Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Check Yourself B4 You Wreck Yourself!

All the attention that I've been receiving as a result of my appearance on 24 Hour Catwalk has been validating.  Mind-blowing, in fact.  First, when the commercials began to air before my episode did and people were reaching out to me on Twitter and Facebook, it was very flattering.  I grinned excitedly.  Once the previews began to pop up on movie screens in multiplexes everywhere and everybody from my LinkedIN connections to people I know through the plantation started to hit me up, it became so surreal.

Since I taped the show almost 6 months ago, I hoped that my "fans" would not be disappointed with my showing.  But what was done was done.  There just was no use tripping on it now. So I watched, just like everybody else, to see how the editors would make me look and what the episode's final outcome was.  There has still been an outpouring of compliments and congrats.  And I am so appreciative.  But I have also received an email that made the devil rise up inside of me.  It might have been easier to ignore it, but I felt the sender deserved a tailor-made response. Below is the original email followed by my response.  What do you think?

You can't be serious. I saw you on Lifetime and came to your site to see your line. It looks like the stuff you see at Torrid and Lane Bryant. I am so disappointed. I am a tall, athletic (yes I work out) plus size woman.  Size 18. And, I can't find a grown up, sexy dress for a 42 year old. I want to wear dresses like the real housewives of Atlanta. Is there a real "plus" size designer anywhere? Plus size doesn't mean bigger ugly. The clothes still need to be fashion forward and pretty.

Greetings ------,

My business partners and I are in receipt of your email and have carefully reviewed it. While I can certainly understand your frustration with finding "grown up, sexy dresses" for your "athletic" PLUS size frame, I take issue with your approach. Perhaps you were having a bad day when you sent the email, as I've had a few of my own a time or two. But there really is no excuse for your bad manners and poor email etiquette. If there is nothing to your liking on the company site, the more polite, dare I say, adult, thing to do would have been to dismiss us as another plus size design company who just cannot get it right. But your slam against my designs was really unnecessary. Since I am 44, it is clear we are from the same generation, but my parents taught me not to comment at all if I didn't have anything constructive or nice to say. In light of my mother's advice, I am going to end this response now. I hope you are able to find a designer who does PLUS size clothing suited for you that looks like something from "The Housewives of Atlanta".

Peace & Fashion!

Wilbur E Pack, Jr.
SK WiLBUR/Sorta Kinda Enterprises, LLC

We need to think about what we say and what we write to people because we just don't know the kind of effect it's going to have on them.  As my friend Deborah G. told me many years ago, "Words have power."   If I was teetering on the brink of a psychotic break, this email might have pushed me over the edge.  I might have even gone postal on the sender.  Please try to remember, nasty and rude behavior is uncalled for and never in style.
Peace & Fashion!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What You Didn't See Last Night. . .

Being chosen to be a competitor on 24 Hour Catwalk was a great experience and a fantastic opportunity.  Of course, it would have been better if I had won the $10,000 prize, but I am stoked about the exposure expecting that the appearance will move me to the next level in the fashion game.  After years of auditioning for the most popular (Project Runway - season 1) to the most obscure (anybody remember The Cut which lasted only 1 season?), I am pleased that I finally got my 18 minutes of fashion reality fame.

It was everything that I expected and a whole lot more.  Some of the minor details were edited out and so I am going to share them now.
  • Although I am only in the first 18 minutes of the show, the call time was 5 a.m. and I didn't finish until 5 p.m.  Many of the crying fits that we witness on reality TV are probably due to a lack of sleep.  I was SO exhausted after it was all said and done.
  • In one of my outtakes, I mention that I was so surprised to see Cynthia Rowley as one of the judges.  What they cut was that I interned with her almost 13 years ago.  She probably didn't recognize me since she just stared at me blankly on camera - AND off.
  • But probably the most important thing that was edited was the fact that Indashio (a crowd favorite, I know) broke the needles on the only 2 home sewing machines that were provided in the workroom.  I am so not a whiz when it comes to garment construction, but I can do it somewhat adequately.  However, I am definitely no good on industrial machines - AT ALL!  That's why I ended up draping the entire challenge.  When I auditioned,I was led to believe that I would not have to sew.  To my chagrin, the very first challenge was a sewing challenge.  In my mind, I said, "UGGHH!"
All in all, it was a great experience.  I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe winning).  But don't feel bad and don't apologize for my not winning.  I sure feel like I did!

Peace & Fashion!