Catwalk Confessional

Jab me with pins! Feed me lettuce! Insult my ass! How I became a (not-so-super) model for Voltage, Minneapolis's rock 'n' roll fashion show

I try on a handful of different looks from his Voltage line. First is a gray, backless cocktail gown with a top half that wraps around my neck and down across my breasts...and that's about all there is to it. My chest and stomach are exposed to the world. The bottom half features a wide belt that pours into a flirty skirt—part Lorca, part Katarina Witt.

Moskal crouches down and plays with the hem, apologizing for the stray pins jabbing my thighs. "Where are your knees?" he asks.

I direct him upward and, as he hovers, it occurs to me that he might be discovering something that could be a serious problem. But more on that later.

My next ensemble covers slightly more leg. The bronze cowl skirt sits high on my waist, rippling down my hips like drapery before tapering off around my calves. Instead of hiding a fuller bottom, it creates one, embellishing a woman's natural curves. The look is silky and Arabian, like I'm two seconds from a magic carpet ride.

I pair the skirt with a heather gray jersey top pleated around the bra line. Moskal tugs on the folds around my waist and deems the shirt baggy in the right spots, but ultimately too long. He scribbles notes on a pad of paper and I trot off to change into another outfit.

Despite sporting a bevy of bloodthirsty needles, the next, still-unfinished dress instantly becomes my favorite. Moskal admits that it's the most popular garment among his stable of Voltage models. With dainty polka dots, a baby-doll bust, and billowy sleeves, it exudes a childlike innocence and playfulness. I long to pair it with skinny jeans and bangle bracelets like a chain-smoking Olsen twin, or at the very least to wear it in the show.

 

Time for the elves to do their thing

For all the hustle and bustle I've seen in the designers' apartments, the next week will be when the real work gets done. There's nothing like a showcase in front of a couple of thousand people to force you to make those creative decisions you've been putting off. Either that, or I'll still be getting jabbed by pins during my walk down the runway.

Whatever happens, I'll be posting about it on the City Pages website until the last minute. And unless I fall off the catwalk—and then walk straight out of the country in shame—I'll post some more pictures after Voltage is over.

In the meanwhile, there's not much for me to do now except wait and worry—and pray to the acne gods who reward our virtue by giving us clear skin. Actually, that's not quite true. There is one decision about the show that I've been putting off myself—a painful concession I'll have to make to become a model.

And so to George Moskal, Anne Selden, and Labrador, I make this pledge: On the Tuesday night before Voltage, for the first time in five years, I'll break out a razor and shave my legs.

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