Little Grey Dress 2

Thank God for that blow dry.

There’s a law that says that when you’re about to be photographed for the national press, it is essential for your two year-old to wake up at 4.30 with a stinking cold and keep you up for an hour and half. Also, you must be emotionally drained and have not eaten properly for days.

Et voila – the ‘I dragged myself out of bed for this can I go home now?’ look, which your family can admire in their clippings for years to come.

Which is how I looked at 10 yesterday morning. Then I met Alan. Alan is my new blow-dry man (at Partridges, Wandsworth – I know he’d want the ‘shout out’). Alan has met John Galliano (at a couple of clubs in the eighties ‘before he was John Galliano’). Alan can talk for England and understands my hair. By 11 I looked ‘I dragged myself out of bed for this but check the shiny, curly hair’ – which was a distinct improvement and as good as it was going to get.

I travelled to the shoot with Gavin, the photographer, who turns out to live round the corner from me. It seemed a bit mad for both of us to schlepp over to Brick Lane from Balham, but we do what we’re told, us models and our teams.

When we arrived at the location, Gavin wasn’t happy. You could tell. There I was in my little grey dress and the background had been chosen to be as busy and colourful as possible.

‘You’ll disappear,’ he said gloomily.

Then his light didn’t work, because his assistant hadn’t charged it, so he had to operate the flash by hand. And people would insist on shopping in the shop we were using as the location, and cluttering up the background.

We found me a seat near the window, and daylight. I tried a few poses. Gavin looked distinctly unimpressed, but didn’t say much.

Then I tried my ‘author’ pose. The one I’ve been practising for dust jackets since I was about 22. Chin resting winsomely on my clasped hands. I felt ridiculous.

‘Better!’ smiled Gavin. He took a lot of pictures.

I felt slightly less ridiculous.

I found a bright pink, stripey vintage (ie cheap) scarf to brighten up the grey and bought it. Gavin liked the whole scarf thing. After an hour of posing and styling, we were done.

I’m not sure I was exactly Kate Moss. Or that Gavin was ever truly ecstatic. Or that the little grey dress was the perfect solution. Or that it was a good idea to wear opaque black tights. My legs disappear in most of the pictures, and they’re my best bit.

But at least my hair looked nice.

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