Over the past five years, I’ve had the good fortune of working with many talented photographers as a freelance model. Runway modeling, however, was something I wanted to try but I don’t fit the standard giraffe-like physique often required. VALT prides itself on representing a different type of fashion event that is much more community-based and embracing of all types of individuals. In line with this philosophy, they cast models representing a wide spectrum of looks to have their moment in the spotlight, while also showing the audience that clothes don’t only look fabulous on one body type.
Arriving at the dressing room to prep for VALT’s closing night, I was greeted by beautiful women and men of all shapes, sizes, and ages, including a 5-month pregnant model who wasn’t going to let a baby bump get in the way of doing what she loves. The night’s theme was ReVelation which was interpreted by Kat Morris, VALT Aesthetics Director, into an exotic Egyptian beauty look for all the models. Eyes were shaped into a cat’s eye and shadowed in light purple with a dark red lip, while the cheeks were contoured in brown. Hair was teased and flat ironed into huge fluffy cotton ball puffs, anchored by multiple braids on top of the head. The finished look was dramatic and meant to evoke a sense of royalty.
I was excited to represent local designer Kjaer Pedersen whose K-O.Me brand specializes in one-of-a-kind silk garments that fit every body and are often unisex. I had recently modeled in her beautiful flowy pieces for a lookbook photoshoot, and so was already a fan of Kjaer and her creations. Kjaer made an adorable black and white skulls cropped top and flirty skirt especially for me to wear for VALT, what a treat. They were very comfortable and easy to wear, with a hint of naughtiness as my black bra kept peeking out from underneath the top.
I was nervous leading up to showtime, as I recalled clips of models making all kinds of spectacular spillages on the catwalk that I couldn’t help cackling at. Now it was my turn to walk in their shoes, literally. It also didn’t help that there was leftover lube on the runway from an earlier performance. Insider tip: spritzing hairspray onto the bottom of your shoes before walking onstage helps considerably! With the pumping dance music, as well as many friendly faces in the crowd cheering me on, I pushed through the nerves and had a blast on the catwalk. I felt like the popular girl in school for a second, and it was kinda nice.
Thank you VALT for the opportunity and to Kjaer for the chance to bring your creations to life. Hooray to passion and teamwork!
Runway photos by Ed Ng Photography
Backstage photography by Aurora Chan