I don’t even know where to start, I guess the beginning will be a good choice but I rather start with the thank you’s.
Thanks to Matthew Colon, who at last minute gave me the opportunity to work under his co-partner Cass Jones; founder of VIP Skinz ( a body art shop, both temporary and permanent ).
With this call I was given the chance to work behind the scenes at “The House of Roderick’s Pompadour Winter Fashion Show” for 2013’s Fashion Week that was being hosted at the infamous Empire Hotel Rooftop.
I headed out my apartment ready for a busy day, with my roller bag that was a little way too loud once it hit concrete, but it would have to do.
Everything fit perfectly and better yet, I didn’t have to struggle carrying anything. Especially since I was coming from Brooklyn.
Little did I know, and of course I happened to notice on the train ….
That horrible smell, I couldn’t stand it, and it was wickedly concentrated. Thanks to my cat, sarcastic as I could ever be… I failed to noticed that Vandal had taken upon himself to mark his territory on my bag.
And I of course only noticed when I was already on the train, looking at the time every chance I got.
I was running late, already on my way, worried and now I have to deal with the embarrassment of this stench. How professional.
Problem No.2 – I’ve never been to the Empire Hotel before, yes I’ve been invited many many times, which mostly was an invitation to wear a too tiny mini skirt, and parade around in heels until I got so drunk I wouldn’t be able to say pronounce my name anymore. I always said no.
I take my phone out to the GPS the directions and today, of course my phone decides not to be activated.
And no, not because I didn’t pay it… But bc I share the plan with irresponsible people who I barely see, let alone speak to.
But that’s a whole other story. No phone. No directions. I head to Columbus Circle because that’s the best my memory lets me get to and ask my way around, asking anybody and everybody where this hotel may be at.
It’s 10:20 am and I only wish I could reverse time by 20 minutes. I swear, I’m always late. I panic and make my way to the rooftop where I was told everyone ( body painters, constructors, models, and Roderick himself will be. )
Empty. If I was in the wrong place, I was screwed. With no way to contact anybody ( phone less) I asked around while I dragged around my stinky bag.
I met Freddy, the hotel’s engineer for 12 years and very sweet man who assured me I was in the right place. I was just the first to arrive. He offers me a bottle of water from the bar and tells me to just sit and wait.
Before I even do that I hide my bag across the room as far as I possible can. No one needs to be drenched in that.
I meet two ladies who happen to be event coordinators, and ask to borrow their phone. I call Cass at her shop and she assures me she’ll be there in an hour. At least I’m not the one who’s late. A relief off of my shoulders.
The models arrive and Roderick does shortly after. I offer to help glue rhinestones on his flyers for the time being to keep myself busy and useful while the girls start to rehearse. Once I see two horns appear through the door I head downstairs to help Matt and Cass unpack all the supplies from the car.
We airbrushed for a little while until the machine broke down and refused to work, which let us to our last minute plan B solution.
We watered down some acrylic paint and some airbrush paint and started to sponge the guys down. I had some guys screaming at how cold the water was, but all I could do was laugh. I was titled “the evil one” all night.
That’s where we came in.
We, as in Cass, Matt and I painted stockings, garter belts, corsets, and bras.
It looked, what can I say… I personally think we did really well. Not to mention, that we finished RIGHT on time.
We stripped down and threw on our fancy cocktail attire, all while covered in paint ( good thing I bring baby wipes ) we all got dressed in less than two minutes….
And hey, we’ve been seeing boobs and spreading buttcheeks ( while we painted, pervs! ) all day, so I doubt we made any difference in all that behind the scenes action.
I ran out to catch the best glimpse of the show that I possibly could. After all this hard work, I definitely wanted to enjoy the end result.
Everyone seemed to love it.
Once the dancer, ( Phillip did great ) and the models finished with their walks, it was time for the Crew to walk the runway.
I have never had so many flashes come at me at the same time. I had people screaming ” I’m from _____ magazine, look over here !” Or ” this way, this way_____ press”
It was , how can I say… Exhilarating.
Concept and Show director: Roderick A. Gunsell
Emcee: Kathy Polston- Dalton- Mrs. New York Globe
Guest Emcee: Mrs KarenGravano- VH1 Mob Wives
Hair and Makeup: Lady Lexxus
Creative Body Concept : Cass Jones, Minxinx and Matt Colon
Models: Cierra Brooks, Oakley Boycott, Jessica Moore, Tanisha Weir, Amanda Uduka, Upa, Leona Chiaki Wilkes,
Janice Picconi, Patrick Shannon, Rodney Lozier, Andrew Nierenburg, Haley Scnieder, Hannah
All Photos on this blog, by me.