Fashion Shows: 10 Takeaways I Learned Walking the Runway

beauty & fashionlifestyle

Have you ever attended a fashion show? Always dreamed of going to New York City's Fashion Week? Are you a fashionista at heart?

Fashion Forward Conference

While I definitely appreciate great style, for those who know me well, you know that I'm a fashion week flunkie. Not only did I have tickets to and then miss Jason Wu's fashion show in 2011, but I was back stage with him (as in close enough to shake his hand) and had no idea who he was. Did I just admit that?

In September 2012, Audrey, Nicole, and Vera from Getting Gorgeous and Mom Trends made many mom fashionista's dreams come true when they hosted the first ever mom fashion show by moms, for moms, and only including moms... and even their kids. Fashion Forward, in part sponsored by iVillage, involved brands like Loft by Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, and Eileen Fisher.

But when they asked me to participate by walking the runway, I immediately thought of my previous Fashion Week faux pau and started hyperventilating. I won't lie... I'm hyperventilating a little now just thinking about it and the show has been over for months.

Fashion Forward Conference

The day-long event was open to the public and speakers like Kelly Wallace, chief correspondent for iVillage, and Jill Herzig, the Editor of Redbook shared tips and tricks about working with fashion brands, the latest trends, and inspiring success stories.  While the attendees were gleaning from industry experts, moms were trying on outfits, getting accessorized, and having their hair and makeup done behind the scenes. I felt like a 14-year-old junior high girl, changing in the bathrooms. But, I loved that they made accommodations for us moms.

And then it was time to walk. We all lined up, got prepped for what would happen once we were in front of the audience, and then waited our turn to head down the red carpet. My biggest fear? Wondering if it would be OK to smile. I mean, every fashion show you see, the models look so pouty. That is soooooo not me. The gals running the show said to be ourselves, so I put on a huge grin and said a prayer I wouldn't trip and off I went.

10 Takeaways From Walking the Runway at the Fashion Forward Conference

    1. Remember! There's always a light at the end of every tunnel. I thought the walk down that red carpet would last a lifetime. 20 seconds! That's all it took. Sometimes, we just need to allow ourselves to breathe and remember to put one foot in front of the other.
    2. Fashion Forward Conference Everyone needs to get dressed up every once and a while. While I am most comfortable hanging in my yoga pants behind closed doors, I love getting gussied up when going out. Taking time to primp and pamper is a confidence booster.
    3. Give fashion trends a try. Just when an outfit doesn't seem to match or like something you'd pick out, if the experts say it's "in," don't turn it down. You may end up walking away in the very outfit you originally questioned... and looking all the haute-er for it!
    4. Comfort and style are a great combination. At this point in my life, I'm all about stylish shoes that are the most comfortable possible. Beauty isn't worth the price of painful feet these days.
    5. Get a professional's point of view. Getting my hair and make up done by professionals is the perfect way to learn new tips and tricks. My fave? Learning how much better your foundation looks when preceded by awesome moisturizer applied with a brush. Who knew?
    6. Go outside your comfort zone every once and a while. Stepping onto the red carpet was a great reminder to get outside of my comfort zone and try something new.
    7. Surround yourself with amazing people. The gals in front and behind me in line were so supportive and kind... not to mention fun. My favorite part of this entire experience was the relationships I built or strengthened. Who you associate with in your personal and professional lives can make all the difference.
    8. Don't be so busy driving that you don't enjoy the ride... or miss the scenery completely. Worrying about the 20-second walk on the runway for hours before the event made me miss out on some key connections as well as some amazing speakers. Lightening up, doing your best to prepare ahead of time, and then being your best you is a much better way to enjoy the entire experience and not just the short time you're performing the task at hand.
    9. Don't pay too much attention to the critics. Focus on your goal. Do your very best. No one's words or actions trump what you know is your A game!


  1. Celebrate! Enough said!

Fashion Forward Conference

I appreciate Getting Gorgeous and Mom Trends for inviting me to this conference and allowing me to be a part of it.

What experience have you had that pushed you out of your comfort zone and helped you grow?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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