In this age of celebrity, how starstruck are we? The ELLE team share their brushes with fame.
ELLE style reporter Niquita Bento meets Cara Delevingne
Earlier this year at London Fashion week, I was taking pictures backstage at the Giles Deacon AW 2014 show. With my camera in hand, I started documenting the hustle and bustle of models, makeup artists and hairstylists working their magic. Among the chaos, I spotted the distinctive, infamous brows of Cara Delevingne. Notorious amongst friends for my obsessive with this model, one can only imagine my racing thoughts. Paralysed by the reality of the moment and absorbed by the ethereal existence that is Cara, I was out and out starstruck for the first time. I couldn’t believe that Cara was breathing the same oxygen as I, throwing her beanie in the air and dancing around all of us laughing hysterically with the other models.
She noticed me staring and I smiled, in a totally non-stalkerish manner. I pretended to play it cool and carried on taking photos of the other happenings around me, while keeping a beady eye on her. She and a few other models were called for interviews and photographs and I knew this was my moment. I plucked up the courage to talk to her and I’m glad I did. She was so warm, approachable and friendlier than I could ever have expected. She asked if I enjoyed the show and what I thought of fashion week so far. She was quirky and more than happy to take a photo with me, even joking about tagging her. Bucket list – check!
ELLE editorial assistant Maybe Corpaci meets Anna Wintour
Year 2009: I was fresh out of high school with a golden ticket to Milan Fashion Week. To say that I was completely overwhelmed with the frenzy of fashion week is an understatement. Every day for four days I witnessed swarms of beautifully dressed people, an army of photographers ever ready to snap the who’s who, tall graceful models sweeping down the runway… And then I saw her, THE quintessential Editor, walking right.by.me. Yes, it was just as Dsquared2 closed their runway and the Emporio Armani show began. My whole body froze and my breath stopped as I stared at the signature bob with full fringe, her cream slingback Manolos and her black oversized sunglasses. I might not have touched Anna Wintour, nor met her eyes, but being able to smell her perfume be in her space was more than I could ever have expected and a brush with fashion fame in its very self.
ELLE fashion assistant Sheena Bagshawe meets Jena Dover
Like many young South Africans born post mid-80s, getting up at an early hour to watch KTV was the highlight of my Saturday morning. Growing up I always thought the KTV presenters had it all; tie-dye shirts and Buffalo platform shoes like Baby Spice, opportunities to meet Simba, and a platform to pull peace signs on TV while looking cool. My favourite presenter was always Jena Dover, a cute redhead with just the right amount of attitude and a smattering of freckles across her nose that I could relate to. Fast forward to my first few months working at ELLE and I was lucky enough to be working on a shoot with an all-grown up, striking Jena. She’s now a lawyer and actress who has starred in films, and has been on magazine covers and in glossy fashion editorials.
The next time I saw Jena she didn’t just wave across the room, she walked right up to me and asked how I’d been. Since then we’ve chatted often and I’ve learnt that Jena gets typecast quite often as aloof and haughty because of her statuesque appearance and beauty, when she’s really down to earth and funny. Recently Jena took her mom – from whom she has inherited her looks and style aesthetic – as her date to an event. While chatting to a group of my friends she turned and said: ‘Wait, you guys are real friends? You aren’t just talking to each other because you have to while you’re here?’ We hadn’t laughed so hard over gin cocktails in ages.