Corsets,can-can skirts and masks
“Ready when you are, babygirl.”
“Go. Slow. The stage’s all yours.”
I saw Vanessa take a deep breath before picking up the hems of her gown and stepping out into the spotlight. About two minutes later, everyone backstage heaved an almost audible sigh of relief as Vanessa came back through the curtains with her arms in the air doing a silent jiggy.
The show was finally over. One and a half hours ago, when my boss asked me to go visit backstage, I was feeling quite excited. “Backstage” was a 4m by 10m, literally behind-the-curtains, standing-room only space. There were four models with nothing on but huge hair, two make-up artists, three designers, 12 dressers, a choreographer, one of my directors, and one shellshocked little me.
Five minutes later, I was putting on expensive diamond jewellery around the models’ necks, zipping up tight gowns, rearranging nipple tapes, adjusting fringes, holding back the curtain for the models to scramble out of, and coordinating the projection screen slides with the AV guy over the phone. Not bad for someone who showed up at the event thinking she was just there to man the registration booth.
Some of the models were chirpy; there they were in their glamourous gowns, shaking their butts to non-existent music and fooling around. Others were grouchy: “Is anyone going to help me undress or what?” There were the boutiques who really knew what they were doing; the dressers put the gowns on the floor in a row so that when the models return backstage for their second change of dresses, they simply slip out of the ones they have on and step into the new ones. And then there was a boutique who made the models slip out of their own dresses and stand naked in the cold while they try to remember who was supposed to wear what gowns.
The FruitLoop sidled up to me and whispered, “There’s so much boob going on in here even I am shy. Ooh, did you see that one with the saggy breasts?” The runway show was a success. One and a half hours of chaos backstage for us was one and a half hours of smooth, sensual fashion eye candy for all those present today.