Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moments after we'd dragged ourselves home from the controversial great big extravaganza party fashion show anniversary event thing in the Blue Hall, where they hold the Nobel Prize dinner, we couldn't resist reliving the whole experience for the benefit of our guests visiting from the other side of the Atlantic.

"How was it?!?" crowed the soon-to-be massage therapist.

All the beautiful people of Stockholm and me, I said, rushing to get out of my too-tight suit, the husband ahead of me, shedding clothes down the back hall as he went.

Then I tried to describe why a runway show is so dizzyingly, eye-wateringly, breathtakingly electric, and I couldn't explain why I found it so compelling. (Of course I found it thrilling no doubt because, well, it's the only runway show I've ever seen.)

So the husband demonstrated, first with the sashaying walk of the best of the six-foot tall girls in their six-inch sandals and then with the cold throwaway looks of the chiseled boys, parading up and down the living and dining rooms, his compact frame and four-day beard making it look all too ridiculous and causing us to roll around on the sofa laughing helplessly.

But it really is fabulous, I said. My favorite part was seeing I., long since retired from modelling, up on the stage and the only one of the 50 or so models comfortable enough to really laugh on the catwalk.

As for the reception, the husband and C., the fashion photographer and A., the TV producer were all in their element: the fashion mafia of Sweden. Of course there was a liberal sprinkling of B celebrities, wives of rich men, and minor royalty, but really the place was mostly a swarm of fashionistas.

Which made me wonder, as I sometimes do when life seems like a dream I'll wake up from: How did I get here?

The Swedish word for the day is verkligen. It means truly.

- by Francis S.

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