My first runway show...ever. To say I was stressed out is an understatement. Even though it was not my first rodeo showcasing my designs, this was my first fashion show. Here's a video proving how incredibly nervous I was. I actually said "torture" in my interview, but the videographer took another take and I got "torched" out of my mouth. This was even before I had my first gin and tonic.
I heard about this opportunity and jumped in head first. I realize being an entrepreneur I need to say "yes" to a lot of things without even truly knowing all about them. I've missed out on incredible things because I dropped the ball, so now I sort of try everything at least once, maybe twice.
The first showcase was set-up to collaborate with a fashion designer, a hair designer, and a makeup artist, as well as me, the accessories designer. To say this was a cluster fuck is also an understatement. One of us could have taken the reigns more and stepped up to manage the group better, but in the end it worked out. Three of us from that group made it onto the next step in the showcasing for the RAWartists, and into the semi-final stage. We were voted into this spot by our fans, and family.
Now, take as stressed I was in the first showcase, and multiple that by about ten times. (This is about where I decided I need to learn how to better manage my stress level, but that'll be another blog entry). In the first showcase, we collaborated with four designers total, and this time, we were on our own. This meant I had to do the makeup, hair, and find outfits for all three of my models. Oh, and that also brings in the fact I had to find models. I now had the one other fashion show under my belt, so I immediately contacted about five of the girls I met during the first show in Cincinnati. A few of them have agencies now and had to connect with them first to get the go-ahead, others were already booked with photo shoots, etc. I then had to fend for myself and had to recruit my girlfriends to fill the shoes of models (which I am lucky I have very pretty, and fit friends).
Now that I had my models, I had to design some amazing haute couture pieces that would really wow the judges. 50% of the vote was coming from the crowd, and the other 50% was from the three guest judges.
Finally the day of the showcase rolled in. This was an all day event. I had to rally up my models to make sure they arrived down in Cincinnati (which is about an hour south from where we all live), make sure no one forgot their outfits, and oh, and make sure I had all their jewelry with me.
We arrived at the show, and immediately started unpacking the display, getting dresses out, shoes for the runway ready, and headed to the bathroom to touch up our hair and make-up. This was a complete struggle, because all the other hair, make-up, and fashion designers had their three models each in the bathroom as well. Luckily, I had planned on this and asked the girls to get mostly ready at home before arriving.
Then the runway coordinator asked me for the CD of the music I wanted to play while the girls strut down the catwalk. Cue record screeching to a halt. My what? Not one person had told me there needed to be music provided by me. I assumed it was going to be like before when they had a Deejay providing the night's tunes. I had inquired about everything, but the one thing I was unaware of slipped through the cracks. Normally I think I would have wanted a cigarette (I do not condone smoking), but instead I grabbed my iphone and started flipping though music to find something that had an amazing beat. Thank you, LCD Soundsystem. I found something in about five minutes. Not the end of the world. If that was the worst thing that can happen, I'll take it.
They call us to line up, and from that moment on, I had no control over what happened. I had to let it go. We went first. The girls rocked it. They did so well, and I couldn't have been more proud of what we had all accomplished.
After all the votes were in for all of the artists, the judges rallied everyone to announce who would then go on to the next round of finals.
We didn't go onto the next finals round that night, but I can confidently say that I learned a lot, and truly felt proud as a designer. It's clichè to say, but that's exactly how I felt. I put myself and my designs out there, let people judge me, and I came out stronger because of it.