The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Drastically Appropriate Fashion Show

7:40 p.m. It’s 20 minutes until doors officially open to the public and less than two hours away from show time. There’s a photographer standing at the top of the staircase to snap the first reactions of guests (and more importantly their outfits) upon entry. Her bright red hair and rocker-chic ensemble immediately set the tone for what’s to expect inside.

Once upstairs in the main room, it seems as though a storm is slowly coming to its calm in preparation for the night. Girls dressed in all black are pushing racks of colorful garments back and fourth across the bar. Each rack has a different name-card bolded across the side: “Sirisha,” “Ryan,” “Rehekah,” “Ben,” “Lindsay,” etc. Under each name is a list of four or five numbers: “Sarah – 4, 17, 29, 41.” These numbers correlate to the garments each model is about to rock for the 50-look runway show – in a bar.

On this particular night, Dallas’s popular Uptown burlesque bar, Teddy’s Room, is being taken over by Dallas’s top fashionistas and socialites for Jillian Prado’s fourth annual Drastically Appropriate Fashion Show – an upbeat, trendy runway, in which models will fiercely take on the bar table as their catwalk. The show will feature styles pulled by Prado from local stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Tooties, Cotton Island, Flirt Boutique, Demerera, and Kendra Scott Jewelry.

“My inspiration is always quirky fashion,” says Prado. “It just defines who I am. That’s how I came up with the term ‘drastically appropriate.'” A phrase coined by the eccentric stylist, “‘drastically appropriate’ is always adorable and super appropriate for wherever you’re going out. It’s always something you can wear throughout the day from going to work to going out at night, and it’s always got a really funky twist on it,” says Prado.

 8:00 p.m. Models are sitting in the barstools that – for tonight’s purpose – pose as their vanity areas. A curling iron is plugged in behind the bar, and a hair stylist vigorously whirls piece after piece of her model’s hair through the hot iron. A make-up artist simultaneously applies bright red lipstick to the model’s pouted lips. The model stares at her iPhone sending a tweet to her Twitter followers: “Can’t wait to walk for my girl @Jillian_Prado’s #DAFS @TeddysRoom!” More guests are beginning to arrive.  

“I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a girl having her hair curled and hair-sprayed at the bar counter rather than ordering herself a vodka-cranberry drink,” says Diamond Downs, a local jewelry designer and guest for the night’s festivities. 

One of the models, Lyndsay Quinn, says although she’s never had her hair done while sitting at the bar, this won’t be the first time she’s walked on a bar. Unlike most of the other models that come from a professional agency, Quinn is Prado’s best friend and will be walking in the show for a second year. “I don’t normally model, but it’s my best friend’s show and I wanted to help out,” says Quinn. “I’m excited to get back up there. I think it’s a great time – a lot more low key than other shows. There’s a band playing behind us and it gets everyone pumped up and going. I like to sing and dance as I walk; it’s not a normal fashion show where you have to be super serious.”

8:30 p.m. With only an hour remaining until “lights, camera, action,” the bar is filling up with anxious fashionistas. It’s not your typical social hour, however. It’s more like a social-networking hour. The majority (if not all) of the guests include photographers, bloggers/reporters, designers, stylists, make-up artists, PR people, and others in the fashion industry. Sipping on their drinks and mingling around, this is the perfect time for networking. Business cards are being passed from one fashionista to another and flashes light up the room as multiple pictures are being taken to document the night.

Downs (the jewelry designer) sees a recognizable face across the bar and instantly heads in that direction to introduce herself. “She is like the queen of statement jewelry,” says Downs as she walks towards a short blonde woman with gaudy tattoos on both arms and a chunky red and black necklace across her chest. “She was the only jewelry designer to have her pieces featured with Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit while in Dallas,” she continues. Downs finally approaches the spunky blonde woman, and before she can even take a breath exclaims, “Shona Gilbert! It’s SO nice to meet you. My name is Diamond Downs and I love your work!” They chat for a few minutes, exchange business cards, and snap a quick photo before continuing to mingle around with others at the bar.

9:15 p.m. The room is filling up and band members of The Boss Level, a local funk band, take their places on the lifted stage behind the bar. A DJ was playing music up to this point, but once the band plays the first song the crowd is anxious for the fashion to start.

9:35 p.m. Anticipation becomes frustration as the newly “buzzed” crowd continues to sip on drinks and realize the fashion show is running behind schedule. “I just want it to start already,” says a tall black man sporting an exotic orange Birkin bag to pull his look together. “I’m ready for the fashion,” he says.

10:10 p.m. The lights dim down and the music comes to a halt. Cheering voices and a round of applause masks the still moment. The rising sound of drums begins to fill the room. Cheering continues as the guitarist, bassist, and singer join in coherence. A spotlight appears over the bar, and the first model struts across the counter. She stops in the middle to strike a fierce pose. She’s wearing color-block cream and black pants cropped at the calf paired with a multi-colored striped blouse and hot pink blazer. Her intense turn-around signals the next model to head down the runway.

As each model comes out, a critiquing crowd of fashionistas whispers comments to one another:

Critic 1: “Those pants are hot! I would have done a different top though.”

Critic 2: “That’s a great combination.”

Critic 1: “She’s about to fall over in those heels, girl!”

Critic 2: “That’s what a model is supposed to do. Just rock it. Fierce.”

Critic 1: “He ain’t ghetto enough for those dreads with that outfit.”

Critic 2: “Red leather pants. I need those!”

When it comes to fashion, Prado is clearly against the idea of matching. She prides on mixing different prints, patterns, and colors for a fun, yet, chic and trendy style – and this is clear in her show. Other looks included the combination of a blue floral skirt with a leopard blouse, a one-shoulder sequin top paired with a feathered mini-skirt, and a tribal-print frock dress with a fur vest and brown leather boots.

10:30 p.m. The show is over and the mood returns to sophisticated socializing mixed with some dancing to the live music that continues to play. “I thought the show was great, they had a lot of hot pieces – some could have been critiqued a little – but I loved the show overall,” says Critic 1, Marie McDonald, an image consultant.

10:45 p.m. The cr
owd begins to shrink and friends congratulate Prado on their way out. She thanks her guests for coming and announces that everyone to be sure to take a goodie bag. “I am so happy,” Prado exclaims. “This year turned out so great. It was so smooth, it was super easy, all the models were wonderful, and there was an amazing turnout! Thank you to everyone who made this possible. Looking forward to next year!”

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