Saturday, July 30th was the second night of a two-night 2nd Annual I Love Couture show at Suite 200. Hosted by Nicole Fox, winner of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 13, the second night was the Haute Couture Show, and Friday night featured street wear. There were eight designers lined up, including Rae Marie—my designer. She had fifteen pieces and fifteen models, so there was no need to quick change.
As a model the more fashion shows I do, the more I realize waiting is the name of the game. We were called for hair and makeup in groups every hour between 1:00 and 4:00 pm, and the show wasn’t even set to start until 10:00 pm. I got there at four and only one model’s hair and makeup from the first group had been finished. Later, more hairstylists and makeup artists showed up, so the pace moved quicker– But I was last to finish around 8:30 pm.
The waiting, however, is not all that bad. Models, despite their reputation, are very friendly and personable—at least the ones I’ve met. So it’s kinda like just chilling with the girls: gossiping, reading magazines, eating and listening to music.
After hair and makeup, we all headed over to Suite 200. They checked everyone’s ID’s and for models under 21 (myself included) had to sign a contract and the club kept our ID’s during the show. The deal was, if we didn’t get out of there and collect our ID’s by a certain time, the club sheriff would come arrest those remaining.
So not only was I denied an after-party, my almost 21-year-old boyfriend couldn’t come to see me do my thing. I really wanted him to be involved, as the possibility of modeling presents the possibility of travel and time away from him. It’s been something we both are bittersweet about. Then again, I haven’t even gotten any offers yet, so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.
My boyfriend understood, and was really supportive of me nonetheless. He said he wished he could be there, but was proud of me and knew I would do good.
Because I was last, I didn’t get a chance to practice on or even see the runway. All I kept hearing was that it was really slippery. Our choreography included a face-off and turn with the model we were passing on our way on and off the runway, and the last thing I wanted to do was slip and eat it during my big moment.
More waiting ensued—in small back rooms with tons of models. It was crowded and hot, and the show didn’t even start until 11:00.
Everyone looked great though. As Rae Marie and her assistants did finishing touches on all of our outfits—sewing on straps, buttons and steaming garments, I looked around at the other collections. Outfits ranged from artistic and outrageous to very wearable. One collection was mostly yellow silk with caped and hoods and the girls had glitter on their faces and one wore a fox-head hat. It reminded me of little red riding hood except yellow. One dress from another collection was huge and metallic gold—stunning with a detailed form-fitting pattern. It was big though and I was glad I didn’t have to work that out on the runway.
When we were almost on, I got my long sleeved one-piece jumpsuit sewn on. It had no zipper, so we had to wait in case I needed to use the bathroom. All the girls accessorized and we lined up. Then we wished each other good luck, and we were on our way!
The music was pumping, and it felt like a regular hot night-club vibe. People were sitting along the sides of the narrow elevated runway, and if we went off the edge we would fall onto their drinks. Some gave the show their full attention, while others were doing their own thing at their VIP tales. We were escorted out two by two.
Minutes before I hit the runway, the butterflies set in. I feel short of breath, like I need an oxygen mask. My whole body goes light and tingly and my teeth are practically chattering. But when I step onstage, everything is calm, almost still. All I can focus on is not falling off and hoping my face looks something like fierce.
I step off, and an incredible high sweeps through me. All the adrenaline melts into a relived rush of endorphins. Then the final walk-through, and it’s all over. Ten hours of waiting, practicing, sweating, getting made up, laughing, panicking and it all ends in a ten-minute show, only one of which you’re in. Wild ride. Well worth it.