Closing the Louis Vuitton show – Paris, France. January 2012
I’m wearing a helmet of hair gel. There is absolutely no feeling of movement on my dome when I rock it back and forth – I imagine being bald must feel something like this. I’m wearing a g-string and a suit worth more than everything I own. I’m about to do only my second international runway show since I started modeling only a week prior.
I would have had butterflies in my belly if it wasn’t so chock-full of fancy hors d’oeuvres. Catering had made severa, little houses of bread with sandwiches for bricks and I was the demolition team. Anyhow, the boys and I had probably been standing waiting for 45 minutes with ponchos on top of our suits, so as lint would not take residency on the camels, kangaroos, goats, tortoises and the rest of the “world’s-most-endangered-species” list that was covering us from head to toe. The show itself probably cost the lives of a minor zoo, but I digress. Every five minutes a woman would come over, rub our hands with lotion and tell us to keep them high without bending our elbows so as not to make any creases – all this just to prevent our hands from going pale. Pale hands are unfashionable as fuck.
A mate of mine who I’d met a week before at the Calvin Klein show in Milan, the first show for both of us, was to open the show and I was second. Just like the CK show we were both exclusives. Now I did not know this at that point – this was something I discovered early on about the fashion industry: the model always seemed to be the last to know anything about anything. But to be honest I didn’t really care, at this point in time I was just along for the ride, enjoying every minute of it.
The tones of Giorgio Moroder shot across the futuristic convention center in the outskirts of Paris. The slippery bamboo runway spilled out from a colossal mirror ball hanging from the ceiling. It’s funny, for the first few shows I would get so much adrenaline that the actual walking part became a haze – kind of like when you’ve been in a car crash or a fight and you don’t really remember details afterwards. The adrenaline kick seems to work like that badass gizmo Will Smith blitzes people with in Men in Black – it wipes your memory clean.
Exiting the runway is such a stark contrast to the unaffected demeanor you’re trying to keep when walking: as soon you’re out of the audience’s vision you’re belting for your designated clothes rack, and with the help of anywhere between one to four dressers you’re trying to switch to your next look as quickly as possible – this part is fun. My next look was just as, if not more, dapper than the previous one. I won’t and can’t get into the details of the fit or style of the suit, but aside from the Batman outfit this would probably be my death-row attire. (Medium – Batman Begins version preferably – contact me for shipping address). This was the look I was closing the show with. I know I stated earlier that I don’t have much of a recollection of my first couple of shows, but I do remember being the last guy exiting the runway and taking my time enjoying every second of having the entire catwalk to myself entering as well as exiting. It was like a stroke of gentle lightning hit the tip of my penis.
After a quick round of high fives to the team me and the boys were on the open bar like flies on dog poop. A few more raids to the aforementioned bread castle and I was off. This was the first time I committed the model newb mistake #1, which I still tend to do to this day: not bringing either a hat or shampoo for a job. Walking around town afterwards looking like Slippery McSlimeyson is just not necessary if avoidable. Now I try to remember my trusted Patagonia cap, reverse of course – keep it street.
Two hours later I was sitting alone in my tiny apartment in Montmartre, watching French dubbed wrestling, eating yogurt and canned spinach. The contrasts the job entailed were palpable from an early point on.