While Gossip Girl co-stars Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley and Blake Lively were celebrating the opening of Bridgehampton Polo and Chace Crawford’s birthday in the Hamptons this past Saturday, Ed Westwick stayed behind to relax, sun and take in his first summer in NYC. I had been out east for most of the weekend, but had to skip Chace Crawford’s birthday to return to the city. From what I’ve heard, I missed a good party, but like I always say, there’ll always be another one.
Instead, I had something much more exciting on my calendar for Sunday morning, a photo shoot for a feature in Page Six Magazine’s Fall Fashion issue. Wait, it gets better. The shoot was an exclusive with Ed Westwick!
More photos and story below:
A few weeks ago, Page Six Magazine Talent Director Patty Adams contacted me via a referral from my good friend and creative genius, Gregory Littley. She asked if I'd be interested in participating in the photo shoot as one of three “IT” girls for a shoot with Ed Westwick. Each of us “IT” girls would get a one-on-one scene with Ed and a mini-bio about us for the story (i.e. I went to Yale, play golf, etc). I was told that the theme was “A Night Out at an NYC ‘hotspot’ with Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass”.
So, on Sunday, July 20, I showed up at 60 Thompson’s Thom Bar for my call time at 10:30. I was greeted in front by my friend Marisa Marquina who was accompanying me and observing the shoot. It was already an atypical Sunday morning since I was awake at such an ungodly hour. I was still half asleep and the idea of the shoot was still a bit surreal to me. I was definitely more nervous than I thought I’d be (it was my first real professional photo shoot), but I was also very excited (who wouldn’t be?). I met the two other "IT" girls, Hollis and Taylor Warren, both well-established models.
Fashion Director Johannah Masters whisked me to the racks of gorgeous dresses, shoes and tables covered in jewelry. The Page Six team had me try on several looks until they decided on a glam Chloe dress. I had no complaints. I had brought my own shoes because my feet are so small (I wear a size 5/35) that it’s difficult for stylists to find. It just so happened that one of my pairs of Christian Louboutins (see picture) matched the dress perfectly. Hair and makeup were next. Bradley Irion styled my hair in a fabulous bob and added extensions to accentuate the look. When I was finished and ready for the camera, I definitely felt like an “IT” girl! I LOVED the look that they styled for me. I felt like I was in a cross between a Cinderella story and a Truman Show scenario.
I had been in hair and make up at the same time as Ed, who was basically as I imagined he would be. He had a bad boy look and great sense of style – he showed up to the shoot wearing a pair of black jeans, red zip up jacket with a black t-shirt revealing part of his chest. However, unlike his Gossip Girl character Chuck Bass, he was down to earth, poised, mature and an English gentleman. Marisa and I both agreed that Ed was also charismatic, witty and flirtatious, but not in an obnoxious way, in fact, just the opposite. When he was being “groomed” (aka getting his hair styled), he wasn’t afraid to ask questions about what the groomer was doing to his hair and he even changed it a bit to his liking. I was impressed with his ability to understand the vision of the shoot and how he wanted to be portrayed. Well, I guess he was basically just playing “Chuck Bass.”
My “scene” with Ed was a bit of an awkward pose and moment to capture. He was sitting on the couch (see picture above of the space) and I was “nestled” or “snuggled” up to him and practically laying on top of him at times. The concept was that we were on a date together at a bar and he was the object of my desire as the obnoxious bad boy. It was easy for him because he just had to model the infamous Chuck Bass stare. No complaints and ladies, yes, you should be jealous because Ed Westwick is just as awesome as you’d think he’d be in real life.
Our shoot took a while and since Ed and I were on such an intimate date and so comfortable as we held our pose, we started talking and I had a little impromptu interview with him. We discussed where we liked to go out and both agreed Rose Bar was a top pick. He was very curious about where I went – he wanted to get to know New York better and I got the feeling that he was interested in exploring the city. I should have offered to be his official NYC tour guide. ;)
At one point, he could tell that I was posing in an uncomfortable position and he chivalrously offered to get me another cushion. Instead, I took that as a cue to snuggle up closer to him. Why not, right? It was the point of the scene.
I also found out that instead of going to the Hamptons with his Gossip Girl co-stars, he prefers staying in NYC since it’s his first summer and he’s trying to take in the experience. We chatted about our plans for the rest of the day and we both had the same idea in mind – just relaxing and perhaps getting some sun (if we didn’t melt).
At 21, I was impressed with Ed’s poise and maturity. Ed Westwick is as charming and sexy with a great sense of humor. His British accent didn’t hurt, which we all love to love! He also struck me as very intelligent, pensive and genuine, and of course, he’s undeniably a talented artist. Ed also plays in a band (Link). Have I mentioned my soft spot for musicians?
To sum it up, we LOVE Ed Westwick! I can’t wait to see the story in Page Six Magazine, which I’m told hits stands on September 7th (right before New York Fashion Week commences). Ed has “IT” and there’s no doubt in my mind it won’t fade anytime soon.
As for myself, if it so turns out that my “IT” girl status is short-lived, I’ll still have the pictures and story to look back on my glory days. But hey, it’s New York and anything is possible these days. Even a first generation Chinese-American from Bellevue, Washington can move to the city and become an “IT” girl in Page Six Magazine. It doesn’t hurt to have some luck either…and good friends like Greg Littley who I can’t thank enough! “IT” girl or not, I’ll always be The Wei and I can live with that.