Hold the Glamour

I am a full-figure model and working mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a Leo. I am a first-generation Aussie and mother to two amazing little native New Yorkers. I believe that fashion is important—but so is real life. I believe that all women are beautiful and strong. I believe in working hard and loving harder. I believe in eating delicious food and drink with close friends, in breathing deep the air of new places, in laughing until you cry. I believe that when our bodies and minds are healthy and balanced, anything is possible.

Tag: call time

The rippling effect of winter storms in the U.S.A.

Since returning from Australia on Sunday night I’ve had my fair share of excitement and action to say the least. I was barely home 20 hours before I had to get on another two planes bound for wonderful Little Rock, Arkansas again.

On a United Airlines plane, I sat next to a burly Priest and beside him a bearded lady sat that snored like a man. The whole plane was looking at her and since her snoring started before take-off, I knew it was going to be quite a journey. The signs were there.

I was connecting through Chicago and the Priest next to me said “Chicago is going to be hit by quite a storm tomorrow, possibly 10 inches”. As if God was talking to me though this man, I contacted my agent and travel agent immediately – you see I was connecting through Chicago the following evening on United again after my shoot was done. Thank you kind and informative Priest… You are a man of God indeed!

Who has time for jet lag? Two planes later and I gratefully make it to my final destination.

My 6am alarm was a challenge however, I managed through the day OK. My travel agent had changed my flight to connect through Atlanta the day before and just as well – my United Airlines flight through Chicago had been cancelled due to severe winter weather. See? It’s not glamourous but a crapshoot in avoiding disaster.

I was feeling good and confident about my journey home because as far as I knew, Atlanta was far away from the Mid-West storm. Ha – wrong again! The storms had created a rippling effect of delays and cancellations across the United States. Planes couldn’t get where they needed to and people were stranded and delayed by hours. Me included. Some never made it to their final destinations. We are talking about thousands of travelers. This is winter in the U.S.

As my shoot came to a finish, I received two calls from Delta Airlines saying my original flight had been delayed by two hours not once but twice in a matter of minutes. It was a scramble for my travel agent to try to get me back to New York pronto, you see I had to work in the city the following day. It was game on! (As it fortunately turned out, my day was switched around and I never lost the booking).

We tried it all out of Little Rock. A small domestic airport with zero direct flights to New York. My itinerary changed about four times and what resulted was far from ideal.

I ended up landing in Atlanta close to 10pm (was at the airport since 4pm) and the last connecting flight to La Guardia airport had taken off 10 mins prior to my landing. I tried to remain positive and was ready to sprint from terminal C to terminal T. It was no point as it was all too late. I simply had to roll with it. I had no choice.

So a Delta representative directed me to the customer service counter where I was checked in to a morning flight. I was put up in a Best Western Hotel near the airport for my inconvenience. This is the  first time in my career that I’ve been put up in a hotel by an airline and I hope it’s the last!

The last time I was in Little Rock almost two weeks ago, a similar thing happened remember? I had to stay overnight due to bad weather and fly back home on the first flight out. Connecting flights are no fun!

Well, this is not how I wanted to see Atlanta for the first time. I made it outside where the shuttle buses pull up and it was a circus. There were hundreds of people like me, stranded in Atlanta against their will.

Atlanta, GA - People everywhere in the freezing cold wind awaiting shuttle buses to their hotels, put up by the airlines

Atlanta, GA – People everywhere in the freezing cold wind awaiting shuttle buses to their hotels, put up by the airlines

It was freezing with high winds – no one was prepared for the frigid air that greeted us. Some people were in t-shirts bound for California. It was a shock to the system.

I waited approximately 15 minutes in the cold air before my shuttle from the hotel appeared mysteriously at around 11 pm. There were about 15 of us heading to the same place from all around the country. It was a hot mess!

I finally checked in, had a hot shower and got in to bed exhausted just before midnight. I really thought I was going to escape reality and find myself  in a deep five-hour sleep immediately… This was not the case. I tossed and turned for two hours, cold to the bone. I turned the heat up to 75 degrees fahrenheit (24 degrees celsius) to take the chill out of the room and me.

I woke to another recorded message from Delta… My 7.40am flight to New York had been cancelled. Why was I not surprised? I got to the airport in time to catch the first outbound flight  at 6.40am. I was so relieved to finally be going home. No amount of Visine was going to help this morning. It was not pretty.

Lately I feel my life and job are more about traveling and dodging aviation bullets rather than shooting fashion and being a fashion model. One has to be a trouble-shooter and ‘on’ all the time – you never know what’s going to happen!

Tomorrow I’m working in Philadelphia then I have two days scheduled in New York – yay to New York! I love shooting in the Big Apple – I get to sleep in my own bed, I get to see my family and I don’t have travel delays and unexpected overnight stays. It’s a welcome relief and change.

I have essentially been away from my husband and two children for two weeks now. It is tough on all of us. I’m looking forward to a wonderful weekend with my family, friends and Steve’s cousin who is visiting us from Australia. We have another jam-packed weekend of plans and activities with some rest included I hope.

NYC - Gloomy NY before a snow storm hits

NYC – Gloomy NY before a snow storm hits this evening

Where have you been stranded? And how?

What did you do until you made it to your final destination?

What wisdom or experience can you share?

42 degrees and still shooting

I’m currently in Australia and today I finished my first shoot of the new year. We were shooting the autumn/fall collection for Sara by Ezibuy. It means layers, coats and boots for the cooler months ahead.

It’s hard to imagine however, the fashion industry is always at least six months ahead of the game with design, sourcing the fabric, manufacture to shooting the samples and getting the images ready for advertising. It’s a long lead time.

The weather has been hot, hot, hot and today we battled beauty and fashion in 42 degree celsius heat in Sydney like true professionals (107.6 degrees fahrenheit). The heat wave we are experiencing throughout Australia did not stop us from making and creating fashion magic. We started at 5.30am this morning to ensure we weren’t shooting during the hottest time of the day.

Sydney - Sunrise at 5.30am

Sydney – call time is at sunrise

Sydney - Sara crew working hard

Sydney – Juli Balla and the Sara crew hard at work

Sydney - Hard at work in the heat

Sydney – smiling and shooting whilst the temperatures soar

Yesterday we spent on the Northern Beaches shooting in one of my favourite location homes. The property looks like something straight out of Palm Springs, U.S.A. I love it. Unfortunately, jumping in the pool and cooling off after work was not an option for me or the crew. What an incredible view!

Sydney - my dream house on the Northern Beaches

Sydney – my dream house on the Northern Beaches

The first couple of days of our shoot, we spent inside the studio. It is certainly easier for all without the elements and humidity wreaking havoc on hair, make-up, equipment and clothes. We turn the air conditioning up, the music goes on and we get down to business. It is calm, controlled and smooth.

Sydney - Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney – Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney - In studio

Sydney – in studio

Sydney - kisses from the cool studio

Sydney – kisses from the hair & make-up table

Since I started writing this post this afternoon, over a hundred and forty fires have broken out in N.S.W. alone. Other states in Australia are also battling fires in hot, dry and windy conditions that have proven to be devastating and uncontrollable. My best wishes and thoughts go out to all those affected and threatened by the catastrophic temperatures and erratic fire patterns that lie ahead of this evening. I wish you all, well.

What are you going to do to stay cool during these hot summer months? What tips do you have?

What are you looking forward to come autumn/fall as far as fashion goes?

What trends are you noticing and excited about?