Dear potential dating match,
I hear we have a few things in common. I saw you smile at me from behind the coffee shop counter, and I know you liked my last three Instas. You probably think I look cute and uncomplicated, balancing my flat white with my folder of fabric swatches. But believe me when I say, there’s more to this well-dressed stranger than meets the eye.
So before you take the plunge and ask me on a date, there are some things you ought to know. I work in fashion, and this is a disclaimer. First and foremost, you may not understand all of my outfits, but trust me when I say they’re awesome. I’ve spent years honing my personal style and take pride in wearing things a little left of centre. Those heels I can't quite walk in were a vintage Marni find. Whether or not they’re practical is irrelevant - those babies are one of a kind.
I’m not very good at packing lightly or getting ready in a rush. So arriving on my doorstep for a spontaneous date is not always a wise idea. I need a twohour warning and notification of the destination – the thought of being over/under dressed makes me clammy and stressed.
I like to eat at ‘on-trend’ places and will often suggest (exxy) spots frequented by the fashion crowd. More often than not, I’ll know what I want to order right away - my favourite blogger Instagrammed it yesterday. And if I fail to act excited about a date night at Nandos, please don’t call me high maintenance. Sure, I get by on carrot sticks and lentils during the week but if we’re going out, I'd like to go somewhere chic.
Speaking of Instagram and blogging, these are things you’ll learn to tolerate. That, and my love for photography, which I will practise whether or not you’re ready to say "cheese!" Don’t be weirded out when you find a snap of yourself on social media that you didn’t know I took. It’s a compliment - to make my ’gram grid you’ve got to have a certain look.
When we hang out, be ready to listen. I love to talk about all things fashion-related, which might sometimes sound like another language. Think of it as an educational journey; a broadening of your horizons. You'll learn a clutch is not found in a car, a mule is not a donkey, and a trench has absolutely nothing to do with warfare.
And if I can’t hang out, don’t take it personally – fashion is a full time job. It doesn’t sleep, and neither does my email, boss or phone. Sure, it might be evening here, but in New York Donna Karan is rolling out her latest collection and I’ve got deadlines coming at me from every direction.
And while I do my best to leave work problems in the office, product will always manage to accompany me home. But please don’t ask whether the parcels were perks or purchases. My publicist might be generous, but my credit card is good at giving presents, too.
I know my bedroom resembles a sewing studio/retail stockroom/shoe graveyard/magazine archive, but don’t attempt to understand it, either. Believe me when I say it’s an organised chaos – try tidy it and you’ll bear the wrath.
And don’t freak out if you find a price tag in the triple figures lurking around my floor. I might be pushing pennies to foot next month’s rent, but that jacket was the last of its kind in the country and the style is being discontinued. Justified.
I hope you’re cool with being a plus one, because there’s a lot of launch parties I’d love to take you to. You’ll be introduced to people whose names you won’t remember (they’ll also be wearing things you might not understand). And you’ll sip back on free champagne and dainty nibblies that probably won’t fill a fraction of your stomach. (NB: eat a burger beforehand, and don’t be disappointed when they don’t serve draught beer).
And finally, although I live, love and breathe fashion, I don’t expect you to do the same. After dealing with the drama of the industry all day, many of us fashion folk enjoy coming home to people outside the bubble. So you don’t need to turn into the next Eddie Redmayne (although… that would be rather nice). The fact you don’t know the difference between Kmart and Kenzo is kinda cute.
Think you can handle the fashion-dating criteria? We might just suit.