This weekend I attended a fashion show in Detroit. There were many beautiful pieces presented by different designers presented. HOWEVER… sadly, there were also many lessons on what NOT to do when presenting yourself to the public. The first lesson was punctuality. Some of us still haven’t mastered the idea of truly starting on time; particularly when people are paying us. The 8 pm fashion show didn’t start until well after 9 pm. During this long lag time, they didn’t offer anyone anything for the inconvenience. No free drinks, no backup entertainment to fill the void, except for a DJ who was obviously playing his ‘runway” set, no stand up comedy – nothing. I caught a few people taking a nap right in their VIP seats along the runway. For other businesses, this would be considered poor customer service.
Another lesson that could be learned was putting your models in danger by not making sure they have a safe runway to walk on. The elevated runway was carpeted, with a sheet of shiny gift wrap…or aluminum foil, I’m not sure which… down the center of it, that wasn’t tacked down, so it kept moving out of place. At the front of the runway, from where the models took their first steps, was a weak stepladder for the models to use to step up on the runway. The majority of models were wearing six inches or higher stilettos. Further, as one model walked down the runway, the next model stood at the beginning, and they passed each other on the catwalk. Did I mention that these were plus size models? During the show at least three models lost their balance and several punctured the gift wrap laid before them like a silver brick road. Even the event hostesses Christina Mendez was leery of the runway and she’s a professional model with many accolades. For any other business, this would be considered unsafe working conditions.
The next lesson was on improper fitting clothes. I don’t fault the designers for wanting to sell the garments after the show, therefore they didn’t tailor the clothing to fit each model. HOWEVER…that’s what double-sided tape and safety pins are for. The back of dresses shouldn’t have gaps, whether the model is a size two or a size twenty-two. Then there was the makeup. Every clothing look shouldn’t have the same makeup look. This caused the models to all look like mannequins. Mannequins who didn’t smile because they were fearfully watching every step they took on the runway. The there were the undergarments worn by the models. Why could I see bras on open-backed dresses and panties under swimwear and lingerie? Has anyone heard of thongs and low back/backless bras? For any other business, this would be considered poor marketing.
As pretty as many of the clothes were, all of these before mentioned “lessons” were a distraction for anyone who noticed. Many of these issues could have been corrected had there been a creative director, or even someone more experienced in the production of fashion shows, on staff. If either of these people were behind the scenes… well, I’ll just say this: when you know better, you do better. All of these fashion show lessons made me think about my upcoming photo shoot and what I need to make sure I don’t do. I’ve very particular about the standards that I set for my public and professional image. Even when it comes to writing erotica, how I’m viewed matters to me. So now, I’m double checking how the clothes selected for my photo shoot fit me and I’m making sure that I have the appropriate undergarments for every single outfit.
This fashion show also made me think about how I want the fashion show for the upcoming I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference to be handled. I already have an actual foremost fashion stylist to the stars on deck to make sure things are done correctly,and with style and class. Having a small amount of modeling experience myself, I’m going to make sure that the models feel comfortable on the runway as well. My first goal is to show young women what they can wear for many occasions and outings that won’t embarrass themselves or their parents. My second goal is to show adult women that regardless of their age, size and shape that they can be sexy and attractive, while also being age and shape appropriate. My next goal is to put on a good show without any potential mishaps that would cause people to fall on to the floor or on top of anyone else. My final goal is to assist young women to strive for all of the positive opportunities that living a purpose driven life can provide. So this summer, if all goes well, and I obtain a lot more sponsorships (because money is needed for this to be successful), I hope that we’ll be taking fashion a step forward from what I witnessed this past weekend.
The name of the fashion show and participating designers have been omitted from this blog to protect them from potential embarrassment.