Runway model. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Glamour? Fame? A luxury lifestyle? Well, that may be true for a few models, but most will never reach that status. I had the opportunity to spend a day as a runway model during Denver Fashion Week Spring 2018. Here’s how my day went.
It all started when I saw an announcement for a casting call for runway models over 50 for Denver Fashion Week. On one night during that week, they have a nontraditional models night. It’s a variety of models in all shapes and sizes and all walks of life. I think its pretty cool!
So, I decided that 2018 would be my year to be brave. I plucked up the courage to go to the casting call. Aside from years of modeling as well as having been a modeling instructor for Barbizon School of Modeling, I actually had no idea what I was doing. I followed the directions and arrived early. When they had my age group line up, I jumped up and got to the front first. The people making the decisions simply had us walk toward them and stop. I did my best catwalk strut and looked the “judges” in the eye. The judges chose me to be a runway model for Denver Fashion Week!
Hurry up and wait
I exchanged information with the designer for whom I would model. He explained that he had New York Fashion Week to get through and it would be closer to the actual show before I would be called to do a fitting. The casting call was in January. The designer did not communicate with me until early March. It was less than two weeks to the show. Luckily, I could wear anything he put on me. In the end, he created a whole new look for me to wear the day of the show.
More hurry up and wait
The day arrived and started rather late for me. My first stop was for a final fitting. I met with the designer at his studio at 1 pm. The outfit was pretty much made for me, so it fit. We just needed to figure out how to get the shrug to stay on. After a bit of brain storming, we decided to simply pin the front so it would hold together. I had two hours until I had to report for my “call time”. That’s when everyone is supposed to show up. So, I went to lunch.
I arrived at the venue a bit early. In spite of detailed directions, I still couldn’t find my way to entrance I needed to enter through. Luckily, the nice lady at the front desk gave me good directions. The call time was for 3:30 and I wouldn’t actually walk the runway for six more hours. What in the world would we do for six hours?
Even more hurry up and wait
You guessed it! More waiting. I found where my team was meeting. We models quickly got to know one another while the hair and makeup people started to arrive. As they set up, Murphy’s Law came into play. The only outlet in our section didn’t work. While the hair and make up people figured out what to do, our group was called to practice.
I grabbed my heels that I would wear that night and we all went to the stage. We waited a while before we had our turn for the run through. Each of us were to walk individually on the stage and then circle the stage as a group. The first run through, we were given directions and advice. The second time, we simply walked as we were instructed with the occasional correction.
By the time we were finished, the hair and makeup people had found us a new location. We helped move the final equipment and got settled. We still had about three hours until the show would start and the hair and makeup people were worried about getting us ready to soon. So, we waited some more.
Hair and Makeup
Finally, the hair and makeup people decided it was time to get ready. Trust me, this was not so glamourous. The designer wanted loose beach waves in our hair and a smokey eye look. The hair people decided to roll our hair in paper towels. Yes, you read that correctly. My hair is fine and thin, so the person doing my hair used a ton of product and a ton of paper towels. It took a long time to roll.
Next up was makeup. I have a severe allergy to the red dye in eye makeup, so I brought my own. The young lady was gracious and understanding enough to use my own make up. She was very professional and knew what she was doing. Stage lights can wash out a persons face. She clearly understood this and made sure I had plenty of contouring.
Then came the torture! The young woman who had rolled my hair was ready to take it out. She had so much product still on her hands that she pulled my hair to the point of pain. I gutted it out. The worst part was that everyone else had loose beach waves and I had spiral curls! Oh well. On with the show.
Finally, show time!
Ok, maybe not. We were dressed and ready by 9 pm. We made our way to the back stage area. Once we got there it was more waiting. Our time was supposed to be 9:30, but it was closer to 9:45 before we hit the runway. I had a friend who recorded my walk as a runway model. I spent a total of one minute on that stage. Then we did the final walk together. So, we models spent over six hours preparing for a grand total of two minutes of stage time.
DENVER, CO – MARCH 22: Local Showcase and Alternative Models during Denver Fashion Week at Wings Over the Rockies on March 22, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)
Would I do it again?
You bet I would be a runway model for Denver Fashion Week again! Although I was only on that stage for a very short time, I felt it was so important to represent the over 50 age group of women. This group is a growing and powerful collection of strong women. It was such an honor to be on that stage.
If you are considering being brave this year and competing in a pageant, I would love to partner with you to achieve that goal. I offer a variety of online classes that you can do on your own. If you really want personal coaching, I recommend any of my private coaching sessions. Let’s be brave together this year!