A year ago today, I was in a car with my parents on the way to Kep. I was exhausted, because the day before, I had put on my first fashion show.
I think it took me a while after the show to figure out how I felt. I know this, because people kept asking me, and I would just stare into the distance and say “good, really good.” Lies. Nothing profound came to me because it was the beginning, and no one ever realizes what is happening at the beginning.
I do, however, remember everything that went wrong with the show. Every stupid detail.
- One of the models didn’t even walk because the dress was re-fitted too many times and I tried to save it but I couldn’t.
- A few of the dresses that were dyed turned out too light, and I hated the sad-lavender color that I couldn’t change.
- One of the dresses ripped before the show.
- The makeup took longer than we thought so we didn’t have time for a proper run-through before the show and no one got touch-ups before walking.
- I really wanted all the models to be comfortable so I ended up designing things more for them and less for me.
- One of the shirts was made with a neckline so small, the model had to take out her hair, that had just been done, and wiggle her way into it.
- There weren’t enough drink tickets.
- At one point, the damn DJ came down to the runway DURING the show to take photos for himself, and missed the cue for the finale. He only came back up to his booth after seeing my head explode with expletives. He had one job. One. Job.
- I said bad words really loudly.
- I wanted to include more people but I was worried that the venue was too small so I had to say no to people when they wanted to come support me.
I remember being sweaty, and chugging champagne, hoping it would take hold of my brain, or at least take care of the nerves. I remember being mad at the champagne when it did neither. One of my lovely model/friends did a little toast for me before the show, and it was probably very sweet. I, of course, don’t remember anything she said, because I was SO not in the moment and instead, running through all the scenarios where everything went wrong and someone caught on fire and died and everyone hated the clothes and Anna Wintour was there and said “you will NEVER make it in fashion” in front of all of my friends who by then, of course, hated me. None of those things happened, but welcome to how anxiety feels.
The entire night I felt an inch away from tears, and it was exhausting. Fashion is so glamorous.
I did cry when my dad gave a speech at the end of the show, in front of everyone. It was a happy cry, and my heart still fills up when I think of it. I cried when I saw Tiff walk, because she was the person that pushed me into designing, and had an incredible amount of faith in me when I deserved none of it. I also cried when my mom walked, because it was my MOM and she was walking in my fashion show and how do you not cry? And…I might be crying now, whatever. Mind your business.
In any case, I really didn’t enjoy the show. But I am SO glad I did it. I was scared of it and had no idea what the power of vulnerability would do for me. Putting things out into the world to be judged has never been something I am comfortable with. I even tried to bribe my high school english teacher with two papers, so I wouldn’t have to present in front of the class. When we started the blog, I would tear through every piece I put up, scared that someone might see it and scoff. I’m sure that happens, it just doesn’t actually matter. But I would have never gotten to the place I am now, on my couch in LA, if I hadn’t done the show. The show made me a designer, for real. I designed a collection, my friends walked a runway lined with fake candles, and we had photoshoots and made a damn look book. How legit is a look book? So legit.
So I am thankful for the whole experience of the show. Would I change things? Of course, there was no world where I was going to walk out of the door and make it perfect. But it’s a place to grow from, and I like my cozy little starting point. It was kind, full of people I love, and I got free french fries afterwords. Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be perfect. I can’t handle the pressure of constantly creating perfection, I’m not Adele.