London, UK

I am a one woman business, working on creating limited edition, sustainable made, unique and fun clothes...

My Story 2. My first Fashion Show

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

This Blog post is about my first ever individual fashion show. I had a few other fashion shows previously, but those ones were all during my NVQ studies with fellow students during school events and competitions. Therefore, I always had someone to support me, someone to organise it for me and tell me if I am doing something wrong and the supporters in the audience were all just family members and school mates. I also had a tiny 3 pieces show prior to this big event, but that one was quite irrelevant since it was only my family in the audience.

No, this post is not about those shows, when I got plenty of help and support and I was in school. This is about the first time, when I went out to the big world, all alone, presenting my collection to total strangers and do everything alone, without any support in a country where I have never been before and where people hardly could speak English, so I could not really communicate during my visit.

The Stage at Habitus Baltija 2013

In 2013, during my way to home from work, I got a call, from a weird phone number. I was chosen as one of the finalists of a prestige Baltic countries Fashion designer Competition, called Habitus Baltija.
Since this was my first time to be chosen for a competition like this in a foreign country, I was so over the moon, and I was also a bit terrified. I submitted my graduation collection to this event, plus 3 extra additional designs, which I was due to create.
That time, I was working full time, working from 8am to 4pm and on top of that travelling 1.5 hours to work during the morning and 2 hours to get to home after work. My schedule was tight and hardly had time to breath and do housework chores, but I had to add sewing to this long list as well. I was up every day until midnight or 1am, and then wake up at 5.30 am to get ready to work. Actually, this is how I ended up working for 4 years, because having come from a Hungarian middle class, or a bit below middle-class family, I always had to work hard to be able keep chasing my dream and pay my rent too. This hard-working era started with this show, when I was preparing for it, and I haven`t stopped since then.

I had 2 months to finish a nice collection, ready for competition and organise my first ever trip alone abroad, to Riga, Latvia. Let`s just make clear, at that time I was totally clueless and lost in every way possible. Just as an example, I got my first bank card in 2013 January and one night I wanted to get some money from the ATM, and I was just standing there for minutes trying to figure out which side of the horse is going into the card reader… (I had a Lloyds card with the black horse on it). I had to call help to tell me which side of the horse is going into the machine XD
So, imagine this girl arranging her first ever trip and fashion show to far away.
I am proud to say it, I did it, and I even survived it alone in a country where people did not even understand me.

When I arrived at the airport, it was after 10 pm, so I asked the hostel to send me someone to pick me up. The grumpy looking guy, who come to pick me up started our conversation with a short sentence, that all young women in a foreign country at 10 pm evening would like to hear to comfortably sit in their car: ` No English, Russian, Russian.`
So there, should I get in the car or should not… Well, since the man took my luggage already, I was like, If I have to die here than I have to die here XD but luckily, It was not a Taken movie at the end.
The hostel was oke, I just quickly closed myself in the room and hoping next day people will be friendlier.

Backstage 2013

The next day I had the first fitting at the event location, where I decided to walk to, since I could not find where to buy tickets and no one I asked could speak English, so I walked, a lot. Finally, I arrived, the models were already getting ready for a casting and we the designers actually had to have a proper casting and choosing our models. I must say, until this day, the Latvian models were far the most beautiful I ever worked together with. I was nervous being there alone not knowing what I do, but since most of them were in my age and they could speak a bit of English, they were very supportive and friendly, so It lifted the weight of my shoulders a bit.

Backstage with the other designers, I am on the right side

On the day of the show, well… I do not remember much because I was so nervous and surprised to see how things go backstage, which I have not seen before on a proper show. It is madness!!!!! Totally madness!!!!! Models running everywhere. Throwing off their clothes right after the catwalk to run to the next designer, and I was running after them and around the room to find where my clothes were landed. Literally, they had 30 seconds to change to a new outfit to a new designer. It was crazy!!!! The show was so fast, I do not even remember anything from mine as It was barely 5 minutes, but then spending an hour to find my clothes. My stress and excitement level were so high that I hardly remember anything after that. Honestly, my next memory is to do my sightseeing the very next day. It is all blur. I was not prepared for it to be this hectic, it come out of the blue. This was the first time I truly experienced the beautiful mess behind the curtains and doing all this by myself.
This was a good jump in the deep water for sure.

Just before stepping up to the stage

The collection I did, made me very proud of myself. I think it was a very sweet introduction of my brand, of my journey. I still have a few of these pieces in my designer closet, just to remind me how far I have come since.