On my recent trip to New York I had the joy of being introduced to the incredibly talented kid’s fashion photographer Molly Magnuson through the equally talented designer Tina Tuchinda. Somehow Tina felt that we would hit it off and she was right. What resulted from our meeting was an evening of huge hilarity and an unplanned Pirouette ‘Fly on the wall ‘documentary style experience at the Petite Parade fashion show. Molly very kindly acted as my photographer, lucky me. Read on for a glimpse backstage at Petite Parade …
I met Molly on the Monday around midday at the side of the catwalk whilst the incredibly gorgeous child models took their turn walking and absorbing direction from a very cool looking guy (and possible lovechild of Iggy Pop and Steve Tyler from Aerosmith) at the bottom of the catwalk. Previously Molly had introduced me to the Kids fashion stylist Michel Ontario – another great humoured and very busy lady. Molly suggested we went back stage to see what was going on.
There were multiple leading photographers backstage Lee Clower, Zoe Berkovic to name a few snapping away, but it felt a bit of an intrusion to stop them on the job. Molly moved round snapping and chatting away with her mini muses, so I started to chat with some of the kids and their parents waiting backstage.
Crystal blonde haired Brooklynn Riley is from Kentucky and was dressed in a fresh kaleidoscopic ensemble from Losan. Brooklynn, her glamorous mother and pretty big sister drove 12 hours from their home to New York to take part in the show. I asked how she got into modelling and apparently she has always loved shopping in a particular store in Kentucky. They then spotted her on instagram and asked her to become their brand ambassador. It all sort of snow balled from there, simple! Currently she is represented in New York and LA. What is great is how much she loved modelling. This was Brooklynn’s first runway show but she wasn’t fazed in the slightest – she pretty much couldn’t wait to get on the runway like an old pro.
I then spoke with Nikka and her mother hailing originally from Moscow. Nikka is one of the top child models in NYC modelling for the likes of J Crew amongst others; today she was clad in Diesel Kid. Long limbed and sitting curled up on her mother’s knee I asked Mika if she preferred photography or catwalk. A big smile appeared on her beautiful face “catwalk” she grinned. Of the six or so shows she has appeared in her favourite moment was for the American superstore Target near the Brooklyn bridge. There was a slide for the models to bounce down she explained as her face lit up even more whilst remembering it.
It started to get quite hectic backstage just prior to the show’s imminent start so we transitioned to the front where I was to discover the incredible tween DJ Alden. Situated in prime place behind the decks he was poised ready to drop the beats for the show. This kid was so cool, whenever he saw an individual remotely looking his way he gave a nod or the universal rock hand gesture (index and pinkie fingers up two middle fingers down). His parents stood at the side looking proud and manager like. I only wish I was as cool as this when I was his age!
A man wearing a headset gestured to DJ Alden, the music started and we were off. I found myself tapping my foot and bobbing my head along to the music as we watched these little professionals doing their thing. Head up, look straight, walk, stop on the right spot then look left, pause then to the right pause. In front of Molly and I there was a group of gorgeous little models who had walked earlier in the day cheering and supporting their friends. They were trying desperately to get their mobiles high enough over the crowd to film their friends. At this moment it felt a little bit like a family, obviously theses kids know each other and work together. Their enjoyment and whooping at seeing their friends walk was infectious. Nikka was the ultimate professional hitting all her spots looking gazellelike in the process. Then it was Brooklyn’s turn, the little girl I was talking to backstage shone bright on stage. No nerves, no problem she rocked it.
And that was it, music over, models finished, and crowds dispersed. Time for me to stop being a fly at the show and buzz off home. Molly needed to head off and pack for her 12 hour journey back to her native Kentucky, so I popped back stage to commend and say good bye to Michel. At this point terrible jet lag seemed to kick in, fortunately the post show energy buzzing from the kids and parents was just enough to fuel me getting myself to JFK in the rain whilst carrying my misjudged purchases of two oversized stuffed M&M toys. My girls will be happy.
Petite Parade @childrensclub
Photography Molly Magnuson for Pirouetteblog
Styling Michel Onofrio
Make up & Hair Clelia Bergonzoli
Models- Legend, Brooklyn, Lyris, Nikka, Isabella, Liam, Jayden Madison