But my confidence began to build slowly as it became clear to me that the few people scurrying to and fro with clipboards and sound equipment weren't paying me any attention and were quite possibly unable to see me at all. Yes. Effective invisibility. I can do this. I made my way backstage where I was greeted by racks of clothes and a whole lot of thong underwear. It must be unsettling being a model and having to dress and undress in a room full of strangers, one of whom is clutching a camera. But they were all like whatever. So I was like whatever. The real photo shoot began and I have to confess, for a beginner with a trembling shutter finger, I think I kind of rocked it. And this is why:
The designers. Wow, they were amazing, even if they were just starting out on the culturally barren canadian prairies. At least they were doing something. Making a beginning. Grabbing hold of their dreams like a rodeo bull rider. They were just so cool. I watched in awe as they got their stuff organized, fit their models in clothes without wrecking the hair or smudging the make up and pulled sewing kits, belts, battery packs, and who knows what else from their designer duffels. They had swept in on a wave of nervous agitation, fluttering here, fluttering there, spilling shoes across the floor in haste and calling out the names of models to the room at large. But I was thrown for a loop when we went through a rehearsal walk and I saw that the designers were trying not to throw up at the thought of taking their onstage bows. They may have had perfectly coiffed hair and insanely creative outfits, but they also might as well have been standing in my practical flat soled boots - or I in their metallic wedges. Making your dreams a visible, physical, indismissable reality is a roller coaster ride for anyone, and as much for a dorky writer as for a bonafide fashionista. Who am I to praise a local artist and then turn around and opine that my own efforts somehow don't count? The fashion show began to come together and I have to admit the collections, while fabulous, seemed almost irrelevant - it was the designers and the process that reached me. If a journey means that much to you, then the results will be inevitably grand, for you if for no one else. And they were.