Model Behavior at Boston Fashion Week

Teresa Coburn of Tess, Shirley Willett and Ilma Paixão of Handeira Lace

On Saturday night I worked a fashion show for the Boston Design Lab. BDL was founded by Shirley Willett. Shirley is, arguably, the grande dame of fashion manufacturing here in the Boston area. She has been designing clothes since the 1950s. Her designs are still eminently wearable, as you can see from the website and the pictures below. But one of her most valuable contributions, and in her own words, her legacy, is that she acts as a mentor to young designers in the area, helping them navigate the issues of fit, design for manufacturability and production.

With that as background, Shirley presented a fashion show, part retrospective of her work, and part showcase of emerging designers, at the Hotel Commonwealth. Here are some pictures.
Christine modeling one of Shirley’s sheath dresses from the 1950s.

Allison modeling a pink voile skirt, top and duster from the ’60s.

Sam modeling a leather jumper from the 70’s. I could see someone wearing that today with the right accessories and looking perfectly modern. You can see all the pictures from the event here.

I have to say, this show was really a fun experience. I was the dressing room coordinator. That means I had to make sure that each model went out on time, in the correct outfit, looking perfect. And if the dressers needed help, that was me, too. It sounds easy, and let’s face it, it isn’t rocket science. But it is controlled chaos. In my 12 by 12 foot dressing room, we had two dressers, three models, two hair stylists, a makeup artist and me. It was tight! The models in my dressing room (there were two rooms) were just wonderful. I’ve had some show experience with models who were, well let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend them. All my models in this group were fantastic. Complete pros. I would work with all of them again in a heartbeat.

Well, it’s off to the next adventure. Happy sewing!

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