Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are you there, Paris? It's me, Moveable Beast.

Moveable Beast is starting to look very dated compared to all the highfalutin blogs out there these days, but I've always been somewhat of a Luddite, so that's how it will remain.

In the meantime, I am in mega missing-Paris mode, so much so that I can't really bear to read certain books or blogs or see movies for fear that they will evoke this vicious sense of, "Why aren't I there?"

My very own Paris effect has come back to haunt me. So, here and now, I'm vowing to live there again, or as a last resort, to retire there.

Given my current age and life circumstances, I suppose the next logical question is: Is 30 an unreasonable age to retire?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Girls Who Stand on Corners

Photo by Eugène Atget, 1940

It was around this time last year when an old French guy accused me of being a prostitute.

But let's back up.

I had taken yet another impulsive jaunt under the guise of professional necessity, but I can now admit, I was blatantly there to see a boy. While there, we decided to take a road trip to Normandy. We woke up early and strolled up his street on the Ile St. Louis.

Before hopping onto the bus, G dodged into a tabac and I lingered on the corner.
Okay, I supposed I might have leaned against the sign post on the corner, and it's possible my posture may have suggested that this was, in fact, my place of work. Suddenly, an old, super stereotypical French man (long white beard, fisherman's cap, pipe in mouth, paper in hand) approached me, eyes sparkling with mischief. I waited to see what kind of Frenchism he was about to unleash on me.

"Back in my day," he laughed, "if a woman stood on the corner..."

I was on the verge of coming up with some incredibly zingy comeback, when G came out of the store and swooped me away.

"What was that?"

"Oh, just an old guy who thought I was a whore." Nothing new there.

Although, I was wearing a very demure navy and white striped mariner dress, and looked more like I was about to board a schooner than commit some lewd sexual act. But I suppose girls who stand on corners are inherently suspect, no matter how stripe-ily they're dressed. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Carine Roitfeld Remembered My Hair

Don't fear the Roitfeld.

I remember my first Fashion Week in Paris. I ambled into the Tuileries (oblivious to the fact that it was Fashion Week) and suddenly found myself surrounded by long-legged, designer-bedecked, blow-dried, sleek, shiny, glittering people. Parisians generally look good, but this was above and beyond. It was only then that I noticed the tents, and the PR people who—clipboards in hand—looked at me as if to say, “You’re at the wrong party, frump.” And indeed I was, which was fine with me.

At that point, I never imagined that I would someday be involved in the champagne-sipping, stiletto-teetering madness that is Fashion Week, that I would hold tickets to shows in my trembling little hands, that my name would actually be on some of those PR lists.

Don't worry—I'll never be a fashion insider. The industry makes it pretty impossible for any half-way rational person to take most of it seriously, especially when they start sending hoodarfs down the runway. But my skepticism didn't stop me from masquerading as a fashion reporter during February's New York Fashion Week, when I hit the town on behalf of New York Magazine.

Over the course of 9 days, I experienced quite a few "Who do I think I am?" moments. I chatted with Woody Allen about his prolific career, I stood awestruck in the glow of Bill Clinton's magical aura (it really is magical), I asked Cate Blanchett about her hobbit-related rituals, and I tried to remain nonchalant as I chatted with models and fashion-y people and sassy comedian Aziz Ansari.

But for some reason, the moment that stands out, the moment that really got me, was when Carine Roitfeld (former editor of French Vogue and all-around badass) remembered my hair. I had briefly interviewed her the night before about her post-Vogue plans (she was decked out in Givenchy couture; I was wearing some rag and trying to pass it off as classy, as is my custom), so when I spotted her at her son's art opening, I chatted her up again.

From afar, she's pretty terrifying—whippet thin, fiercely stylish and undeniably cool. But in fact, she's quite forthcoming, and I now suspect that she might even be human. When I re-introduced myself, she said, "I remember. You wore your hair down last night."

OMG... Carine Roitfeld has taken note of my hair, for better or worse.

When I resumed breathing and was actually able to form sentences, we chatted about her friendship with Tom Ford and her preferred drink (vodka). "I'm Russian, you know," she held up her glass. "Never mix."

And then I thought back to that moment in the Tuileries, my clunky boots covered in limestone dust, sure I was the dowdiest girl ever to have walked the face of the earth. I'm not sure how I got from there to exchanging quips with Carine Roitfeld over vodka cocktails, but sometimes life takes mysterious turns, and sometimes the most bumbling of writers moonlight as fashion reporters.

And why not? Fake it 'til you make it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Announcement! I Have a Website

After three years of intending to make a website, I finally got around to doing it. It links back to Moveable Beast, of course (where it all began), but also directs interested parties to my other writing endeavors. Whether or not those interested parties will remain interested is anyone's guess.

Anyway, enjoy: toryhoen.com

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