at that point, i was too inexperienced to realize.
her debut fashion show was held at the limelight, a beautiful old church turned into an underground nightclub at the time. the guy with the eye patch owned it.
eye patches, scars, radiation tattoos, lack of symmetry.
those things have nothing to do with beauty.
it's the beauty perceived in spite of it.
she was right.
i should've known.
but now i do.