I was in my first year at Phoenix Fashion Institute, having completed the basic requirements the first three months of enrollment. Now we were learning the other facets of the fashion industry.
I was majoring in fashion design, something I have been told I am very good at. From an early age I was sketching anything and everything, filling loads of art pads with my doodles. I guess it started out as doodles, but over the years I gravitated to the female form, mainly her clothing. I would often beg my sister to let me go to the mall with her, while she shopped I sat and sketched females in their many and varied different styles of clothing. That morphed into doing my own takes on what they were wearing, changing the short skirt to a long ankle length skirt and adding some decorative trim to the skirt to show off the style. I would raise the waist band or lower it to make the skirt different looking. The same with hems or the fullness of the skirt.
I did more than skirts. Blouses, dresses and even some lingerie made into my design book. Of all the things I worked on I think my favorite was dresses, evening wear to be specific. Lots of possibilities here, more so than some of the other categories of female clothing.
Although I made many sketches of my designs, I was wary of showing them to anybody for fear of ridicule. I was a young man, and female fashions in any form were not what young men dabbled in, especially making hundreds of drawings of the fashions females wore. I guess my sister’s curiosity got the best of her, finding my sketch pad on the living room end table as I had to run to the bathroom to handle a bout of diarrhea. She lifted my sketch pad, taking it to her room to see what I was doing. I never did find that sketch pad, I presumed I had placed it somewhere and forgot where that somewhere was. Over the next few days Sis ended up showing it to all her girlfriends, with one of them being a student at this school. She was so impressed she hauled the pad to school and showed some of her teachers my sketches.
I knew the pad was missing, but thought I had just left it somewhere. So I purchased another pad a couple of days later and carried on like before. It was a week later when Sis came to meet me when high school let out for the day. That in itself was not unusual, her picking me up usually reserved for rainy days. We drove off in the wrong direction for heading home, as Sis confessed to lifting my sketch pad. I told her no problem as long as she returns it. She giggled telling me that we are headed there now, so that I can reclaim my pad. When we pulled up to the fashion institute I should have realized what was going on, but my brain was still at high school, the test in my last period today had me quite concerned. It was a pop quiz and I was pretty sure I failed it miserably. Since I was not doing that well in the class, failing a test was the worst thing that could happen. After all graduation was only a few weeks away and a failing class might prevent me from getting my diploma this year.
She parked and we got out of the car, her girlfriend running over to greet her. That each grabbed one of my hands and I was escorted into one of the buildings, down a hall and into one of the offices. The lady behind the desk smiled at me and introduced herself. I was trying to remember my name when I saw my pad lying on her desk. I looked at Sis and her friend, their smirks quite obvious. Ms. Thompkins, the school director opened my pad to one of my sketches, showed it to me and asked if I was the one that created it. I stammered a few words hoping I had answered her question and lowered my eyes to the floor. She kept talking to me, asking what I wanted to study in school and if I was going to college. I finally joined the conversation reluctantly, my mind finally getting up to speed, well I was, at least, aware of the conversation but still not functioning at full capacity. It had taken several minutes though for me to get even this far.
She wanted to know how I came up with the sketch, what inspired it and why I added the additional trim to the outfit. It was one of my earlier sketches, a shopper at the mall wearing a plain version similar to what I drew. I changed the color of the material and the flare of the skirt. I added an ornate belt that was actually a part of the skirt and several rows of buttons on each side of the skirt. The straight hem now ruffled, with a saw tooth cut to the bottom of the skirt. The skirt now ending just below the knee. I had drawn it originally in black pen, but later came back and colored it in using some colored pencils. After divulging all of this to her she smiled and moved to another of my sketches. Four different sketches later she smiled and asked if I would like to attend school here.
I tried to say no, but my facial expression had already given the game away. I was offered a two year scholarship for the school, all expenses paid except for someplace to stay. Since we lived close by, that would not be any problem. I had three weeks left of school, then I could start here, a student could start anytime, since they offered all of the classes year around. She told me I could expect a week or two to catch up with where the class was at, but that should be no problem for me. She wanted me to stay with the design side of the curriculum, where she thought I showed the most aptitude.
I did get my sketch pad back, along with details of my scholarship and an application for enrollment. My parents had to sign, right there I could see my dreams going up in smoke. The fact that I had not even had a chance to fully visualize that elusive dream made it all the more difficult. Surprisingly my parents signed, Dad was against it till Mom mentioned that one of her friend’s daughters graduated from the school and was now making a hundred thousand dollars a year. Dad was not happy but him not having to pay for my future schooling and a possibility of a rosy future for me swayed him over. I got kidded from Sis, her wanting to borrow from my wardrobe once I had replaced my male clothes with female ones. My only comment was she would have to loose quite a bit of weight to fit into any of my new clothes. Sis stormed off, not to be seen for the rest of the evening.
I should have withheld that last remark, a week later as I arrived home there was a Goodwill truck pulling away from our curb, upon checking the house to see what had been donated most of my male clothes were no longer there, only ones that could be considered appropriate for either sex were in my closet. Of course, Sis denied any wrong doing, her excuse being she was with a friend all afternoon and not near the house. Mom and Dad smiled a lot, but no words from them either. So it was now official, a number of ghosts broke into the house and selectively disposed of any male clothing from my closets, while not bothering with the clothing from any other family member. I did get a donation slip to use on my taxes, but since I had no job or income it would be of little use.
So now I was down to gender neutral clothing for the rest of the year. Mom did offer to buy me a few things, but I knew how tight money was so I told her I would make do with what I had left. It really didn’t matter what I wore to class, since the students were so diverse, almost any style of clothing could be seen any day of the school year.
I did manage to graduate from high school, but to this day have no idea how I managed it. I did fail that test when I was shanghaied by Sis, but somehow managed a D for the class. I did not make any further inquiries, satisfied at what I did receive and very thankful for it.
A few days later I was enrolled at the fashion school, and attending my first classes. I adapted pretty easily to the curriculum, having very little trouble with the material offered. I especially loved the fashion history classes. Since fashion often repeated itself, learning about what had been in style years ago might come in handy in the future. I did well in all my classes, keeping a minimum of at least a B in all my classes. I seemed to get along with everybody student wise, although most students like myself had lots of demands on us so we had very little time for others or socializing.
It was coming up on our Fashion Designer Open House, a yearly event held for five days every fall, coinciding with the big fashion shows in New York, Paris and Milan. All students at the Institute participated, Of course, the students enrolled in the design portion of the curriculum submitted the designs, then the students studying clothing construction did the sewing. The merchandising students laid out the displays and provided the models for the selections that are to be presented. It was indeed a joint effort.
I had fifteen designs picked from the hundreds submitted for consideration, twice more than any other student. I tried to be fair and asked for some of my designs to be withdrawn from the ones selected. Since the students had voted on the designs that idea was routinely rejected.
There is a lot of work involved in getting a design ready to be shown, material selection, and kinds of accessories just part of the process. Then a model had to be selected that would allow the design to be shown off to its best advantage. My designs were more for the younger female, whose figure was not as developed as say a female entering her twenties.
That in itself presented a problem for the merchandising students. There was shortage of models that were on the thinner side, and everyone they tried my designs on were soundly rejected. Mandy the one in charge of that aspect of the show, decided she would use me to model my designs. Mandy and I were fierce competitors in every part of the curriculum, often competing for the top spot in all of our classes. Unfortunately, that small detail of me modeling my own designs was not communicated to me. As the show neared it was total bedlam, everybody hustling about trying to get every thing just perfect.
In the past we often had representatives for several top designers attend looking for new talent for their design houses. These were not the major players, who were off presenting their designs for the big shows, but interns and assistants looking to find some new talent and further their own careers within the design house by identifying new talent.
On the last day before the show, the designers had it easy, most of their work done, now finishing the sewing, alterations and merchandising was where the emphasis laid. Mandy came to me around mid-day wanting me to go a salon where the models were being prepared for the show. I inquired why and that is when she divulged how I was to be a bigger part of my designs being presented than what I had in mind. I hit the ceiling of course, Mandy just smiled.
In the end there was not much choice in the matter, and Mandy knew this. If I wanted any of my designs to be seen I would have to cooperate. Before I could think of another option Mandy drove me to the salon and made sure I was engaged in my first treatment to make me the perfect model for my creations. The fact that my few male bits of clothing left with her insured any further cooperation.
There was no male left in me after the salon had performed the requested tasks. All of my body hair vanished, my eyebrows were almost totally wiped out, I had breast forms glued to my chest, and my longish hair was cut into a female hair style and set in curlers. Just those changes made the image in the mirror in front of me feminine. My makeup was applied, hair style brushed out, and I was deemed ready to model my designs. I did receive a bra, and matching panties. The panties were slid over the fake vagina, that had been glued over my masculine groin. Then a plain shirtwaist dress was slipped over my head for the trip back to school. As I left the salon, my image in the mirrors was decidedly female, then you add in the blush from my embarrassment and I doubt anything masculine would be noticed by anyone.
Mandy made a point to pick me up, making sure that I did not slip away. Back at the Institute I was taken to where the models changed, several girls there to help me change in between my times on the runway. I was still mad at Mandy for doing this to me, I am sure I will not have a chance with any of the fashion houses, now everyone only seeing me as a model, a female model no less.
There was very little time to do anything, the first models were already heading down the runway modeling the designer’s fashions. I gave up, deciding to try and make the best of this, maybe some miracle will happen and my designs will be noticed. Once I made my way down the runway for the first time, it was one thing after another as I made it through the numerous changes in clothing. The audience seemed impressed, and I received some polite clapping after I modeled the last of my creations.
There was still another hour of the fashion show, so I stayed backstage watching the other fashions being shown. After the show was over we were supposed to go to an adjoining room where refreshments and some finger foods were being served. I noticed several people gathered around Mandy, her plan seems to have worked, her getting the attention leaving me a relative unknown. Maybe I will get offered a job as a model, I guess that would be better than nothing.
An older lady walked up to me, leaned closer to talk to me since the noise in the room was quite intimidating. She asked if I would join her for an early dinner, her treat. I looked at her then around the room, it seemed that nobody was interested in the models, of which I was deemed to be one of. Mandy had even more people around her, and some of the other designers had a few around them. That left me with nothing, all that work to finish the designs and nobody seemed interested.
I sighed and told her I would be pleased to dine with her. Like I thought earlier maybe I could snag a job as a model out of this. She arranged to pick me up at the school a hour later, informing me that I should wear one of my designs. The restaurant she had in mind was not ritzy, but also not the typical buffet style popular these days. I kind of looked funny at her, since she had made the request for me to wear one of my designs. She smiled and told me she would fill me in later, now enjoy the rest of the social and I will see you at six. I did stay until the party was over, then back home still wearing the last dress I modeled.
I was disappointed, Mandy had somehow garnered all the attention leaving me with essentially nothing for all of my hard work. So while she might have been offered a job with one of the design houses, I got a free dinner out and a small chance to get a job as a fashion model. I fussed with my new haircut, then found out that my makeup was semi-permanent, cold cream doing nothing to lessen its impact on my face. I then checked some of my other additions to my body, finding out that the breast forms were quite secure, and the fake vagina glued to my groin showed no seams or evidence it was anything but real. A finger inserted into it left me short of breath, the only thing keeping me from a total meltdown was that time is running out to be ready for the dinner with the lady.
Sis gave me a lift back to the school, as she pulled up to the entrance I saw the lady waiting for me. I made my way over to her, she took my hand and then signaled for her car to pull up. A Rolls Royce limo pulled alongside her and the driver rushed to open the door for both of us. I slid into the seat trying to keep my actions ladylike and she followed right behind me. I was definitely in awe at the car and her, such elegance for a lady that seemed genuinely interested in me.
On the way to the restaurant she introduced herself again giving more details, her name is Vanessa and she recruits for most of the major fashion houses. She was sent to the show specifically to see what I had to offer, the director of the Institute telling her of my skills and designs. She was surprised to see me modeling my own designs until she had a chance to talk with others, having found out Mandy’s scheme to make me look unworthy of any further consideration. Thus her invitation to have dinner with her, where we could talk at length about my designs and what I wanted in life.
The restaurant we ended up going to was far from the run of the mill eatery. The valet got our door for us, helping each of us to exit the car. We were seated in a private dining room where a waitress waited on us immediately. Vanessa suggested what is good here, and I ordered that and an ice tea. Vanessa wanted to know about my designs, what inspired them and how I came up with the ideas. We talked as we ate out dinner, three hours later she had extracted my history, my ideas and what I wanted to do out of me. She suggested that I accompany her to the fashion show in New York, where I could see what goes on and meet her boss. I agreed, but then had second thoughts about what I would wear to such a show. Vanessa smiled, telling me to take all of my designs, wearing one of them for the flight.
She wanted Mia to go to New York with her, not the male I used to be. Around the institute I was known as Mia, don’t ask me how that came about. I got called that several times in class and the name stuck. I still had a lot of doubts, but she convinced me to give it a try. Two days later a severally anxious Mia was picked up in the limo at my house and we made our way to the airport. The flight was a little over an hour in length, another larger limo picking us up at the airport. The design house had apartments for their designer trainees and part of their merchandisers. I was taken there and shown my apartment for the next few days. It was a studio apartment, very nice possessing all the necessities that any one might need. The driver took my luggage up to the apartment and I unpacked and hung all of my dresses. Vanessa told me that she would be back in an hour, we would be attending a practice run through of the show later today and meet some of the designers. She wanted me to take a couple of my designs with me giving me garment bags to slip them into for the trip. I was nervous as I tried to decide what ones to take. I finally closed my eyes and picked two at random, slid them into the bags. Before I could second guess the situation Vanessa was there to take me to the practice run.
I was in awe as we entered the large auditorium, all of this inside the fashion house building. I found a seat down front, watching all of the goings on as they decided what fashions to use, the model to use and the order they were to be presented. Vanessa was involved some, talking to the main designers as they made their decisions. Then she came and pulled me from my seat and took me over to introduce me to the head designer. I was shaking like a leaf as the introduction was made, then the designer wanted me to show her my designs. Vanessa had to help me get the garment bag zippers down since I was shaking so bad I could not get them to cooperate.
Christina looked at the designs carefully, taking more time to scrutinize each piece. Then she told Vanessa to help me change into the dresses, she wanted to see them on me. Believe me I needed the help, I was so nervous, a huge fashion house was looking at my designs and the head designer wanted the two designs I had brought with me modeled. My stomach was rumbling, my hands were shaking and I could barely walk. Vanessa did get me into my two outfits, and somehow I made the walk on the short runway back and forth once. Christina watched me carefully, eyeing up how the dresses moved on my body, what she called how they flowed. I was told to bring all of my designs tomorrow, and plan to model each in front of her.
Just like that she was gone to attend to other matters, Vanessa grabbing my hand as we gathered my clothes and went back to the apartment.
Vanessa wanted me to go with her to dinner, but my stomach thought otherwise. She suggested that I lay down and take a nap, then later try on each dress and walk around the apartment getting comfortable in the dress. Then get to bed early and she would come get me at seven the next morning. I did as she suggested and managed to get to sleep easily, the stress of the day taking a tole on my nerves and mind.
Vanessa woke me, helped me to get my dresses to the car and then dragged me from the apartment. She said the salon at the fashion house could make me presentable, and I could wear one of my designs for clothing. The salon did work on me, more than I was comfortable with, but my appearance afterward was quite attractive. Vanessa’s one word exclamation after she looked at me was wow. I was taken back to the auditorium and to a dressing room at the side of the runway. My dresses were hung on a rack in the order they wanted them modeled. I had a young girl to help me change, helping with zippers and buttons. I was to walk the runway twice, so that the gathered members of the fashion house could see the designs.
I almost stumbled in my heels as I started my first trip down the runway. There were no lights down in the audience section so I had on idea how many were there if any. I just couldn’t fathom a major designer being interested in my designs. As I completed modeling all of my designs, Vanessa approached and told me I needed to do it again, but on a different runway.
I changed back into the first dress and was shown a different door to walk through, a short hall and then a lighted runway. Vanessa was there to make sure I found it kissed me for luck and sent me out on the lighted runway. I heard people talking as I made my first trip down the runway. Then as I made it back to where I started another model coming from the other direction entered the runway. I had a sneaky feeling I was a part of a fashion show, but Vanessa pushing me to get changed stopped any further thoughts on that subject.
After modeling all of my designs Vanessa took me down front amidst a crowd of fashion buyers and reporters. I indeed was part of the houses fashion show, two hours later the show was over and members of the fashion house took the time to get with each buyer to see what they were interested in. Vanessa took me to a cafeteria in the house to get me some nourishment, since my ordeal is apparently over I was starved. She asked me if I enjoyed the exposure, but from my expression she knew I tolerated it but there was no enjoyment involved. It was getting late so I was whisked back to the apartment where I showered and collapsed into bed.
I was up early not sure why, but it turned out to be advantageous. Vanessa swept into the apartment telling me to get dressed, while she picked out the design she wanted me to wear. I was taken to the salon again, makeup and hair checked and fixed as needed. Then back to the auditorium, where several people were waiting for me. Christina apparently the spoke person for the group. She told me I had a job with them if I wanted it, apprentice to her and working on my designs when not involved in other things. They had sold several of my designs yesterday, so if I agreed to the deal they proposed they will put those designs into production. My designs will have the fashion house name on them, but designed by Mia added underneath. I will live in the apartment if it is okay, food available in the cafeteria or I could eat out at the several restaurants in the area.
The apprentice ship is for three years, with options for more if I worked out. She looked at me waiting for an answer, Vanessa having to kick me to get me to respond. I heard what she had said, but was so in awe of what is happening that I zoned out. My yes was almost shouted as Christina hugged me, telling Vanessa to get me settled, some regular clothes to wear and shown where everything is located. I would start work tomorrow, helping to process orders from the show and get the items to production that were sold during the show.
That night I had to pinch myself several times as the reality of what happened finally made it to my brain. Mia has a job designing female fashions and she loves it.
Story Complete For Now
© 2016 thru 2021 Fran Cesca Walker