Strike a pose
"You should get up on the runway," my friend whispered.
The designers were showing off their clothing racks on the far side of the room. A few people still lingered in the rows of chairs alongside the runway, chatting about the collections they’d just seen. The long, thin platform that had been the area of focus for much of the night was now being ignored.
It was Friday night at Omaha Fashion Week. And the runway was empty.
I waved a hand. "Oh no, I wouldn’t want to show anyone up. Let the models have their night."
My companion insisted that I was snubbing a golden opportunity, but I confess I let it slip away from me. Insecurity. Doubt. Embarrassment. I succumbed to the Midwestern desire to just blend in and try not to be anything special much.
Now, three days later, I’m reflecting on that night and the inspiration and creativity that was bursting out of the Kaneko warehouse downtown.
Four designers showcased their skills last Friday.
At some point (probably at several points), they had to set aside that Midwestern plague of modesty and say, nope, I’m doing this. They opened themselves up to both criticism and praise, for the sake of saying loud and proud, "This. This is what I did. This is my very best at this moment. What do you have to say about it?"
"It’s just Omaha," I hear (and indeed that’s the impression a certain mini-celebrity gave when he got up on the runway Friday night with a drink in hand and needed to be coached through his speech by his entourage from the sidelines). "This is the Midwest," the cynics say. "Do you dare act like this is a big deal?"
A thousand times, yes. We are a big deal. We have skills. We have creativity and talent and beauty.
And some of us are getting the courage to get up on the runway and show it off.