It’s a First and It’s Going to Last- From The Eyes of a First Time Fashion Fanatic
Industry Fashion Show 2009:
By: Jacki Monaco
Who said models had to walk on a runway? Nobody; at least not on September 8, 2009 as living, breathing, strutting mannequins garnished in Michael Mione, Bless By Bless, and Catalina raided the second floor of Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. This wasn’t a random attack of model mayhem, but a scheduled night of trends and glamour, part of Pre-Boston Fashion Week: The Industry Fashion Show.
The Park Plaza Hotel, simultaneously intimidating and breathtaking. A carpet of carnelian red unfolds from the entrance like a ribbon, freshly untied from the perfect Christmas present- my own pair of Jimmy Choos. I almost feel like “a somebody” as I make my red-carpet entrance toward a stunningly dressed stranger who opens the colossal doors that lead me to my first press pass. My eyes dart from left to right as I try to discretely find my way without revealing the blushing face of a naïve girl that exists under this mask of Dior foundation and Maybelline Mascara. The next few minutes become a maze of chandeliers, expensive people, and attempts to follow the directions for which I caved. All of a sudden it feels as though the Park Plaza Hotel has swallowed me up and gently perched me on the second floor where not a single girl can be seen or heard wearing anything other than four-inch-high stilettos.
Two long tables line either side of a hallway leading to a small room with hors de’oeuvres and a cash bar. The first table is a buffet of Lisa Sophia jewelry and Miche handbags; simple and sturdy bags with the ability to shed one identity and take on another as stated by the motto “detach, remove, attach.” Like faceplates for cell phones, snap on covers for these otherwise plain purses come in all shades and patterns. The perfect accessory for the girl who hasn’t the patience to transfer lip sticks, keys, and business cards from purse to purse on a daily basis. The second table is covered inch by inch with samples of Motives Cosmetics by Maria Capuano.
I’m leaning against a wall, attempting to blend in, though finding it difficult, as I am the only size nine amongst dozens of size zeros. My gaze is focused on the sloppy scribbling coming from my fingertips as I scratch down everything I see, when a voice says, “You don’t have to dedicate that to me.” I look up and a man in his sixties with a very expensive camera hung around his neck is smiling at me. I slip my puny Kodak into my pocket. Attempting to play along, I respond with, “I was trying to surprise you.” Throughout the evening this volunteer photographer kept me informed and kept me company as models promenaded in and out of the Faire Field Room, making short appearances before the hallway shifted purposes to become a runway. Wine glasses guide the hands that pull the bodies toward one another as bulbs flash at the audience lined on either side of what is about to become the catwalk.
A blonde model with a sharp walk and a Courtney Love haircut and attitude to match, walks by with a small plate of food, ready to pose from the shoulders up but still comfortable in skinny jeans. Appropriately, the fashion show begins “fashionably late.” Techno versions of The Pussy Cat Dolls and Britney Spears set the beat for the models to strut.
Just before the show begins I am introduced to David Grossack, an attorney and founder of World Pro Models and Magazine, a new organization that received its license this summer to promote and sign models. Grossack stated that he was hoping to sign eight models this evening and to plug that he was still looking for models and interns.
The girls start to punch the floor in black heels as they take a sharp turn and head straight for the cameras. The photographer from earlier in the evening turns to me and asks, “when in development do women learn to walk in heels?” Having been in heels at least 50% of my life since I was nine I just smile and shrug as the show begins.
Adorned in Michael Mione, Bless By Bless, and Catalina Fashion, the girls take different routes around pillars on the second floor of the Park Plaza Hotel. The theme for the evening begins in the realm of “black and white.” T-shirt, jersey material hugs models in the form of thigh-high dresses and waist length shirts. White sweatshirts and jackets paired with black spandex with the brand “Catalina” printed across the thick fold-over waistband. T-shirts accompany boy short underwear paired with stockings and heels. The few male models are dressed in skinny jeans and long, slightly loose shirts that reach mid-thigh. Shades of brown and textures of tweed follow in the footsteps of the black and white “comfortable” attire. Powder pink and black dresses, one of bows and another of 20’s flapper fringe sways on the hips. Sheer leggings also make a few appearances accompanied by more t-shirts and even more sweatshirts. Never was there a time when the different designers were introduced. Their lines seem to flow into another as the show continued. Obvious changes in style from casual to sleek pieces fit for the office and finally to prom-worthy dresses, hinted that a new brand was taking over the floor. One of the last few pieces is a white dress with a black cable design around the waist, similar to the look of Yves Saint Laurent’s cage boot of the summer 2009 collection.
The models make their final run-through after a half-an-hour show. The audience, filled with flawlessly dressed young men and women in their twenties, claps and scatters. The managing director and co-founder of Coutourium.com, Jamall Oluokun, comes over to introduce himself just before I find myself back out on Park Drive, breathing in the idea that I had a press pass around my neck for the first time. Catalina fashion up close and personal in the Park Plaza Hotel was a perfect place to attend my debut fashion show as not just a member of the audience but as a girl with a camera in my pocket, a pen in my hand, and a story to write.