The first casting I ever knew I was going to get was the casting for Veronique Leroy. And here I am, backstage at her show.
It is so crowded in this small space. I feel like a sardine in a can. And it is warm, maybe a bit warmer than it should be.
Hey, girl, today is warm, yesterday was cold, so stop complaining. The very first fashion week is not the right time for a diva attitude.
I didn’t have a fitting for the show because the agency said there was no time. So now I have to do a fitting first.
They have couple of dressmakers backstage, so if something goes wrong they can fix it.
But both of my outfits fit nicely. No need for alterations.
It is time for hair and makeup.
I am the first one in the hairdresser’s chair first. So help me God.
The hairdresser is curling my hair on the tiniest curling iron, piece by piece. Than he sprays it, not thinking about my lungs—or his (it is too much spray). Then he brushes my hair until I start looking like a sheep that missed a season of wool-shaving. Or two seasons. Anyway, this sheep who wants to be a model has to deal with it.
This morning I forgot to bring my sandwich for breakfast. And there is nothing to eat here. Another thing to deal with.
After the hair, it is time for makeup. I have to say that the hair wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Today I am a lucky girl.
And here I am, in the makeup chair, when the crowd starts to squirm. I turn around and see that the croissants are there, and all the models are jumping to get some. I get up quickly to grab a few, because there will be no nothing left if I wait. I swallow two on the way back to the make-up chair, and with a full stomach this will really be a joy.
Oh, that golden makeup artist’s fingers, and that massage! It is the best time of this preparation. I just wish it could last longer—two minutes is too short. (I should be thankful to have two minutes, most of the time there is no massage at all. Spoiled me.)
The makeup looks natural except for the lips. My lips are dark purple and look even smaller with this color. Not sure if I like how it looks on me. But I am not here to judge, I am here to look the way the designer wants me to look. That is my job. Fixing the makeup by myself the way many other girls do, I find unprofessional. If the designer wants me to be a weird looking, I will be weird looking. I am paid to be weird looking, or any other way of looking a designer wants a model to be for his show. Today I have lips that look like an ink smudge on my face. But hey, it is a show in Paris fashion week- smudged lips are perfectly fine.
Veronique is walking around. You can tell she is nervous. I guess all designers are nervous before their shows. While the makeup artist is finishing my eyebrow line, I feel the touch of a little hand on mine and hear “thank you” in my ear. Veronique says thank you to me. Thank YOU for choosing ME to be part of your show. I am here because you booked me. So it is THANK YOU TO YOU.
The first outfit is a knit dress with horizontal stripes and long sleeves. I almost can never find long enough sleeves in the stores. She is not saving money on fabric, she is making the dress fit nicely on long-armed people too. Hurray.
The Boots have wooden soles with a knitted wool upper part. Up to the ties. They are so cool, but it will be challenging to walk in them. They are kind of loose on my feet.
Here I am, ready for the stage. I am little bit concerned about the boots now. Is it just me or do all girls think the shoes feel different when they are about to walk out? At the fitting everything was cool, but now the shoes are not so cool. Ok, maybe it is just me.
I walk out. The walk is my best walk. The conditions are not perfect, the light is too strong, the boots are too loose, but I deal with it nicely. I will concentrate on not falling, not during my first fashion week, not on this show. Please boots stay on. And by the time I finish my walk I am sure I did well. Thank you boots, you were awesome.
I don’t have much time between my outfits, so as soon as I step out of the light I run as though a ghost is chasing me.
In less than a minute (but not fast enough) I am almost ready to walk the second outfit. As I walk towards the exit to the stage, my dresser finishes buttoning my skirt while I try to tuck in the blouse properly. I see Veronique watching the show on the big monitor and holding her hands in front of her face like she’s praying. Is she not happy about the show so far? Or she is just nervous? Maybe she knows that the boots are the weakest link and could easily betray her.
The two models next to her are like skyscrapers. We look so funny, skinny and tall next to normal people.
When I am about to go out, she sees that something is not right on my outfit. She holds me back in order to fix it. The producer starts panicking. He grabs the girl after me and pushes her out. A few seconds later I am ready, and Veronique continues to watch the show on the monitor.
I walk with confidence. I have a deal with the boots and I look the way Veronique really wants. Let’s show the audience her work in its best light. And sell it. Sell the outfit. That is my job here. Make it look perfect and make people want it.
Two more girls follow me, and then it is time for the finale, when all the models go out on stage.
We make a line nicknamed the “snake,” going out one by one. Veronique comes out last. She bows. On the way back in, she kisses me out of all the models. Wow. She really likes me. We all clap, models and audience. It is the end. Veronique is happy. I am happy too. Happy for her and for me.
And now, backstage, I am about to change to my own clothes, when Veronique stops by to say thank you. She gives me her business card and says I should come to her studio to take some clothes as a present.
“Can I take the boots now, please?”
“Of course” she says.
This little woman is really a big hearted person. Not just because of the present, but because of everything. She says thank you to each model. She is an amazing person.
I have to remind myself to tell my bookers that I will do her show any time she asks. That is, of course if she calls for me again.