Full Figured Fashion Week 2015…through Sarah’s eyes (and heart)

Full Figured Fashion Week 2015…through Sarah’s eyes (and heart)

I’ve sat for a while trying to figure out how to start this blog about the Fit For Me Full Figured Fashion Week 2015 (The “oscars” of the Plus industry).  You see, there are so many emotions behind the epic-ness of this event. From being a little girl who was ridiculed for being fat and just wanting to feel beautiful, to the broken woman who escaped an abusive marriage with an unfaithful man just a mere 3 ½ years ago.  I was a woman who had no confidence, who didn’t see any beauty in herself, who had nothing in her to give, who was just broken and hated herself….fast forward to present day where I know my value, worth and beauty and share my journey to self-love with other women in hopes that they too will learn to love themselves.  To be in a place where I could hold my head up high, shoulders back and rip the runway in New York City at Full Figured Fashion Week 2015…. I sit back still stunned that my reality started out of my dreams…..

So to just write a blog about a great event without telling you the emotional significance behind it to me just really wouldn’t do it justice. So as you read through this blog about this the week, keep in mind my heart of gratitude – gratitude that God took my ashes and made my life into something beautiful, that He turned my mess into a message and that my story is still being written ….

So here’s what happened on my Full Figured Fashion Week 2015 adventure….

Tuesday afternoon I flew into New York City….I texted my mom to let her know I had landed but I probably should have waited until I got to the hotel because I’m pretty sure it’s a miracle we made it alive – I thought Toronto traffic was nuts, it ain’t got nothing on New York City!  We checked into the Affina and although I had hoped to go to the Devoe Magazine launch party, we really got in too late.  So, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to get some groceries and called it a night because Wednesday would be a big day ….

Wednesday morning I met my fellow Canadian model Kaity in the lobby and walked over to our fitting.  I had no idea really what to expect but what I saw was a sea of beautiful models and amazing designers.  Each designer had an outfit pre-chosen for me and I was even added to a couple designer’s lists that morning making a total of 10 designers I had the absolute honor of walking for – 5 per show.  Still battling bronchitis I def wasn’t feeling my greatest but it was so exciting I had forgotten I was so sick. 

Here we are – 4 of the 5 Canadian models and Your Big Sister’s Closet at our fittings.
It was so neat that all the Canadians got to walk for Your Big Sister’s Closet who are not only fab on a persona level but who won Boutique of the year!  Congrats on all you have accomplished Karen and Peter! It was also really special to walk for you guys because your store is where I got my start in modeling less than a year and a half ago! Love you guys!
(Left to Right: Karyn, Me, Karen, Peter, Tierra and Kaity)
Wednesday evening was probably one of my favourite parts of the week – the Curves at Sea All White Boat Cruise.  I had my look all ready, pinned my hair in curls so they’d last longer, took my time getting ready, only for my curls to not turn out as I had planned…but somehow I managed to not only salvage my hair but it’s probably one of my most fav way’s I’ve done my hair.  I chose a dress from SexyPlus Clothing, designed by Kiyonna – the Rumor Dress in White.  I also blinged out the rest of my outfit – shoes, purse, jewelry and even glitter shadow! I felt beautiful and sexy and got so many compliments!   I had the opportunity of meeting so many amazing people that night!  It was really neat to see everyone’s personalities shine through with how they styled themselves in white. 

Thursday morning we had a runway intensive with the Original Runway Diva herself, Sharon Quinn.  Honestly, having time with Sharon and having her wisdom, instruction and guidance was invaluable!  Being a ‘pageant girl’ hasn’t exactly worked in my favour when it comes to runway walk so getting time to pull out my ‘sexy’ was awesome!  The thing that was soooo amazing during this intensive was how the girls came together to help each other, provide feedback on how to be the best you could be and be kind was so beautiful to witness.

Thursday evening we headed to the Cocktails and Conversations with Gwen DeVoe.  It was an intimate event where we got to meet some more people, hang out, chat and enjoy a night on the town.  It was neat to hear the stories of the women’s journeys on the panel.  Every woman I’ve met in this industry has their own story about how they got to where they are, they started somewhere, and they had a dream and now their living it.  It’s so beautiful to be a part of!  I also got to meet some amazing people that night. Thursday night I chose another dress from SexyPlus Clothing by Kiyonna  - The Stop and Stare Ruched Dress in Leopard.  When I got back to the hotel that night, my mom had arrived – I was so elated to see her and have her be there.  She has come to almost every show and has supported me in so many ways!
Ok so let’s talk about the 2 shows….

Friday was our first big day…. The day of the Indie Designer Show.  I had every intention of working out every morning but with being so busy and still being so sick I just slept in every morning and I spent some time reading and journalling.  It seems that when I do events like this I really try and soak it in and am very contemplative.  My mom and I went for coffee that morning before I left and it was so special to have her there.  We talked about some things on my heart and prayed together about the next 2 days. 
Model call was at 11:30 that day and the show as at 7.  The same was for Saturday’s show…what do we do during that time you ask?  Well, we hang out waiting for our turn for hair and makeup, cover my tattoos, eat, sing, take lots of selfies and get to know the other women we get to rip the runway with.  The makeup and hair team were so professional and took care of each of us, not a small feat I can assure you. There were so many volunteers back stage as well.  Seriously, the whole team was just amazing – from Sabrina who helped us with everything and kept us calm, to those who dressed us back stage, fixed our hair and makeup before we went on, fanned us, zipped us.  You name it, they helped and with huge smiles and positive attitudes! 
So who did I walk for on Friday night?  Check out the pics below that were captured by Estrella Fashion Report who did an amazing job of covering the shows and events (she’s also such a sweetheart!) 
From Left to Right, top to bottom:
Just Curves, I’ME by J. Thomas, Boots by Pamela, Sue Rock Originals and Hannah Caroline Couture
After the show we headed to our hotel and it was the best sleep I had the whole week cause I was just exhausted. The next morning mom and I went for coffee again and got to spend some time together and then it was a repeat of Friday night as we got ready.

To be honest, it felt so surreal that this was actually happening the nights of the show.  And we were so busy in between.  On Saturday’s show I had 3 back to back designers which means I got off stage and as soon as I did I started stripping to get ready for my next outfit to be put on and get back up there. It may have been busy in between but I was very focused, that when I was waiting on the stairs before going back out on stage I took a few deep breaths, put my shoulders back and put a smile on my face.  And as I got on that stage I walked with confidence, I walked calmly, I didn’t let myself get frazzled.  It’s all a very different experience for sure.  You think you’re going to see people in the audience but no, when you get on that stage all you see is the end of that runway, lights and cameras flashing!  Everything I learned and rehearsed didn’t matter anymore, I stopped the internal conversation…it was me and the runway, we were one! 

Who did I walk for at Saturday’s Retailers show?  

Photo Credits to: Plus Model Mag who also did a phenomenal job covering the events and shows and Estrella Fashion Report 
Left to Right, Top to bottom:
Your Big Sisters Closet, The Thiq Boutique, Fashionable Additions, Extra Touch and Ashley Stewart

Something else that was really special was I had some friends come and support me at the shows…some from Toronto and one drove from Pennsylvania. It really meant a lot to have the support at the show and from my online supporters and friends back home. 

The week was a big week.  It was emotional.  It was a dream come true.  

Thank you to all those who made it such a memorable experience!!! 

Enjoy some more pics from the week below :)

Stay Beautiful,

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