Fashionista Blair Mercer on how Libyan dictator Gaddafi almost ruined a Paris photo shoot


'C'est Colonel Gaddafi, n'est-ce pas' Fashion assistant reveals how the Libyan dictator almost ruined a Paris photo shoot


High stress: An anonymous assistant recalls the trials and tribulations of working in fashion so perfectly portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada

High stress: An anonymous assistant recalls the trials and tribulations of working in fashion so perfectly portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada

Navigating the world of fashion can
be a thankless task – especially for for those at the bottom of the
pecking order.

As glamorous as the industry may sometimes sound, lowly assistants often find themselves ordered around and asked to fill impossible requests.

Now,
one anonymous stylist's assistant has revealed that not only has she been 'physically
scarred' by an A-list celebrity in the past, but she has been 'wrestled
by Colonel Gaddafi guards' at a Parisian five-star hotel.

Writing under the pen-name Blair Mercer, the contributor to Fashionista is documenting her hapless run-ins with ogre-like celebrities, security heavies and A-list kids in scenes reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada.

A glimpse into the rare and wonderful (read eyebrow-raising) world of fashion magazines, the assistant recalls arriving in Paris only to be made to share a room with an exrememly chatty stylist who sleeps in nothing but 'a thong and a Balmain jacket.'

After a perilous ride in a cramped minivan, where she is forced to perch on top of suitcases, the team arrives at a five-star hotel, ready to shoot a European socialite in the luxurious penthouse.

But things take a surreal, if a little frightening, turn when on her way to collect more outfits from the van parked outside, the assistant find herself grabbed by the shoulders and thrown into the street.

'Next thing I know I am standing on the sidewalk opposite the hotel, yards from where my feet last touched the ground,' writes Ms Mercer.

'The street, quiet just minutes before, is now swarming with policemen and armored trucks. My loud protestations of “Il y a une mistake! Je suis une fashion assistant!” don’t help matters and I find myself flanked by two armed guards.'

Recounting the nightmare, she continues: 'Visions of French prisons and ill-fitting orange jumpsuits are now swimming through my head when just minutes before my biggest concern was finding… the right bra…'

Teary-eyed with terror and suffering the
consequences of not having paid attention in high-school French
classes, the stylist is finally informed that the road has been closed
for the arrival of a foreign VIP.

Cetait Colonel Gaddafi, nest-ce pas The stylist finds herself thrown out of a Parisian hotel in anticipation of the arrival of the former Libyan despot

Cetait Colonel Gaddafi, nest-ce pas The stylist finds herself thrown out of a Parisian hotel in anticipation of the arrival of the former Libyan despot

'Thinking it all seems a little heavy handed for your standard security,' she goes on, 'I ask the man next to me who it is we’re all so nervously waiting for. “Mais madame, c’etait Colonel Gaddafi, n’est-ce pas” Brilliant.'

When she is finally allowed back into the hotel, the panicked protagonist races back up the room only to find that 'no one at the penthouse shoot had even batted an eye – they were too busy cracking into the Champagne in the minibar, all on the magazine’s tab.'

The confessional feature is the latest in a selection of revealing tell-alls by fashion insiders at the site that have included tales of supermodels wetting themselves and irate celebrity offspring.