Ever since I was a little girl, I have had an interest in fashion. From drawing designs to my love of shopping, I cultivated my passions in college as a fashion merchandising major at Central Michigan University. I began to witness the creation of textiles and the genius behind dressing mannequins and their window displays. One of my biggest wishes as a fashion major was to witness a big fashion show. I attended two campus fashion shows, yet it was not enough. I wanted to see the behind the scenes of one.
The whole reason I found this opportunity was through my internship search. I reached out to Michelle and she was eager to work with me. My first day working with her would end up being this very fashion show. I was extremely nervous to finally meet her and work with her, yet she put me at ease about it all.
When Michelle Krick told me about the Boutiques of West Michigan fashion show, I was not fully aware of the size of the event nor the number of things I would be able to experience behind the scenes. For someone who truly wanted to experience what happens before show time, this opportunity was huge. On May 4th, I woke up with a smile on my face because it was show day! The events for the day started around 11:30 pm. The first thing that I was to do was head to About Face in East Grand Rapids. About Face is a makeup and beauty salon and this was where the models prepared for the show. I watched as they were pampered with eyeshadows and lipstick while next door, in The James Salon and Boutique, models were also getting their hair styled. They were bustling back and forth, the energy high as the stores worked together to pamper the models.
My job for the day was to work with one of Michelle’s friends to set things up ahead of time for the show. One thing that no one warns you about is the amount of leg work it takes! We took some lighting, a dress rack, and mannequins to the show’s location. Our job was to set up the Michelle Krick Style booth featured at the fashion show.
We put the mannequins together, set some tables up, and laid out her business cards. My job was to also dress the mannequins with clothing from LA Miller Boutique. After that, her friend and I watched the models line up for the dress rehearsal. Every model that was there, including Michelle’s, stood in line based on who went first in the show, and they did a run through. A lot of the time spent was just us waiting around for the next step. I always thought that fashion shows had to be consistent movement at all times, but for the models it was a lot of waiting around for the actual show.
After the run through, the models were rushed upstairs to get dressed and ready for the show. Michelle helped the models, who were actually her good friends, get dressed in the proper outfits. I enjoyed being around them throughout the long day because they enhanced that experience for me. The garments were from the various boutiques from West Michigan who had booths at the show. The boutiques included LA Miller Boutique, Iris Boutique, Lee and Birch, Marie La Mode, JB and Me, Lennon and Willow, Kyra Danaya Collection, and more. Michelle picked garments that fit the latest trends, such as knot tops, animal print (snakeskin), and jumpsuits. Michelle, her friend, and I helped get the models zipped up and tucked in while they got their makeup and hair touched up.
Though our day started at 1:30, the show did not start until 6pm. The models made their way to the location where they would be walking out to the stage for the actual show. I noticed that most of the models were not nervous; they were overall excited to walk. They lined up and prepared for their turn to go. Each model walked out individually, and the others waited for their cue to go. The energy backstage was hype yet calm and prepared. The models did their main walk through and then the finale walk through. The second time Michelle’s models walked, they carried out little photo frames with style quotes inside. The purpose of them taking the signs around only the second time was so that the garments would be the focus the first time around, while the second time the fun quotes would be a nice addition.
At the end, the owners walked out with their models for the final run through. I got to watch some of the show beforehand, and it was a nice finish to the day after doing so much to prepare. Of course, the next and final step was to take down the booth and load the van back up. All the garments were taken back to the respective boutique booth, and the show was done.
This fashion show taught me a few things: how to have patience and how to follow a plan to get things done on time even with hitches in the plan. I would say this was one of the best experiences I have had as a fashion student, and I am so happy that I got to fulfill one of my childhood dreams.
To see more photos from the event, go to Michelle Krick Style on Facebook.