A passion for fashion is what it takes to be a part of Fort Worth Fashion Week. Like many of the models and designers, becoming a part of fashion week, for Danielle Ramos, was an exciting, new venture.

“I met some of the creators last year and I wanted to be a part of the team – I’ve been growing my platform and my modeling skills,” said Ramos, model for Fort Worth Fashion Week.

After weeks of open casting calls and days of practice to perfect the runway, the models and designers for Fort Worth Fashion Week are prepped and ready to take the stage starting Sept. 19.

Creating and producing a runway show is no small feat. Over 50 models were casted, some walking multiple shows. The models range in age from 18 to their 50s to appeal to all genres and styles, said Phillip Maximilian, creative director for Fort Worth Fashion Week. Both men and women will model throughout the week.

The numerous models were cast to fit the wide range of fashion exhibited this fall, with each day of the week punctuated with a runway show

No modeling experience was required to audition – some models are looking to use the experience to sharpen their skills. Some wanted to try something new.

Many of the models discovered Fort Worth Fashion Week through word of mouth or social media, including Emma Stinson. 

“I’ve never walked in a fashion show, but I love fashion,” Stinson said. “I’ve always done photoshoots, but I thought this would be a good opportunity.” 

Molly Hatchcock also wanted to be part of the event after modeling in Dallas. 

“I did pageants when I was younger and now I’m in product photography,” said Molly Hatchcock, model for Fort Worth Fashion Week. “I moved to Dallas about a year ago, I had never modeled prior to living here.” 

Ramos and Stinson are set to walk in the City Boots show Sept. 19 and in the Shops at Clearfork show Sept 20. Hatchcock will also walk in the City Boots show Sept 19. 

Models are placed in specific shows to best curate the brand’s aesthetics. The show organizers look to see if there is a more serious or happy look or if the clothes are minimal or loud, Maximilian said.

During a recent practice, Maximilian quietly but intently coached each model to master their walks. The designers are there to take careful measurements of each model for their clothes or shoes. Creating the right queue of models can take a few hours alone.

After each run through, Maximilian, his team and the designers gather to discuss timing between models, the music or where subtle improvements can be made such as hand placements, garment accessories or facial expressions. Then they try again.

“There is a hidden gem in every model,” Maximilian said. “I like to work with them and highlight their good characteristics: what they’re confident in.” 

Practice is also a place for models to connect with like-minded individuals, as much as it is a place to run through choreography. 

The best part is the people, Hatchcock said. Getting dressed up, having hair and makeup done and listening to music together creates a fun atmosphere, she said. 

After practices and fittings, the models are excited for the upcoming week of festivities.

“I’m really looking forward to the shows next week,” Ramos said. “I learned to not think about it (modeling) too much and flow and looking natural are key.” 

The creative design process

For Meredith Noles, designer at LAUDE the Label, designing a fashion presentation is as time consuming as it is rewarding.

“My job as designer is to bridge the gap between artful clothing and wearable pieces, and showcasing the incredible skills of the artisans we work with,” Noles said. “Countless hours go into developing the line – many of the pieces are hand woven, botanically-dyed or printed by hand.” 

Creating a fashion presentation is more than picking color schemes or trending silhouettes. Although those aspects are important, a cohesive mission and message to convey brings the line to life. 

The colors and vibrance of Mexico City and Frida Kahlo inspired LAUDE the Label’s latest line. Noles’ team wanted to create garments wearable for real life that celebrate the collection of qualities women possess.

The LAUDE the Label team paired each model with a look from their line. After each run-through, the designer, Meredith Noles, right, creative director, Katie Sansom, left, and Carly Burson, founder and CEO meet to discuss what went well, timing and changes. (Izzy Acheson | Fort Worth Report)

After developing a line, the models are carefully and intentionally placed in the shows to best communicate the mission of the line. 

Music choice is also an important part of developing a complete presentation. Designers and show organizers choose music that will get the models in the groove and the audience will resonate with, Maximilian said. Models learn the timing and beat during rehearsals and master it after countless run throughs.

“The runway is a place to translate ideas through fashion,” Maximilian said. “It’s all about having a vision with an artistic end.”

Tickets for Fort Worth Fashion Week

Tickets for the City Boots, LAUDE the Label and Mener Grand Train Co. runway shows are available for purchase online. General admission is $50 and VIP tickets with reserved front row seating are $150. 

Guests can also purchase a VIP All-Access Pass for the entire week for $450. Remaining events are free to attend with an RSVP

Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow at the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at izzy.acheson@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2022 with a double major in journalism and environmental...