Embrace the embarrassment

Sometimes an embarrassing episode will actually get your name in front of the right people.

Take a seemingly disastrous after-dinner event at an achingly cool Parisian nightclub during the couture shows. I had just left an exclusive press dinner at a beautiful restaurant in St. Germain. Entering the club on the arm of one of the world’s leading actors, I made straight for the dancefloor and threw myself full speed into dancing fabulously and flirtatiously with this Hollywood hit. My legs must not have understood quite what was happening with my upper body and as my left leg flipped up, my heel caught in my Alaia and I went straight down. Face first. What to do when disaster strikes? Laugh of course. And hard. If you take any embarrassing episode seriously, people will look at whatever happened with the same view and you could find yourself the main topic of conversation the next morning - and not in the way you hoped! As it happened, said actor thought my reaction to this potential disaster was hilarious. I was booked the very next day to style his entire tour wardrobe for an upcoming film, thus securing the big bucks. All for going arse over tit in the hottest spot in Paree! And no, I didn’t sleep with him.

Perhaps the only one to top Parisgate was the now infamous story of Pantygate.

Chanel had long been a brand I wanted to work with, be dressed by and have access to the heavenly rails of archived collections in the London HQ. Ahead of the hot ticket Serpentine Summer Party one balmy June, I had been invited to wear Chanel to the event. A rail of black, black and more black was laid out, each look more fabulous than the next. And it was mine to select from. I chose a sheer black lace number from a recent runway collection, paired with crystal CC earrings, a Perspex clutch and velvet heels. The look was sent to my home and with flawless hair and make-up in place, the Serpentine was mine for the taking.

With my period in its first days, I wasn’t taking any chances. I donned tight black boy shorts under the dress and added a pantyliner for any potential mishaps that may happen through the evening. Stepping out of the car at the Serpentine, I confidently walked past the waiting wall of photographers and into the party. It was a fabulous entrance in my fabulous Chanel.

I had been at the party for almost an hour, talking to old friends, meeting new ones, when a lady came up behind me and instructed me in a firm voice to sit down immediately. She leaned close into my ear and whispered “You have a bright white pantyliner clearly stuck to the inside of your transparent lace dress”. For at least a minute I couldn’t speak, just holding my face in my hands, wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole. Who had seen this rogue pantyliner?! Who was talking about me behind my back?! I was wearing Chanel for God’s sake!

After the initial minute passed, I surfaced from behind my hands. I could either let that damn pantyliner ruin my evening, or I could hold my head up high, laugh hard and walk straight back out into the party. Of course I walked back out, I could not disrespect the CHANEL!

For the remainder of the evening, I proceeded to turn the incident into a one-woman comedy stand-up routine and laugh at myself before anybody else had the chance to do it for me.

Because people could see I hadn’t taken myself too seriously, Pantygate became a hot topic of discussion for the evening and low and behold, the following day my inbox was full of messages quoting one liners and saying how fabulous the whole episode was. I even made a few new friends from that pantyliner predicament.

Laugh in the face of embarrassment - you might be temporarily mortified, but if you don't take the incident too seriously, you will be remembered for all the right reasons!