Behind the Runway at Martha’s Vineyard’s 2nd Annual Fashion Week

Although it’s much more likely to be recognized as a favorite celebrity vacation spot than as a fashion hot bed, the island of Martha’s Vineyard proved that size is of no consequence when it comes to style at its 2nd Annual Fashion Week.

Executive director Trena Morrison, NYC fashion editor-turned-fashionista-super-mom, founded the event as a means to showcase the tremendous amount of talent and unique style the island has to offer, highlighting new and established designers and stores.  The event also serves to raise awareness about (and benefit) Angel Flight NE, an organization that arranges free flights for those requiring medical care. This year, I got a behind the scenes glimpse (as well as a crash-course runway intro) as I walked for two stores in the final show.

No Naomi Campbell/Tyra Banks drama here. With models way outnumbering stylists, plenty of girls could be seen styling one another’s hair, helping out with a zipper, or reminding a friend where her hit marks were to pose. There were models of all ages and sizes, both from the island and from Dynasty modeling agency, and, being 5’8″, I was just happy to find myself completely average-sized with heels on for a change!

A lot was exactly how I imaged it would be – the clouds of hairspray, passing of curling irons, and frantic search parties for spare bobby pins - but then there were the unexpected last-minute emergencies and improvisations that even the most seasoned vet could not have seen coming (did I mention I had to borrow one of the male model’s socks?). Looking around a bit nervously from my place as second in line, if anyone else had butterflies they definitely hid them well, but as soon as I hit the runway the adrenaline took over and I couldn’t wait to go out again.

So how did Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week size up compared to NYFW? I guess you could say it’s like comparing apples and… grapes. MVFW pulled through with a swanky venue, killer DJ’s, a full house, and, of course, plenty of talented designers and stylists just like its Big Apple counterpart (only on a smaller and more personal scale). It’ll be interesting to see how MVFW evolves over the next few years, and although this may have been the extent of my runway career, I have no doubt that this is the beginning of a long and rich fashion tradition on the island.

By Grace Romanowsky, Staff Writer

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October 6, 2012