Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Showtime...Guest Blog by Joy Bach

Crickets. Shanel let me in to the studio yesterday, but not a word was said. The silence means it’s go time. This is the intense Shanel I know, in the thick of the final stretch. She already met with Neroli for consult on hair and makeup for the show. The jeweler had just left. The clothing stylist was on her way. I snapped a few shots. Shanel made a specific request to Stephanie at Lela to hunt down critical elements for the gowns. Saw some pieces and understood what she meant, but will not reveal a thing. Surprises are in order.

While Shanel continued to sew, the setup for the Show was in progress. Lela Boutique had the city block off Broadway before 11a. Karl’s Rental rolled in, dropped off chairs and started setting up the tent. By dusk, everything was complete. Clearwing Productions arrived by 8a this morning to begin setting up the runway lights first. For liability issues, no one can be in the tent until the lights are hung and secure. Then up goes the runway and sound system. Hopefully done by 3p.

Skinny Girl Margaritas, Absolut Vodka and Folie a Deux wines are all at The Wicked Hop by now, the bar hosting tonight’s occasion. The 15-person team of volunteers are setting up the 300 chairs, filling in gift bags, setting up sponsor signs and making certain the ambience is complete by 4p.

The Lela team will head home, thereafter, to get ready, “no doubt trying everything on in our closets before settling on the perfect outfit for the night. Despite what everyone thinks, we don’t have our outfits planned in advance… in fact most times we are deciding as late as 5:30 that night! We have to be back by 6p!” Carrie chuckles.

In the meantime, the models will arrive for hair and makeup. Not all are familiar with the process, however. “Some of my models are from past shows, some are new. And I have a few young ‘uns.... I will say I’ve never had such good luck with my fittings,” Shanel says, almost surprised.

No rest for the head designer, Shanel will continue sewing and evaluating each piece right up until two hours before the show, where a few 500+ will be waiting to greet her. And their new purchases.

See you in a few hours, Sunshine.

* Come join Shanel next weekend, Sunday, October 3rd. Her trunk show, "Champagne with Shanel" will be held at Lela Boutique, 321 N. Broadway, Milwaukee.

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