Aspiring models showed off their chops Saturday at Proctors during an open casting call for the upcoming Electric City Couture Fashion Show.
The Schenectady-based show has already become a must-attend event in its fourth year, launching hopeful and beginning fashion designers from all corners of the Capital Region into the spotlight. Last year’s event was the talk of the town, with mini-celebrity Laura LaFrate rocking a knit bikini down the Proctors runway and sitting on the judge’s panel for eight signature collections. The Scotia woman made it into the top two on the Tyra Banks-hosted show, America’s Next Top Model.
Even more talked about, however, was the New York City-like atmosphere inside the packed, standing-room-only theater. Show producer Corey Aldrich, of 2440 Design Studios, is expecting the same level of buzz — if not more — for this year’s spring show on May 24.
“It’s just getting bigger all the time,” he said Saturday after the casting call wrapped up. “We have hair and makeup people contacting us all the time. They’re just like, 'Anything you need, let us know.’”
About 25 to 30 people showed up to the casting call, most of them from the Capital Region.
This year’s show will be bigger than the last, with about 70 looks and a full men’s line compared to roughly 45 looks last year.
Aldrich and upstate New York-based fashion designer Joleen Button produced the first Electric City Couture show in 2010, and have worked together since to promote the Capital Region as a serious contender in the world of high fashion.
The show also debuted at a MoHu Festival kickoff event last year, held inside a hangar at the Albany International Airport. The 2012 Eclipse Aviation Show featured a new fall line by designer Kim Vanyo, of Khymanyo Studios in Saratoga Springs. As a result of the show, said Aldrich, her designs were commissioned by Circles in Stuyvesant Plaza, Frivolous Boutique in Saratoga Springs, and a boutique in Boston.
“We’re trying to get it out there that these regional independent boutiques don’t always have to go to (New York City) to find good designs,” said Aldrich. “I think there is a perception that there is no fashion scene here, but what’s happened is it’s all tucked away. People live here and design here, but they go back and forth between the city to sell it. We’re trying to become a platform that allows models, designers and boutiques to get involved in a regional fashion economy. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in that direction.”
To learn more about the upcoming Electric City Couture Fashion Show, visit www.electriccitycouture.com.