THE TIME BEFORE BY PETER VAN ALPHEN
PHOTOGRAPHER: Peter Van Alphen
STYLIST: Emma Kalfus
MODEL: Saadi Schimmel @ Priscillas
HAIR & MAKEUP: Claire Thomson @ Company1
DESIGN: Stephanie Huxley
WRITTEN BY: Tatiana Farley
There is nothing like the sweet, latent promise of good times; the tickle of butterflies in your stomach, the extravagant ideas about where the evening will take you, or with whom. As we make friends with the mirror and shimmy on one garment to the next, we sling on a new persona from devil-may-care ingenue to glittering belle of the ball. “Only unfulfilled love can be romantic”, so goes the line in Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ and perhaps this is true of all fanciful notions for reality rarely meets its shiny expectations. How many times have we ventured out into the night, giddy with excitement for what lies ahead only to realise, in retrospect, that it was in fact the preparation that outshone the evening itself.
What does this say about us? Is it our runaway imagination? Unbridled optimism even? Probably a bit of both, but is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Maybe patting on primer and flicking that cat-eye while the first champagne spills trivial gossip is valuable in its own right, and not just a means to an end. There is an intimacy one has with others in these moments in-between, free from the distraction of peripheral goings-on we are more present and so comes candid conversation, reciprocal reassurance (‘if only he could see you now..’) and a deeper friendship. Dressing up on one’s own has a more meditative quality about it, we take the time to feel our most beautiful to serve as a kind of social armour for whatever awkward run-in’s or special someone’s the night may hold. Whether alone or in company, anticipation has a magic all of its own, a ceremony of sorts, and one to be savoured as such. There’s a long held belief that happiness depends on three simple tenets; someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. So if dressing to the nines achieves a minimum of two out of three then let’s get ready already.