For Those Who Can't - Après Ski!
Written by Meena Iyer
It isn’t enough to strive for the body beautiful for #selfies during bikini season. Nay- the true social preying mantis has teatox’s, the baby food diet, and an international gym pass at her fingertips to maintain the Paris-Hilton-insta-shopped body year round! As soon as summer bohemian prince or St. Tropez siren has shelved off those beloved resort bags, you can already hear the call of vampish Autumnal tones and Winter’s jeweled crystals beckoning. With this and the increasingly popular Winter holiday season approaching, the few, the lucky, will find their social escapades climaxing in the great tradition of après-ski.
A Small World Gstaad 2014: Obligatory jumping shot
If you find yourself donning silver moon boots, a delightful knit of Nordic persuasion, slick J Brand jeans, a ruski fur headband and swigging Aquavit from your crystal highball glass, congratulations! You will be one of the few ski bunnies who caught on that the real calories can be burnt après-ski on your ski vacation. Ski holiday goers yearn for the freedom of the slopes, the crisp snow crunching and padding their every move, the alpine wind rushing past them as they triumph down the slopes. The après ski holiday goer satiates his social media following with a strategic photoshoot in ski boots and skis or snowboard, whilst their PA holds the portable fan to allow snowflakes to whimsically whisk over their hair. Preferably this will be accomplished indoors with a convincing backdrop, but sacrifices can be made in order to fulfill sponsorship deals with waist training and juice bars so that their instagram/twitter/facebook etc. caption can read:
“My peach mango teatox helps me slimline down these slopes, while my waist trainer 2500 keeps my beach bunny lady lumps in all the right places!”
That fifteen minute session out in the snow and 1,499 failed images later is as close as the après-ski holiday goer will allow harsh winds, muddied snow and cold, clammy sweat to get near them. The true challenge for this winter tourist begins après-ski.
Ski Bunnies from the movie “Hot Tub Time Machine”
Before you get carried away with visions of sipping Bailey’s spiked rich hot chocolate, supping on glorious spreads of fondue and sleeping in a cocoon of furs and silk, let me bring you back to reality. The après-ski bunny knows that he or she is on a mission, whether that be social climbing or sugar daddy shopping– this is no place for relaxation. Every moment must be strategically laid out to acclimatize one to the affluence of the après-ski club. Also, cast out images of Kate Upton in Sports Illustrated from 2013, I’m not talking about that kind of ski bunny. Think more along the lines of Dolce and Gabbana’s 2010 A/W campaign and collection and the #tbt fashion from the slopes of the movie “Hot Tub Time Machine”. However, these are more functional transitionary looks to create the illusion of fitness and sportsmanship, as the après-ski bunny is preparing to finesse the social climate of the après-ski crowd.
Dolce and Gabbana 2010 A/W Campaign
Après-ski has moved well beyond quaint dinners, sampling mulled wine and adolescent addled dives and discotheques. Looking to the opulent gathering in Gstaad, Switzerland hosted by international lifestyle club A Small World, the après-ski bunny, to his or her twinkling delight, can expect cocktail parties, michelin dinners, after-parties and elegant nightclubs.
Before the amateur can dive into such events he or she must appreciate the rich history that has brought them après-ski culture as it exists today. Though the name hints at French roots, après-ski originated from our Nordic brothers and sisters and has gathered popularity through out the icy clad planes of Europe. The French angling may have evolved due to the popularity of the Alps, or since French was still considered the language of diplomacy during the evolution of après-ski. As a novice you may need to find yourself an education in the exotic après-ski traditions of Schuhplattler (slap dance), Glühwein (hot spiced wine) and the wearing of Drindl (colourful native dress). Although, simply mastering the pronunciations of these traditions and throwing these words into casual après-ski conversation can achieve that experienced aura that will have your peers ooh-ing and aah-ing. Also there is the tradition of Tea dances, where Abby Rand author of Ski Guide to Europe circa 1970, advices that “practically none drinks tea”. Don’t worry Abby our seasoned après-ski bunnies expected as much, but our novices may have some way to go. The Tea dance in après-ski culture according to Rand is where, “any male can ask any female to dance, whether she is alone, with other girls or with an escort. After the dance or set, she is returned to the table where she was found…Arrangements can be made for meeting later”. This is otherwise known as date rape. Though today our après-ski Tea dances are a bit different to Rand’s ’70s scene, the experienced après-ski bunny learns the lesson of preparation, from pre-après-ski, to during and after.
PART I Pre-après-ski
This is where blood, sweat and tears will be shed. This is where the meaning of “pain is beauty” will truly be learnt. You are one novice bunny amongst the masses, it is time to transform yourself into the après-ski bunny you were born to be:
- The skin: Ever noticed how orange in the fall makes one reminisce on pumpkin pies, halloween décor and the fading glow of Summer? That’s why it has no place in Winter. Lose the sunless tanner, the UV beds and focus on moisturising and naturalising. Deep, romantic hues of topaz, magenta and fuchsia do not need sticky fake tan all over them.
- The face: Work on clearing and refining. Anything Kiehl’s will do the job for you, favourites include the Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Mask and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Ensuring a dewy skin surface will allow winter lights to reflect effortlessly off it, as you stare nostalgically out into the snowcapped mountains from your plush window-side seat. Also, SPF ++ (duh).
- Brows on fleek: Whether you plan on doing the power brow à la Delevigne or the no-brow trend like the look from Givenchy F/W 2014, make sure those puppies are saying something! Brows are the beauty must-have of the moment so ensure they are on…or not so on?
- Hair: Ombré is so passé. I know you’re sad novice but get over it. Natural auburns, ambers, bronzes, rich browns and metallic blondes coupled with subtle highlights are the tones of the season. Pair your opulent evening gown with gym sleek styling or your on point party shift with a mod cut and you will be novice no more.
- Body: You are a novice bunny, aspiring to be an après-ski bunny, so do what bunnies do best: eat some lettuce and hop, hop, hop. With the temptations of Halloween treats and Thanksgiving stuffing determination will be the key. Who knows, in your journey to après-ski bunny you could discover your inner Jane Fonda and market your novice to après bunny fitness regime to millions of gullible wannabe-bunnies.
PART II : During après-ski:
Congratulations novice you have made it to phase two, this means you had the commitment to realize the body beautiful, perfect your après-ski vocabulary and smooze the right bottom feeders members of the social elite. Now you are here, what will you wear? How will you behave? What is your best Instagram angle?
- 99.99% of the reason you are here novice is to put yourself on the path of giving Lady Trump or receiving Daddy Warbucks’ 118 carat rock. Know your target and satiate his or her every fantasy with the flick of un upturned collar, the roll of a chino pant or the shade of your ruby red lipstick.
- Be prepared with attire for every occasion. Light cocktail hour, après-ski hot chocolate, Japanese cuisine dinner, pre-yoga brush by (useful to showcase your natural…or purchased…assets), Instagram posing in the snow with mink coats, whatever it may be anticipate every occasion. What’s that novice? How will you fund such an extensive wardrobe? Buy where possible, borrow when necessary, steal as a last resort, but beg never. And no knock-offs please, the après-ski wolves will sniff your faux bunny tail a mile away and tear you to pieces.
- Strategise outfits to be two parts come-hither and one part intrigue. The spring board from novice to bunny is realised when this ratio is present in each ensemble you showcase, but remember no outfit is complete without the right attitude. Capture Brigitte Bardot, Dita Von Teese and Audrey Hepburn and sew them up into your couture attire and you will start seeing green.
- In the 21st century après-ski dances may come packaged a little differently to the hum drum of Rand’s ’70s version, but the tradition of boy-meets-girl-in-drunken-stupor-and-makes-a-series-of-unfortunate-decisions is one that has stood the test of time. So above all novice, if you have laid all the groundwork, now is the time to have some fun!
PART III: Post-après-ski:
The parties are done and dusted, the snow that glittered now seems to fade and you have either snagged yourself a little Christmas present or left with a lump of coal. Whatever your standing novice there are only congratulations to be had here, no commiserations.
- If you managed to snag yourself your Lady Trump or Daddy Warbucks then make sure you have the Moët chilling beside your Chanel spritzed silk bedding. Make them wait before unveiling the luxury of your hard-earned bunny bod encased in Agent Provocateur. The waiting game is key in luring in your prey lover, its also key in nabbing a few extra minutes to douse the lace blindfold you have for them with a touch of chloroform.
- If you have failed to win first prize, do not be disheartened as experience carries its weight in gold. However, you should probably book up your botox, collagen and filler appointments for the next 365 days so that experience doesn’t show.
All-in-all après-ski should not be taken lightly or be attempted by the faint of heart. It is a constant chess game of creating illusion to achieve an ultimate pedestal in the tempestuous world of the elite. However, should you conquer it you may welcome the New Year in a penthouse suite, a no-bars credit gift card to 5th avenue or Knightsbridge and the best early retirement plan. After all isn’t that what we all want?