I recently modeled in a fashion show in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, organized by Heels and Heart. This is their second annual show, and the theme was Wearable Art inspired by Alice in Wonderland. As you can imagine, there were a ton of incredible designs (and some super crazy ones as well!). The show included a design competition, and the top three designs were announced at the end of the show. There were as many as 35 paparazzi in attendance and A TON of blog posts written about this event. Of the 10 or so that I read, very few expressed serious opinions one way or another, or called into question the winning design (which I found to be extremely boring, thrown together, and lacking a connection to Alice in Wonderland). Having modeled a different outfit in the show, I admit a certain degree of bias, but even though the design I sported did not win, I would still be able to appreciate the innovation and workmanship of the three that did had I felt they truly deserved to be up there.
Before I continue on this rant, I do want to add that I recognize this competition was to benefit a charity and that truly there should be no hard feelings. That having been said, from a competitive standpoint, I seriously question the judges’ choices for the ‘top designs’ of the evening.
Of the three designs, I felt that Alexis Johnston Bénamou’s design was the only one that truly deserved a top-three placement. And I could have lived with Mahrzad Lari’s design((s)…how did that work?) in third place, but Samantha Cutler’s unfinished chicken wire trashbag of a piece in the top three? Let alone in first!? Come on. You don’t have to know fashion to know there had to have been some other factors going on here. First of all, the outfit at its base is a black skirt/tank top combo with some lacy black thigh highs and black jewelry. Original. The remainder of the costume was an unfinished piece of blue fabric tucked into the back of the skirt and chickenwire and trashbags covered in a boring white fabric rubber-banded at the back. The bulky turtle shell creation covered 3/4 of the outfit and lacked shape and purpose. Alice in NYC? More like Alice if she was a Ninja Turtle. That or the model is doing the walk of shame after a night out – wearing a party dress from H&M and trying to cover herself in a bolster pillow while dragging the sheet that accidentally got caught in her skirt.
There is also no clear correlation to the theme, Alice in Wonderland…oh, wait, the sheet is light blue like the color of Alice’s dress…but then, so are these socks.
My conclusion is that a stray studio light was accidentally pointed directly into the judges’ faces as this design came down the runway. This caused the model to be lit by a glowing halo of light, which led the judges to conclude that she was a deity and therefore could be the only winner. Because there really could be no other explanation for such blatant favoritism and disregard for any sort of fair judgment.
In case you’re curious, here are my personal picks: