I love London. Why, you ask?

Well here you go : We got here yesterday and after an exhausting trip we dropped our luggage off at the May Fair Hotel. It was already late and I had to head out right away to dinner…

I hopped into the shower, tied my hair up in a hurry, gave it a touch of hairspray to make it look a little more sleek rather than sorry-I-was-in-a-super-rush, put some lipstick on, my suit jacket which has officially saved my life three times now and really deserves its own post, no, a series of posts, no, really, I should just start an entire blog in its honor, dedicated to the glory of my Stella suit jacket.

In the taxi, a little stressed out about my level of sophistication hovering around 2, I found myself thinking.

Hey hold on a sec… For those of you who are wondering what sort of Richter scale I use to measure my degree of sophistication, here’s a little guide:

Scale of Sophistication à la Garance:

–> Level 1 I partied all night and fell asleep diagonally on my couch with an infomercial on, fully dressed without taking my makeup off, but that goes without saying.

–> Level 2 I’ve just come back from a run. I hope for you that you never see me like this, sweaty, a dumb runner’s high smile and the rosiest cheeks you ever did see.

–> Level 3 I’ve got the flu. No description necessary.

–> Level 4 I’m on my way to do some grocery shopping at the Whole Foods down the block. I just showered, but no makeup.

–> Level 5 I’m meeting up with a friend. I put on powder and some mascara and my hair is in a quick bun.

–> Level 6 I have a photo-shoot (where I’m the photographer), same thing as above + foundation.

–> Level 7 I have a meeting with a client, so same as above + eye shadow + high heels. (From this level on, note that I am wearing high heels.)

–> Level 8 I have a date with my man, same as above + lipstick and wearing my hair down and curly. In other words, you could say I’m pulling a Wild Garance.

–> Level 9 I’ve got a fashion party to go to, so same thing minus the hair. I try to do something with it like some super sophisticated bun, but I fail miserably so I end up just wearing it up and putting 3 tons of gel into it so I look super sleek. And not sorry-I-was-in-a-super-rush. So like, the same thing as I did yesterday.

–> Level 10 I have a photo-shoot (I’m in front of the camera), a hair-stylist and makeup artist take possession of my body to work what I would have loved to call “their magic” but it so often just ends up being the same thing : They put a too much brown on my cheeks and give me a “loose curl” blow-dry (= the same thing as everyone else), and I look like Victoria Principal and I just hate it. But of course I do, sophisticated as I am.)

So quick, worried as I was in the back of my London taxi, I found myself thinking:

“Don’t stress out. You’re in London. The dress code is 10 times more relaxed than in New York.”

Spot on. As soon as I get where I’m going, between two glasses of champagne, I take a look around at the crowd. Everyone is so beautiful, but there’s this coolitude that feels pretty different from the fashion dinners in New York. Degree of sophistication on the Garance scale : between a 7 and a 9, except for one friend (no worries, sleep soundly everyone, I’m not naming any names…) who got there at some weird point on the scale: somewhere between a 4 and an 8. She had jogging pants on (seriously!)(but just hold your horses before we judge: she just got off a plane, poor girl.) but she put on bright red lipstick to, and I’m quoting here, to “distract attention.” We had a good laugh.

And really, I think I can say pretty confidently, no one was judging her.

All that is just to say: London’s pretty darn cool. I love it here.

On that, I’ll let you go, but remind me to talk to you about the average level of sophistication in New York, ok? I’ve gotta do a post on that too. And actually, you can give me a hand here. What’s your usual level of sophistication according to the Scale of Sophistication à la Garance… And where do you live?

I’d love to tell you that I spend most of my life around level 17 like Dita Von Teese who I came across at Coachella dressed to the nines. I’d even love to tell you that I spend a good deal of time around level 7, which is a reasonable amount of sophistication when you’re not a construction worker. But let’s be serious, we’re looking at more of a 4 or a 5.

Aaaah. The shame!!

Translation : Tim Sullivan