Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Artist and designer Lynne Polley gave me a tip to sketch a rehearsal for the models that will take to the cat walk for Harriett's Park Avenue Fashion Week. The rehearsal was in the small Wedding Chapel (301 West New England Avenue, Winter Park). I was a bit early approaching the chapel, but I saw a young man go in. As I approached the door, I heard a driving, hip, pop beat from inside that seemed out of place. Gorgeous models were lined up along a wall. Church pews were lined up on a diagonal line creating a runway. The modeling coach was at the end of the runway for a view of each models strut.
The darn pews kept me from sketching the models sinewy legs. The angular poses and relaxed walks are all highly rehearsed. The line kept moving and the models walked for many hours. The instructor shouted out that they all needed to relax. Arms were stiff and tense. She was a bit upset that one of the male models had shaved the hair on his head leaving a Mohawk. She warned everyone to keep their looks. They were picked by clothes manufacturers because of their hair color and looks. Photos of models taken at the last session apparently weren't that good. Showing the photos to fashion designers, she had to reassure them. "She is pretty in person, really!" She warned everyone, "If you trip on the runway, I will find you." I sat with several moms who were there to support their young budding models.
Later in the rehearsal, a leggy, blonde 16 year old model joined the group. She wasn't used to wearing the high heels she had on and when she walked down the isle, her heels clomped down, sounding like a bull in a china shop. She leaned forward like a stilt walker loosing her balance. The modeling coach worked with her extensively trying to get her to relax. Another model offered her another pair of heels and she improved but still walked with an imbalanced awkward grace. I smiled inside. One of the models looked over my shoulder and asked, "Are you an artist?" I cringed, never looking up from the sketch and barked back, "Yes!"