Dear Noelle,

I have a problem. Well, it isn't really my problem. My problem is other people. Do you hear what I'm saying? Maybe you don't. Nobody understands me. I'm not really sure I understand myself. I just want to help people, but the media has taken everything, and twisted it, and spoilt my life. I don't really understand how this happened. All I wanted to do was to put on an exclusive and fabulous fashion event, and now it's all ruined. By the media, and other people. I feel terrible. What do you do when your dreams have been killed and its all someone else's fault?

Yours, crying


Dear Sian-Pearl,

A big question, and one we've all asked at some point or another. I was thinking something along the same lines myself in fact, last Saturday morning, as I waited for the ferry to Waiheke, along with assembled other media and designers.

We knew not whither we were going, or indeed why. We knew nothing at all, except that we had been chosen to bear witness to the launch of an exclusive and fabulous fashion event. That was a lovely feeling, while it lasted.


Who doesn't savour the prospect of an exclusive and fabulous fashion event? Who wouldn't jump at the chance to be a part of one? I know I did, I even painted my toenails on the strength of it, Pearl! (And what a pretty name, by the by! Did you grow up in the Orient?) But I digress, back to last Saturday.

Back to me, on the wharf, my excitement and anticipation giving way to anxiety and trepidation as I waited for someone, anyone to come and tell me what I was doing there and where I should proceed to next.

For a while there, I was rudderless, Pearl, purposeless, much as I imagine you must feel now. It's not a nice feeling is it, being without direction? It's unsettling.

Thankfully, last Saturday I managed to locate a young man bearing a sheet of yellow foolscap paper.

What joy I felt to see my name at the top of the list, again, mixed with that trepidation though, for what sort of a guest list can it be that bears my name at the top of it in capitals? I am not possessed of any false modesty in that regard, Pearl, I assure you.

The list was very short, tiny in fact, but it was meant to be exclusive after all, and Gilda Kirkpatrick's name was on there, which was good enough for me. The list was enough. I had the courage to proceed.

Life works in mysterious ways, Pearly Shells, and I am familiar enough with the glamorous and fabulous world of exclusive fashion events to expect the unexpected and keep an open mind.

On to the boat then, with the half dozen journalists and designers who were cherry-picked to receive the Word on Waiheke.


My dreams were still alive at this point, as were yours I'm sure. Enter eager young Alice with her spiral notebook and her cameraman, in a pair of all-purpose flats.

Did you ever imagine, Pearl, that the instrument of your undoing would be a newspaper journalist with a Mia Farrow bob and a Deadly Ponies bag? I'm sure you did not.

Alice made herself known to us when she asked one of our party if she was you. Admittedly Rebecca is an Arctic blonde, like yourself, but I am reasonably confident the similarities between you end there.

Having established that you yourself were not on the boat, Pearl, Alice set about her plans to gatecrash your exclusive event, while the rest of us stared at each other, read Canvas, tweeted our locations and wondered what in the hell was going on.

You know the rest, Pearl. The house, the sting, the gatecrash, the Wilson volleyballs and scallops your mum cooked, and the table full of Crocs. All of the details

on page 3 of a Sunday paper, and on the


fashion blog.

I had had enough at that point, and sloped off to Ti Whau to eat goat's cheese. The old man who awaited us on the wharf with a misspelt sign and a huckery-looking mini-bus was the final nail in it for me.

I'd had enough of you and your launch before it even started. Later on, seeing the picture of the designers who won (what, exactly?) with their volleyballs, I began to wish I'd stayed.

Everybody in Auckland, and some people in Wellington even, have spent the last week asking me what exactly went on last Saturday at your launch, and the honest answer is, f***** if I know.

I don't know what you were launching, how FedEx got involved, how the designers managed to win a competition they hadn't entered, or why you chose a rental property on Waiheke in which to announce it to the world. I don't know why you invited me in the first place, or more pertinently, why I went. I know nothing.

You've left me with more questions than answers, Pearl. You're a genuine curiosity, a real live fantasist of the sort that I didn't think was around anymore.


I'm not sure the fashion industry wants much to do with you, but there's always the bizarro world of reality TV. You're made for it.

All the very best for the future.