As mentioned before, I have been enrolled at De Marcos Fashion Academy for the last year. It has been a year of learning about how to create garments from illustrations, to draping on dress forms,drafting patterns and sewing. I have learned so much and realize there is still so much more I want to learn. My year of school ended with the student fashion show.
The weeks leading up to the show were very busy for me. Chic-a did a retail show in Portland, OR, called Quilt Knit Stitch, and we combined that into a family vacation. After I returned from that show, we moved Chic-a to a new warehouse, which was a lot more work than I was anticipating. Actually, I am still getting the new place organized. With two weeks to go before the show, my daughter started 7th grade at a new school! Let’s just say there was not a lot of sewing happening during these events.
The week leading up to the show, I was sewing all the time and late at night. At the start of the week, I only had three dresses completed, three in various stages and two not even patterned. So it was sort of like entering finals week at college — a lot to do and many late nights getting it all done. The only downside is that I was 20 years older!
The Wednesday before the show, I was just starting the pattern for the last dress. I wasn’t even going to do this dress, but my instructor really wanted it to be in the show, so I pressed on. It turned out to be one of my favorites. It has black satin on the bodice, and a beautiful black-with-silver-sequins fabric for the main dress. I even had to go buy a new pair of pinking shears, as I couldn’t find mine because of the warehouse move!
We had model fittings the day before the show, which was fun and interesting. All of the models were a lot of fun to work with. They are in various stages of their modeling careers, from just starting to professional. It was neat to see the more experienced models helping and encouraging the new ones. Luckily, my dresses fit well, so there were only very minor alterations.
So much work was completed at the last minute… like the morning of the show. By the time the show started, I was so exhausted! The backstage area was hectic with all the changes taking place. There were two alumni designers and six student designers. Once it started, though, it actually went by quickly — and fairly smoothly.
When my turn came up, it was crazy getting the models in the dresses and out on time. I sort of had two collections going: four Chic-a inspired dresses and four dresses/gowns that are more classic. As the last couple of models walked, I was able to watch through the curtains. It was really amazing and very satisfying. And as the final dress came back, the announcer introduced me — I had the opportunity to walk the runway with the models wearing my designs!
What a surreal experience. I was so exhausted at the end of the show that it took me a week to recover and process the whole event. I still don’t think it has really sunk in yet. Now, two weeks have gone by and I am already thinking that I want to do it again, but in a very different way — different theme, different designs and a better plan.
I never would have thought that I would design clothes and have them walk down a runway. Wow, how cool, I have had my designs in a fashion show!
All photos taken by and courtesy of Stephen Sherrill | Styling by Jodi De Marcos