the season is just starting to get busy again, perfect timing for running around in this 32 degree weather. work is work though, it pays my rent so i can’t complain. that being said prior to this week i haven’t felt the urge to write about anything as i’ve only really been hanging out with friends, working out and then devouring the occasional dessert here and there.

i therefore thought it would be interesting if i shared an inside look at the work i have done in the past with marchesa. it started when i first got to new york with my mom. we arrived in the city around 4 pm and dropped our bags off at the hotel, freshened up then went straight to the agency, which conveniently enough was a 5 minute walk from our hotel. this was my first time in new york so i was extremely grateful for my moms company. we arrived at next, my soon to be new york agency. i met dean and tammy who were the new face agents and would be predominantly responsible for most of my bookings and castings. they didn’t waste their time. we walked in the door and were told that i had a casting for marchesa (omg…) that ended at 4:30 (it was currently 4 pm…) as he showed us a map and told us the best way to get there. on our way we went

the marchesa headquarters are sort of annoying to get to. they’re located near chelsea piers, which anyone who is familiar with manhattan knows is an extreme pain in the ass to get over to as the subways end at 8th ave, and marchesa was all the way at 11th. we decided our best bet was to take a cab as i hadn’t ever ridden the subway here and didn’t want to be late for this amazing first casting! needless to say, i was stressed as fk in that cab ride… “should i walk in with my heels already on?! what about my hair?? pony tail or no pony tail!?” i frantically asked my mom. naturally she knew how to calm me down and told me to just do my best. i think i decided to wear my heels, but that being said we walked up, showed our IDs to the doorman and headed to the 14th floor.

in we walked to the office. in front of us was a tv screening the previous seasons show on replay with the calm music to accompany the angelic pieces floating down the runway. i told the girl at the front i was there for a casting as she told us to sit and wait. my mom started snapping pictures of course… a shot of the beautiful chandelier and iconic “marchesa” in the background, a perfect opportunity for a facebook picture update . unfortunately her sound wasn’t turned off and what was meant to be a sly shot turned out to be an obvious picture taking moment. i shot her a glare, followed by eye rolls at her indiscreetness. alas i was called in and walked by georgina and karen… not even knowing that they were the designers! (urg, how ignorant…) i tried on a few dresses, as they then decided to send me out in  a medium bright blue floor length gown adorned with glamorous embellishments. when asked what size shoe i wore, i explained 10.5/11, then going on to say how hard it was to find shoes in japan where i had grown up. i went on to explain where i was originally from, clearly not being japanese, then quickly realized this wasn’t exactly the environment where they cared to hear about my upbringing. all the interns who were helping me get dressed were sort of whispering and barely talking. thankfully i became aware of the situation before i started to blab on- new york fashion may not be as friendly per say as what i had been used to in toronto. before i went out, i ever so quietly asked if my hair was alright as is (it was tied back in a slick back pony, a look i like to call “just got off the train didn’t have time to shower”) and thankfully was assured it was fine.

i had no idea what this casting was for, dean had just told me if they like me they will be using me a lot. perfect i thought! i wasn’t confident i would get whatever it was he was talking about but needless to say i was praying the fashion gods would like me and i would get whatever this casting was for.

i walked out of the dressing room and past the the blonde and brunette duo, onto a white back drop to take digitals. i said hi as i walked by to where i was to take pictures (note to self, these were the designers-do not talk directly to designers!!) they weren’t rude by any means but rather hushed as they kept to themselves. the room we took pictures in was the show room had dresses, jewels and shoes along with what i presumed to be the mood boards for the next season. i took the pictures and then was told that was it and i could leave. “how did it go?!?!” my mom asked as we quietly left the office. i told her i wasn’t sure, everyone was very hushed and i guess we’d have to wait and see. it just seemed to go alright.

the next day we went back to the agency and dean exclaimed they loved me and i would be working with them soon. OH MY GOD i thought…. marchessssaaaaa!!! working with MARCHESA!? i can’t even begin to describe how excited i was. i had heard and seen marchesa gowns prior to the casting, but did some research to understand the story behind the label which was popular amongst the top a-listers. inspired by iconic european socialite the Marchesa Luisa Casati, the brand attempts to embody her decadence and femininity.

and so began my relationship with this brand. basically my job with them has been looks and fittings, they try all their pieces on me to see what looks good, what needs work, and how they’re going to present their collections. when i work with them, i’m a stand in mannequin which sounds tedious and difficult, and at times it can be. but to see the pieces being transformed from start to finish, the result being a beautiful runway collection is extremely incredible and i am so grateful they like to use me for this role.

i arrived mid august to new york which was perfect timing to start with marchesa. s/s 2013 collection was in the making as they used me consistently for fitting their pieces. of course getting closer and closer to fashion week it got busy, the hours got longer. but again it was very magical to see the garments coming together and i was so excited to work for them as much as they requested me. not to mention their work is breathtaking and i felt incredibly lucky i was able to try on some of the most beautiful dresses for a job. they would be my “bread and butter” my mom enthusiastically exclaimed, a job that may not add anything to my book, but would pay well and increase my connections in the industry.

not only was i able to try on the dresses but i got to see how they transformed from the inspiration mood boards and preliminary sketches to the finished products. i learned how karen- the gorgeous blonde of marchesa, meticulously puts together the print and embroidery textiles and how georgina, the breathtaking brunette ties it all together with her stunning draping and design work, a dream duo that together effortlessly creates the high end womenswear brand. it was inspiring to see georgina and karen up close, working with their own hands in the creation of the pieces. refreshing to see them designing and working with the interns, rather than letting their pieces be transformed in a factory by machinery. there was something romantic about that, to see their bare hands pin and drape things together. but it’s not only these two who transform this brand, there is also rita, the head seamstress who largely contributes to the design process. and the interns, the amazing interns who spend hours sewing, dyeing, pinning, etc! sometimes not going home until 4,5 am until their work is done. these are the ones who help me get dressed and whatnot when they’re not busy themselves creating the dresses in the back room. together when we emerge from the dressing room, they help explain the concept of each piece to georgina and karen as the team then decides what needs to be worked on. generally for fittings, we take pictures in each dress we try on. so after being approved (or disapproved) the interns help take pictures, a 360 view to see how the outfit fits and looks from every direction.

some days the work was a lot harder than others. it just depended on the amount of dresses that were ready to be shot. since it was close to fashion week, there was typically a lot that had to be done. i remember some of the busiest days before the shows, when they would have models come in for castings in between our fittings to see who they would use to represent their brand for the upcoming runway show followed by what they would each wear. it was a nice little rest time for me as i got to sit and wait for the castings to finish. there was a list on the wall with which models would be coming in at what times throughout the next couple days. “hilary, cara, jourdan…etc” still a rather ignorant newbie to the fashion world, i wasn’t sure who they were but could tell as the first one walked in they must be huge. first came hilary, a tall brunette with a KILLER body. like seriously amazing. she waltzed in, said her hellos with the designers and came into the dressing room where i was awkwardly reading my book waiting. i could tell, especially by the fact that she had hugged the designers, she must be big. so naturally i wanted to find out who this hot shot was! i sketchily searched “hilary model nyc” on my phone as she got changed into her first look to show the designers. (creepy, yes i know lol..) up popped “hilary rhoda” on google as i soon realized who the famous sports illustrated model was. that explained her defined abs and toned bod! refreshing to see a model who wasn’t stick thin and embraced the athletic look (something i was aspiring to embrace myself). then came in cara delevigne. again i had nooo idea who she was back then. she was so bubbly and was very talkative with the london duo. she had an accent herself, sounded british as well. anyways so in walks cara into the small dressing room. hilary changing looks while cara energetically got into her first look. and there i was the small insignificant, star struck and awkwardly pretending to read my book. perhaps it was better i had no idea who cara was, sparing myself from no doubt more awkwardness. again, i looked up “cara model nyc” and after some stalking, found out this was the famous cara delevingne “english fashion model, actress and the granddaughter of former english heritage chairman sir jocelyn stevens.” needless to say, very cool. when i left that day, i saw her with jourdan dunn, a model who i surprisingly knew, as i stumbled by and made my way home. cara was wearing a beanie and her famous jeremy scott bart simpson jumper, later tweeted and adorned by thousands of followers. so on went the castings and fittings the rest of the week. tabitha simmons was also present for a lot of the fittings, a name who i later learned to be marchesa’s head stylist. she herself has her own line of shoes, but accompanies karen and georgina to approve looks and decide which way the pair should head with their designs.

unfortunately i was not cast for the show. the casting directors are what hold your future and if you will make it into the show. disappointedly, i had to let hilary, cara, and jourdan waltz down the runway with what felt like my dresses. they had been fit to me, i saw them from start to finish, so i was no doubt disappointed i couldn’t wear them all. but i knew that everything happens for a reason and my time would come when i could make my appearance in the show. for now, i was satisfied with my behind the scenes relationship i had with the brand.

fortunately, my time with marchesa didn’t end after the craziness of fashion week, as i soon learned this industry never really does sleep. i asked the interns what they would do to celebrate the end of what in their experience was no sleep and constant chaos. they explained there really is no end and soon they would have to start forming the bridal and pre fall collections.

i gained an immense amount of respect for the preparation in the creation of the collection. i learned the work that goes in to making a dress and am incredibly grateful they work with me. that being said, i’m not their only model by any means, but have a great connection and am looking forward to hopefully walking for them someday as well as wearing one of their wedding dresses in my own little runway when i get married. they’re bridal pieces are just so dreamy, a perfect mood for anyones special day.

so thank you to my favourite brand, beautiful marchesa. the stunning embroidered pieces with inspiration from indian colours and patterns made for an incredible start to my first experience at new york fashion week.  they will forever remain one of my favourite brands as their pieces make you feel like the queen of the world.

nymag describes the brand in their label overview “with nineteenth-century eccentric aristocrat Marchesa Casiti as their muse, designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig brought to life the icon’s grandiose vision of being a living work of art. In 2004, Marchesa was officially established, and quickly exploded as a favorite among celebrities and critics alike. In 2006, the label was named one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top ten finalists. Red-carpet stunners and paparazzi-friendly cocktail attire are Marchesa’s stock in trade, with intricate craftsmanship and whimsical flourishes quickly becoming house signatures. Spurred by its immediate success, the company already has a more casual and less expensive line, Marchesa Notte as well as a handbag and wedding dress line.”