I have worked my first official Fashion Week and endured all the stress, sweat, and physical pain it entails. Plot twist: it was all worth it.
While D.C. Fashion Week isn’t like any other major city fashion week, it has that unique edge. It’s all about bringing together unique designers, models, and creators alike to the nation’s capital to put on a series of shows that represent how diverse D.C. really is. Let’s get some snaps in here all around for that.
Initially, I applied to be a volunteer at DCFW. I really don’t have time for an internship this year, so my plan was to beef up my volunteer experience instead. Change of plans. I ended up joining the team as an intern helping out at model casting as fitting for 2 weeks. Once it was time for the shows to begin, it became much more hands on work. Along with my fellow intern crew (love, love, love them!), we set-up at each venue, worked backstage with designers, worked registration tables, prepared clothes and outfits, etc.
Day 1 recap. The first night was opening night with a show by one designer. It was mostly a media night. I got there and began prepping the designers pieces with two other interns by steaming the outfits. This was my first time working with these two girls. Previously at the other 2 model castings where interns worked, I stayed with my two other friends (first picture). Had to throw my feelers out and I started to like the two I was with. My other friends eventually showed up and we became one big happy intern family. This first night was a little hectic. There was a huge storm that entire afternoon and eventually tornado warnings so the show was delayed a bit. I worked at the registration tables with 3 other ladies. Pictured above is my favorite DCFW person, and newfound BFF. We’re the same person, I swear. I haven’t clicked with someone as quickly as we did in a really long time, and its great to have a new friend.
Day 2 was for emerging designers that were still enrolled in college in a fashion major with a collection of their own. It also served as a networking party afterwards for fashion industry people. This night was especially hectic because the location changed an hour before we arrived to start setting up. Can you even imagine? To say we were scrambling is an understatement. To make matters even worse, it was a smaller venue than the original AND we have over 2,000 RSVP’s on the Facebook event and over 200 people who downloaded tickets. Long story short, lots of bodies small space. I didn’t get to watch the show at all, but it was cool hanging out at a bar in DC with a few intern friends for the networking party. The highlight of the night? Going to &Pizza afterwards with my closest intern friend. My motto? Pizza>Parties
Day 3 was the crazy men’s show. Honestly, this one was great because it was so organized and well-executed I basically had nothing to do. My BFF (right) and I were shoved into the dressing room area with all the male models (not as great as it sounds). The boys were a hoot and more high-maintenance than the girls surprisingly enough. They were slathering themselves in lotion and oil, checking their hair, and taking way too many selfies. But it was funny to hear them compared to all the girls, or all of them mixed together. The show went by pretty fast, my BFF and I hung out backstage with the guys, helping them get dressed and packing up designers. Afterwards, there were about five different after-party plans talked about. We ended up going to a bar, getting a few drinks, then going our separate ways.
Day 4 was the Emerging and Indie Designer Showcase. It was pretty low-maintenance cause it was planned and super prepared. I really didn’t do much, but was a little tired from the night before. I also might have drunk too much coffee, but oh well. I worked backstage with Moogie and her assistant Gemma from District Cashmere for the night and it was so breezy. Her clothes were so soft and comfortable, I loved working with her. Moogie and Gemma were so funny and easy to work with too, something I definitely appreciated.
Day 5 was probably the most hectic, but also the most fun and rewarding. First off the show was at Carnegie Library, the most beautiful venue, fitting since it was the International Couture show. The marble, tile, high ceilings, everything about it was perfect. We all had to dress up this day, so I showed up in casual clothes knowing there would be a lot of running around. My task/assignment for the day was to get all the models into hair and makeup in an orderly fashion. We ended up being so backed up because only 8 of the 12 makeup artists showed up, that girls were still getting their makeup done during the first designer. The male models didn’t even get their makeup done, not that it was necessary.Yet, the male models were complaining about not getting their makeup done, I’m being so serious. I was running around all day, literally running. I had about 10 minutes to change. My next job changed last minute due to many staff roles changing, so I was in charge of lining up models, making sure they were dressed and ready, and doing final touches. It was a big job for sure and I loved every minute of it. Between grabbing models as soon as they got off the runway to the next designer they were walking for, lining up models in order of looks, to undressing them, I did it all and everything in between.
I was sore for a week and a half after fashion week, although I shouldn’t admit it. DCFW did me dirty and when I look back at it, I would do it all again. Although I was super stressed and exhausted each day and night, I still had so much fun, made so many memories, and made some great friends. Will I actually go through with it and do it again? Who knows. I won’t say no, but I can’t say yes either. Thank you DCFW for bringing me back to my fashion roots and bringing me some great friends.