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The Secret DJ's run in with the world of high fashion

Our mystery spinner reminisces about encountering P Diddy, Tommy Hilfiger and genital-scented perfume

  • Words: The Secret DJ | ILLUSTRATION: TIAGO MAJUELOS
  • 28 January 2020

Can you really say you’ve made it as a DJ in 2019 without your own clothing line? I’m not just talking merch – though sometimes these days it feels more profitable selling T-shirts than techno (no-one is trying to stream a pair of pants you made for 0.004 pence). No, I mean the real thing: capsule collections, collaborations, trainers with your signature on ’em: the unlistenable in pursuit of the unwearable. My own brushes with the fashion world have been brief and somewhat embarrassing.

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A former girlfriend was bang into high fashion. One night she got an invite plus one to a very posh-sounding event at what was Ibiza’s only genuinely five-star hotel, far in the north. It was in fact a ‘smelling’ of a Lady Superstar Designer’s new perfume. Sadly, years of drug abuse mean I only have half an operational nostril and can’t smell anything other than fear and a crowd’s disappointment. Anyway, I was sitting in a corner when suddenly the doors crashed open and she swept in with a wicker basket and headscarf, entourage in tow. Somehow she clocked me immediately and came charging over, speaking in title case like a headmistress addressing a simpleton.

“You Don’t Like It Here. I Can Tell. You’re Like Me. I Hate This.”

I found that I was a bit star-struck, and uncharacteristically lost for words.

“Speak Up! What’s Wrong With You?”

I replied that I was very pleased to meet her and that she must be very tired after inventing new smells.

“Funny. You’re A Funny One Are You? Why Are You Here? What About My New Fray-Grance?”

Her regional twang meant she said some words in two parts.

“Speak Up! Cat Got Your Tongue? The Smell!? The Fray-Grance?”

I was feeling a bit oppressed now. Not by her, but because I was an interloper. A charlatan at a perfume launch who can’t even smell. I tried desperately to think of some words about smells that were neutral. Positive but meaningless. The way people talk about the ‘advantages’ of vinyl.

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“Er... It’s er... very warm.”

“Warm!? Warm?? What Does That Even Mean, Man?”

“It’s... also... highly...er... earthy!”

She relaxed a bit.

“Earthy? Earthy, Is It. By ‘Earthy’ Do You Mean ‘Sensual’?

Highly relieved, I chirruped “Yes!”

“Good. It Is Supposed To Smell Of Cunt. Specifically My Cunt. Glad You Like It.”

She gestured brusquely at a minion, who slid over and handed me a coat. It wasn’t my coat. Maybe it was a very posh cue to leave.

“I Like You. Have A Coat.”

And with that she stormed off. I still have the coat over a decade later.

Read this next: 10 times DJs lent their talents to high fashion runway shows

More recently I was sitting with my girlfriend on the dock of the bay in Ibiza’s port, just like Otis Redding, and studying what was, at that time, the world’s largest privately owned sea-going vessel. Now, I love boats, and this one was Tommy Hilfiger’s yacht. A monster, with a helicopter either end, it took two pilot vessels to guide it in.

In fact, it was so large and the port so busy that P Diddy’s arrival by yacht was something of a damp squib as it was forced to turn around and moor much further away in a dingy corner.

Somehow, there followed an invitation to my second Ibiza fashion party – with free booze. I rarely get drunk; there’s too many drugs in me for it to happen effectively. But when I get bored and have lots of time and there are no dealers about... I didn’t realise the party was Hilfiger’s until I was already way over the yard-arm, two sheets to the wind and many other nautical booze analogies and I was suddenly both engaged and delighted. I wanted to talk to Tommy, now. He interested me. He had a right big boat.

Just then there was the kind of kerfuffle that denoted that something was happening and the event became abuzz that ‘Puffy’ was here. He had six very large men around him and moved everywhere in a scrum huddle. Tommy, meanwhile, had zero security and even fewer hangers-on. I liked Tommy. He had a matey name and seemed easy-going. I even had a brief chat about keels with him. He was highly gracious to a drunkard.

Read this next: Sherelle on how style can be empowering

By now, my girlfriend was justifiably mortified – and perhaps a little annoyed that, ever since the ‘Fray-Grance’ incident years before, I would talk to people she’d love to talk to if she wasn’t so shy/sober. I was being ordered to leave. Just as well, because I had Started Speaking In Upper Case Myself. Anoother reason I don’t get drunk is I am a textbook ‘roaring drunk’, and actually roaring is not recommended unless you are a lion.

“Sorry, Tommy. Tommy! Tommy! TOMMY FISHFINGER! I have to go now. She’s had enough. Listen, don’t get lost on the way home, mate. Yours is the biggest fucking boat in the world. You can’t miss it, it’s got ‘Tommy’ written in ten-foot letters on the side.... And two whopping choppers on top! Don’t get on the wrong one, lad...”

I turned and found I was just a couple of yards away from a certain rapper.

“Puffy! See you, mate. You don’t get lost either. Puffy!”

At which point his bouncers hustled together to form a a phalanx of beef. Physically impenetrable, but which even in my pissed state I knew wasn’t soundproof...

“Don’t get on Tommy Fishfinger’s by mistake, Puffy. You can’t miss yours. Your boat is the rental, parked in the shit bit.”

They didn’t need any burly men. The missus had me out of there in less than five seconds, my brief dalliance with the fashion world over, and not even a new coat this time.

Follow The Secret DJ on Twitter

Tiago Majuelos is an illustrator and animator, follow him on Instagram

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