When I was in high school I got scouted to model for Esprit. The company was (is?) based in San Francisco and did a lot of local looking around when it came to shooting for their campaigns. Schools and streets, not agencies, were their preferred source for faces. They picked a motley assortment of students from my school and the few shots I still have are a reminder of how cool Urban High School was. If I weren’t putting duck noodle soup on layaway in NYC, I’d be a more literal supporter of the place.
At any rate, on the morning of the shoot, I got up early and curled my hair. I was really into hot, plastic rollers at the time. They gripped your hair with teeth and molded your flat brown hair into luxuriant, cascading tresses. When I arrived at the warehouse for the shoot, my luxuriant, cascading, post-curling tresses were immediately re-rendered flat and straight by a stylist’s dryer. This baffled me. Then I sat on some weird band equipment while they took photographs and I felt really, really embarrassed about my hair. It was so flat and boring and straight! Did they know nothing of hot, plastic rollers? The possibilities of the glorious, cascading tresses they produce? Who were these people?
Some of those people, at least the high school students, went on to glossy careers modeling for some well-known designers. I went home, declared my unswerving commitment to modeling despite the hair situation and was told, basically, that it would all be possible upon completion of my undergraduate degree, initial and relatively high paying first job, graduate school—law school or medical school, either one, really—and then, you know, of course you could go into modeling. You could go right into it, no problem. Just after all that.
So it began and ended in an old warehouse in San Francisco. Now it’s fashion week in New York, something I’ve never been too plugged into to say the least. But today I saw these amazing photographs from backstage at Jason Wu shot by Josh Haner for the New York Times. What a story these photos tell. This one here, I mean, could you not cut the world with the glare from that model in the middle? What is the what is the what?! I saw this shot and cringed. It’s just so rich with the sneer and bravado of a field these young women will so rapidly depart. And I fully admit to thinking—maybe after law school, and then medical school, and then a few sensible years working, I don’t know, for Unilever, you know, you can go back and see what this Jason Wu is up to, young lady.