My six months of hard work had all led up to this moment. It was always about an hour-long drive down to Greenwood Village and back every other Saturday. It was four hours of etiquette, runway walking, poses, workouts, and makeup. But finally September of 2013 had arrived and it was time to put my knowledge to the test. My first fashion show was about to begin in five hours.
Before any of this could happen, it all started when my mom and I were spending a Saturday wandering throughout the Flatiron’s Mall. A representative for Barbizon Model and Talent Agency pulled my mom and I over and handed me a small green slip.
She grinned and remarked, “We’d love for you to come and audition for our agency. We’re looking for new faces.”
I carefully scanned the pamphlet for Barbizon Southwest. It seemed pretty real and trustworthy to me. My mom nodded and replied, “Okay, if you want to try it,” and helped me fill out the audition slip.
The following weekend, I attended the audition and the director for the Southwest region was very eager when I walked up to meet her. The audition went very smooth and that same night a contract was signed with the agency and I began modeling classes in Greenwood Village at their facility a week later.
My mom and I pulled into the Embassy Suites parking lot at 8 A.M. I yawned, hopping out of the car to grab my outfits from the back and head into the dressing room.
Luckily, I was one of the first models there so I grabbed a good comfortable spot, prepared my outfits in an organized fashion, and touched up my recommended makeup for the day. We had some interesting themes for our outfits. There was the fall casual outfit which consisted of brick orange skinny jeans, a white blouse, brown leather jacket, peach scarf, and knee-high boots. Adding onto that my group had a high fashion or New York City model look. This outfit had a tight black and white stripped top with a belt slightly below the rib cage, black slacks, shiny, red pumps, and a ridiculously heavy coral necklace. The other group would be walking onto the runway with a “neon Tokyo” look. The final outfit was our formal wear dress or the dress we planned to receive our graduation diplomas in. Mine was a long, sleek black dress with a halter top and sequins running all over the dress.
About ten minutes later, one of my friends strolled into the room. Her shoulder length brown hair was curled to perfection and for once we were the same height because she wasn’t wearing ridiculously high heels. She looked just as excited and enthusiastic about the upcoming event as I did.
Miss Michelle, my instructor for the classes, came striding into the room just as the last few people shuffled in. Loudly, she announced, “Alright ladies. We’ll start rehearsals now. Please get into your first outfit and we’ll run through everything and you’ll learn the choreography for your group dances.”
Those five hours were some of the most fun but stressful hours of my life. The show hadn’t even started and my feet felt like they were about to fall off. It’s hard wearing heels for over five hours!
Finally, 2 o’clock rolled around. Family members from all over packed into the ballroom where the runway and lights were all set up and ready to go. The fashion show was underway.
My heart beat a million beats per minute. In my head I thought, “Don’t fall off the runway. Look at the audience. No, look at the wall. No, try to find your family. Okay, okay, just don’t fall off or trip. Haha, it’s going to be alright.” And that’s when I took my first confident steps out onto the runway in front of over a hundred people in my fall casual outfit. It was an amazing feeling.
The next feeling was not all that amazing. The second I couldn’t be seen by the audience I sprinted back to the dressing room for a two-minute quick change into our high fashion outfits.
I got to the dressing room and got everything but my shoes on. I frantically searched. They weren’t anywhere near my stuff! Just then my friend also came dashing into our little area. From her bag, I spotted my red heels.
“Hey, um, I think those are my shoes.” I pointed towards her bag, keeping an eye on the time.
“Oh, oops! Sorry! They looked a lot like mine.” My friend exclaimed handing me my shoes.
“Thanks. You’re good, it happens.” I smiled back and quickly shoved my feet into the heels.
Turns out we made it just in time. We were ready to go and made it onto the runway for our high fashion walk. Shortly after, we surprised the audience by dancing to “Harlem Shake” in our high fashion outfits. It was absolutely crazy, but so enjoyable.
The last part of the fashion show, the diploma ceremony, had finally arrived. I stood just behind the curtain anxiously awaiting my chance to walk solo onto the runway and receive my diploma. My name was called and I glided out from the curtain in my long beautiful black dress. The Barbizon director gave me a warm hug and shook my hand. I glanced down at the diploma. I had just taken my first step into the modeling industry.
From this wonderful experience there was so much to learn about myself, body image, models, and the industry. With models, they aren’t just the perfectly toned women or men. They are the people with a strong work ethic and an outgoing personality. When a person actually experiences the modeling industry, all of the stereotypes of modeling vanish. Body image is important in this world and it is something to be aware of but it shouldn’t control and destroy lives. People need to work to keep the good body structures they want and need. If I could do another fashion show or become more involved in the modeling industry, I would definitely do it. I got the chance to meet so many outstanding people and the experience brings you a sense of catharsis, in a way. From this, I got to learn more about my confidence and what I can do to become stronger and lift up others too.