This past week has been a whirlwind experience for me. Not many people can say they got a behind-the-scenes perspective at Washington D.C.’s biggest fashion event of the year. It’s an opportunity that could have easily passed me by, but now that the week is over, I can’t imagine not being a part of it. Thankfully, I’m (somewhat) rested and recovered from what can only be described as a hectic week, so I can share all my adventures with you!
After the eco-fashion show last Monday, I got a break for a couple of days. A calm before the storm. I could not have anticipated what was in store for the weekend. It all began on Friday night with a show featuring Corjor International by DC Fashion Week Executive Producer Ean Williams, at the Alex Gallery in Dupont Circle. His line features rich colors, billowing fabrics, and elegant silhouettes. The show was a smooth delivery, in contrast to what was happening behind the curtains: the mad rush to get everything ready before the show and figuring out every last-minute detail.
Where are we going to put the DJ? Upstairs? Downstairs? ON the stairs?!
We have to make sure nobody is standing in the runway! The models have to walk there!
It’s so hot in here. Someone turn on the air conditioning! Did they turn it on yet?! Is it even working?!?!?
Finally, the show began. There’s nothing quite like a runway show. The sparkle, the music, the flash of cameras. It’s like being transported to a whole new world full of glam and glitz. I’m not sure how accurately that describes me. I bike to work in the rain. I enjoy cleaning the kitchen. I like to hang out in sweats and a tee shirt. I may not be the poster child for the glamorous life, but I’m not one to turn down the chance to play a little dress-up! It felt like being a kid and putting on mom’s heels and lipstick.
The following day was the menswear show at the Washington Post Conference Center. After setting up the chairs with gift bags and seat assignments, I worked at the door; checking off names and sticking wristbands on VIP guests. I didn’t mind doing the grunt work because I got to see most of the show from the door without having to pay the price of a ticket. Win.
The week closed out with the International Couture Show on Sunday. After arriving at the gates of the French Embassy and walking up the long hilly driveway, I entered this massive building and saw people bustling around the venue to get ready for the evening. A buzz was in the air. I felt ready since I had learned a lot in the last two days about how to set up for a fashion show, but another thing I learned is to that fashion shows can be unpredictable. As ready as you think you are, you never quite are. There’s always more prep work than you think. Unexpected questions come up that you don’t have the answers to. You have to be adaptable and resourceful.
I was put in charge of managing the VIP lounge, so I kind of felt like I was the bouncer at a posh nightclub. I still got a pretty sweet view of the runway despite the fact that I was standing for the whole show.
It feels like I’ve only hit the tip of the fashion week iceberg, so there’s a lot of details I’m probably leaving out. I’m still processing it all. The important thing for me to remember is what I’ve taken away from the week: getting to meet some great people, experiencing the rush of preparing for a show, and adding one more milestone in my journey.