This is Julia Restoin Roitfeld, the 29 year old daughter of Carine, editor of Paris Vogue. I ended up a sitting between her and Olivia Palermo yesterday at the Topshop Unique show. By accident.
Granted, I was sitting on the floor. And I was invited to the show, held this year in old Eurostar part of Waterloo Station. But as this year I have the special photographers' pass this year, I thought I'd try to be one of the guys in the pit: I'm entitled, after all. There were actually some girls there, too, especially a tiny cute one with a tripod but no camera. These bodyguard type guys in blue ties were being great about reigning us into area behind tape, and one pointed out that the fence we were leaning on wasn't secure (the train tracks were 10 inches past the fence). Then he announced that the little girl with the tripod was the only one with the 'Topshop camera', and to clear her view of the show. And I was basically standing in front of her: if I moved the way I tend to during shows, the Topshop streaming would consist of a big hot pink blurry torso that was me.
So I asked someone in charge, politely, if I could sit in the aisle and pointed to the first space. She was lovely and said sure.
Then it turned out that I was sitting between the front row seats with Olivia Palermo to my right, and Julia to my left (more about the sweet Olivia who I met last February in a future post: I got some great shots of her, too, but this is Julia's post, and it's taking forever to tell this story as it is). It was surreal, yet normal, to see them politely greet each other and chat: 'Where are you going after this?' 'Paris'. Of course.
The show was fabulous, by the way. Lots of ethereal seventies influences, fabulous shoes and hair: really gorgeous setting, fun retro music that I was actually singing along to. I'll post more shots next time, promise.
These are Julia's hands: so graceful and well groomed. I watched her clap and in the midst of all that was going on, thought about the Zen line.. something about one hand clapping.
My father used to say, we don't choose our families. I was very lucky with mine: in our own way, in our town, we were held in high esteem as a family, and we understood the responsibilities, and the privileges, that come with that. We don't choose the situations we are born into.
Or, perhaps we do. The Hindus say we do. Feel we're here on this earth, with our own set of challenges, and our family and place of origin of course informs those challenges. Today I saw firsthand what it must like to be someone like Julia.
Don't get me wrong: I'm sure she loves her life. When I asked to take her photo after, she was sweet and polite and patiently waited while I tried to figure my own camera out: I forgotten to turn it on. She's clearly a happy, well brought up girl. It just started me thinking, waiting quietly for the show to start, that someone like Julia Restoin Roitfeld's life is no easier, or harder, or happier, or sadder, than the girl serving the champagne, say, or the girl with the camera in the photographers' pit, or the girl running around in a maxi with a walkie talkie device in her head.
It's just different, that's all.
I left her - and Nicola, and Lilly, and Olivia - as they were being swallowed up by the circus, and went outside, into the sunshine.
p.s. All photos are mine: if you'd like to use them, please ask me first. Thank you.