Despite being as nasal as Alex Borstein*, laden with fluey symptoms and a burnt index finger**, I managed to drag my sorry self to The Manchester Fashion Network event at Harvey Nichols, 'An Evening with Fiona McIntosh'.
With a strict one drink per person sign, I was fleetingly tempted to throw a few more Beechams down my razor bladed throat with a goblet of plonk, yet found myself with a glass of water in hand.
Cramped, yet optimistic.
Guided through a brief biopsy of McIntosh's life, I was distracted by her necklace, the failure of the microphone from presenter Katie Poperwell and the clash of prints, styles and try-hard attitudes from those in attendance.
With no fashion background to speak of, the lady is a marvel, bringing us Grazia in 2005. If I were her, I could die a contented female, yet her ambition and drive has seen her harness the re-branding of My Wardrobe and consult for several of the most prestigious titles in fash-land. You wouldn't think it, in an alluring way.
The notion of cultural differences between Grazias was engaging: France is the chicest of the plastics, Germany the most impressionable, Australia the most health conscious and Russia the most delusional. Next to launch is the South African Grazia, groundbreaking and certainly one to monitor post-May.
Most of what she spoke of was relatively simple to comprehend, and her advice was succinct, precise and void of 'floral notes'. Dealing in facts:
Know your brand, stay true to it, no deviation
Media and retail are mashing, deal with it
Mediocre websites don't cut the mustard
Then she lost me. The Q&A saw some snore inducing questions but the last one jolted. Internships and her views. In a roundabout way she said that the ones who do anything get ahead suceed, they need to realise that their palms won't be crossed with gold and be assured their talent won't go unnoticed. Codswallop.
I do love a good event. Especially when I'm as crabby as I was last night.
*voice of Lois from Family Guy
** deliriously made a quiche, I burnt the finger when I was putting it in. Lord.