Styling Stories: The Devil Wears The Row

My first day working for a mega-stylist in Los Angeles began with a 4:30 a.m. meeting in the dark parking lot behind her studio in Beverly Hills.  Said stylist had hired me as her second assistant per a recommendation from a very important publicist  friend. Earning a reputation of  an accomplished assistant in New York City speaks volumes in LA, where the average assistant is a 20-year old blonde from Calabasas who drives her mom's old BMW and can't find her way out of a paper bag. I was hired without so much as a phone call. 

I briefly (and coldly) shook hands with my new employer, and was ordered to stuff as many of the human-sized duffle bags of clothes and accessories into her Range Rover, and fit the rest in my Ford Focus. (By the end of my tenure in LA I was an expert in maximizing the interior space of that car) "Ok, maybe she's cranky because it's so early." (By the end of my tenure in LA, I would also learn that I was wrong, and this was usually her demeanor) 

As I frantically packed her SUV, a terrified young man pulled into the parking lot in his beat-up Jeep. It was her first assistant who had broken down on the 405 on his way, I watched in awkward silence as he went almost catatonic as she reamed him out. 

We headed to the shoot location, the stunning rose gardens at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, me chasing her Range Rover Sport and trying to follow my GPS at the same time (I swear she was trying to loose me, this became a pattern)

Typically, assistants are not consulted for their opinions by their bosses or the client, and are expected to be as silent and invisible as possible. The nervous assistant couldn't help himself, and chatted casually with our talent- Emma Stone, who was having a major fashion moment thanks to our chic bitch boss. I knew I would quickly eclipse him and become the first assistant when she sent him off-set on a wild goose chase for double stick tape (it was 6:30 a.m.) He arrived back to set around noon, tape-less. 

I saw the nervous assistant only once more, a week later, when I was instructed to busy myself by organizing sample shoes in the assistants' office while he was excused, and left in tears. 

"So, should we just say that you're going to be working here full-time now?"  

So commenced my first year of working in LA for one of the best, and most difficult stylist in Hollywood. 

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