Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My first runway show

Last weekend was my first runway show where my accessories were being featured. With seasoned (some 20 year veterans) designers from Trinidad in Toronto for the Caribbean event called "Cuttin Style", the Liz Mannette Collection was under the bright lights for the first time.

Going to the fittings, the rehearsal and being backstage were all new experiences for me. And getting such great feedback and positive comments from the back stage staff and the models about my jewelry was also wonderful.

So what was it like. All the designers seemed quite organized, with their dresses and outfits all laid out, with the names of the models in the order of appearance. The makeup artist team was in one corner, and the hair stylist team in another corner. Some water over in one corner, and then Liz Mannette accessories laid out at another end, right before the models exited the dressing room. Although the plan was to see them all dressed and decide how to add the pieces, I could tell this good plan would not work. So while the models were getting dressed, while some were getting their make-up redone, or others were being fitted with head pieces, I made my way around the dressing room with earrings and pendants.

The Fashion Coordinator, a large funny guy by the name of Richard Young, was in charge, and suggested that one area be adorned with accessories for each line. So for the opening designer, Simply Garnet, who had interesting casual and elegant styles in black and white, I opted for earrings only. This was thrown off a bit by the two male models whose tunics cried out to be accented with our pendants. But in general the range of earrings was a good fit for Simply Garnet. Photos will be on the site soon.

Then with Robert Young of The Cloth, a friend for several years, the pendants and wrist pieces were used. The Cloth's production was different. He wanted fun, enthusiasm and playfullness on the runway. So the models wore ponytails and were asked to skip and dance along the runway. Good for him. Who says a fashion show has to be all dour faced models. (As Tyra Banks once said on her America's Next Top Model Show, look like your dog just died). Fortunately, Liz Mannette jewelry adorned happy faced models, which is a Caribbean runway style, I was told.

So the jewelry was worn with two of the designers. And I learned to always take the smallest sized pieces. The girls did have remarkably thin wrists!

Just before the end of the show, I was asked to greet and wave to the audience. So this, folks, was my first runway wave. Well, I didn't quite walk the full runway. I just walked to the front and did a wave while the sparkly MC told the audience a bit about the jewelry collection. So there it is. My first runway experience. Many lessons learned for the next time. Bring an assistant. Bring my own snacks (for outside the dressing room of course). Bring the smallest items for thin wrist models. Speak directly to designers in advance, and even look at sketches to see what the Collection is all about. And have my camera or iphone with me to take stills or short videos as the accessories are added.

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