Fashion Week Take Two: Los Angeles

Earlier this month I went to Los Angeles to walk in Fashion Week (for a second time!) for my friend and favorite designer, Kristi Fitzpatrick of George + Ginger. If you missed my first post about walking in New York Fashion Week, check it out!

Talk about a whirlwind. New York was a great trip, but my weekend in Los Angeles was fast, sleepy, and absolutely crazy wonderful. I woke up at 1:30 am, drove to the shuttle in Duluth, shuttled on down to the airport in Minneapolis, flew out to LA, Lyft-ed to downtown, checked into my AirBnB, walked to the Grand Sheraton, and checked into the Society Fashion Week at 2:30. Did the whole getting ready, walk in a fashion show thing, and then crashed into my bed at the AirBnB at 11:30 PST, aka, 1:30 AM CST— as in, I managed to stay awake for a whole 24 hours. Which is no small feat once you’re 30 and the mother of three.

What a CRAZY 24 hours.

Ha!

I don’t know if it was my sleepy, just-getting-by state, or the fact that this was my second rodeo, but I was so much more relaxed and had so much more fun at the show!

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It was so fun getting to see some people for a second time, as well as meet new sewing people that I’ve known forever (cough, Rachelle from 5 out of Patterns, cough!).

Everyone popped right down and got to work helping out with make-up.

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Kristi’s collection for this show was totally on point. Absolutely blew it out of the water.

She used black and white fabric from a variety of custom fabric hosts, a lot of whom I’ve sewed sample fabrics for before. This fabric I’m wearing is from Fabric Anthropology.

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And then, she laced me up in the welded corset. What?!

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I love how the metal was incorporated into all the pieces. Hair, make-up, and then that whole hurry-up-and-wait thing. Haha!

It was a BIG show with 10 or 12 designers showing. My absolutely favorite designer at the show (besides G+G, of course!), was jus10h. Seriously, please go check him out. Not only was his collection amazing, but he was so stinkin’ nice when I was fan-girling all over his collection while we were waiting in line for the runway.

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I was so tired, and not at all nervous this time. It was a bummer because I feel like I could have done better, but I got thrown off because of how fast we were being sent out on the runway . . . but in true theatre style, you just go with it. Don’t tell Mike, but I should probably just do one more show so I can absolutely nail it. Third time is a charm, right?

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I’ll tell you, I shouldn’t be allowed to go last though. Stick me in the middle where I have to conform a little more. Because in truth, I ad libbed a little too much in the finale, haha. It was the theatre girl in me, I couldn’t help myself. The pictures make me look cool and collected, but I promise the video shows what an absolute dork I am, ha!

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This collection was absolutely amazing, and these photos don’t do it justice- the details of the metal were awesome. There’s a floral metal crown, and some welded handbags in there too!

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After that crazy, crazy day, I had a full day in LA all by myself to do whatever I wanted. So obviously, first I slept in. Ha! Then I headed to Pasadena to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I may or may not have teared up a little when I was walking in, I was just so happy. Legit flea markets are what my dreams are made of.

I was staying in downtown LA, so it was cool to take the drive up to Pasadena and check out more of the city besides just DTLA.

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I bought five dresses at the flea, including three from Carly here, who is an absolute gem (she has Twiggy eyes, my friends). She had such a great collection of vintage dresses, including a whole slew that were from the set of the Astronaut’s Wives Club. (My dress is from Apple Thief Vintage, one of my favorite vintage shops on Etsy.)

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I spent FOUR hours at that flea market. It is GIGANTIC. Afterwards, I went to the famed Santee Alley and the Fashion District. Santee is a whole lot of cheap fashion jammed into an alley. Definitely a cool walk around, but not quite what I was expecting.

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I couldn’t leave the fashion district without some fabric, so I stopped into Michael Levine. It is a great store (they also sell on-line). I went into the main retail store, but right across the street, thy have a Home Decor store, as well as the Loft, where you can buy fabric remnants by the pound.

The main store had a fantastic selection of designer remnants that were $5 a yard, and I picked out five cuts of fabric. Shout out to Lupe, who provided me with WONDERFUL customer service. It was a delight to talk to her and she was so helpful. Probably like fabric stores used to be ;)

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Here’s the part of the story where I lugged my flea market finds, 15 yards of fabric, and 12 spools of serger thread the 3/4 of a mile back to my AirBnB. It was heavy. It was a struggle. People looked at me.

After dropping the goods off, I headed to The Broad, a contemporary art museum. I LOVE sculptures, and I especially loved their collection of Andy Warhols. Here are some of my favorites.

If you’ve never traveled by yourself, I highly recommend it. It was a lot of fun to just do things on my own, at my own pace, whatever I wanted. I dare say, it was relaxing, haha. And I LOVED Los Angeles. To be honest, I was initially really only excited about my NY trip, and was feeling pretty ‘meh’ about LA. But I really enjoyed LA, the people, the slower pace than NYC, just the total vibe. And it was even cloudy and uncommonly cool the whole time I was there, so it wasn’t even like the sunshine and warmer temps swayed me, haha.

Overall, I left feeling just stupid, crazy blessed. To have the opportunity for some time away from real life, to get to be a part of something so cool and creative as fashion week, and to have a family that supports all that.

I also left wearing this ridiculously amazing vintage set. Ha! <3

xo- Molly

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Adding "Runway Model" to My Resume: New York Fashion Week

When Kristi from George + Ginger announced last spring that she would be participating in Fashion Week this fall I immediately started a plan to save my pennies so that I would be able to tag along. Over the course my pattern testing, I’ve done more with G+G than any other indie pattern designer, and I think it is ah-maz-ing that she’s taking her pattern line to the next level. I missed her debut at New York Fashion Week back in February, owing to the fact that, oh, you know, I was having a baby. So I was thrilled that she was going to be showing collections again this fall (thrilled for her, and for me, because I was dead set on getting to go see one of her shows!). She was actually signed to show collections in three places—New York, London, and Los Angeles!

In July, she gave me the official invite, not just to tag along and watch, but to actually model for her. Insert jaw drop here. I also got the official okay from Mike to go to both New York AND Los Angeles. Sneaking away for solo trips when you have three kids (three kids four and under at that) is seriously crazy, so I was so stinkin’ excited that we were able to talk it out and work it out so that I could do both (and shout out to my MIL for helping out with child care to make it happen!). Guys, I was literally bouncing around the house that day, I was so excited. I mean, I don’t even break 5’4”, I walk into to things on the daily, and I’m a mom of three living northern Wisconsin . . . getting to say I walked in the Fashion Week was never really an idea on my radar. And if you’ve seen pictures of me from high school, you’d also believe that I’ve never been one of those “I’ve always wanted to be model” girls, ha! But I was so excited to be a part of it— the art of it, the creative process, this piece of the world of fashion.

I was also really stinkin’ nervous in a weird way. So, I didn’t really tell people about it because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. People were on a need-to-know-basis. I mean, my SIL was coming along with me to NY, and I didn’t even tell her what I was doing, haha.

September came, and I jetted off to NY, meeting my SIL in Minneapolis along the way. I’ve never been to New York, so we had some sight-seeing scheduled, along with a Broadway show. We did a bus tour, explored Chinatown and Little Italy, went to see Mean Girls on Broadway, went to Madame Tussaud’s, went to Top of the Rock, and spent a lot of time hanging out in the hotel lobby, watching the models from other shows (it was so fun to people watch!). We stayed right in Midtown. Next time, I’d much rather stay somewhere else . . . maybe Brooklyn? That’s probably more my vibe, haha.

I also sewed allllmost everything I packed (except for the 80s strapless dress I wore to see Mean Girls!), so if you’re interested in the sewing aspect, pop over to the George + Ginger blog, where I shared everything I sewed for the trip!

I was SO excited to meet Kristi. I’ve pattern tested for her for over 2.5 years now, and have come to know her pretty well over that time. I've loved getting to “work” for her, and after all that time, it was awesome getting to meet her. I definitely squealed.

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The day of the show, we checked in at the crack of dawn. The absolute worst part is that no food or beverage is allowed back stage. See that cup of coffee? I need about eight more to properly function.

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We had five hours to prep- hair, make-up, get dressed.

Most commonly used phrase to describe the morning: “Hurry up and wait.”

It was insanely cool being backstage. You’re not just with your designer and her models, you’re with everyone getting ready for that show (there were five designers in ours), so there are a ton of people getting ready in such a wide variety of designs. It’s really inspiring.

I loved that Kristi had such a variety of people walking for her. People from random sewing people like me, to inspiring models, to Victoria Henley who was on Cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model. And a variety of shapes and sizes— this was not a one-size-fits-all show. <3

I thought for sure, with how much theatre experience I’ve had, that I wouldn’t be nervous about this. But I definitely was. I tried to reframe it a little. ‘Oh, that pit in your stomach, that’s just excitement! You’re not nervous, you’re excited,’ I said to myself as I waited in line to for my turn.

And it goes SO fast. All that hype, all those nerves, and really the actual runway walk goes so fast. You walk right towards a whole lot of camera flashes, strike a pose of two and then walk back. Five seconds of fame ;)

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It was pretty awesome getting to wear a Kristi original . . . and, bonus, it’s in my closet right now! We got to keep out outfits.

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Afterwards, press photos. That I can do, haha.

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Overall, it was a great trip. I gotta say though, I didn’t love New York as much as I thought I was going to . . . just the chaos of the city made me appreciate where I live. I sighed in relief when I got to MSP and saw a Caribou, haha.

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Read on about my trip to LA Fashion Week! <3

xoxo

Molly

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