Two definitions of the word alchemy are as follows:
1. The medieval forerunner of chemistry, based upon the proposed transformation of matter, often dealing with trying to change base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir.
2. A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
The FS Squared Fashion Show is an annual fashion show that is put on by my university. Every year it’s a huge event. This year the theme of the show was titled Alchemy. I remember being so curious this year when I saw the announcement for an upcoming model call.
One Thursday evening, I quickly changed after working out at the gym and walked all the way across campus in heels to the fashion building. Trying out for things in general has never been a specialty of mine, so trying out for something like a fashion show seemed crazy. I didn’t tell anyone that I was doing it because I didn’t expect anything to come out of it. There was going to be girls there that were actual models and had actual modeling experience. If anything, trying out was just going to be a personal accomplishment to prove to myself that I could push myself to do something like that.
But if I was going to audition, I was going to do the work beforehand to do as well as I could. So, I looked up videos of old fashion shows to do my homework. I specifically eyed out Naomi Campbell, the runway queen, for tips on how to look like I knew what I was doing. Of course, she’s untouchable, but I tried my best to imitate. I practiced in my dorm room when I was alone, I practiced in the bathroom, and I practiced my facial expressions in the mirror all the way up until I walked into the building for the audition. As nervous as I was to walk, I did it. After I was done I basically ran out of the building asking myself what I just did.
About a week later, the verdict was released about the model call. I was chosen. After a couple weeks, everything began to take off. Days began to consist of rehearsals, learning choreography, fittings, and photoshoots in preparation leading up to the show. We had some amazing coordinators who helped keep all of us girls together. Also shout out to my dresser Hannah who I found out only lived a few rooms down the hall from me, and was also a life saver when it came to dealing with quick changes and shoes that were too big. Being on the big screen, walking on stage and through atriums in amazing clothes, getting hair and make up done, what more could a girl ask for? I was happy just to be a part of the process.
I got to walk in one single submission by myself and also got to walk in three collections created by different designers. I had the opportunity to walk in the designer’s collection who ended up winning best in show, $10,000, and is now getting to compete in New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. If only I was able to model for her then! It was so cool to see all of the talent of my peers and the work they had created. I got to see how legit of a fashion school I go to despite being in Ohio. The set, the clothes, and the people all came together in such a captivating and elegant way that left guests and people like me in awe, still after all this time.
When I first started writing this post I simply wrote “FS Squared” as the title. Then I decided to title the post the actual title of the show. I find the second definition alchemy to be so relevant to this experience- a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. The show was magical. It allowed me to show a different side of myself. I used to be the girl that was known as the quiet one and actually barely even talked. Even when I still struggle with being brave, I now know that somewhere I have it in me. Most importantly, the FS Squared Fashion Show showed me that some of the best opportunities come about when you step out of your comfort zone.