Fashion shows aren’t for the faint of heart, especially when you are a three-year-old.
At a club on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, just off the Sunset Strip, Baby Celebration held their Infant and Toddler Fashion Show featuring merchandise from Innovative Baby, Hopscotch Designs and many more. When I walked into Social Hollywood, the first thing I wondered was, "Who are these people that come to toddler fashion shows?" I didn’t see or recognize any other journalists in the audience.
I sat next to a rosy-cheeked pregnant woman who immediately said hello, shook my hand and asked me what I did. I answered that I was a journalist and she told me that she "worked" for Next Models. "Oh, cool," I said and then I asked her if she worked in bookings or as an agent.
"No, I’m repped by them, in the maternity division."
How odd, I thought, I’ve never had a model tell me that she worked for an agency. Models are repped by them, not employees of one. Regardless, she also told me about her husband who was an actor and I’ve already forgotten what stuff he was in, so that shows you how fascinating she was.
I looked around. While peppy music played in the background–you know the kind of music that is on the Disney channel, neither rock, nor pop, nor folk, basically crap–an adult woman dressed as a fairy godmother walked onto the runway. I found her traumatizing. Imagine a large sparkly pink gown with a wasp waist, a lacy bolero jacket, many coats of purple eyeshadow, cheap-looking fairy wings and a blond up-do with curls (crunchy curls, the kind that look shellacked with hairspray).
"Hello children," she said (although there were very few children in the audience). "I’m your Fairy Godmother."
You could see kids peaking out from behind the screen, clinging to good-looking adult helpers dressed all in white.
As the fairy godmother read out the first name of each toddler and described what they were wearing, a little kid would emerge, sometimes after great delay, either being dragged or carried by the people dressed in white T-shirts and jeans, or marching down the runway by themselves. Some chewed candy or sucked lollipops (no healthy snacks here) as the photographers waved at them frantically, trying to get the kids to face the right direction. Some looked cute, others like this one little boy, who had a classically Dutch face and page boy haircut, looked like he was ready to step onto a psychiatrist’s couch. I hope he won’t have to pay millions in analyst’s bills in his future. This kid wore black feathered wings–yes wings!–striped skintight jeans with silver pinstripes, a mini waiter-style tuxedo jacket with a gold and black checkered lapel, a black fedora, and GOLD cowboy boots. He also carried a walking stick. The poor thing looked like a creature out of Anne Rice’s imagination, or a deified Bavarian hiker. My heart kind of clenched up when I saw him walk out there.
The other interesting thing I enjoyed was trying to pinpoint each child’s personality. With some of them you could already see their character emerging. One little girl, a less attractive version of Mary Jo Bennet, pranced up and down the runway with a sinister smile. I’m serious, this little girl was creepy. And she clearly loved the fashion show more than any of the other kids. I was dying to see what her mother was like.
Others were darling; I mean they’re all cute little kids. They’re babies. But I found it disturbing that many of them looked like they had no idea what was going on, but had an inkling that they didn’t like whatever it was. Especially when they when this one little girl looked up dubiously at the well-endowed fairy godmother before she tentatively held out her little paw. Then they walked up and down the aisle, the little girl ignoring the fairy godmother the entire time. Those kids…they knew that something was wrong.
Anyway, as soon as it was over, I had get out of there. As I waited for my car at the valet, I scanned the mothers. Most seemed harried, others were low-key. I mean who knows why they make their toddlers model? Then I saw the mother and the sinister little girl. The mom was blond and Stepford-like. She was also emaciated. She stood there utterly bored, ignoring her child and the other mothers. Then she daintily waddled into the street and stepped into her beamer. Weirdness! All I know is that if I ever have a kid, I don’t think I want to put them through that stress.
No more toddler fashion shows for me.