Sunday, September 11, 2011
I was invited into an unfamiliar new world today. One filled with sex, lust and glamour. A perfectly-figured girl danced near-naked in a window while pristine males in crisp white shirts captured her on film - it was only 7pm, on a Thursday.
I've become so accustomed to scenes of abnormality in London that I didn't even notice until it was directly pointed out to me - a bit like wandering along the sidewalk completely lost in your thoughts until you step in a dog-shit.
And by then it was too late. We were right in the middle of the action; front row seats at a strip show. All manner of weird and wonderful activities take place in Soho that maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise to an olive skinned beauty prancing in a store-window in expensive-looking lingerie while equally-beautiful men gathered with fake cameras pretending to take her photo.
What was surprising was the invitation my friend and I received to take part.
"Come in for a glass of champagne" a platinum blonde girl in a baby pink pin-up style dress said as we watched, I am sure, with our mouths half open.
My initial reactions included "Why...what do you want from me?" and "I am so not dressed for this". I'd come into central London to meet for a drink directly from work. Sure I wasn't exactly wearing my 'business outfit' but I felt like a Marks and Spencers model (a 5"3' one) about to enter a Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Nonetheless we ventured in for the promised free glass of bubbly and continued to absorb the bizarre scene. You may have guessed by now all this was a marketing stunt designed to hunt down innocent prey like ourselves who were unaccustomed to such forays into worlds of naked ladies and gorgeous men.
And it would have worked too. I definitely would have bought an item of fancy lingerie from the store we had walked into - if I had a Platinum mastercard instead of my mundane edition without even a fancy picture.
The point is, living in London you can simply stumble across an experience you would never have dreamed of having. I would never have imagined one day sipping champagne in an extremely-high class lingerie boutique surrounded by models, male waiters, and quite obviously, fashion 'IT' people. Nor would this have happened if I was walking by Farmers on Dunedin's Princes street.
While the situation wasn't my cup of tea, it was certainly an experience I won't forget in a hurry - so obscure as it was. Just when I once again began to lament about the mundane life that London affords one working in an office an hour's tube ride from home, the city brings me a surprise. Albeit, in the form of a half-naked girl who winked and licked her lips at me when we shared a brief moment of eye contact. And this experience came without me even having to go searching for it.
If this is the type of exciting glimpse into a potentially bizarre and exciting London-life given to unsuspecting passers-by, imagine the possibilities that lie beneath the city's surface. I'm going looking. Stay tuned!