Heels & Picks: Work it, girl
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first post for blogger Erin Smith on the Pulse. “Heels & Picks” will be published on Tuesdays.)
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, gay-boy besties always take the fall for you, sometimes literally.
“Smith, you better have a pile of tutus at the end of that runway, for when you fall off. And that goes for me too, because when you’re falling off that runway, I’ll be plummeting from my loft.” said my gay-boy bestie, Jesse, over the phone from his new Seattle apartment.
Jesse and I both lived on Maui for a number of years. We got into a lot of trouble together and he was there for me during the hardest time of my life. I have since moved to Oahu, and him to Seattle. It’s the city that never stops gaying. He is in heaven.
Since this is my first column for the Pulse, I should probably give you the Coles Notes version of who I am — wait, is Coles Notes just a Canadian thing? (It’s CliffsNotes in America. -Ed.)
I am a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and in a pop-rock band called The Throwdowns. Our band is based on Maui, except for me after the Oahu move. We have been nominated for three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and performed on the televised broadcast last year. Did you see us? Yes, I was totally smiling at you from the stage.
I was born in Canada, moved to Maui in 2004, and moved from Kihei to Kailua in October. Trouble is a theme in my life. I live with my boyfriend T, in Kailua. You can guess what the “T” is short for. I moved in with Trouble.
Although I love Maui, I do very much love my new Kailua home. I write songs, paint and lately (and bafflingly) am working as a model. The latest of these modeling bookings led me to call Jesse in hopes of some moral support for my runway sashay. He is the most fab, after all.
I was hoping for a little pep talk, along the lines of, “Oh, you won’t fall, you’ll be fantastic!” But he knows me too well, so it ended up being more like, “Just don’t fall and embarrass us, ok? And don’t show your panties.”
The fashion show I was asked to model in was for “Discover Kaka’ako,” a monthly event that takes place at Ward Centers. I was to be a model for Misfortune Boutique; my friend Loryn Guiffre was also modeling in the show, which was a much better decision by Misfortune because Loryn is actually a MODEL.
This was my second runway show, and thankfully I was not nearly as nervous as the first show I walked in. I got to pick my own outfit, which was tough because Misfortune has many really great dresses. I chose a short blue, Missoni-style print dress with a chunky necklace.
On the evening of the event, everyone who was walking in the show was dressed, hair and makeup done, and rehearsing in an open event room at Ward Centers. Each girl was taking a shot at practicing their walk, and as I watched the other girls walk, I filled with dread. There was kiss-blowing and squatting and I think I may have seen someone do the “Single Ladies” dance by Beyonce.
“What is going on here?” I asked Loryn.
“These girls are all in a hip-hop dance crew together,” she replied. Oh snap. It was my understanding there was to be no dancing involved with this gig. Thankfully, before I was able to memorize the entire dance for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (what, zombies are in, right?), one of the event coordinators came in to speak to us about how we were to walk on the runway. I was beyond grateful to hear what she had to say.
“You are representing these brands. No over the top flouncy walking and moves. Just be classy.”
Oh thank Gaga.
Shortly after the group talk, the same event coordinator came over to me and said, “Erin your dress is short, I’m a little worried.”
This had not actually occurred to me, that it might be too short, as I’m used to wearing short shorts and the like onstage for rock shows.
“Your body is bangin’, we just have to make sure it doesn’t ride up on you while you’re walking.”
Good point. I am fairly tall, slim but by no means a size zero (more like a four) and I have that classic bombshell shape. I love my shape, and it can vary day to day, how short a skirt is, depending on the ebb and flow of the boobs and hips. I am not a professional model, sometimes a girl needs to eat cheese. But I promised Jesse that I wouldn’t show my panties, so we needed a quick fix. Our solution came in the form of some slick moves she taught me, tricks to use when trying to avoid a skirt riding up while walking.
“Guide your hands down your hips, subtly pulling the dress with it at the same time,” the coordinator said. Worked like a charm.
Group photo with the models, line up by the stage, practice my “Blue Steel” look, pull the skirt down one last time, and go. Too serious looking? Sure. Stiff walk? Oh yes definitely.
But I did my gay-boy bestie proud, and did NOT fall off the runway, during my walk. As I walked, I did picture him standing there, at the end of the stage, arms outstretched, holding a pile of frilly tutus.
Real friends are there for you, even when you’re not in the same place. And also, real friends, and good event coordinators, won’t let you show your panties.
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.