Okay, it's time for the Olivia story. I know it's going to be so stupid and anti-climatic: it was just at the time I did the Julia post ('being Julia'). It was all at the same event, Day Two (Saturday), at the Topshop Unique show at Waterloo Station, and there were just so many photos and stories from that day I said I'd tell you the Olivia story another time and then I just got so busy... and I just can't tell anything simply, but I'll try.
Last February, I met and photographed Olivia Palermo ('deer in the headlights') but I didn't know who she was. (I'm always meeting famous people that I often don't know are famous: one of these days remind me to tell you the Hugh Grant story). The City was already on one of the channels here but it wasn't in our listings.. I eventually started watching the show and I saw what people meant about her character but frankly, I didn't think she was bitchy. Maybe it's because I met her and liked her so I"m biased, or maybe it's because that other one - the big blonde - the one who's actually supposed to be nice.. but I don't think she is. I think she's kind of manipulative by playing the victim. But that's just me. I haven't watched the show much, frankly.
Anyway, because of the strange situation I found myself in (as explained in the Julia story) I found myself just kind of hanging around because I hadn't gone to the little party that Shini had gone to (I had a ticket, I just had gone straight to the photo pit) so I'm just standing around, waiting for it to start, taking photos of people, shoes...
... watching Olivia talk to the famous Telegraph fashion journalist, Hillary Alexander (that's another story)..
and finally I introduced myself again, said we met last February.
She seemed really pleased to see me, seemed convincingly to have remembered me (or it could be good acting), and yet, like in February, it felt like this kind of friendly moment passed between us: like she was relieved that I wasn't treating her like a strange creature, an object to be Papp'd, and just that quick nanosecond moment of 'we're all just normal people' before she got swept into more photos, more taped interviews..
..then the show began, and I'm sitting there next to her (separated by one person)..
.. with a view of her hands on my right, like Julia's was on my left..
..more shots of the show, and then after, I was talking with Julia and left Olivia to the hoards and masses, and that was it, really. Then back outside to the craziness of shooting civilians and models with Shini and the other photographers (and yes, that's another post, or two, or seven).
Not really much of a story, is it? I mean, hardly worth spinning you along this long, and I apologise.
Okay, so this is where the story starts veering into Implausibility Land: my lovely friend Natayla (editor of the online fashion magazine Its Fashion Week) asked me what the 'Olivia' story was. I said I'd tell her when I saw her, it was no big deal. Meanwhile we're both running round to different shows, trying to find each other.. at one point (and this is all within like 48 hours) she ends up in Kurt Geiger, and who should she see alone in the shop with no one around apart from what seemed to be a 'minder', but.. Olivia herself. So she introduced herself and took this shot:
Now Nat also felt that Olivia Palermo, the person, is really nice, sweet, warm. So which is it? Is she a really good actress who can play a bitch well, but in real life acts nice? Or is she THAT good an actress that she's really a bitch and just acts nice in public? Frankly, I don't think anyone's that good an actress.
Anyway, enough on the Olivia stuff. Fame is such a weird thing: there are so many lovely people I meet and shoot all the time, and they could just as easily be famous, they're just not. Yet.
I think I like this shot most of all, when Olivia Palermo, the actress, the celebrity, is simply being a human being. All these shots are unretouched and if you look closely you will see it: a spot. A teeny, tiny spot, granted, but it's there. Proof that she's just as human as you or me, after all.