Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Round: Callbacks

Congratulations to the 106 models that made it through to Callbacks last night! The entire GFW staff was blown away by the abundance of natural talent that waltzed through Cellar’s 12 elegant double doors. It’s going to be a tough cut – I wouldn’t want to be in those judges’ shoes.

But we’ve put the casting decision in the right hands. Our expert panel of judges arrived early and ready to work, knowing exactly what they looking for in a 2013 Gainesville Fashion Week model. Meet our fantastic lineup:

Keith Watson, owner of Keith Watson Events, was interested to see the talent Gainesville had to offer. He and his company love fashion, and while this is the first time judging models in Gainesville, he has previous experience with beauty pageants. Keith was looking for girls and guys who moved “extremely well” and had “great stage presence.”

In addition to helping us cast the show, Associate Publisher for HOME Magazine Megan DeGance was scouting out models with a unique look for an edgy editorial feature. Her criteria for a model? “Must be malleable and open to craziness.”

The Gators in the building went wild when they saw some of UF’s nationally ranked basketball players stroll in. GFW judge veterans Patric Young and Will Yeguete had such a great time last year that they brought Kenny Boynton and friend Corey Gamble to experience it for themselves. Admitting how much he enjoyed the show last year (it was his first fashion show ever!), Patric said that coming back to help was a “no brainer.” Typically dressed in orange-and-blue, Will is looking forward to seeing the new designs in April. Kenny was thrilled to try something new while Corey was excited to see girls model. They all have similar taste in clothes – they’re big fans of Express and Polo – so it’s not surprising that they also agreed on the qualities of a good model: attitude and charisma. “Like you know you look good,” Patric added.

And we can’t forget Albey Coronel, our wonderful GFW co-founder and producer. Even though he was feeling a little under the weather, he didn’t let it show, arriving smiley and stylishly in a leather jacket – the clear GFW staff trend of the evening. Already a pro, he took his place at the end of the judge’s table, looking confident in finding the perfect modeling cast.

As the judges took their seats and uncapped their pens, the music began thumping and signaled the start of the walks. The callbacks required two walks, one dressed casually and another sporting a bathing suit. One by one, 106 models strutted down the hardwood floors to the beat, striking a fierce pose and staring down their judges. Distracted by the girls’ long limbs and impressive outfit choices, I became more envious as each girl stomped by. Confidence and individual personalities shone through as the girls showcased their signature walks; some were flirty while others were downright edgy. The guys were just as awesome as the girls. Mastering the cool “dude walk” expected of male models, they all could have been mistaken for professionals. They were also dressed to impress, knowing how to make a simple pair of jeans look special by pairing them with sweaters, loose-fitted t-shirts and combat boots. And they clearly weren’t shy during the bathing suit round as they nonchalantly showed off their toned physiques.

The whole time, the judges were coy and professional, jotting down notes and only pausing for a quick sway to the music. It was an amazing night full of dancing, posing and mingling, especially for the GFW staff! While we’re sad to lose some bold and beautiful models, we’re also excited to narrow down our list and begin preparing for the incredible events to come.

Keep on the lookout for information and updates on our sponsors, talent (including designers!) and upcoming events. Hope you’re as excited as we are!

- Alyssa Fisher 

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