I’m in Paris for the fashion shows. This isn’t a sentence I thought I would ever write again, but two or three designers invited me. Now, normally, whenever I send a begging email to, say, Victoria Beckham’s ‘people’, they reply with a, ‘We are sorry, but the venue is full and we cannot accommodate you at this time. Thank you for reaching out to us.’ I usually get really cross, and reply with a, ‘But I’m a size 8!’ Followed by, ‘No wonder her brand has never made a profit if you exclude someone with millions of readers!’
But this season, I am suddenly invited, undoubtedly due to coronavirus. I imagine my being de rigueur again, or whatever the French term is, will end once they find a cure. But for the moment I am second row at Dior, gazing at the models (I no longer know any of their names), parading in fringed dresses. Everyone front row (I no longer know any of their names) is taking photos on their iPads, and tweeting their reviews, while the only word I can think of is ‘lampshade’.
I begin to wonder what has happened to all the editors and stylists I once knew and hated, but I imagine they all now have their own brands, or websites, or interior design businesses, or banker husbands, while when I left the front row, having been sacked, I cried for five years. The only person I recognise is Cara Delevingne. She is the sort of beautiful woman who tries to make herself look ugly. (I’m the opposite, obvs.) I had been feeling fairly buoyant as I walked across the Jardin des Tuileries, because a young male photographer had stopped me to take my photo. ‘Do you want me smiling or not smiling?’ I asked him. ‘Either,’ he said. ‘I’m only shooting your feet.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because you are wearing flip-flops, in near snow.’ ‘But my shoes are in my bag, look. There were cobbles earlier.’ ‘No, it’s fine. Will fit with my theme.’ What theme, I’m wondering as I pad to the venue. Crazy fashionistas who defy the cold? Flats are back? Needs a pedicure? (I have one booked tomorrow!!!)
I am staying at the Costes, which costs. I might not be self-isolating, but I am self-funding this trip. Oh, for the days when I had a company Amex card! But it is lovely being in Paris on my own. No fashion team to shepherd. No copy to file. No ‘appointment’ with a designer the day after a show, when you have to pretend to have loved the collection and promise to put it on the back of the next celebrity you happen to put on the cover (she will hate everything you show her, and will only wear her own ripped jeans and boob tube). No man to have to pretend to listen to. Cities are always better when you are not forcing them to be romantic. The only cloud on the horizon is the prospect of the small room the Costes put you in when you pay your bill; I’m pretty sure it has a lock.
Anyhow, a brief update on the man situation. Nothing from David. It’s interesting, isn’t it, that I send a text to a man, saying I am desperately in love with him, but I hate his flat, and he doesn’t reply. How does his mind work, I wonder? Reconcile with the woman I proposed to on Christmas Day by picking up all the wet towels on the bathroom floor and screwing in a couple of lightbulbs, or go for, ‘Nah, let’s just leave it. Can’t be bothered dealing with that pile of unopened post.’
Nothing from the Hunk in Australia. I am writing this two days before the column about how I met him is published (confusing, I know). Which means I will spend Sunday with my phone off, not daring to look in case he has read it, and has emailed me crossly to say I have upset his old family/new wife. I wish I had written about the snow in Yorkshire, or the fact my plumber has disappeared for weeks leaving the floorboards up, or that my horse Swirly ran into a wire fence and injured herself, or that my dog Missy has learned to wag her tail, or that I have had so much Botox in prep for flying to Sydney that when I tried to get Mini Puppy to stop digging for rabbits, I found my face can no longer whistle. But I always sabotage my own life. I wish I could stop.