In the little land of Utah, fashion isn’t something that most people would associate with the state. However, Utah just finished a very successful fashion week, with four nights of sold out shows during the last week of February.
Model Coordinator for Utah Fashion Week (UFW), Kim Kienow, says, “The inspiration behind UFW has been to bring fashion and culture to the state of Utah, as well as to highlight the great talents we have here in our state.” Kienow, along with her partner Hailey Spung, worked to coach and prep each of the models they casted before the shows. Preparation consisted of three mandatory rehearsals for models and designers in order to create uniformity across the board.
The chaos, the thrill, the excitement, and even the professionalism of what goes on behind the curtains of a fashion show was reflected at UFW. As a model, who has walked in several other shows, walking in UFW felt just like any other professional runway show. The talent of the other models, as well as the designers was impressive. The creators of UFW, Natalie Workman and Janay Robison, truly brought their goal of making Utah a national powerhouse of fashion to life. Their vision was translated by the success of the weekend and the savviness of each of the designers.
I was casted by Kathryn Mecham, the 26 year old designer of L’Esthétique, to wear one of her ‘The Vintage Daughter Collection’ designs. A beautiful black, Grecian-styled, dress was designed by Mecham for this show and I had the opportunity to don this design down the runway. Mecham thoroughly enjoyed her experience of having her designs showcased in UFW saying, “how do I top achieving a lifelong dream? Perhaps the only answer is to continue to live it.”
Living in the world of fashion is something that I get to do everyday, as a model. It’s one of the experiences in my life that I love. Not many people know everything that it takes to make the magic happen that you see on the runway. Many things go on behind the scenes. UFW has been in the works for over a year and just as Kienow mentioned, even trained models face several rehearsals to execute a perfect show.
Despite all that, behind the curtains of the show, while it may be chaotic and hectic, there’s so much fun going on. Laughter and jokes from the models, hair and makeup artists striking up a friendship with a model they just met, and designers getting to know one another. For some, the nerves are high, especially the designers who are making last minute adjustments and praying that their vision is manifested on the runway. For me, one of my favorite moments is just before the show begins. I’m never nervous, all I feel is an abundance of excitement. Walking onto the runway and having the opportunity to make the designs and tireless efforts of someone else shine is a treasured moment, that I get to experience each and every time.
I live for those moments. I wouldn’t trade the madhouse of fashion for anything, because with it comes, wonderful friendships, lasting bonds, and opportunities of a lifetime. As for the budding fashion world in Utah, I’ll be watching to see it thrive and grow, and you should be watching too.
Lorna Gabrielle Balfour is a senior at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, UT. Lorna graduates this May in a degree that she created herself, as well as a minor in Psychology. She named her major Broadcasting and Production and it focuses on a blend of Film Production, Journalism, and Marketing. Her major has allowed her the opportunity to gain experience from the entire realm of media where she dabbles in social media marketing, producing films, and writing as a journalist and reporter. As an Emma Bowen Scholar, she has had the opportunity to work and engage with many media executives from the likes of ABC, HBO, Comcast|NBCUniversal, as well as many others. Lorna has also been a model and actress for the last fifteen years and recently signed with a talent agency to continue working professionally. She is the creator of Sickle Cellebrity, a blog that focuses on bringing to light the rare disease of Sickle Cell Anemia. Lorna is also the blogger of SincerelyLorna.com and is in the process of an exciting new media venture. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.