“They definitely want to do something out of the box, which I’m really happy about,” a designer told me as we talked about the look her group was aiming to create. “That sounds beauutiful,” I cooed.
It was Wednesday evening and I found myself at the Austin Fashion Week model casting happy hour. Over 150 participants were randomly paired into 25 teams that must create and photograph a look that will be sold at “Bright Lights, Idea City,” the official Austin Fashion Week kick off party, held on August 14. All proceeds made from the sale of these limited edition prints will benefit Austin Involved and Dress for Success. Individuals within the team are comprised of a photographer, hair stylist, makeup artist, clothing designer, jewelry designer, accessory designer and model who must collaborate to achieve a high quality look.
Over 100 models lined up for a chance to be selected as one of the lucky 24 who would continue on to participate in Austin Fashion Week 2010. (1 child model will be chosen to accommodate clothing designer La*Tee*Da*Kids .) The selection of models was welcomed by equally diverse teams looking for authentic representation. Popping by one group, the question of what attributes define a plus sized model came into the conversation. “Curvy . . . and awesome,” one participant replied with a half-cocked smirk. Each model was given an opportunity to walk the runway while teams made notes of which models fit their ideal look. Kick off teams were given the chance to screen the models during a line up where nothing was off limits. Models were scrutinized on skin, hair, facial structure, and for lingerie designers, their derrière. “There is no shame when dealing with lingerie,” one designer said while motioning the model to turn.
*As requested by some designers, all names have been withheld to protect the creative strategy of each team.