by MIKE CHAIKEN
Fashion designers may have been the draw for audiences. But for aspiring models in Connecticut, this past weekend’s Hartford Fashion Week was a chance to fulfill their dreams as well.
Sylvia Labbe of Barkhamsted, 15, found herself walking all three nights of the second annual event. She walked in a special VIP event on Oct. 13, where she wore a gown by designer Matthew Reisman. On Oct. 14, she walked for Troy Anthony Designs. On Oct. 15, she was tapped to wear two garments by Reisman.
“It’s amazing,” said Labbe of the opportunity to model at HFW. “It’s a perfect way to start off my career in being a model. I think it’s an amazing organization and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
“I want to continue to do events like these,” said Labbe. “In the long term, I would love to do bigger fashion weeks, maybe New York and do more print modeling and just work this experience into those.”
Although Labbe walked for three of the nights, the Hartford event was her first ever runway experience. “It was amazing,” said Labbe of her first walk at the VIP night. “Matthew (Reisman, the designer) is amazing. I felt super confident in his dress. It was beautiful. I loved it. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was loving it.”
On Friday night, Labbe wore two outfits from designer Troy Anthony. “I love working with different designers now that I’m seeing it.”
Waterbury native Rozana Tamis has modeled before. But this was her first time at Hartford Fashion Week, being tapped to wear two outfits for Troy Anthony and one for Matthew Reisman.
“I learned a lot of technique (at Hartford Fashion Week),” Tamis said. Additionally, she explained, “I went through a lot of growth. I built up my confidence.” Also she said, she learned about fashion by partipating. “I met a lot of different designers. And I learned about different types of styles and different fashions. It actually motivated me. It was kind of a launching pad to different discoveries in the fashion world. It definitely inspired me to get more into the fashion industry.”
Coraima Boria of Plymouth also was walking for the first time in HFW. However, she had only walked in one other fashion show prior to the state event.
“I think the connections and the people I’ll be meeting today will be really great for future references as far as opening up doors for different opportunities,” said Boria.
Boria said she liked the opportunity of walking in HFW because it gave her a chance to “to represent where I come from and the city (Hartford) I was raised in. It was really exciting for me to be part of something greater in the city.”