Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Art of Dressing up an Oligarch

Being an artist often means being skint… The artist has to eat and buy nice shoes… Family members are supportive and generous, waiting patiently for the Muse to strike; but they really do need an occasional help.

So, when I am asked to do some work I am pretty happy.  Not having a career but various temporary jobs with no particular direction has its plusses (yes, it does); it means trying out different roles and learning diverse skills and information. I can narrate about the history of Swiss cheese-making for hours or tell you the depths of Swiss lakes by heart…

Where was I?.. Ah, work.  So last night I get a phone call with a proposal to assist one Russian oligarch in finding a suitable coat while he is visiting Zurich.  I agreed with an easy heart: how difficult can it be, right? Wrong! I was phoned by 4 (four!) different people to tell me how IMPORTANT this man was… so at the end of the evening I begun to imagine it was Putin himself  roaming wintry streets of Zurich - coatless and incognito.

What does a professional anyone do before jumping into business? Right, he investigates. So I decided to make a check of the best shops of men’s fashion in the city. Getting up early and pulling the best clothes on I am wondering if they let me in the shop in MY coat… They did, all right, and they have been so polite and caring, I might go back there again just to get that special treatment…

My first destination is Tom Ford house. When an exceptionally well groomed Adonis hurriedly opened the door for me, I forgot the purpose of my visit, I swear. All I could say was “May I come in?” (Duh, it’s a shop, you fool…) I pull myself together for the next boutique (PRADA was it) and at the end I am actually having a kick of it. By the early afternoon - armed with a nice list of nice shops with nice coats - I head for a café at Zum Storchen to get some rest: shopping is a tiring business (shopping for the others that is…)

I order a cappuccino and start planning the upcoming meeting. Ten minutes before the appointed time I become nervous and unsure of my ability to advise to Putin… Twenty minutes AFTER the appointed time I order a glass of prosecco and become a little suspicious.

The oligarch cancelled. Telephone calls followed, apologies were made and costs covered….Surely, there are more important things to do than buying a coat (pfffffff….). The sun slowly starts to lean behind the Alps, and the lights of Zurich get ready to twinkle and I am contemplating the idea of ordering another prosecco…  

And that is how my career of a personal stylist has died without producing a single blossom. It is not a very Christmassy story, but I hope it made you smile…what else matters?

Merry Christmas to all.


P.S. If you want to know who the Rolls-Royce of the world of coats is, give me a shout. :-)

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