by Penny Martin .

Press Day at Mandi Lennard's

It's that time of year again when fashion PRs open up their showrooms for Press Days: an opportunity for journalists and stylists to see all the clothes close-up and decide which exact pieces they will be calling in for shoots for the oncoming season. Mandi Lennard's is not to be missed, so Christabel Stewart, Jonathan Kaye and I popped over to Hoxton this lunchtime to pay the ultimate cheerleader of the emerging brand a visit.

A visit to Mandi is as much made to view the raft of clients she looks after (these range from designers Eley Kishimoto and Karen Walker, shops b Store and Hoxton Boutique, publications Pop, Le Book and Arena Hommes + or even the stylist Katie Grand) as to get a dose of the redoubtable PR herself. Always decked out in a montage of the fashions she represents, Mandi is tireless in her promotion of the new and edgy. Her events are noted for their innovative catering (this is the woman whose bon mots include 'You know, chocolate salamis are the new pineapple hedgehogs!') and particularly for her forceful presence at the fashion shows. We call it 'The Hand of Mandi', but I hear previous aliases have included 'Mandi Benetton' and 'Demandi' (she's gonna kill me!). Whenever you are stuck in a queue, have lost your tickets or someone has nicked your seat, Mandi will find you using some extra-sensory-fashion-perception and pluck you out of abject fashion week misery. In that ebullient trill, she will announce to some harrassed assistant 'you remember Penny Martin from SHOWstudio?? Make sure she gets our best seat!!' I bet she says that to all the girls...

But of all the distinguishing characteristics that characterise the Hand of Mandi, it is the nails. Today, those acrylic talons were looking positively demure, embellished with pretty pink sparkles: other days have seen them in Hare Krishna orange, pierced with a tiny, gold ring, or sporting a jaunty rhinestone inset. She's famous for having composed a list of her favourite nailbars in London and New York, each with qualifying hints such as 'can get a bit aggressive' or 'no eye contact'. I'll look it out for you.

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