Changing Minds, Observations

So, as you know, I recently had the opportunity to walk the runway at Ohio Fashion Week’s Black Tie Gala.  There I walked for three designers and had the opportunity to interact with a few people associated with Project Runway.  But for me, there were two very memorable opportunities to change minds, to touch others.

One of the designers I walked for was Victoria Henley of Project Runway fame.  She was so delightful and very focused while at the same time, so kind to everyone, including yours truly.  I was not scheduled to walk for her, but when we met, she tossed me a dress and asked me to walk.  Watching her work a show backstage was incredible.  In and out of an outfit in seconds.  Me, not so much….. This photo was taken at the end of the evening, while models and patrons chatted.

Victoria travels with two principal photographers, her mother and Maria.  Maria was born without the two hemispheres of her brain being connected.  There were questions if she would ever even walk and talk.  Well, twenty-two years later, she is working for Victoria.  For some reason, she was quite taken with me.  You can see from the pictures the genuine fondness we had and have for each other.  Something tells me our paths will cross again someday.  Kindness given is returned one hundred fold.

After a long day on site, which began at about 8:00am and concluded around 10:00pm, I was walking through the hotel parking lot to my car, lugging my model bag and purse while smiling from a wonderful time.  I was wearing the boots that were part of the last outfit I walked.  A woman was outside the hotel, catching a smoke.  She sees me and asks how I can walk in these boots.  I stop and chat with her, telling her I actually find heels comfortable (I do).  She was at the hotel, up from Tennessee, to watch her cousin race at a local speedway.  Me, well…you know.  Two more different people we could not be.  Long story short, we talk for at least ten minutes and part company with a great big hug.  Changing minds, one at a time…..

For me in was very interesting to watch everything unfold. One thing I learned, we all have flaws, even the most beautiful models. They absolutely know how to make the camera and camera angles work for them. They all know how to hide their flaws and everyone of them were just wonderful people.

I also enjoyed simply being one of the girls. We all changed in one big room, you cannot be modest and be a model. I was often simply in my bra and panties (briefly) when going from one outfit to the next. I had conversations with other models in the same form of being undressed, many completely topless. It was so natural, I felt like one of them, I was one of them, I am one of them.

The cooperation was cool as well. When you see a girl struggling with her zipper, you jump right in and help. When I could not get a dress on over my hair (those chopstick were a challenge!), I always got help. We were all so complimentary of each other. Such a wonderful community!

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To watch the TV coverage of the show, click the link here!

I was extensively interviewed by the reporter backstage. She took a bunch of photos and video and spoke to me, on camera, at length. Yours truly is in this piece twice. One when I was being photographed and one while walking the runway. Oh my…… Thank goodness they didn’t run me speaking!

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Jackie and I after the show

Jackie Bertolette is the heart and soul of the event. I sent an email thanking here for having me. Her response: “It was great seeing you too! Watching you drink in the experience gave me life! Reaffirms why I put myself & my family through all the insanity.”

I’m guessing the joy is noticeable, right?

6 thoughts on “Changing Minds, Observations”

  1. Kandi it sounds just absolutely amazing to be involved in such a way, for sure every trans girls dream to be primed over and getting to look pretty and oh the clothes
    Yes this girl would love it.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience
    Hugs Rach

  2. What a great experience! Certainly something you will remember forever. Thank you for posting your story. You are certainly helping others.
    Yours Terri

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