Hello Shanghai, we are here! Six trunks, a Chinese visa and the wit and will to explore the electrified and fashion forward, Middle Kingdom City. I am on assignment as the Couture and Culture Correspondent for the 29th annual Elite Model Look competition.
Day 1: Arrival
We are sitting in the dark… Hanna, our San Francisco-based hair and make up maven has just blown the fuse in our suite with the blow dryer. At least we hope it is just the suite! It would take more than a little grooming tool to dull the bright lights of this big city.
Day 2: Model Moment
Among the giddy, glamorous fashion moments I have been lucky to have more intimate model moments. Last evening I spoke with the contestant from Cameroon named Jeanne d’Arc. She informed me that she must learn English if she is to pursue her dream to become a model. I was stunned as her English was already becoming quite good after only three months of intense “disciplined” work. It is easy to forget that many of the contestants come from cultures and life circumstances beyond our true understanding.
Day 3: The Lucky Girls
I am in awe of the girls. They are saucer-eyed with my vintage couture collection I brought to Shanghai for the workshop and photo shoot. We unpacked, as directed from a bound document created during packing by our very own dear Wardrobe Master. How in the world will we ever repack?!
Once our beauties were hanging, it was time to match the 14 young models to the looks for the photo shoot to take place at the South River Art Gallery. Elite Model International has chosen well! The aspiring models are fresh (14 to 21), bright, curious and driven.
Day 4: My Debut Workshop
My eight Elite Shanghai models are more beautiful, interesting and bigger than life in person. I am so lucky – thank you Elite! We fit the girls to their selected looks with the pumping music of the dance rehearsals coursing through our souls.
Diary, you know I LOVE a dance party… So when Elite’s own Nick Tacchi took my hand and led me toward the stage, only one thing could happen… I joined the 70 young models in a choreographed dance to Gangnam Style. When life happens… Throw your head back, laugh and go big.