By Emma Turco
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
I’ve been in choir ever since I could talk. I’ve had solos on stage and been in plays. I know what it feels like to perform for the masses. But that didn’t stop the butterflies from fluttering around in my stomach as I stepped onto the runway.
I’m don’t model, nor have I ever been interested in it, so I was completely unaware of what to do as I stood confused on the runway.
Luckily, this was not a professional show. The runway was located in the Village and traveled through salon Chez Loulou and a neighboring restaurant, City Kitchen. The models previewed styles from a local store, SHE boutique.
I arrived at the salon at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1. I was immediately escorted to a large salon chair where my usual hairdresser curled my hair. After curling, it took two hairdressers an hour to ‘properly rat’ my hair until it had reached its full, frizzy potential.
I walked from the salon chair to the back of the store to find the tattooed make-up artist waiting for me. Based on what the other models had, I was expecting the basics: blush, mascara or maybe even darker eye shadow. I never expected what the professional makeup artist had in mind.
My look was inspired by Lorde. It featured white eye shadow and light blush, along with dark purple lipstick. The glamourous look caused me to look scarier than any joker or clown I have ever seen, regardless of the amount of compliments I received.
I was sent over to the dressing rooms in SHE boutique with strict orders put on my outfit of black tights, a leather skirt, a white blouse, a black fedora hat and the highest black heels I’ve ever seen.
Three hours after my arrival time, I was runway ready.
Each model had time on the runway to ourselves while the owner of the boutique listed off our clothing.
I wobbly walked out of the hallway in the back of the salon into a room filled with people dressed in fancy clothing everywhere I looked. They were all seated in white chairs holding slim glasses of champagne. I tried to recall what I had seen in middle school while watching America’s Next Top Model. What was that saying? Something about smiling with my eyes?
After displaying my outfit to them, I followed the red carpet through City Kitchen where many confused dinner guests whispered as I passed them.
At the end of the night, I hung my outfit and wiped off my horrifying lipstick.
The event was definitely different from my experience with musical theatre in the past. It maintained the spotlight of the stage and left behind the rehearsals that forgivingly allowed mistakes to be made. Each adrenalin-filled step on the runway meant one more step closer to comfort.
I am glad that I was able to be part of the fashion show, but I think I’ll stick to the stage from now on.