by MIKE CHAIKEN
The models are now in place as the weeks count down to the second edition of Hartford Fashion Week.
On a recent Sunday in Hartford, the 10 designers chosen to show their creations on the runways starting Oct. 13 sat at a table for a casting call. The nearly three dozen prospective models filled the Art Space Gallery on Farmington Avenue to show off their runway walk and “their look” to see if they were the right fit for the designers’ visions.
“I want to be in Hartford Fashion Week because I want to further my modeling career for petite models –not just being tall but being healthy and fit,” one of the models, Glenda Nelson, said. “I want to get more exposure to big agencies like Elite modeling agency where they sign a few models who are below height requirements.”
Lucia Osman, another model said, she wanted to walk for HFW because, “As a child no one saw me for who I was. Growing up without my parents, it was hard for me to even ‘find myself.’ After moving to Hartford, a designer, Natasha from Saint by S.J., did a show at my after school program at the YMCA and I was apart of that. During and after the show, for the first time I felt seen by so many people who appreciated me and my beauty. After that, I wanted to do more shows… HFW gave me that opportunity to be a part of something bigger…. I got the chance to meet amazing and talented people and most importantly I found myself and what I love. That moment I step on the runway, the feeling I get, I will never trade that in for anything.
“I’m a model by hobby and genetic luck,” said Haylan Miner-McCarren, said another model at the casting. “After living in the Hartford area for five years, I’ve found that there’s an insane amount of hidden talent in our state. Hartford Fashion Week is an accessible platform for these artists to showcase their work, and I am always so honored to be a part of that presentation. Considering that these home grown fashion shows have been a launching point for many designers’ careers, it could easily be a once in a life time opportunity for both myself and the audience, as the soul and love that is dedicated to these events are as profound and unique as the people that participate.
Model Alexa Pagnani said she wanted to be part of this year’s HFW “because it creates a community where style and passions collide. Creative minds of all kinds have a platform to express themselves and it’s beautiful in a professional setting. I’m thrilled to be cast for Matthew Reisman and Saints by S.J., designers who will be closing both evenings. It was a goal of mine and I was pleasantly surprised to hear my number called.”
Hartford Fashion Week opens on Thursday, Oct. 13 with a VIP preview each of the designers will exhibit at least one garment on a model.
On Friday, Oct. 14, following designers will show on the HFW runway.
Theo’s of Hartford; Troy Anthony; Crinkled Chiffon; ShirleyMarie; and Saints by S.J.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, the designers showing are FasChinn; Zoe Ilana Grinfeld; LàMoo Designs; EKBallroom; and Matthew Reisman
For more information about Hartford Fashion Week, go to Hartford.Fashion