I am not sure when I first really understood the word style… when I was very young I looked at women as beautiful and men as handsome. That was a time when men and women followed the glamorous movie stars and copied their looks, from hair styles to dresses to peek-a-boo toe shoes.
As children we would wait in the front foyer to watch our parents walk down the stairs on their nights out. I remember one dinner dress that had a lace top and pencil satin skirt, and if she added the lace, fully gathered, detachable skirt that was free and opened in the front you knew there would be dancing.
One of my first professional encounters with style came in the form of designer, Pauline Trigere. A top designer of her time, she was famous for her design technique; draping and cutting fabric on live models, I became one of those privileged models. My professional work and life long friendship with her started at the original Stanley Korshak store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
After the show she asked me to come to New York and be her design model for her next Spring Collection. It was a dream come true - to be with one of the greatest American Designers in the fashion industry.
She truly made me begin to understand what the whole woman should be; she embodied grace, elegance and feminity and had a sensual quality that I, as a young, filled with herself model, was just starting to grasp.
Later when I married and moved to Dallas ‘Miss Pauline’ called Neiman Marcus and explained very carefully, in her French accent, to the stores’ legendary Fashion Director, Daria, that one of her models was live and well and living in Dallas and would Daria call and ask me to be in her show for Neimans. I then started on a brand new, exciting and extremely gratifying career as a Kim Dawson talent, photo print and fashion runway model.
My husband and I did fulfill our dreams of traveling around the globe; from the East African countries including Uganda, Kenya, to Zambia and central Africa to The Cape of South Africa to the outer islands of Indonesia, Australia, the Yukon, all the European countries including Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and Turkey: Istanbul being one of my favorite cities. We really immersed ourselves in the cultures of each country; I was always collecting accessories, fabrics and works of art, translating many design elements to my own style.
Having modeled for many fashion designers – it is very difficult to allocate the term “the best” in fact, it is impossible.
Balenciaga always comes to mind, I did not meet him, but modeled his originals in Marshal Field’s seasonal Import shows. James Galanos- Stanley Marcus named him the best American Designer. Mr. Galanos, whom I started modeling for in Chicago and then for Neiman’s in Dallas, booked me on several personal appearances around the country.
One of the most delightful designers I worked for was Karl Lagerfeld; what a perfect gentleman and fun. There are so many: Valentino, Givenchy, Donna Karen, Oscar Della Renta
My passion and dedication lies in helping women realize their fantastic and stunning essence and beauty by offering the tools and skills we need to discover and ‘own our style’ - to make a statement, just by the way we enter a room.
Style does not happen by chance and looking good is not for the faint of heart.
But this will be fun, I promise.