Nov 20, 2009

Dez's fashion show

I went to to a club downtown this evening to watch my friend Dez participate in a fashion show. It was a bit on a whim. Dez texted me on Wednesday, after we had run into each other on campus. She wanted to know if I would like to come watch her in a fashion show. I would get in the club for free, and get to hang out. Can't complain about free entrance to a night club, especially downtown. They tend to have expensive cover.

An event like this is not usually something I like to go to alone. It seems a bit odd to me to show up and sit by myself or generally be singular at something like this that begs for company. As it turned out, Dez had invited others, whom I knew, but leading up to the show I was at a loss as to what to do.

My sister is the perfect tag along for these events, she's classy enough to make me look decent for bringing her, but she's also family so if there is some type of potential for a romantic connection she doesn't get in the way. Unfortunately, she had plans for the evening and was unavailable. The next step is to find someone who isn't family but fits the same criteria as my sister... Not always easy.

The names of two women came to mind, but for various reason neither of them would have been appropriate. Sure, both passed the classiness test, but one had already met Dez and there seemed to be some tension and since the night was about Dez, I didn't want to deal with the possible backlash.

The other woman hasn't met Dez and, if I can help it, never will. I know that sounds terrible, but since I have somewhat of a romantic interest in her it just didn't seem prudent to bring her around.

I ended up asking my friend Reynolds to tag along. He works because he's into fashion and fashion shows, having covered one for the Banner. Plus if something went down, he'd know when to step aside. A good wingman is hard to find!

It's amusing because Reynolds and I had a conversation about what we would wear to the club. "This is a fashion show, right? So we need to be stylish as well," he said. I had to agree, this would be a night to raise the bar on the clothing options. It worked out well because the night club, Umbria, was real swanky.

I parked my car at Reynolds' apartment and then he and I hopped the orange line downtown and walked over to Umbria. The place has a restaurant on the first floor and while the night club is on the floors three through five in the five story walk-up building. I've been to clubs in the downtown area and the price point for them is more or less the same. A cover in the mid teens and $10 drinks all night. Umbria was no different. Not exactly a cheap night out, but they can be fun if you know going in that you're going to drop some money on the evening.

There was a bit of a snafu at the front door. I gave Dez my and Reynolds name under the impression that we would be granted free entry. Turns out we were only on a list that got us discounted entry. I felt bad because I told Reynolds it would be free to get in, so I picked up his cover and mine.

The night club opened at 10 p.m. and the show was supposed to start at 11 p.m. Reynolds and I got into the club and went to meet up with some friends who were hanging out with Dez on the top floor. I found out that the show was for a local designer, as well as a local photographer. The setup was such that the "models" walked down a set of steps and across a roped off area of the dance floor on the fourth floor, holding photos.

Dez was still getting makeup done when we go upstairs, but her friends, Dan and Deirdre, were already there. The four of us hung out while Dez flitted about, receiving instructions and otherwise prepping for the show. Dan, who is in grad school with me and Dez, had a camcorder with him and was taping the show, or at least trying to. He talked his way into the club for free by claiming to be sent there to report on and cover the fashion show. True to his word, he walked around talking to people, mainly models, asking them questions about the preparation process. I'm not sure how successful he was because he kept complaining about the low lighting in the club which made it difficult to conduct interviews.

By 11:15 p.m., the show hadn't started. Reynolds informed me that fashion shows, like theater shows, never started on time. I wasn't too concerned because the club gave us free champagne while we waited for the show to start. Great technique, really, free booze to keep you complacent. I took the time to chat with Deirdre, who I had met before, but really know all that well despite us both being friends with Dez.

At 11:30, the show started, so we went down one floor to watch "Sexy Desi" strut her stuff. She looked great. Her hair, was spiked up in an outrageous style that completely worked for her, and her makeup was phenomenal. I'm not usually one to notice things like makeup. If it's done well, you shouldn't notice it which makes sense. Props to who ever did her makeup because. Even though I could tell she was wearing it, it accentuated her cheeks and really drew proper attention to her face. The clothes seemed nice enough. I can't say I was blown away by the collection but the photography was very nice. The models almost felt secondary to the photos, one model even walked the "runway" with a camera taking shots of the audience. Dez walked twice, and really seemed to enjoy herself. Inspired by the photos on display by the models, I tried to get creative in the way I took photos of Dez. It didn't quite work out because the bouncers wouldn't let me get low to the ground or move around too much. I'm not nearly as good as the photographer on display but I'm happy with my work! I got photos of Dez doing her thing and had fun doing it. For me, this photo captures the spirit of the evening. It was all about having fun and being out with good company. As Dez said later in the evening, "not bad for a Friday night out, right?" I couldn't agree more.

I was glad I could make it out. Dez and I haven't seen much of each other this semester. As our program comes to an end, we've both been really busy. When we get busy events like these become all the more important. They act as a means of staying in touch and showing our friends that we still and truly care even if we don't get the chance to say it. Dez sent me a text before the show saying "I'm glad you're coming :)" Maybe it was just standard politeness, but thank you for reaching out. It's these type of connections strengthen friendships.

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