Friday, October 1, 2010

Red Shoes

My friend Nancy and I showing off our Red shoes

Some of you may have noticed that I was away yesterday. I apologize, but I had good reason to not pop in here to visit. After dropping my kiddies off in the AM, I ran like mad the rest of the day. "Why?" you ask. Well, I was getting ready to strut my stuff on the runway for the Hope's Garden Celebrate Every Body Fashion Show 2010 – A Red Shoe Event.

The activities started last Friday when I went to a little boutique by the name of Elizabeth Noel to get fitted for a few dresses. I was to dress in casual wear and formal wear and when the prospective models entered the store, we were told to browse around. This is not a store I can say I have shopped in, as the prices were a mite high for me, but there was some pretty stuff. I don't tend to need a lot of formal wear in my wardrobe, so was a bit gob-smacked as to what to wear, but the ladies that worked there got us all fitted and accessorized. The photos are not great, due to lighting, but these were the outfits I got to sashay down the runway in.

Casual Wear
Formal Wear

On Wednesday, I dumped my kids at Nancy's house so that I could go to the dress rehearsal. I walked into the building and my heart started to pound. I have never done any modeling before and for some strange reason, was shocked that the runway was right in the middle of the room with all the tables surrounding it. I was going to have to walk down that narrow strip with lights blazing and all the eyes in the room trained on me. Oh LORD!!! The thought of it made me start to sweat and all the chairs were empty. We got a spiel about how the night would run, were shown the dressing rooms, then gathered into our store groupings for a practice walk down the runway. The children went first and all looked like pros (except my girlfriend from bookclub's daughter who walked zombie-like shuffling to the end). My group was next up and I scrambled up onto stage to stare down the length of the runway. It seemed to stretch forever out into the audience. Our music cued and off the girls went one by one, till I was floating down my first ever catwalk with a  frozen smile plastered to my nervous face. One more lady followed me, then we all swished down the runway once more for our phantom audience to admire. I stepped down off the runway and breathed. There was no turning back now. I could do this. The rest of the models got their turns to practice their moves on the runway and then we headed back out into the evening. We would reconvene the next day for the actual show.

The next day dawned bright and sunny in my world. I kissed my girls goodbye, reminded them that D would be picking them up that evening and made them promise to be good for the babysitter. I would not see them again that day. I snatched a quick coffee, then made my way to the hair studio to get my locks styled. This was the fun part! I arrived at the DeVoG Academy hair salon at 11AM and was shown to the back where a stylist-in-training awaited. Yes, the reason why all the female models could get their hair styled was because a school had offered to do it. All good, I thought. I viewed the rows of gleaming curling irons and hair spray and forced a smile for my friendly, but nervous stylist. I explained that I would be sporting casual wear, as well as formal wear, but more importantly that my hair was fine and thin, and would not hold a style for any length of time without some artificial support. Product was necessary. Hairspray would have to take center stage with me.  An hour later, I had more curls on my head than I had seen since the bad poodle perm way back in primary school. This time it looked cute though. My eyes sparkled as I tossed my bouncy curls this way and that in the mirror. No time to dally now though. A list of errands was on the roster before I could get to the hall for the show.

I could drag this out some more, but I will cut to the chase now. I arrived at the hall and greeted K from book club and her daughter. After consulting with 8-year-old H on which nylons went better with my casual dress, I started to slowly prep for the show. We were fed sandwiches and fruit, but K slipped me a plastic glass with ice and scotch in it to settle the nerves that threatened to fray. Bless you, my dear! It must have helped, as I soon found me dressed and forcing myself to take deep breaths in a dark hallway. I inched forward behind the other women in my group, until the stage hand said "go!" and it was my turn. Around a curtain and the lights exploded in my eyes. I posed, smiled and strutted down the catwalk to "Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night" by the Black Eyed Peas.

And you know what? It was! I strutted, smiled, posed, turned and most importantly did not fall down and hurt myself, the dress or any poor saps in the audience. The intermission saw a bottle of wine circulate in our back dressing room which I got a nip of, although I didn't necessarily need the liquid encouragement any more. Nylons were stripped off, to give full accent to the red shoes I sported against the black of my dress. The second set, I smiled in the hallway waiting for my turn. I was shocked to hear the announcer introduce me (horrible pronouncement of my name, but no matter) and comment on my red shoes. I hadn't even heard a thing first round! I smiled for the photographer and discretely waved at friends in the audience, before getting another quick tour around the runway as a group. We exited out the other side of the stage (where I almost fell down the stairs this time! Caught by all the men waiting to go on next. oops!). After everyone completed their sets, we got one more last wander down the catwalk, before calling it a night. I can now add model to my list of  accomplishments.

And the crazy thing is, I liked it...


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