#954 The Pearl Going chronicles, Final Chapter

Continued from yesterday.

Back inside the house, Pearl proceeded to tell a small cluster of the guests about the incident upstairs involving the Herald on Sunday reporters. According to her, they had arrived uninvited, were trying to gather information for a news story and were sent packing – all facts I could corroborate. One fact, however, I could not confirm (because I simply did not know), was that they had been tipped off by (NZ Fashion Week owners) the Stewart family.

The small group stood awkwardly listening to the news. When Pearl walked away, the nervous chatter began once again. At this stage it’s safe to say that the nervous energy level had reached an all time high. The word palpable comes to mind.

I suddenly remembered Aimee. Approaching Pearl, I asked (as casually as possible), where Aimee was, and if she would be joining us. The response was immediate. Aimee had broken her ankle. The cast, which had been put on by a medical student, had caused her toes to change colour, and she was in hospital getting it fixed up. But that was not all. Due to the initial cast being put on incorrectly, the foot had become infected to the point where leeches had had to be applied in order to stop it from becoming gangrenous. Despite that ordeal, Aimee still hoped to come later, though she would be forced to wear track pants to the event.

I reported the news to several of the other guests. They all confirmed the broken ankle story – having been told it word for word on the telephone the previous day. My mind was just about 100% made up that Aimee did not exist.

I walked to the bar to talk with a friend. Sitting next to a collection of vodka bottles was a stack of real estate leaflets. The NZD$5,000,000 mansion owned by the Going family appeared to be for sale. I mentioned this to one other journalist standing nearby. According to her, Pearl had just said that the house was jointly owned by the St George and the Going families. The St Georges were apparently a wealthy family from Wellington.

Something didn’t add up. We had initially been told that we were going to a NZD$5,000,000 house owned by the Going family. But the bus driver had specifically told our party that the venue had been changed at the last minute that morning. Pearl, however, hadn’t mentioned the change of address to any of us. Was the bus driver mistaken or were we in a different Waiheke mansion from the original house spoken about prior to the event? That said, it’s entirely feasible that the Going family own several multi-million dollar houses on Waiheke Island – I wouldn’t possibly know.

The guests were still milling around, unsure of what was to come. A designer asked Pearl if the suspense was intentional and whether we were going to be played off against each other one by one like an episode of Survivor. Pearl laughed and responded that it was all intentional and that the event would officially begin once the final two guests had arrived.

The final two guests arrived.

Pearl stood at the front of the room with the FedEx representative (the lady from the bus with the three small children) and began to speak. We were all there on Waiheke to commemorate the FedEx Global Fashion Access Award. The award itself had been set up to assist New Zealand designers to grow their businesses internationally. As far as I heard, NZD$10,000 was being offered to the winner. The money would be supplied by FedEx. There were to be five finalists.

Five Wilson volleyballs sat on a table. One ball for each of the five finalists. Little did I know that this was a reference to the film Castaway (I’ve never seen it, though now perhaps I will). Each ball represented 10 balls that would be donated on behalf of each of the five finalists to schools in Fiji. The Crocs shoes were also to be donated on behalf of all the guests to the Treasure House charity in Nadi, Fiji.

Besides the volleyballs, the five finalists would, if they so chose, also be given a free offsite show at Pearl’s consumer fashion event. The event, named Style Series, is scheduled for late March 2010. I am not able to release any other information about Style Series due to the fact that it’s all strictly embargoed until January 2010.

Pearl read out the names of the finalists. They were as follows: Nom*D, Huffer, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Lonely Hearts and Zambesi. One by one, they all collected their balls. The winner of the FedEx Global Access Fashion Award would be the company who put the most effort into organising their offsite fashion show at Style Series.

It was time for lunch. A gourmet barbecue had been prepared by a lady chef, and was laid out on the dining table. The food was delicious. Over ham-on-the-bone rolls and garlic prawns, Pearl talked at length about Aimee and how she was still in hospital – though she still hoped to make it over to the island. She then mentioned the 30-something year old man who gave us our tickets back in Auckland.

He was her brother.

But he wasn’t just Pearl’s brother.

He was also Aimee Ryan’s husband.

I just about choked on my vegetable kebab. I literally couldn’t take anymore, I had to walk away.

A couple of the designers mentioned catching the 3:00pm ferry back to Auckland. It was 2:30pm. I agreed that it was time to get back home, and a cab was called. We said our goodbyes and got into a taxi, marvelling at the bizarre day we’d just experienced. As we neared the ferry terminal, I commented that despite feeling like we’d just come out of a surreal thriller film, at least the food had been amazing. One of the designers agreed. These were his words:

“Yeah, the food was great. Crazy how the chef was Pearl Going’s mum!”

True story.

The End.

Since writing Chapter one of the Pearl Going chronicles, I’ve received plenty of comments and emails. I’ve accepted some of the comments and rejected plenty – largely because I didn’t want this to become a nasty slander-fest. If I didn’t accept your comment, please don’t be offended, that was my reasoning. I’ve been warned by many people that I would soon be hearing from a lawyer, this has not happened. I’ve been told all sorts of crazy things, some in support of Pearl, some against, but none of it is really my concern. I was simply interested in sharing the story of my experience.

One thing that I will mention, however, is that Pearl Going did contact me today. She told me that Aimee Ryan was indeed a real person, and showed me photographs of a girl on Facebook named Aimee. I obviously can’t say with absolute certainty that the girl named Aimee on Facebook was the girl that I’ve talked with previously on the phone, but she could well be.

The greatest thing for me about this whole experience has been the uncertainty of what was actual reality and what was fiction. If it was all fiction, then I say congratulations are in order for taking me for a ride. If it was all reality, then that just makes this whole scenario even more interesting.

Regardless of the reality/fiction, if I could go back and do this all again, I would. I haven’t been hurt in anyway and I’m not angry or upset about anything that’s happened. I’ve had a huge amount of fun.

As for Style Series, I hope it does go ahead. In my opinion, anything extra to the events we already have here is healthy competition and can only force the existing companies to up their games.

And that’s what I think about that.


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  1. Anonymous says

    why has this spin been put on it? it can not look good for the industry been so negative about something different happening? if I were her I would just wash my hands of you all.

  2. Anonymous says

    The venue had never changed Isaac. As one of the sponsors, the house was exactly the same as the one pictures were sent of last week for our team to decide where our display was to be placed.

    I have sat in a meeting with both Pearl, Aimee and another member of AP. I find this report absurd. I am now not sure if the fashion industry is one we want to be involved with.

    If we decide to not sponsor Style Series in 2010 it will not be because of any fault on Pearl’s part. It will simply be to avoid nonsense such as this. You do the industry no help blowing things out of proportion as you have here.

  3. says

    Thanks for the stellar report Isaac, as Emma said Nancy Drew…I’ve been thinking Boys’ Own or Swallows and Amazons! I particularly liked your summary at the end. Still a bit confused as to why the designers had to pick up the soccer balls though?

  4. Anonymous says

    If we decide to not sponsor Style Series in 2010 it will not be because of any fault on Pearl’s part. It will simply be to avoid nonsense such as this. You do the industry no help blowing things out of proportion as you have here.

    If you are ‘the’ sponsor why don’t you put your name to this post, otherwise it simply makes people suspect that this was posted by Pearl or her mother.

    You do yourself no favours in trying to neutralise an absurd situation by attacking one of your invited guests to the event for simply reporting on your event.

    Why woud you invite Isaac to it in the first place?

  5. says

    “If we decide to not sponsor Style Series in 2010 it will not be because of any fault on Pearl’s part”.

    Did Pearl write this? I only ask because it appears strange that a sponsors would outline their concerns in a forum like this.

    The house may not have changed, but it is not a NZD5 million house, it has a CV of NZD 2.4 million. I am aware these are both considerable sums of money! The doubling of registered value, however, suggests other aspects of the whole day may have been similarly exaggerated by Pearl/Aimee.

    It will be interesting to see if/how the Style Series eventuates, and which designer receives the $10 000 prize.

  6. Anonymous says

    It will be interesting to see if/how the Style Series eventuates, and which designer receives the $10 000 prize.

    Are you kidding? FedEx is pulled the plug today. They must now realise that they’ve got themselves behind a doomed event. What designer wants to spend $50,000 for a slim chance to win back $10,000?

    The Stewarts are laughing themselves silly. They probably had hundreds of plans to derail the event but have now realised that the trains operator was fully capable of derailing it themselves without any outside assitance.

    How special do you think the finalists felt when they realised other finalists were hastily deleted by the organiser when they didn’t turn up at the ferry. LOL

  7. Anonymous says

    Maybe Crocs is the other big sponsor, or perhaps all footwear in every show is to be Crocs…but probably its because the whole thing is a big Croc!

  8. Anonymous says

    Great reporting! It sounds totally bizarre and like a lot of people (actual or split personality) completely out of their depth which just makes for an incredibly unprofessional experience.

  9. Anonymous says

    Of course Style Series is free,because it is going to be a huge event with massive sponsors and everyone will embrace it-Another Tui Billboard?
    Yeah Right!

  10. "Pearl" or whatever I feel like typing here says

    It said in the article that the crocs were part of a charity donation to fiji… But still, very valid point J. Am I the only one that thinks this is a little bit (for want of a better word) lame?
    The fact that they don’t even have the courtesy to let the designers know what is happening says a lot. Sounds a lot more like an exercise in self promotion, than anything and as usual everyone is lapping it up.
    I love the anon comments claiming to be people from this event, surely Isaac they would contact you to respond rather than an anon post?
    Good on her if she has money and wants to use it to help charities and young designers, but for heavens sake lose the god complex.
    Entertaining reading though (if a little bit tabloid ragish).

  11. Anonymous says

    Love all the intrigue, Isaac!

    But one thing really doesn’t make sense and it really bothers me. Why on earth have the organisers of the FedEx Global Fashion Access Award chosen to donate goods to Fiji? While I think that all acts of charity should, in general, be lauded, surely Samoa or Tonga would have been better choices. Both countries are in the process of a massive rebuild after parts of each country were destroyed by tsunamis. Fiji, on the other hand, is operating an illegal and undemocratic government. The New Zealand and Australian High Commissioners were thrown out of the country earlier this month. Prior to that Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum for, amongst other things, its disregard for human rights, democracy and freedom.

    While I appreciate that there are good intentions behind the charitable aspect of the award, this particular idea seems misinformed and misguided. The organisers actions fly in the face of not only the New Zealand government but ruling of many Pacific countries. Perhaps Pearl Going and the other organisers of the award may feel that fashion can have the same kind of impact on politics as sports has had in the past. Perhaps they simply feel that they are ‘doing good’. And while volley balls and crocs might be going to kids that need them, I have to wonder if the organisers have even considered how such an act could be interpreted by the Fijian regime?

    Perhaps they have and perhaps they have very good reasoning for choosing Fiji. I would love to hear their reasons. If, on the other hand, they simply picked a random South Pacific nation, perhaps they should stick to what they know – fashion – and leave the race relations, diplomacy and charity up to those who know better.

  12. says

    Nice work Isaac, thanks for the report.

    I was invited to attend this event on Friday (a whole day before). I almost went but the weather was poo and something (many things as it turned out) just didn’t add up about the event so I didn’t go.

    After reading your report, I now wish I had gone! Sounds so much more exciting than the events we have every other day in Auckland…



  13. Anonymous says

    Style Series is free for us designers we don’t have to pay anything.

    Free? Oh will the fashion fairies pay for your show?

    No offense but you’re obviously not a designer, as you’re seriously clueless to the fiscal reality of putting on a fashion show.

  14. Anonymous says

    50 Volleyballs should solve the problems in Fiji.
    The Fiji charitable aspect just reeks of a company trying to attach goodwill to what they perceive as a superficial sponsorship. They want to be in fashion but they also want to be seen as unfrivilous.

    Crocs has several million pairs going into landfills unless they can give them away. This is not out some notion of helping others, they are doing this all over the world, so they don’t have to pay disposal costs.

    All about the bottom line.

  15. Anonymous says

    Wow! It seems to me that you are all making some pretty big assumptions. No finalists were deleted, the charity tie in is relevant and if you think you can do better get off your ass and do something yourself.

    No takers? Did not think there would be!

    So no one wants another event to happen? Ok!

    Hopefully the people who have worked hard on Style Series read this and it dawns they are casting Pearls to swine!


  16. Anonymous says

    Wicked story Isaac! And I really love the Fed Ex photo – could the designers look any more awkward? I’d put money on the fact that Amy is another fictional character in this ordeal. Isaac you should take Nancy Drew to the next level, arrange to meet Amy and write us about it?

  17. oldgirl says

    well I thought I had a great weekend in Auckland at a great ragtrade wedding,but hell nothing bets what you got up to with Miss Pearl, all know about her was she was a pain in the xxx at I.D. last year and was all over the place with her tall tales. by the way your name came up a few times at the wedding you and I do know a lot of the same people, all had nice things to say. Do keep up this great story it is like a good book but I do not know the ending, all bit of fun

  18. Anonymous says

    I don’t understand why people think this is nasty, it’s just someone blogging about a weird experience they had and it was very entertaining might I add.

  19. Anonymous says

    Fantastic bit of writing and a great read to top off the evening, glad I got to read it all in one go!

    It’s all a very suspect situation, but, I guess I can’t come to any conclusion given the total lack of information or fact (for or against) surrounding Pearl, Style Series or the FedEx award …

    Now, to bed!

  20. Anonymous says

    is anyone else out there aware of the weird coincidence that lonely hearts and before them stolen girlfriends club just won the DHL award and now there is supposedly a FED-EX award? a little too obvious a ploy if you ask me. i think this pearl is a silly little socialite who wants a piece of the fashion action that is more than just dropping daddys cash in one of her favourite stores. she obviously has no idea on how to host an event or pull off a reputable business. what scares me the most is how easily these designers were lured into this madness. i would have run for the hills at this event.

  21. Jo says

    Anon 9.48am – Yep I picked that up too, very suss!

    So Fed Ex are just handing out money (and apparently volley balls)? At least DHL gave help with exporting..seems a wee bit more relevant.

    Oh and love the photo Isaac.

  22. Anonymous says

    From the first installment Isaac you noted: When you register a company, you have to decide on a certain amount of shares to be allotted to it. Most people choose 100 shares – it’s an easy number and one share can equal one per cent of the company. A P Group Holdings Ltd has a grand (and I really do mean grand) total of 11,610,000 shares. The intrigue grew..

    Now if you go back to the registrar there’s only 100 shares, 50 to Pearl and 50 to AP Group Holdings Limited. But both are registered to the same address?? But then when you look at the particulars of shareholders (Pearl) she lives in Northcote?? I don’t get it!!!

    This is all so intriguing.

    Can anyone confirm that Fedex has pulled the pin?

    I would have to warn anyone who comes in contact with Pearl, to take CAUTION it’s very easy to get sucked in. I didn’t and it ended up costing me.

    If only I had of known about the pearlgoingisafake.com website sooner.

  23. Anonymous says

    From the companies site it looks like NZ style series Ltd was formed with 100 shares held by Pearl.

    50 shares were later transferred to AP Holdings Ltd which has 11,610,000 shares all held by Pearl.

    There is one other Director of both companies who is not a shareholder of either.

    11,610,000 shares is an odd number of shares to choose for a brand new company, but is completely irrelevant in the scheme of things.

  24. Anonymous says

    Firstly I would like to say to the people commenting about the unfairness of this up roar.. “you have nothing to fear!” as what has been said in regards to style series and counterpart is true! we were a potential sponser that nearly feel into this very potentially damaging event and I would hate to see any brand fall for this the way we nearly did! We too have been threatend by legal action not to devolve any acknowledgement of style series and its sponsers and are surprised it has even come thus far!

  25. Anonymous says

    Someone mentions the Fiji charity thing – well isn’t it because Pearl herslef works with a Fijian airline as a supposed client? not that I have ever been able to find A P Holdings as a listed business and the brand name brandap.com website is still under construction (for how long?) believe me if it seems dodgy it probably is. Go Pearl you certainly know how to create some media attention. this is the best pr stunt ever.

  26. MyCool says

    Well, well, well. A couple months away from your blog and I return to this.. Very interesting.

    I wish you filmed it and put it on here, on that would have been fantastic! Sounds all a bit dodge but hey like you say the food was devine!

  27. Anonymous says

    If I was considering investing my hard earned cash on sponsorship of an event I’d ensure I was a little better informed than by just reading gossip from a blog.

    The fact that anyone could put together a weekend event, and manage to get some of New Zealand’s top names in fashion to attend should not go without some commendation.

    This has clearly been blown out of proportion.

  28. Anonymous says

    In such a small country, how come everyone doesn’t already know that anything connected to Ms Going is complete make believe & fantasy? Surely she is running out of people to tell her tall tales to? Love the blog – really made for a great coffee break with my colleagues who all know Sian well!

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