I wrote this about five weeks ago when casting was occurring for Midwest Fashion Week, an annual fashion event that occurs twice a year here in Indianapolis to show off the designers here in Indianapolis and neighboring areas. The money is collected and up until this year, was used to fund Autism research. I am not sure who it will be funding next year. I have tried to contact Berny Martin and the contact information on the Midwest Fashion Week for their response, and none have been given. Since they have refused to respond, I needed to publish this (I have waited long enough) and will have to present this without their information that was requested. The “Fashion Week” company that runs several fashion shows around the country indicated that this wasn’t one of their events.
One thing that you hear about the fashion world is that it is a dog eat dog world. This couldn’t be something that I agree with more, but a lot of this is because of those who run the fashion world contribute to this occurring. Let me give you some idea of what happened this past weekend. Keep in mind that I am generating this as an outsider and someone who talked to a couple people involved, and that I wasn’t there for what went on. This means I am basing what I put here on my sources who were there. On to what was written a while ago.
This past weekend, one of our local fashion shows had one of it’s last casting calls. While this was going on, one of the models passed out who was 14 years old. None of the organizers seemed to care or even responded…she was just left there, passed out on the floor. There were no parents or guardians with her because the show producers had requested that parents not be around while the designers did their thing and there was limited space for the people who were doing casting. Part of this is the level of undress of the models while being fitted. Initially, there was only one person, another model, there to help this 14 year old. No one else helped her. No one knew what was going on with her and that model did everything she could to help the fallen model. As time went on, another person helped — another model — but only after she had her outfit to wear. Neither of the models had training in first aid. The first model was penalized by the producers and designers for going to the aid of the model in distress. I talked with one of the models who helped, and she indicated that she was already selected to be fitted for one of the designers. Yet, after the crisis, she was told that there were no more outfits to be fitted. Someone else stepped in and was fitted for that same outfit. Welcome to the dog eat dog world. Part of the reason for this, if you ask a designer, is that they over book their outfits to be worn in the rare instances that someone else is selected and booked with another designer.
From my understanding, there were over 200 models who were in attendance at this casting event. The producers obviously didn’t have anyone there for problems of a medical nature. Yes, there shouldn’t be problems. Anyone in the military or who has been in a band, and you know how easy it is for someone to pass out from just locking your knees. Add that you are dealing with models, and you also know that some of them haven’t eaten anything prior to the casting call (or photo shoot). You also have a lot emotions running high. It really doesn’t take much for something to happen. With the number of people there trying out, shouldn’t there have been someone with some kind of first aid training? To me, this is a huge oversight on the producers part. This could have been significantly more serious than it was.
Another issue is that not only had this one model passed out, but someone selected wasn’t there for the fitting. In the fashion world, the thought is “oh well, she (or he) doesn’t want it enough” and life goes on with someone else. There isn’t a thought that something might be wrong or needs help. It is sad that people who model mean so little to these individuals who are designers and run the fashion shows. Instead, there should be some attention when there is a problem. No one should be left passed out and having problems.
From my understanding, the father was eventually found and brought to the model who passed out. The passed out model’s condition is unknown how she is doing afterward, but had been showing signs of life and appeared to be on her way to recovery because of the quick response of one of the models. The first model who helped was penalized for helping the 14 year old and at this point, do not have outfits to wear in the show. The designers and producers are going on like nothing happened. The show continues to roll forward and go on. And the message sent to everyone there, “let people die because you will only be penalized for helping others out.”
The fashion world is a dog eat dog world.