True Story: Our Intern Filled in for a Model During Fashion Week

The below story is a firsthand account from one of StyleCaster’s interns—or Junior Team Members, as we call them—about what happened when she was helping out at a New York fashion show and ended up filling in for a no-show model.

I had no idea what to expect from my first week of interning at StyleCaster. Using “The Devil Wears Prada” as a frame of reference, I expected to be fetching coffees and Hermès scarves left and right for my boss. Okay, maybe not, but I definitely didn’t expect to be modeling in a New York Fashion Week presentation a few days in.

Me, on a normal day.

Me, on a normal day.

MORE: We Asked 40 Designers: What Would You Win a Gold Medal For?

It all started when I ran an errand at the event space where the DEGEN fashion presentation was being set up Friday morning.

While sipping a cup of green tea (and being totally transfixed by the giant rainbow on stage), I met the line’s designer, Lindsay Degen, who was concerned because one of the models hadn’t showed up yet. Suddenly, her eyes landed on me.

I knew at that moment what she was thinking. She then looked right at me and said “Could you?”

MORE: First Look: Designer Lindsay Degen Makes Crocs Look Cool

Because what girl doesn’t secretly dream of being a model, I immediately agreed—with a little trepidation.

I was swiftly directed to hair and makeup where they started braiding my hair into little pieces all over my head.  As my hair was being done, they simultaneously wiped off all the makeup I had on and started sponging on god knows what.

MORE: Fashion Week Power List: 50 People To Know

One woman took my hands and started sticking on fake cloud and rainbow nails.  The end result was a look that can only be described as a grungy, dreadlocked, fashion-loving sprite. Not exactly a look you’d catch Candice Swanepoel sporting, but hey, this is New York Fashion Week.

The next thing that happened is what kind of makes this whole story: Lindsay comes up to me with a worried look on her face.

Me, after the Degen team got a hold of me.

“You’ll have to wear pasties—is that okay?”

When I heard pasties, I immediately thought I would just have to wear a sticky bra under whatever top I was wearing. Oh no, silly me. Instead, I was outfitted in a sweater where there were cutouts where my boobs are!  I cannot describe to you what was going through my head at that very moment.

Untitled 2

All I can say is that it was too late to go back, and I knew I’d never get another chance to be a model during a New York Fashion Week.

I was directed to the outfit room, where I proceeded to put on drawstring leggings, a skirt, socks, platform boots, a choker, and the terrifying boob-less rainbow sweater.

To make matters more awkward: While I was getting dressed, the woman in charge proceeded to tell me I had “adorable areolas.” Yeah, I died. The final touch? Duct tape fastened to said adorable parts to protect my modesty. Too late!

For the presentation, all the models had to stand under a giant rainbow on a stage. All I had to do was keep the same pose and look at photographers.

Since my outfit was by far the raciest, I got a lot of attention. I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was good or bad attention.

At one point, I got so much attention that the male model in front of me asked me to trade places with him. In addition to all the flashes from the camera, the lights from the rainbow would constantly change and occasionally a strobe light would come on. After an hour of this, the lights went off.

Despite the years of therapy I’ll probably need after this morning, I am happy to have this story under my belt. No one will ever be able to question my dedication to a job ever again.

And as for Degen, I hope she gets great reviews. From what I’ve seen today, she definitely earned it (and so did I!).