Sometimes Lady Fortune IS on my side! Not so long ago I ended up in Paris in a venue called LE NEW VIP ROOM helping out a friend and Make-Up artist for the Designers Against Aids and H&M launch. This is the second time that H&M and D.A.A. worked together and reached out to different artists to help and design a T-shirt to benefit the war against AIDS.
Check out this video with D.A.A. spokesperson Andre Johnson:
Last year artists like Rihanna, Timbaland and Chicks on Speed participated.
This year D.A.A. convinced the following artists: DITA VON TEESE, NERD, ESTELLE, MOBY, KATY PERRY, CINDY LAUPER, ROISIN MURPHY and many more to join their campagne.
Not bad right?
(Ouni showing off the N.E.R.D. for D.A.A. shirt. buy this shirt and others in your local H&M store may 28th!)
So that’s why I ended up in Paris, helping out my friend Sabine and D.A.A. where I could. It was probably one of the coolest monday nights in my life. Lovely Paris crowd, a lot of COINTROPOLITANS, fingerfood and a cool little runway show with models showing the new D.A.A tshirts.
Exhibit II (Me and Sabine Peeters. Check out her work here.)
Now, once the runway show was over, the DJ started playing some music and Sabine and I were hanging out on the sofas waiting for Dita Von Teese to start her performance. Btw, I saw Dita rehearsing earlier that night and she really is a very nice person. She was wearing a simple black legging with a simple black shirt. I do want to state, that when she was done checking the lights, she left the venue with extra high Louboutin heels and a black sequined coat that almost ‘smelled’ expensive. Simple in, fabulous out.
The clock was ticking past midnight and people were getting anxious to see Dita Von Teese when all of a sudden a bunch of tall men passed me by and took a seat just in front of me. At first I couldn’t really separate the people from security but it took me 5 seconds to realise who just passed me by. It was Lionel Richie.
Now, before you guys start sighing about how lame Lionel Richie might or might not be, I was planning to see his concert and chase him for a Polaroid anyhow. I love Lionel Richie. I ended up missing the concert because I had too much work so I was completely stoked that he was right in front of me. ‘All night long’ is such a classic and should be in every DJ’s track list for the night. I prefer the song being played at the end of a wild night, hugging my friends and kissing my lover. But hey, who am I?
So when he passed by me, I did NOT hesitate. I stood up, put my finger on his shoulder, he turned around and I said the magic words: “Hello, Can I please take a Polaroid of you?” He smiled and said: “Sure!” and placed himself right next to me. The tricky part again. “No, no,” I told him, “I want one from you alone…”He looked at me and said: “But why? What’s the relevancy of that picture then?” Thank god I learned to be prepared so I quickly showed him my Ipod Touch with the other artist I took on Polaroid. He gave them a quick look and told me: “Ok, I see, well, don’t go anywhere, be patient and we’ll do the shot a bit later.”
He took a seat in the sofa in front of me and immediately a waiter popped out from the middle of nowhere pouring out champagne. I looked at his company and I was even more amazed that he was with one of the oldest Wayans Brothers. Damon Wayans is mostly known in Europe (I think) for his role as Michael Kyle in My Wife And Kids. His other brothers, Marlon & Shawn Wayans played in Scary Movie, Little Man and my favorite, White Chicks. I’m sorry but I just love that movie and I’m not ashamed. It was obvious that they happen to be in Paris and wanted to see the Dita Von Teese performance. Dita started her little striptease/bird in a cage act and the club was silent. She truly is good in what she does. She does it with style, class and a smile. I loved every minute of it! I glanced over once in a while at Lionel Richie and it was obvious he and his company loved Dita. You know, big eyes and those mouths that were open a little bit? Go figure.
The performance ended and the music started again. Me? I was still waiting. He looked at me from time to time, letting me know with his eyes that he did not forget about me. Now, let me tell you something about Lionel Richie. The man has more security than Pharrell Williams, P Diddy and Kanye West together! They all had little green laserbeams and the minute you even glanced at your phone/blackberry/Iphone or whatever, they laserbeamed you. Very funny actually, because everyone could see the ones that are beamed on and the person himself is shocked because for a minute you think that somebody is holding a gun on you. Haha. Very efficient I must say.
There was a security guy standing next to me and boy o boy was he doing his job…! I took my very old – text only – cellphone to text a friend of mine and immediately he gave me the evil eye. I showed him that I was only texting but he wasn’t having it. I rolled my eyes, finished my text. The night passed by and I’m still waiting like a good girl. I prepared my iTouch so I would not lose time showing the polaroids to Lionel and there the Uber-Security-Dude was agàin.
I sighed and told him that it was only an iTouch and I could not take pictures with it. He mumbled something and gave me an even more evil eye. Now, I get the picture. I’m very polite and If I can’t take a picture I simple will not. So the guy was very exhausting to me you know. And a little bit over the top. I mean, if there wasn’t so much security in the first place, nobody would even have noticed that Lionel Richie is in the club. And also. We’re in Paris! People are used to certain things over there right? Anyhow. I decided I wanted to make the security smile.
I took my cellphone and pretended it was a laserbeam and pointed it at the security man. (It was 02H00 and there were a lot of Cointropolitans, what can I say) He didn’t really think it was funny and looked at me like he was ready to slaughter me. I quickly understood that charm was not going to work with the man and since I did not want to risk getting thrown out I decided to sit back and didn’t move for the next half hour.
And then, finally, Lionel approached me and asked: “So, we take the picture here?” Now, the club was all black with barely any lights and since we were close to the backstage I immediately asked him if we could take the picture backstage since there was more light?
“Ok, ok, let’s go, let’s go.” He replied. I felt like I was in the army for a minute. I entered the backstage with Lionel, security and I think his manager or something and Lionel said: “Ok now, take the picture, come on now, let’s do this, let’s do this.” Wait a minute. Are we taking picture or preparing ourselves to go in the ring fighting Mike Tyson? I chose a wall, put Lionel against it, asked for “a little expression?” and snapped the picture. He immediately left the backstage and left me with these last words while hitting me on the shoulder like I was a guy: “You’re good at what you do, missy.” And that was that.
I entered the club with a big smile. I pulled it off. Agàin! Lionel and his company had a last bottle of champagne before he left the venue. I managed to shake hands with Damon Wayans and I was a happy girl. A great night, with great people for a great cause.
The night ended with ‘What a feeling, I was dancing on the ceiling’. 😉
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