Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

February 09, 2007

The High-Heeled Take a Fall - Off the Runway

I have definitely not been dressing to impress at the tents. Jeans, flat shoes, and maybe a dressy jacket on a good day. Slap on some makeup, and I'm good to go. I was dressed to be comfortable standing around for a few hours. Looking around, it was clear that most of the women (and some of the men), were not taking practicality into account. Not surprising, given the event!

Honestly, I felt like I was the only girl in the place not wearing towering heels, except for the working crew (most of them, anyway). Obviously, my runway view while standing would have been slightly better had I been wearing heels - but is 5'2" going to be much better than 4'10" anyway?

I was in the waitlist/standing line a lot of the time, and every so often, I'd hear a resigned variation of the "my feet hurt" refrain. Unsurprising, given the huge numbers of wedges, pumps, and boots around me. I do wonder, however, if their footwear choice would have been slightly different had they realized how booby-trapped the tents are!

Most of the uncarpeted lobby is cobblestoned - which is difficult enough to manage when it's well-lit, you're sober, and not tired! Right before the shows start letting people in, it's often incredibly crowded in the lobby, so it's easy to lose your footing as well.

But once you get past security to enter the show corridor (past the security guard in the 3rd picture), you need to navigate up the stairs. So, going up is no big deal really, but I've already seen, firsthand, three young women go tumbling down the flight while coming out of the show, into the lobby. Twice, a security guard caught them, midflight. Once, the woman actually landed, but luckily didn't hurt herself. I wonder if the vast number of security guards are really there to protect us from ourselves more than to prevent disorderly conduct!

During shows, all eyes are on the runway, and model wipe outs become something of a shocking and tragically memorable mishap. But come on, these girls are actually professionals! The shoes are super-strapped to their feet (see my commentary here on dressing them). Not only are the runways flat and the women practiced, but most of the shows put a plastic sheet over them to protect the surface from any dirt or loose pebbles that could lead to disaster. The sheet comes off moments before the start. If anyone should be worrying about a spill, it's the audience!

House lights are usually not so illuminating, and the seats are jammed right into each other. Narrow risers and stairs are almost unavoidable. Electrical lines, tripod legs, and taped signs on the floor give plenty of snaggable opportunities. Believe me, I've been in the stand room sections a lot - all the way up in the nosebleed section. It's pretty damn steep and you don't want to fall down the stairs!

If you're lucky and are cool enough to get a seat by invitation (or fast enough to snag one when they need to fill up the house), you have 15 minutes of seated bliss. The standing room section is not kind to those that can't keep their balance. When the lights are off, and everyone's shifting around to get a good look, it sometimes feels like the subway during rush hour.

Once the show's over, the mad surge by the entire audience to the lobby is another source of consternation. Good luck with the stairs, wires, impatient people, and everything else in your way! You're won the game if you make it outside onto the sidewalk without any mishaps.

I tell you, looking fabulously fashionable isn't easy! You're freezing in your skimpy outfit (or boiling with your fur coat inside), your bag's huge and heavy, your feet hurt like hell, and your shoes just might get you killed. But really, if you aren't suffering, you aren't trying hard enough! How else will you get in that shot, taken by an intrepid photographer? Well, you definitely won't be seeing me in any fashion spreads this week. I'll pass on the photo-op and aim for practical (and less costly) comfort!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi small sense,

Maybe you can try .. they have alot of boutique brands that run alot smaller than national brands. I got a Rachel Pally dress in XS, which fits perfectly, but at a national retailer like Banana Republic or Ann Taylor Loft I'd have to go for the XXS Petite section.

(Btw, I'm 5'0, 98 pounds).

February 11, 2007 4:34 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll have to give it a try. Hopefully, there selection is better than at Saks or Bloomingdales, since the designer labels are the same.

February 11, 2007 9:07 PM  
Anonymous holly said...

well, you could have gone for the 4 inch heels, plus the old stand on a step trick, and you'd be!, well, still shorter than a lot of the models are in bare feet. sigh.......

March 20, 2007 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee, did you have to phrase it that way holly? would it have been worth it amy to go the route holly sguggests, or better to just stand there at 4ft10 in flats and hope for the best?

March 20, 2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've noticed a disturbing trend in female runway models lately. more and more of the women are over 6ft tall. it's going the opposite way that it should. newer models michelle buswell, tiiu kuik, oluchi, hana soukupova, karolina kurkova, ana hickman, vera gafron, asia pulco are all between 6ft1 and 6ft3. here's a photo of 6ft3 michelle buswell to give you an idea......|1&axs=0|55832809%2c2284147%2c2284146&id=55832809

May 20, 2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

6ft3, holy crap. i read in some other post someone asking you amy if you were tall enough to reach the dress zippers on the models when you were dressing them. well, after seeing this photo i'm actually wondering if you or i would be able to reach the top zip on a model 6ft3 like this girl. scary. what do you think?

May 21, 2007 9:49 PM  

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