For the last a couple of weeks I’ve been working on putting together a charitable fashion show. The event benefiting Susan Komen Foundation took place last Thursday at Sans Souci facility. The models hit the runway wearing exquisite evening dresses from Tenby NYC. Ballet dancers from Joffrey Concert Group entertained the public with incredible dancing pas. There was also a special show featuring Sans Souci volunteers who demonstrated Cantamessa jewels. In other words, there are a lot of exciting details that go into this project that I can’t wait to share with you!
It all started with Bonnie who invited me to join the team for organizing the event. Knowing that it could be a great opportunity for me to get involved in such a great cause, I immediately agreed. The next step was to find a brand that will be a great fit for the event. While conducting my research, I checked my Facebook for inspiration. The first thing I saw were amazing photos of lace gowns shared by my friend Nina. She recently joined Tenby NYC team and shared photos of brand’s designs with her friends. After I saw those images, I couldn’t think about any other brand that might be a good fit for the upcoming event. Bonnie and I met Tenby team at their beautiful Garment District office, and the magic has begun.
We worked with Nina and Catherine from Tenby NYC who put together an inspiration board of looks for the show. We picked for the runway dresses from Spring/Summer 2016 collection inspired by “enchanted garden.” Most of the pieces selected for the catwalk were minimalistic structured dresses.
After we recruited models for the show, the fitting process has begun. We picked time slots when models can come for fittings before the actual show. Catherine kept everyone organized as she took photos of each dress that will be at the show. Then, she put them on the look board so we know how exactly to structure the show. We ended up having a pretty white board featuring photos of our models and their clothing and shoe sizes.
Needless to say that the day of the show started for me early. I had last minute logistics to take care of, phone calls, emails, not to mention 8:00 am French class. Yet, everything seemed to workout–perhaps, even better that I could imagine. For starters, I had a unique opportunity to become one of the models for Tenby NYC photo shoot. My good friend Vital Agibalow was working at the showroom with models. I had my ’15 minutes of fame’ too while modeling gorgeous evening gowns by Tenby. I also had tons of fun posing with my new bestie, Instagram-famous Chihuahua Luigi.
When the team of models and dressers arrived to the location, the preparation for the show has begun. We had an amazing team of MAC Cosmetics artists working with the models and event attendees. The Tenby NYC team decided that natural makeup, red lips, and sleek hair would be the look for the show. Makeup artists used a bit of strobing, some concealer, and the ruby shades of lipstick. I was modeling at that day too so my makeup artist gave me a winged eyeliner look with a hint of burgundy red lips.
Another step, a sleek hairstyle, turned out even better than I could ever expect. We had a celebrity hairstylist working at the show, Maria Teresa Sansalone. Maria is a world-recognized professional who worked with Brooke Shields and Monica Bellucci. She was also in charge of hair for Valentino and Rocco Barrocco runway shows during European Fashion weeks. For my runway look, Maria Teresa created a sleek Audrey Hepburn style bun that I adored! I am planning to repeat this amazing look myself over and over again!
It was not my first runway show to walk, but the first one where I played both as a co-producer and a model. Needless to say, I enjoyed each second of this spectacular action. The rush of changing dresses, the pleasure of getting applause, and unstoppable jokes. I think our team of models did a spectacular job!
Before and after the show, dancers from Joffrey Ballet Concert Group entertained the audience. They performed classic and contemporary works and it was such an amazing show! An interesting detail about the show. As it turned out, ballet dancers need to warm up between performances. Thus, they were working on their abs, stretching, and doing some dancing moves. It was so much fun to see the backstage of a dancing show!
I would like to thank Tenby NYC and Sans Souci team (thank you, Bonnie, Jaimy, Sommer, Nina, and Catherine!), Joffrey Concert Group (Davis and Sam) and my friend Christa who introduced me to this amazing troupe, and Cantamessa Jewelry (Anastasia and Anton). I also would like to extend my praise to all of the models: Lana, Anastasia, Elena, Sabrina, Mollie, Alina, Brana, Grace, Sosheba, Delfine, Ruth, and a little cutie Luigi. I can’t thank you enough for your support and all the hard work that you put in this project!
Showroom photos by Vital Agibalow. Event photos by Anton Tabakov for Cantamessa and Anthony Sev for High Voltage Entertainment.