For me, Austin Fashion Week can pretty much be summed up in one word: blur. It was a beautiful, terrifying, surprising and fantabulous blur. It was certainly one of the biggest – and most adrenaline-filled – moments in my fashion journey so far!
I am so grateful to everyone who made AFW possible for me and Harry Rex: The wonderful team at Fashion X, my personal team of collaborators who help me put this collection together, my backstage rock stars and volunteers, and of course my friends and amazing family who believed in me and cheered me on (very loudly).
One of the biggest surprises of the whole experience was the sheer amount of behind the scenes action that I simply didn’t expect. There were certainly a handful of “OMG what the hell is happening” moments, but what’s a good story without a few plot twists, right?
For instance, when I one designer said to me (whilst frantically running around) “I do not go out from behind the scenes until after my show!” while I was walking back in from being out and about before my show…as you can guess, it put me a little on edge. I guess it was bad luck for her, and after all was said and done I kinda get her now! When I ventured out from behind the scenes I couldn’t really enjoy myself because I just kept thinking, “there is so much back stage I should be doing right now.”
Then there was the whole element of working with models in action versus on a photo shoot. From pre-show fittings to last minute accessorizing and shoe changes, there was never a dull moment. It was definitely a big relief to work with such professional, adaptable, and fun-loving ladies, though, and I’m super thankful that all the models were such gems.
Even when their shoes didn’t fit right and they had to be fierce anyway. Even when I took the last minute suggestion of my photographer to change the lineup to make for a better opening. Even when one model revealed that she couldn’t wear the outfit she was supposed to walk in (um, what?) and we had to change the lineup yet again and I thought I was going to have a heart attack; even then everything came together with the support and positive attitude of my backstage team.
I think the biggest takeaway from this entire experience has been positivity. This business is definitely not for the weak of spirit, the sensitive, the faint of heart. It’s tough and it’s fast and it can be brutal, and there were plenty of times that I thought I was too soft to keep going. But it turns out that being “hard” or “soft” doesn’t make the difference – positivity does. Kindness does. Friends and laughter and love do. After it was all said and done, my favorite part of the evening wasn’t the glitz and glam – it was hugging each and every person who helped me along on this journey and made it so special.
So, Austin Fashion Week, until next year. And, New York Fashion Week, see you someday. But mainly, cup of coffee, see you tomorrow.