Life is a great adventure and it feels like there are amazing opportunities around every corner. Just pay attention! I was at the right place at the right time and via a friend got introduced to a French-American designer MIMI TRAN who has been featured on Vogue and has a fashion house of her own.
The place is a chaos when I enter the PlayStation Theater next to Times Square on Manhattan. Everyone’s busy carrying lights and all kinds of show equipment, I see little dancer girls running around and their dance-moms chatting around. I try to ask an employee if she knows where the hair and makeup station for Mimi Tran Fashion Show is but she just shakes her head. “Go check that way, there’s four other designers tonight as well!”
I walk past the fashion show hall where there’s another designer’s runway practice going on. The first thing I see is a five stepped staircase coming from the stage down to the runway. O-ouu I say in my mind, never going to get down through those in heels! Shoot!
I continue my search and thankfully run into a few models that I had met the other night when having dinner with Mimi and her crew. They show me the way backstage that happens to be an empty hallway with a lot of makeup artists and hair stylists shouting, trying to set their stuff down somewhere and get started. “We’ve been moving around for an hour, let’s just stay here for now. Someone get us tables and chairs!” And the MUAH artworks begin.
I sit on the hairstylist’s chair and almost fall asleep as she creates an American blowdry hair for my tiny mousetail. Cool, gotta try these tricks at home, too! Next I’ll need some coffee or I won’t be awake for showtime. Thank God the coffee break room is nearby – and I meet a model that also happens to be from Finland, @neamclin. She tells me she’s been in NYC for 10 years already, modeling.
Next the makeup artist works her magic on my tired face and Wohoo she’s a professional! She happens to be super nice as well, she tells me about her passion for meeting new people and how excited she was when she got to do some lip touchups for Karlie Kloss backstage the other day! While we’re chatting, I see another model looking at herself constantly in the mirror while she’s being prepped – clearly super obsessed with her own face but what the hell, smile a little, girl! Just a continuous resting bitch face while trying to make her lips look bigger. Wouldn’t want to be friends with her at this first sight.
And then comes the designer, Mimi, gorgeous as ever. She greets everyone and lays her designs on the racks, telling all the models to come for fittings now. O-ouu if I’m even going to fit in any of her dresses. Most of the models seem like they’ve done this sooo many times, but that’s not the case for me. I’ve modeled but not runway, only once in Finland, and that was for winter clothes in winter boots — not strutting my stuff in dresses and new heels that you’re unable to walk with. But thank God the dress that I was given FITS! Wohoo! And the shoes feel okay… as long as I don’t need to walk.
“It’s funny how easily you can depict those being real versus those who please you, hoping they’d be featured or get their five minutes of fame.”
We walk on the stage for rehearsals, and the know-all models go first to show everyone how it’s done. And boy they know how to work it! Looking fierce and kinda mean, the first model walks the runway and does all the poses and hip-moves. As the next models go, I hear the first one laughing and pointing at other models’ walk style. Such a mean girl! I don’t even wanna walk now, after that. There comes my turn, and I just try to survive the staircase and not to fall… and mission accomplished!
Thank God, backstage comes our Managing Director Sarianne and Videographer Matilda! They’re here to interview the designer and the crew, and everyone’s attention is suddenly towards them, and towards me too as they see I’m part of the filming crew, and not just another shy model here. It’s funny how easily you can depict those being real versus those who please you, hoping they’d be featured or get their five minutes of fame.
Later, at the start of the show, I feel so so nervous. What if I’m gonna fall?! The fashion show night is an official NY Fashion Week fundraising event for breast cancer awareness, and I heard that one of the performers would be Aaron Carter from the Backstreet Boys! Oh my… My feet are sweating so badly in the heels that I need to keep toilet paper on them so they wouldn’t slip so badly all the freaking time. I feel like my face is sweating as well, and turning red. The music starts loud – let the show begin… Now it’s my turn! I need wine, I can’t do this sober, my mind yells at me. But no, there I go…. Try to look confident. Keep your head up. Short steps. Don’t smile. Oh shoot, the stairs. Don’t look down, I gotta look down or I’m falling. Remember to stop at the end of the runway. Pose! Turn, walk walk walk and stairs up, and OUT! Wohooo!! That could have been a big disaster. Or a comedy show. What the hell, that was actually fun! Didn’t feel so comfortable on the runway, so wouldn’t do that in the future for a living, but I’m so happy that I stepped out from my comfort zone and experienced it!!
After this experience I learned that I’m more comfortable when I’m producing and styling the show, and let the professionals handle it on the runway.
Anyway, it’s useful for your brain EVERY DAY to try things that scare you. Even your dreams should be so big that they scare you, at least a little! That’s the only way you can go forward – taking the small steps towards your goals. And conquering your fears at the same time.
“All these girls are my inspiration, all the models I work with. I’m very lucky.”
We want to thank Mimi and the team for this amazing opportunity and collaboration with FEDITED. We interviewed Mimi after the show in New York:
FEDITED: Congratulations! How do you feel now after the show? Are you happy and relieved it’s over?
MIMI: Yeah, it’s a lot of work but that’s how it is every year. It’s perfect out there but the chaos is in the back. In the end of the day, it’s all about the presentation.
F: Can you tell us, how long does it take to put a fashion show together?
M: Actually this one (The breast cancer awareness show) took me only three weeks, because I used designs from last season. They go so well together with the new designs. Usually it takes longer than that if I’m presenting a whole new line.
F: What happens next after this show? Are you having a little break before designing next season’s outfits or..?
M: Next year we’re going to do, at the Paris Fashion Week, a couture show and then the London FW. In April we have the New York Bridal FW and after that Barcelona and Dubai. Besides that, we have multiple store openings coming up along the year.
F: We know the next question is kinda cliché, but where do you get inspiration from?
M: The sequin flower is my signature, there’s so much you can do with them. All these girls are my inspiration, all the models I work with. I’m very lucky. They give me so much positivity, they are so energetic and full of life. So I guess that’s one part why I love this job!