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My night gatecrashing King Karl's top table

So, I ended up gate-crashing the top table at the Chanel after-show dinner.

Scottish model Stella Tennant with 'King' Karl Lagerfeld
Scottish model Stella Tennant with 'King' Karl Lagerfeld

Please understand that I'm not normally like this; that in the past I have always been considerate of seating plans and hierarchy.

But having spent the hour after the Chanel show frantically typing away in sub zero temperatures in order to file a show review in time for the Herald's first edition, I was cold and hungry and looking forward to sitting down to dinner.

View the two picture galleries from Chanel's big night at Linlithgow Palace

By the time I arrived at the elaborate construct Chanel had created especially for the dinner, set on the loch just down from Linlithgow Palace, the lavish Medieval-themed feast was well under way.

Unfortunately my seat at the appointed table had disappeared, and the models who were now occupying the table were not willing to budge up to admit another diner. My only option was to take up one of the few empty seats in the room. So I made a beeline for the first empty seat I saw and thankfully it was free and up for the taking.

I settled down and it wasn't till I surveyed the scene that I realised how out of my depth I was. Inadvertently I had landed myself a seat at the Chanel top table. And, as I was soon to learn, I had pinched a seat destined for a child. Not just any old child, but four year old Hudson Kroenig, Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld's godson and star of Chanel's Métiers d'Art show that took place earlier that evening.

Hudson had earlier strutted his stuff on the catwalk alongside model dad Brad Kroenig, decked out like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a black velvet cap and jacket. Hudson, to be fair, being four, had better things to do than attend a dinner; like sleep.

So I ended up with Hudson's seat and what a good seat it was! Three places to my left was former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld. Further up the table was the editor of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman, alongside Chanel creative consultant Amanda Harlech and revered fashion journalist Suzy Menkes.

To my right were a bunch of editors from Elle and Vogue alongside socialites including Poppy Delevingne, Caroline Sieber and Derek Blasberg. Stella Tennant was holding court opposite me, wearing one of the roomy fair isle wool jumpers that she modelled in the show.

I could sense that everyone was confused about who I was and what I was doing there, but they were too polite to ask. Fashion is a small world and outsiders stand out. I definitely stood out like a sore thumb and at one point felt the gaze of Karl Lagerfeld (who was sitting six places up from me at the semi-circular table), rest upon me. Thankfully he didn't send me to the old jail that still exists in Linlithgow Palace.

The night got weirder from then on in: the main course consisted of meat from a sheep, a buck deer, a rabbit and hog cheeks. I ate it all but only after being mistakenly convinced that most of it was beef. In my defence, the menu was hidden on the other side of the place card which I had left discarded.

The dessert, while impressive, didn't go down well with the fashion elite, as eating cream is considered as deadly as wearing crocs in fashion circles.

There was a minor fracas when one Parisian it-girl and actress lit a cigarette at the table, and a gruff Scottish security guard told her that she was breaking the law as it is illegal to smoke in an indoor public place in Scotland. Once he left, there was much laughter among the group, with one woman indignantly crying out “but this is not a public place, this is Karl's house”.

If this was Karl's house, then it was fun to live in it, if only for one night. Who else can you count on to dazzle you with a show featuring the best Scottish textiles combined with the finest Parisian ateliers, and allow you to gorge on a gourmet banquet dinner?

The evening came to an end rather abruptly once the cheese course of Stinking Bishop arrived. Platters of the stuff were placed at the end of the long tables and the smell carried so quickly that fashionistas ran off in all directions. It seems that in food, if not in fashion, certain artisan creations are still an acquired taste for the international fashion community.

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