Okay folks, here’s the scoop. My photo shoot with Better Homes and Gardens yesterday was the real deal! I’ve been flooded with questions from readers and friends about the experience so I’ve compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions (and a few I made up).
Q: Were you actually in a magazine photo shoot?
A: Fo shiz. (See above.)
Q: Did you get to keep the clothes?
A: No, sadly. All the clothes, shoes, and accessories I wore were samples on loan from various clothes makers, which make advance copies of fashions then show them off to retailers, who submit orders. None of the stuff I wore is for sale right now, but when the magazine comes out in July the clothes will be in stores and the outfits will look fresh!
Insane. Surreal. Tons of fun. The whole thing was like something you’d see on TV. There was a hair stylist named Mitch that made my hair curly in a few snips. When he blew it out I was rockin’ the original Charlie’s Angels look! Anthea the makeup stylist shared her drugstore make up secrets while doing me up. The before and after pictures are remarkable!
After getting my hair and make up done, I was a dress up toy for a stylist named Jonny and his assistant (see me and Jonny at right). “Try this on,” he’d say. I put it on. “Oh no, that’s not right.” I take it off. “Try this on,” he’d say. I put it on. “That’s cute but not right.” I take it off. “Try this…”
When he was satisfied with the skirt or dress, we’d move onto tops, then jackets/sweaters, necklackes, bracelets, and shoes. You don’t know how many pairs of shoes I tried on!
A: Well, okay. There were dozens of pairs all lined up. Mostly heels but some flats. Strappy, peep toe, classic pumps, espadrilles, platforms, you name it. I tried on a lot of pairs because they were so cute!
Q: Did they plan the outfits ahead of time?
A: No, but they borrowed dozens of dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, sweaters, and shorts from Talbots, Banana Republic, Ali Ro, Old Navy, Nautica, and others that fit the theme of the issue, which comes out in July. There was a lot of red, white, and blue, folks.
Q: Did all the clothes fit?
A: No! A lot of them were too small or too big.
Q: How do they make everything fit perfectly, then?
A: Pins! “Now you know why everything fits in a magazine,” the stylist, Jonny, said to me. “Because it’s all pinned.” (He’s fixing something on my top below.) Once clothes were pinned I couldn’t bend down so they put my shoes on for me. Bizarre.
Q: Did you get naked on set?
A: No, there was a make-shift changing area with fake walls and a few racks of clothes that I changed in. At first, Jonny and his assitant Becky left every time they asked me to put something on, but pretty soon I was stripping down to my undies and bra in front of them. I didn’t care, and there were so many outfits to try on!
Q: What happened after they dressed you?
A: The stylist and his assistant would lead me onto the set, where the main stylist for the magazine, a gorgeous woman named Amy, would give her approval (actually, once she sent us back for an outfit that was too immature). A photographer and his assistant would fiddle with the lights, the hair stylist would run on set to fluff my hair, and the make up stylist would freshen my lip gloss. Then the photographer would say, “We’re ready,” and start taking pictures of me.
Q: Did someone really come on set and fluff your hair?
A: Yes, about 72 times. Mitch always wanted to make my hair look better. You can tell we had a lot of fun, below.
A: No, everyone was super friendly and made me feel at home.
Q: What did your set look like?
A: A super cool version of my office with a sleek Mac laptop (I used a Dell), a clear chair (at home mine is on loan from the dining room table), and a fashion manequin (um, I suppose this correlates to my faded red courdorouy chair).
Q: Did they feed you?
A: Yes. The shoot was catered and the food was uber-healthy: yogurt, berries, and OJ when I arrived at 9:30. Lunch was spinach salad, asparagus soup, sauteed brocolli, veggie patties, and duck over beets and grains. I didn’t dare touch the flourless chocolate cake before squeezing into the clothes, but I did have ice cream to celebrate after dinner.
Q: When can we see the pictures?
A: Check out the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens!
Q: So you’re like, famous now?
A: No. I’m still my old self. And tomorrow I will go back to writing about saving money. I promise!