I was accepted to show in Williamsburg Fashion Weekend at the very end of January. The show was to take place on February 20th and so, I had a mere three weeks to design and sew my Fall 2010 Collection. It was quite the undertaking, yet with a brave and excited intern, we forged into the project and came out with twelve looks, music, and props (c/o my amazing boyfriend) by the day of the show.
My heart raced as I ran up and down the stairs to the stage, carrying heavy and sharp steel boxes one by one after the first track of my songs had started to play. I had decided to set the stage myself as part of the theatrics of the performance, so in my white tshirt and jeans, I scurried back and forth with each box and placed there up there with the lights shining, the cameras clicking, and Karin Dreijer Andersson’s whispy voice sounding out the mood of our show with her song, If I Had a Heart.
I strive to create moods in my work and although, I don’t feel they are always successfully conveyed in the day to day, they are when I put my mind to it. Fever Ray surely helped with that. Creeping along and inching towards the words that would title the track, If I Had a Heart started with a chorus that slowly built, where crackling and a rocking drum machine built up and up to a place where the models could and would start walking out one by one.
Makeup artist, Chris Kinniburgh and his two lovely former makeup school classmates, Samantha Figueroa and Yelena Myman brought Robert Palmer’s sexy seductive Addicted to Love music video entourage to life on my own models’ faces.
Katie, 6’1″, eyes painted black and lips red, stepped out first, like a bird, in her solid sheath of black. Her lace tights brought glimpses of white skin in an otherwise entirely dark palette. Her bustle-like skirt bounced just slightly as she glided up to rest and wait. A shocking tomato red came next, as Jessica in her body conscious layered dress and hand-woven legwear clung tightly to her skin to contrast greatly with her stage predecessor…. Tristan, a strapping long-haired man continue the path the girls had made before him in his grey and black wool houndtooth long sleeve with indigo leather cuffs, red and black wool vest with tattered denim back yoke, and work boots…. Somewhere around here the next song came on….
The much more emotal and faster paced, I’m Not Done sounded through the speakers next and then came the rest of the models, who channeled the looks of marionettes much more strongly than lively humans. Eathan, in his destroyed (with lots of sandpaper and power tools) denim shirt with gold buttons, handmade houndstooth tie, and alpaca hat; Jennifer in her dramatic green floppy hat, off-the-shoulder sheer wool tunic, grey wool houndstooth leggings with indigo leather cuffs, hand-woven wool scarf and crocheted bracelet; Alyson in her curving and fringed grey lycra dress, lattice black leggings and black floppy hat; Eric in his almost black alpaca sweater jacket, matching hat, and hand-bleached tshirt; Jilian with bright blonde hair contrasting with her show-stopping black hand-woven vest with wings and barely there black lace long sleeve and long black skirt; Ankeen in her “Minnie Mouse shirt”, as deemed by the Huffington Post, brown leather gloves, and brown wool skinny pants; Julien in his white and black alpaca sweater jacket, bleached t-shirt, and 12-hours-in-the-making black hand-woven pants; Ana in her sexy open sheer grey blouse and heavily cutout grey wool knit houndstooth vest with thick black floral lace leggings; and lastly, the stunner, Bethany, who drew gasps from the audience in her emerald green silk draped wedding gown with dozens of spaghetti straps and surprise steel plasma cut back plate….
Once everyone had landed in their scattered positions, I ran up to start turning the first model, Katie. As she turned to the side, while unzipping the skirt portion of her coat from it’s cropped jacket top to reveal that it held two pieces, Jessica started to revolve as well. Slowly everyone, four males and eight females, in both bold and brilliant color, and dark and heavy black turned at different intervals to reveal the various elevations of their clothes. With eyes wide and somewhat terror-struck, the marionettes created a music box-esque scene and ended back where the started.
The next and final song played….
Backstage, Arthur Arbit, the founder of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend blurted, “Keep them on the stage! Make them turn again!” Through failed attempts at making “turn again!” motions with my hands to Katie after a few seconds of stillness, she started walking off of the stage and one by one they retreated. Backstage they lined up again and we all went out to stand side by side on the stage. I waved idiotically to my parents and winked at friends as the camera clicked. Unbeknownest to me, I was covered in blood from cutting my hands on one of the metal boxes I had set out ten minutes prior. We stood there for another moment or two and then the line broke and some of the males and I carried the boxes backstage.
I am proud.