I first learned about NYC Full Figured Fashion Week from an article in The New Yorker magazine last fall. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that this event had evaded my radar for several years even though it was happening in my own backyard; they even have a pretty awesome website. In fact, this year, FFFW will be taking place from June 14th – 20th, and yours truly will hopefully attend as a blogger, but unfortunately not as a runway model (more on that later). In fact, I was fortunate enough to meet Gwen Devoe, the creator of FFFW at a meetup in NYC where we discussed the upcoming events, her background and our Virgo connection. I love everything about FFFW and how it shares Dressing Room 8’s mission of empowering curvy and full-figured women through fashion.
Now back to the audition…
The FFFW casting calls were held in several cities across the country and in Toronto Canada, with the last one in NYC. I decided to try out about one week before the NYC auditions – so I had exactly 1 week to get professional photos taken and learn how to do a runway walk. I went to a local photography studio and got some head/full body shots after work. Not exactly the stuff you’ll find in professional portfolios but definitely better than the alternative: phone-grade pics taken by husband with me posing in my bedroom with my cat sleeping on the bed in the background. As for the walk, well, let’s just say that I’m a now a true-believer that walking the runway is a true artistic skill achievable only through hours and hours of pain, sweat, and blood (not for the blister-fearing crowd). Given that I spent roughly 3 hours practicing overall, I was an amateur to say the least. But lack of experience is never a reason to not try something in my book, so on Saturday morning, I stuffed some heels into my bag, slapped on a hot outfit, and hopped on the 8:47am train on the Long Island Rail Road toward midtown, Manhattan.
When I arrived at the location, there were only two women standing outside waiting (Yes! Thank you freak snow storm the night before!!) That excitement was short lived when I actually made it inside the building and saw what appeared to be a line that had no beginning…(the line also grew longer outside) Luckily, my friend came with me to keep me company and be my cheerleader, and I made the wise decision to wear flats. There were different periods of waiting and we were shuffled into different rooms. I mistakenly thought I was getting closer when I was moved into the first waiting area and made the foolish decision to switch into my heels. 2 hours later, my feet were in moderate to severe pain just in time for my turn.
I was first measured before my debut in front of the judges – which was not exactly what I would call a successful run (or walk). When I first did my little strut, all I saw were confused looks. I believe one person asked me, rhetorically I’m assuming, “What is wrong with you?” But they were kind enough to give me some explicit instructions on what I should be doing and I’m happy to say that my second attempt was more successful. Sadly, it was still not the walk of all the walks and I was ultimately not chosen to be among the elite.
But you know what? The whole experience was a blast and I now plan to audition for more casting calls so that I can truly perfect my walk and stage-appearance. In fact, while waiting online, a lot of great things happened; I met some pretty spectacular women, received a free pair of underwear (complements of Fruit of the Loom), and was told by several friends that I was on the news as part of Fox and NBC’s coverage of the audition!
As a curvy woman, there’s never been a better time than now to put yourself out there and be proud of all your curves. FFFW is a celebration of just that: beauty, womanhood, and confidence. Join the curvy movement and feel beautiful every single day, because you are.
This is just the beginning of my entree into modeling – keep an eye out for me at the next fashion show and I hope to see you there as well ; )