As a lover of all things fashion, the excitement of a fashion show always gives me chills, but to actually be in one was quite the experience.
I am truly a shy individual, so you can imagine the intense amount of anxiety that I had after volunteering to lend a helping hand behind the scenes (so I thought) of a stateside launch, however my friend Jeri Edler of Retail Therapy Boutique who is now carrying the new jean line had other plans of putting me on the scene. Believe me when I say I was a nervous wreck from day one at the model audition, which required me to walk (4 times might I add to get it right) in front of the designer and boutique owner. I had my daughter with me who of course laughed at me and proceeded to tell me all about my look of sheer terror.
The next day I received an email from Jeri that provided the fitting schedule. My first fitting was at Jeri’s store Retail Therapy Boutique, and of course me being the awkward oddball that I am, I was the last one to have a completed look. Although it took many years, I’ve since accepted the fact that I have really strong features, as everything on my face is large (eyes, nose, lips and cheek bones), and that being the case shopping can be tricky, as was finding the right look and colors for me. However I was able to spot a nice jacket with a beautiful shade of tangerine paired with a white camy and of course the indigo jeans. Jeri got me all decked out in her boutique’s awesome accessories of lavender shells that just made the ensemble pop. It was really nice to have had the opportunity to meet the other models, who were beautiful, super sweet ladies, which made the atmosphere comforting. It’s always a blessing to meet people are both beautiful inside and out.
Second fitting took place at Tijuana Faison’s boutique Design Faze, and of course I was the last to have completed looks…again with my awkwardness. By the end of our session Tijuana had put together two awesome ensembles with amazing accessories and even a head wrap, we were going for a gypsy-look. It didn’t quite happen that way at the show, but we’ll get to that. I walked out of Design Faze with my feet aching, but very excited about the looks she created.
Then came rehearsal! I of course was very nervous and full of self-doubt. I amazingly did it with my chin up and a very stoic look on my face. The ladies and I joked and laughed as we watched, cheered and encouraged each other down the runway. I watched in amazement as the ladies just took their natural stride to the next level once their heels hit the runway. I of course struggled with turns, as I felt like I was doing an about-face unlike the other ladies who seemed to move and turn with grace and fluidity. I came home and practiced while my daughter continued to laugh and instruct me on how to sway my hips down the runway. I tried to explain to her that I lack hips, but have a pair of saddle bags that I don’t think are suppose to sway down the runway.
The next day was the show and the first order of business was hair and makeup. I was told to tame my big hair with a flatiron the night before, so the day of I had the pleasure of meeting hair stylist Fannette Morris of The Parlor Retreat who really whipped my hair into shape. Next was makeup, which I was terrified of, number one because of my strong features, but secondly I knew we were wearing a red lip. I have very full lips and the thought of reverting back to my jr. high days were my mother wanted to kill me because of my obsession with fire engine red lipstick was flat out scary to me…lord have mercy! My daughter again laughed at me after my look was complete.
Next came the collection of money for tickets, as each model was asked to sell two tickets. I wasn’t able to sell the tickets, but I did want my kids and good friend to be present for the show, so I had to fork over $75 for three tickets. As my good friend, Karen Francis of CEO/Host of Successfully Single, arrived and found me backstage and snapped a few pictures and then asked to meet the designer. I’m not sure exactly what happened between me pointing her in the direction of the designer, but suddenly Karen, myself and the models who were taking pictures of themselves from their phones were abruptly reprimanded about photos and told to delete all photos, I was stunned and mortified. It was a very odd moment seeing that the stylist and makeup artist had been taking pictures of their created looks all day, but it was a fashion show so a little drama is to be expected and I was only a volunteer .
My first walk on the runway was very exhilarating and scary. Although my gypsy look had failed with the beautiful scarf being wrapped around my head, I still worked it by throwing it over my shoulder. The crowd, although thin, was encouraging and inviting so the actual walk with bright lights wasn’t so bad. Of course I was terrified about being the one who falls on the stage, but thankfully it didn’t happen to any of us. Turns out the walk itself wasn’t the hard part, changing in between walks was hard, but both Jeri and Tijuana were calm and cool as cucumbers so the transitions went well stage-wise. All of the models were behind the scenes running around like chickens with our heads cut off. During my last two walks my heel weren’t fastened due to the frantic rush, but I walked it out anyway and got the job done. Overall I’d have to say it was a great experience with lots of lessons learned.
Jurney Jurray, LLC