Late last week I got an email asking me if I’d like to go to Moscow this week for a Mango fashion show. Would I? Hell yes. My family fled Russia in 1917, and I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. There are all sorts of family stories that I was told as an infant, from my great-grandfather owning the first car in St Petersburg to my paternal grandmother showing me a thimble with a ruby in the top that she said was a present to an ancestor from a Romanov. Sadly every piece of family silver & history was stolen in a burglary some years later, and all that remains are the stories.
Only thing is, we hadn’t really factored in the labyrinthine Russian visa system. Cue: evening sessions at the PR agency filling in forms that wanted to know if I had ever been a nuclear weapons expert, required explicit details of my university education and the date and destination of every foreign trip I’ve taken since 2000. (I worked back to 2009, and the form wouldn’t take any more. Hardly surprising since I’ve been to over forty cities & fifteen countries in the past two years.) But thank goodness the final visa approval came through at 6pm this evening – and we are off at 930am tomorrow morning. Nothing like brinksmanship.
It’s a fleeting trip – we arrive late afternoon, have supper somewhere very smart, spend Wednesday checking out Red Square etc, do more eating, then head to the Mango fashion show in the evening. Briony is coming too: Team LLG in force! She’ll be covering the trip too over on A Girl, A Style, so you’ll get double value from us. (I’m so used to travelling on my own that it’s rather a luxury to have a friend along too.)
Right: off to organise myself. It’s bloody freezing in Moscow right now, and neither B nor I have super cold weather clothes in this country, and no time to shop, so I begged, & the Uniqlo press office kindly let me rummage through their old AW sample rails this afternoon. They have given us each a down jacket and some Heat Tech undies (the stores are pretty much all SS11 now), so I am working out a suitable -10C look, that doesn’t involve blue lips, frozen fingers and frostbitten toes. (The hat with the pom pom ties in the photo above is def coming.)
Photo: Dixon & I in the snow in the East Village, March 2007