Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ciao Bella Italia

Leaving Milan, and Italy in general proved to be an assault on my senses. Not only was I missing people that I adored and who were the tightest knit friends I had ever had, but that city & that country had become something of an obsession to me....and still is.

The art, the architecture, food, language, hospitality, joie d'vivre, atmosphere, scenery, EVERYTHING about Italy was so beautiful, so completely and utterly pleasure filled, that coming back to the States with its depraved, boring, Puritanical esthetics, just made me nothing short of clinically depressed. Gone were the stately, ancient buildings, the hustle & bustle of the people who even when fighting sounded lyrical and operatic. Gone was the TRUE and most delicious cuisine of that nation....Pizza Hut be banned, and gone was the pure essence of living life to the fullest the Italians seem to have the ability to do from birth. La Dolce Vita indeed. It exists and I got a dose of it, enough to carry me through to another season, but not enough to keep me truly sated.

I think that the minute I got on my US bound flight at Malpensa Airport I started going through withdrawals. If nothing else I should have been in the fetal position in the plane bathroom withdrawing from my cold turkey sobering up from my gelato addiction. All I would have with me, to sustain me until the next time I was back in that blessed nation, would be my journal entries and my pictures. Memories and nothing more. Memories of the lazy days at the Parco, of the crazy nights at the clubs, of the endless castings, fun-filled bookings, of running into friends all over the city, being called "bella" carina" and any number of other terms of endearment that Italians are so fluent in.

Memories of things that could only and would only happen in a place like Milan, like when my friend Domenico, who I have known since we were both in diapers, and who had moved back to Italy when we were still kids, came to visit me and took me out to Mexican only to get stranded after a late meal with no taxis or public transportation running. We had to walk several miles down cobblestoned streets to get back to my apartment and I remember he must have though I was mad because of how fast I was walking....a complaint all of my friends have always had......I walk like a grayhound on meth....always have, don't know why....and how I felt even even worse because I couldn't let him upstairs into the apartment because my roommate was having "issues" and would have beheaded me for bringing over a guest. Crazy, beautiful memories.

And my friends......oh my friends. How on earth was I gonna go back to the States and then Tokyo without them? I was just gonna have to find out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Hope Karma Bites Her Hard

My last week in Milan, Eva (my roommate), was summoned to Paris by her agency and was promptly replaced by an uber-bitch that had flown in from New York but was originally from Sweden. This humongous, Amazon of a woman went through my fridge and kitchen shelves the minute she got there and removed anything she deemed "unhealthy" without my permission or knowledge.

Gone was my overpriced jar of peanut butter, my coconut chocolates, Nutella and a few other items only to be replaced by some nasty barnacle looking crap and wheatgrass. This chick was obviously some health nazi of epic proportions. I bit my tongue since I wasn't planning to be at the apartment much my last week there....I had places to go and friends to hang out with after all.

The next thing I know, she moves one of her friends into the apartment without the agency's consent (or mine for that matter!). Her friend was another model who had been kicked out of her agency, Pepea Model Management, and rather than hit the airport she decided it would be a good idea to move in with us. This girl lay on the couch every minute I was home and never once asked if she could make room for me to sit and watch TV or read a book. She was obviously depressed at having been exiled from her agency and was such a source of bad energy in that tiny place that I really ended up only going home for showers and to catch a few hours of sleep at night. The Swedish bitch never once apologized or asked if it was cool that her friend stay with us, and since she was easily 6 feet tall and one of those "fit" swimwear/sportswear models who would have easily been able to snap my neck with her thumb & forefinger, I seethed inside & once again said nada.

On my last night in Milan, I hung out with all of my friends until dawn making it home at 4 am. I planned to shower and get 2 hours of rest before I would have to head to the airport and back to the States with my heavy heart in tow. I have to admit that I pride myself in the fact that I have always been a good & considerate roommate. I was quiet as a mouse when I got home, grabbed my stuff, took my shower, stepped over the homeless roommate's crap that lay strewn on the floor and got into bed only to have Scary Swede pant and heave and grumble that I was a party animal and what the hell was I doing out so late. I ignored her, fell asleep, woke up the designated 2 hours later, left my keys next to the phone as requested by my agency's accountant and left.

Since I was already so depressed about leaving this incredible city that I was 100% enamored with and the friends that had become my family here, I didn't think much about Scary until almost a year later when Patty (the agency owner) sent me a random email telling me that she was really upset that I would give my set of apartment keys to an Italian guy who apparently moved in after Scary & her leech moved out and made himself at home the entire month of August while the agency was closed & no models were in town. He was discovered by the cleaning lady who confronted him and had the keys thrown in her face by him shouting that a blonde girl with my name (hello, I am NOT blonde, never have been....but GUESS WHO WAS?! ) had given him the keys. That biotch from hell had passed my set of keys to God knows who and said she was me. Why on earth would anyone want or need to be so vengeful. I will never know. I let her toss out my food, move in a random chick and pretty much have the place to herself and this is what she thought was a cool way to "get me back".

And because she was in her early thirties and didn't ever party.....guess who the agency believed? A lot happened in between this trip to Milan and my second trip, so I won't give away too much about the second trip until we get to that point in the timeline, but suffice it to say that I went from the agency darling to someone the owner's looked at with a hint of suspicion. Not cool. I hope karma bites that chick in the ass someday....hard.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The D2 Party

One of the very last parties of the season was the D2 (DSquared) party that was held afer their fashion show in Milan. Keep in mind, that because I am not a runway whore, I worked best in Milan during mens show season during which time I could work mainly in editorial, beauty and catalog print rather than have to worry about being 100 lbs and 5'10" like the show girls need to be during women's show season.

I guess you can say I got the best of both worlds, getting to model in Milan, EAT and party at all of the men's designers after show parties with my friends, many of which got be runway gods for the season. And I have to go off track for a second here to tell you how awesome the male fashion show casting horror stories were. There was nothing more hilarious and stomach turning than hearing Jeremy or Mike talk about waiting in line for hours only to be handed a very used, very, very used little man thong to change into for the likes of Gianfranco Ferre. Okay, the thought of having to wear something that has come into contact with the nether regions of hundreds of other guys is just plain wrong. Lucky are the boys who are first in line.....not so lucky is the last guy in line who gets to don a sweaty and skidmarked loincloth with very small odds for booking the job anyways. And they wonder why models have to drink so much.....

So....back on track....the D2 party that year was being heralded as something not to miss so of course, on the night of, we all jumped on the subway and headed out of city limits to rub shoulders with the who's who of Milanese couture. On the subway ride there Isaak performed a very sweet pole dance for everyone and Tim showed us his gymnastics skills on the handlebars. We egged Mike on to do a runway saunter down the middle of the train car but no matter how hard we tried, he wouldn't budge. I'm sure the fact that the car was full of passengers didn't help, or maybe we hadn't gotten enough vino into him, but it would have been hilarious had he succumbed to our peer pressure!

Once at the venue we walked around taking in the pools of water, sunken sitting areas and mirrored walls a la Studio 54. Young men clung on to the arms of old women, and old men for that matter, and the atmosphere was surreal and made me just want to sit back and observe. This wasn't the best party experience for us, but it was definitely the most movie set worthy. You honestly expected to walk around a corner and find a group of people having an orgy on one of the white leather divans that were placed everywhere (and, yes, surrounded by mirrors).

Towards the end of the night we somehow all ended up in a little VIP sitting area right next to the bar and one of the boys (not telling who because he is now a Canaian soap opera celeb and I am not Perez Hilton!!) grabbed a bottle of SoCo and Creme de Menthe from behind the bar without being seen and we passed these receptacles of alchoholic nastiness around until one of the crew (same one who bottle napped the liqour!) ended up falling backwards off of our table platform and onto the dancefloor with one of the bottles causing mass glass shardage and a few cuts on his modelly epidermis. Yeah, that was our signal to end the night. We left, went home, puked in toilets, passed out, met up for burgers & fries the next morning and realized that we'd all be leaving very very soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's All in the Past, My Friends! I am almost completely resettled and ready to start back up with my lst few weeks in Milan and my painful foray back to the land of the rising sun....but first I have to add a little sidenote to all the new readers of my blog.....

Peacocks on Leashes is a chronological recanting of my adventures as a fashion model. These stories are all things that have already happened , starting approximately six years ago. Eventually I'll get to the present day, but for now, everything you read is a look into my past.

To really get what I'm posting about you have to start from the very beginning which you can find in my archives (on the sidebar!) And I promise it's worth weeding through the archives.....

So, no, I am not currently in Milan, although I would LOVE to be. ;-) I still fantasize about moving my family to Italy someday.....but don't get me started on that one....that would fill a whole other blog....something about the Adventures of a Europhile.....LOL!