01 September 2011

The Fashion Show

It is the moment that I have been waiting for. Another set of firsts. First time to get involved in a major fashion show in Singapore. First time to step inside The Fullerton Hotel (okay, this is my second time if you will count the 30-minute meeting held a week beforehand). First time to deal with international models. The list goes on. And it is just six in the morning! If it’s any consolation, the early 7am call time is not that alien to me anymore. Having experienced similar shows in my home country in the past has made me rather comfortable with it. But still, my legs won’t allow me to sprint any quicker than necessary. I don’t want to be late for the rehearsal.

I remember how luckily I have survived past night’s Halloween spotlight. Now it’s clear, everything was real. No amount of denying will suffice. I couldn’t really say that I have enjoyed it that much when all my brain prompts me to remember is the last fifteen minutes onstage. Not to mention the good 30 minutes I spent back at our hotel bathroom desperately trying to remove those fake nails under the faucet. I think I have wasted enough running water to fill in the tub that night. I know, that’s too much. I couldn’t even brag about that as my alibi for staying inside the bathroom while the other guys (read: twinks) relieve themselves. Somehow the word “interracial” kept popping in my mind. Erase, erase! Sadly, they were still dressed up as monsters that moment so I couldn’t figure out who’s who. Wait a minute, why am I suddenly spewing out porn terminologies? Don’t worry, nothing NSFW here. Anyway. Remnants of that night haunt me.

It is a bright and beautiful day. Garbed in the generally agreed on monotonous black non-color (Next time I am in charge I swear I’ll remove black from the options), I reached Fullerton just in time. The hotel guy in a vivid red ensemble with a feather-topped hat greeted me as I stepped off the cab. (Honestly, had I known that it was just a stone’s throw away from Raffles MRT, I wouldn’t have taken the cab.) I went straight to the main ballroom to scour for familiar faces and saw… two out of five dressers/student interns and four out of twelve models. Not bad. There’s still time to nap. I wish!

I quickly rummaged through the racks to inspect if the gowns were properly transported. Red chiffon gown, check. Black backless gown, check. Floral cheongsam, check. Wedding gowns, uncheck. They look asphyxiated from being trapped inside garment bags. These beings need a good fluffing. An hour passed and finally the rehearsal is about to start. After several moments of gathering and re-gathering my flock of emaciated sheep, the sleepyheads are complete and ready.

                                                              Somebody lend me a steamer please.

While The Designer and the show director discussed the models’ calculated sashaying, Jill and I tried to practice using the radio. I never was and never will get used to hearing my own voice. It’s just weird. Anyway. After running around arranging stuff and liaising with a few hotel personnel here and there, a strange silence transpired for a second. You know that type of sudden silence that precedes an impending chaos? Cindy just arrived.

The easily misunderstood lady, which I first met here, came in with boxes in tow. Jill huddled up the interns as if to prepare them for a security body search. Cindy, in her usual frantic manner of speaking, commands warns us of the sheer importance of those boxes:

“Okay guys, these are very precious jewelry. Please be careful, okay? Make sure you keep an eye on them. No one else should go near...”

We get the picture. Keep off and no one gets hurt. Kidding.

The rest of the day was spent mainly chatting and guarding. Chatting with the models and guarding the jewels. Over lunch, everybody shares how their Halloween parties were spent. We ate with heavy ceramic plates on our lap, scattered like Miss Universe delegates high school cliques inside the hall. Taking advantage of the situation, I even mustered enough audacity to converse in Spanish with the group of Spanish-speaking models. I’m pretty sure they thought of me just as how I thought of every foreign celeb uttering “Mahal ko kayo” each time: lame but cute. I am just hoping that that’s not the be-all and end-all of why I studied the language for two years.

                                                                                      Final run-through

The seemingly endless run-throughs of lights, sounds and models’ choreography finally reached its end. It’s show time. The main ballroom soon got filled in with affluent couples preparing to get married and humble tai-tais (太太who have no place else left to stash their money into. Lights, camera… bling!

I am at a good vantage point inside the ballroom. For the first time I am not backstage. As I radio in my colleague Jill to send out the models as choreographed, I couldn’t help but feel emotional with the flashes that the camera bulbs emit and the Swarovski-embellished gowns reflect. This is haute couture at its finest. Each model sashayed with nymph-like mystery and dignified elegance. The emergence of cute little page boys and flower girls towards the end even made it more poignant. Before The Designer made his grand entrance, he asked me from a good five meters away how the show was. I hope my expressive smile and thumbs-up response has reassured him in some way. Glittery confetti showered him as soon as he stepped out and his name flashed on the big screen. That moment was indeed magical. I promised myself that I should have one of those bow-at-the-catwalk-with-bouquet moments.

Missing trolley, staying late post-show, and a missing jewelry aside, everything went well. But as we know in this industry just like any other, it’s not all about glamour. The client feedback, i.e., return of investments, is equally important. Back to reality.

P.S.: The missing jewelry was immediately recovered from a Korean "prima donna" model who forgot to remove the earrings after the show. (Don't worry, this is not the last time she'll surface in this blog.) The missing trolley never resurfaced. And I still stay up late whenever necessary. No. Overtime. Pay.  


Nicki said...

"After several moments of gathering and re-gathering my flock of emaciated sheep, the sleepyheads are complete and ready."

LOVE this.

whynotpat said...

Thanks for dropping by Nicki.

goodbadnfab said...

I love this post! It's charming, witting and oh-so fabulous!

I attended New York Fashion Week and would love for you to read my coverage!

an Asian fashion lawyer living and playing in LA, giving you the insider's scoop on life in the fab lane!

Lucija said...

Ohhh, your blog = CHIC!
Wonderful post!!


whynotpat said...

@goodbadnfab Thanks for reading my blog. I'm excited to check out your NYFW photos.

@Lucija Thank you, I'm glad you liked it despite the amateur photos.