Thursday, August 12, 2010

The 11th Hour

It's countdown to post time. The spring collections are in the paddock getting brushed, massaged, accupuntured and doped as they make their way to the gate. I love this time, though when I was grooming a sleek thoroughbred getting that filly ready for the race, I was a nervous trainer wracked with fear. Would she come up lame the morning of the race? Heaven forbid, would she colic the night before? How would she do on a muddy, sloppy track? God, would she throw a shoe in her stall with no blacksmith there to reshoe her in time? All those worries and countless more would haunt me leading up to the big race. Every designer is plagued in one way or another with these fears. How about the ones who had entered Shetland Ponies on stilts hoping to get past Vet check and onto the track. The ones that caused the most consternation were the nags with a prosthetic leg who might lose it on the first turn. Collection time is nothing less than a horse race.

We all hoped to win, but there was justice in placing in the top 3. No one wanted to be the last horse at the finish line when all the others were back in the stable. But that scenario happens every race, every season. The last days of August are cruel with a time clock haunting ones days and nights. The struggle of getting ideas realized, fabrics stuck in customs or worse, not shipped at all. Samples held up in contractor's factories due to a log jam of other work; production for a big name or the sample priorities of said big names. There's the killer of the all important embroideries coming from India, France or China which are stuck at JFK due to a customs sweep because they happened to be on the same flight as a load of drugs and contraband. I love that one.For some unfathomable reason, your jewels of the collection are held hostage over a bundle or 12 of coke which is enroute to another big name design house. Just give them their shit so I can get mine......

Probably the hardest task is trying to marshall the troops to work together as one. Coercion rarely worked. Pleading was out of the question. Once they realized your desperation you were fucked. It was an open invitation for mutiny. All of the above situations were just a few of the hurdles that over faced this Race Track junkie. As insidious, as odious as the whole process could be, the satisfaction of a race well run was the reward. I admire the determination and passion that spurs on all the entrants: small, medium and large. The crowd can never get enough. The guys who call the race love it just as much and the jockeys; those gorgeous gals and guys who pilot those babes to the finish line all love the excitement of the sport. I'm right there with them. Handicapping a race is fun and a game of chance built on a science that doesn't stand up to any legitimate proofs, but is fun nevertheless. The reality is the end result. Front runners are often run down by the long shot and every once in a great while that Shetland Pony skirts the pile up at the final furlong and takes the big prize.
See you at the races, but bring an umbrella in case it rains.........

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Open call at Marc Jacobs for anyone who can use a sewing machine

Hope Ava said...

I love the image you draw....you have a true gift with words. If the races ever get to be too much for your kitty nerves I think you could have a grand career as a writer! Best of luck with the countdown...

Hope Ava