I Had a Conversation with Mary-Kate Olsen

Olsen TwinsI spent last Thursday night with the Olsen Twins, Garance Dore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Schumann, and Hailee Steinfeld.  How was your evening?

Let’s be clear: I was checking their coats, not clinking glasses of champagne with them.  But still – I was in the same ten-foot space with them, and it was quite fun.

My first Fashion Week catering event last week was far from what I expected.  I was passing hors d’oeuvres at an ESPN promotional event for a TV show they’ve produced about sports guys teaching business men about fashion (who green-lit that?!), and I don’t think Anna Wintour would have dreamed of even looking into that room.  There were no A-listers, no models, no fashionable outfits, just a bunch of people who seemed like they didn’t want to be there, drinking their way through ten bottles of vodka and a few cases of wine.  I did get some cool backstage pictures of hair and makeup shots for a couple of the fashion shows going on nearby (which I’ll share later, though the quality is miserable), but overall the evening was supremely boring.  Consequently, I had few hopes for my second Fashion Week event on Thursday.

However, my first task upon arriving was to “get groomed” by the client’s hair and makeup team.  This is NOT a normal event for catering waitstaff; the guys were quite peeved at having to get their hair combed and faces powdered.  For my part, I received a few pounds of eyeliner added to my bottom lash line and had my hair yanked into an even sleeker ponytail.  Ok, now get to work!

Eventually, I was placed in coat check, where the guests began to drip their way in from the rain.  All was normal for me until I looked up and realized I was checking Garance Dore’s lace raincoat.  Um, what?!  I used to read her blog daily, as I love her hilarious tone of voice.  But WHOA!  There she was, in person, talking to me, smiling at me.  My heart definitely stopped for a second, and I had a realization of what the night was to be.

I was a little less shocked when I checked Emily Schumann’s umbrella.  Emily’s blog was on my blog roll when I was more fashion-focused during my office manager years.  She looked super cute, in a lovely green and blue cocktail dress.  She’s also a spokesperson for Estee Lauder, so of course she would be at their new fragrance launch party!

Surprisingly, seeing Maggie Gyllenhaal casually leaning against the wall nearby, talking to her friends, was almost run-of-the-mill.  Please do ignore the snark in the link – I thought she looked gorgeous in person.  And she’s much taller than I thought!  Though of course, everyone looks taller in five inch heels.  (Everyone had five inch heels…)  She has such a 20s vibe to her.  I never knew people could radiate an era that much in person.

A little later, I helped check a woman’s umbrella but had to wait until her daughter came in so she could check her sweater with it.  Her daughter being none other than Ms. Hailee Steinfeld, whose performance I loved in True Grit.  Oh.  Okay.

At one point, I glanced out the door and thought to myself, Wow, that girl kind of looks like one of the Olsen Twins.  Wouldn’t it be neat if they were here?

Um, yeah, they were there.  And I had a lovely little conversation with Mary-Kate on her way out thirty minutes later or so.  I’m pretty sure it went like this:

“Oh [Mary-Kate who I’ve been a huge fan of since childhood], do watch your heels on the grate*!”

“Oh, great, thanks.”

“You’re welcome.  Have a great evening!”

“Thank you.”

I know, we’re best buds now.  It’s cool.

*The Guggenheim Museum’s entrance was clearly designed by a man, since the silver floor grates right inside the door are DEATH to high heels.  I can’t tell you how many women got stuck and/or nearly wiped out in front of the door.

I also caught the briefest of glimpses of Michelle Dockery (of Downton Abbey fame) walking out the door.  She’s TALL in real life!  Not sure why that was a surprise.  She was lovely, as always.

But oh, tragedy!  It turns out I missed Drew Barrymore completely.  When I found out, I was really depressed.  My mom just spent ten minutes the other day gushing about how amazing she looked in the latest issue of InStyle magazine, and we’ve been huge fans since her Ever After days.  Of course it makes sense that I didn’t see her, given how much I kept running back into the coat check room, but still – how did I miss both her entrance AND her exit?  I would not have mistaken her face.  Sad day.

There were lots of other cool people there too (for a complete set of images, click here), but let’s face it: models just aren’t as cool as people you’ve developed a relationship with over the internet and/or in films.

So that was my evening with fame.  Yes, they’re all just people like you and me (even more obvious in real life when they can’t find their coat check ticket and are emptying their bag into your hands to try), but it was still fun.  A very New York City moment.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkinline/101020786/”>Lucas Berrini</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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