Sasha Wilkins

My beautiful friend Anna posted this photo on Facebook today. I got a beep on my phone at lunch and squawked with amazement. That’s me in my early 20s running along the Croisette at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. It was right at the start of my career, and I was there with a group of friends, perhaps ten of us dossing down in a rental house in Antibes that should have slept maybe four people. They were pushing their film-related dotcom, and I was covering the festival for FashionWireDaily.com (Yup, I really have been involved in digital on and off for thirteen years. Blimey.)

I’ve never seen this photo before and goodness it brought things flooding back to me. I wish I had realised how great my figure was back then for a start. But this was in the days of film cameras: we didn’t get to see pics of ourselves on a regular basis, so we weren’t nearly so self-regarding.

And that stretch shirtdress! From Oasis, it was the dress of the season amongst assistants and junior editors at Vogue House (I was working there three days a week): I had it in black and in bottle green, and wore them everywhere. (I’ve still got it: languishing in a madras check bag in Clare’s attic, with all my other old clothes. I think, until I realised today that it was 13 years ago, that I always thought I might fit back into it again. HA.)

It’s also the dress I wore for my very first ever television presenting gig: for Channel Five, presenting the fashion segment for their Cannes coverage. I had met a producer at a Film Four party at a villa in the hills high above Cannes, that my current digital film producing partner and close friend Rollo (the Ross of Wilkins & Ross) had taken me to.

Next morning the producer rang and asked if I’d like to do a fashion spot. I said yes and, jamming on my Ray Ban Wayfarers (no make up budget), spent the morning doing vox pops on the Croisette and talking trends to the camera. (This was in the days, if you can believe it, before Red Carpet Fashion was a thing. No one covered the looks from the festival at all: I was the only fashion reporter in town.)

Within a year I was regularly appearing on BBC Radio Five Live as a fashion commentator, because a friend at BBC radio had seen the clip and asked if I wanted to go on the BBC’s expert list. Funny old world.

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7 comments

Reply

Such a cool story, it’s like a fairytale! Can’t believe there were no fashion reporters in Cannes back then :O It’s jam packed nowadays! Just discovered your blog & absolutely love it.. Going to be a creep now and check your older blog posts 😉 Keep up the good work!

Love from Amsterdam,
Sipie
http://adutchaffair.blogspot.nl/

Reply

OMG!!! That dress! I remember buying that exact dress once I saw it on you. I only wish I still had it!!!! *blast from the past!

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It is one of life’s ironies that we can never appreciate how good we look until years later. One of my friends calls it ‘the five years ago photo effect’. Clunky but true. Or to paraphrase the great Nora Ephron who said that had she realised how good she looked, she would worn a bikini exclusively between the ages of 19 and 26. Lately I’ve been trying to work harder to like the me now, as I look now because it seems a waste to always be ‘catching up’ with how you look rather than enjoying it as you are.

LLG, you look lovely and fresh-faced in the photo but not so very different to how you look now. x

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What a great post. I wish too that I’d appreciated how amazing I looked when I was young but I was too full of pointless angst to realise it.

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Ahhh I loved this post… it’s so true when you look back, you feel like you looked so much better than you ever knew at the time. Wise words! xoxo

The perks of being a hipster

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First of all I’m shocked there was a time before people reported on what was worn on the red carpet – second of all I’m very jealous you got to be one of the only ones reporting on it at Cannes!

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woof woof! (Says Treacle) xxxx

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