The Nordstrom Trend Show
Have You Ever Been To A Trend Show? - Don't Get Me Started!
For those of us outside the world of what I guess is supposed to be true fashion, glamour and more they have these "shows" that they call "Trend Shows" (well, at least Nordstrom does but I'm sure they have them other places too). Well as I've been writing, I'm in Seattle and I found out that a pal of mine was going to be one of the stars of the show here (more on that later). So on my day off, I decided to go and surprise her at this Nordstrom Trend Show. Oy gut. Have you ever been to a trend show? - Don't Get Me Started!
The trend show I attended was for makeup and other cosmetics. These trend shows are supposed to show the invited few exactly what trends are hip and happening or more importantly are about to be happening. (They have the regular trend experience for the shoppers downstairs which amounts to a gazillion barstools and lots of people running around in the makeup area of the store dressed in black with black aprons, a lot of makeup and preening as they shove people into chairs and try to make them look as little like themselves as possible so that they can sell a gazillion dollars in product). As I entered the store I was overwhelmed by the crowds of people in the makeup department. I would have seriously thought that they were giving something away from the crowds, the shoving and the pushing.
I finally found a sales clerk that would make eye contact with me. Most are so busy they have no time to actually help you applying more makeup and accosting the people as they go by to try to get them in their chair so that they can give them cheekbones or something, I don't know. She was a bit overweight (tip of the day: if you need immediate assistance in a makeup department, go for the chubby girl. She will always help you and is usually the best one in the department. While her co-workers preen and act as if they are the customer, the chubby girl is always glad to help you because she usually feels a little out of step with the rest of her department like you do). I told her who I was looking for and that's when she told me that my friend Debbie was upstairs at the trend show not down amongst this bunch. Of course she was sweet and said that I could probably just sneak in so up the elevator to the fifth floor.
A quick bio on my friend, Deborah Lippmann. She and I have been friends for what seems like forever and her mother and my mother are friends, hello you get the picture. Well, Debbie or Deborah (as they call her in magazines, when she is on on television shows and QVC) is the first manicurist to the stars. What Janice Dickinson supposedly did for modeling (becoming the first super model - or so she says) Debbie is to nails. While she is a brilliant singer, actress and dancer she has made her name in the field of nail care. She has done absolutely everyone's nails, done major magazine covers and one year I think was at the Oscars backstage to touch up one of her uberceleb client's nails between appearances. Her products are all cleverly named for songs and she even sometimes collaborates with fave celeb clients to make new colors. (Deb and Pat Benatar came up with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while she and Sarah Jessica Parker came up with Sarah Smiles) Go to her site immediately and buy everything there because not only is she the manicurist to the stars, her products are fabulous. Go ahead...I'll wait... http://lippmanncollection.com/07/LC007_index.html
Back to our story. So I go upstairs and I explain who I am to the cute girls at the check-in. Once they realized I wasn't crashing this event to get one of the faux Channel quilted makeup cases that they were giving out, they seemed fine with me going in. As I entered the main room, it was all ready in progress. There was a man on stage with so much makeup on himself that I had to wonder if he had intended to look so made up or felt that he needed it under the four stage lights they had up in the room that sat a little over a couple hundred people. He was mincing through the crowd doing some sort of raffle thing, giving God only knows what out as he hugged the women and undoubtedly got makeup all over their shoulders. I found a woman with a clipboard and asked her if she could get a message back to my friend (as she had no idea I was in Seattle much less coming to this event). She gave me the look up and down but told me to have a seat and she went to the backstage area.
The makeup man was leaving and now it was our host for the afternoon that came out. She was a thin woman with too much makeup on, dressed in black and a nasal voice that would possibly allow her to do dubbing for Fran Drescher. She told everyone that the next presentation was going to be a video presentation to show us the different matte looks that were going to be in this season and then like a Catholic school teacher, she insisted everyone get out their booklets they'd been given and follow along. The video when on for about five minutes and our host was watching from the side that everyone had their books out. I don't know what the hell they were talking about, all I know is that it was some line of makeup and you were supposed to keep tapping your brush and using "very little" yet you had to use at least twenty little makeup pods of "very little" to look as though you had "very little" on. As the video ended and the lights came up and our host stepped back into center (I'm going to say she was probably a Patti...you know, the kind that insist on the "i" at the end not the kind that has the word Peppermint after her name and wears sandals). Patti scanned the crowd and asked, "Did everyone see the difference between the matte finishes that were shown? Did you? Did you?" Finally the crowd responded with a collective, "yes" that sounded more like a Gregorian chant than an answer. Though I'm sure everyone was afraid that Patti was going to "cut them" if they didn't answer.
At this point I looked around the room. I don't know how half of these women got invited as they looked like the biggest bunch of shlepps I've ever seen in my life. Few had makeup on (I guess because after the show they were headed down to the barstools for a makeover) and none were really dressed with any kind of real trend. But whatever, at this point the woman with the clipboard informs me that she did what she could do to get a message to Debbie. Patti is nasally describing something and then shoving her nails toward her mouth to show that her red nails match her lipstick and we're off to the races, she introduces Debbie. (I sigh and think, "Thank God")
Debbie comes on and immediately asks where I am in the audience and then goes into her allotted two minute presentation. She has the crowd from minute one. They are oohing and ahhing like she is fireworks at the Fourth of July. When she tells them that there aren't too many of one particular item left, they all "Ahhh" with appropriate disappointment and they mean it. If I didn't know better I would think that this audience had been booked like one for an infomercial. They're dying her to stay on and give them more but like a true professional (and from what I could see, Patti motioning in the wings that her time was up) Debbie left the stage in a flurry of applause and you could tell regardless of what went before or after Debbie was the show.
I went backstage and met her. We laughed and hugged and caught up in the six minutes we had before she had her facial appointment at the Nordstrom spa. The other "Trend People" were sitting on deck and as most people in fashion seemed to be, couldn't quite get my energy or one liners as they were what I think, too thin to get anything because they're thinking about all the food they'll never eat again.
All this to say, it was great seeing Debbie and she did a wonderful job but I really don't know what I was supposed to get out of all of this except the faux Channel quilted makeup bag (which I left behind). If someone invites you to one of these events, definitely go but think of me sitting beside you, shaking my head wondering if I have matte look one or two and how do I achieve matte look three? Have you ever been to a trend show? - Don't Get Me Started!
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An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.
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