Walking, Talking Mannequin


A young woman, around 25, sits behind a small desk. As I enter the room, she doesn’t look up. I greet her politely and she tells me to fill out a form and wait until my name is called.  There are plenty of models already there eyeing me.  As per usual, I am the shortest one there by at least three inches, but I’m used to it.  Soon I am beckoned into a separate room where three people are sitting at a table facing me.  There is a middle aged woman, discussing something quietly with the older man to her right while the younger woman on her left shuffles through a stack of papers.  I stand there patiently, shifting my weight from one leg to the other until they ask me the usual: my name, age and where I’m from.  None of them are particularly interested in my responses, instead they are all focused intently on the overstuffed binders in front of them.  From I distance I see they are filled with images of clothes.  I stand there for quite some time while they look back and forth between me and the binders.  Finally, they thank me for my time and I return home.


A day or so later, I receive an email from my modeling agent informing me that I got the job.  A week later I arrive at the photo shoot.  The environment is hectic and a bit tense.  As a model it is my understanding that my job is essentially to be a walking, talking mannequin.  At the time,  I couldn’t understand the reason why no one wanted to get to know me or have a conversation.  The whole experience felt detached and cold.  Now, I realize how important that experience really was.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but all the people I met at the casting and all the people working that day at the photo shoot were there to do one thing: their jobs.  The photos from the shoot were for the catalogs you get at the entrance of Target that usually end up at the bottom of shopping carts.  Although I was only there for a day, it turns out they had been doing shooting dozens of models wearing hundreds of outfits for over two weeks.  I never knew how long, and taxing of a process one project could be.

Through this experience and many others like it, I began to develop a strong sense of respect for the people in the fashion industry.  Not only do you have to be professional, but you also have to be sharp, organized and creative.  I have had first-hand experience witnessing some of the most talented and hard working people on the job.  Since then, my passion for clothing, the fashion industry and anything related to it, has grown immensely.

My blog, Runway to Reality, will draw on some of my personal experiences as a way of adding an original twist on your average fashion blog.  As a college student on a budget, I want to make fashion accessible for everyday people.  My blog isn’t going to have outfits costing thousands of dollars, instead I might use pieces more than once.  I want to take the gorgeous, designer outfits from Vogue or Paris fashion week and put my own spin on them so that they are wearable, affordable and chic.  It is my hope that anyone who reads this will understand how important fashion is in everyday life, whether you realize it or not.  Essentially, I want to make their runway, your reality.

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