April 21, 2016

AYLA’s Second Runway for Justice: Spotlight on the Show’s Fashionista, Brittany Stanford

It takes quite a bit of work to put together a fashion show. A show with lawyers who have busy schedules takes an extra amount of work. That’s why I and Chari Kelly, as co-chairs for the show, reached out to Brittany Stanford again to put her vision and experience into this successful fundraising project. Ms. Stanford is counsel at Fasken Oil and Ranch, Ltd., and truly has an eye for fashion. I had an opportunity to catch up with Ms. Stanford to discuss Runway for Justice.

What is it like putting the show together for so many models who have different styles and requirements?

Putting the show together is the most important part and involves lots of time and communication between the stores, the models, and me. Once stores have agreed to loan us clothing and/or accessories, I reach out to the store contact and usually go check out the store on my own a few months before the show is scheduled to get a feel for that’s store’s audience and how the clothing/accessories can work with our models and our audience. Once I have all the models’ info, I start setting up appointments with models at the stores. My goal is to have in mind what I would like each model to wear and then have each model try on that look to make sure it’s going to work for his/her body type and to make sure the model is going to feel comfortable wearing the look. Some models are not able to attend fittings, so for those models, I make a blind pull and keep my fingers crossed. So far, this has worked out for me, and I have not had to bench any models for lack of an outfit. The fittings with the models also gives me a chance to get to know them outside of the office and to understand their personal style or how they would like to be styled for the show.

Tell us what it is like working backstage? I know it’s a part that our attendees don’t get to see.

Working backstage is a total whirlwind especially once the show begins. It’s controlled chaos, but I love it. To make it a little less chaotic, I try to have each model’s looks together to allow for quick changes. For a successful show and for the models to come out in a timely manner between looks, planning is key. I’ve been very lucky to have volunteers backstage helping me with all the details as far as getting the models into their next look and to make sure they are wearing the right jewelry with each look. Jackie Padilla with Stella and Dot has been especially amazing and a huge help when it comes to the jewelry part of the looks. My main focus while backstage is to check the models as they are lining up to make sure the clothes are just right, that they are wearing the accessories planned for their looks, and to make sure they look as fabulous as possible. There are sometimes last minute changes which leads to some additional chaos, but somehow it all works out. Safety pins and double-sided tape are near me at all times during the show. These are lifesavers! Also, Tim Gunn’s famous line that he is constantly telling all the Project Runway designers – “Make it work” – rings through my head the entire show and inspires me to get through the show and make it as successful as possible. Once the show is over and all the models have walked, I have this amazing feeling of accomplishment coupled with a feeling of sadness that all the fun is over and that I’ll have to wait until next year to have the same thrill again.

Why do you chose to work on this show? You know we really appreciate your hard work.

It is such an honor to be part of this show. I love to see how the looks come to life on the runway and to see how the models and audience respond to the looks. It’s so exciting to see all of our hard work shine. I love being part of this show because it fulfills my love for fashion and a long-time dream of mine in getting to style others. One of my dreams growing up and during college was to be a stylist like Rachel Zoe or to work in a showroom for a designer. My friends and family have joked for years that I’m the Austin version of Elle Woods. This is actually true – for the most part. I love pink, have an undergraduate degree in Textiles and Apparel – Retail Merchandising, and decided at some point to become an attorney. Being part of this show allows me to be creative, have fun with fashion in an extraordinary way, and to meet other lawyers in the community. Lastly and most importantly, knowing that the proceeds raised from this event go to help others means so much to me. I’m very grateful to be part of something that gives back to this community.