Every student is finding their way through the semester, through the city, the world around them and most certainly their internships.
Catherine Lane is a senior from Hope College, Michigan, pursuing fashion here at the New York Arts Program. She has worked with Establishment Casting where she was able to work on the Marc Jacobs show during Fall Fashion Week.
“So when I was talking with John Reed [her advisor], I told him that I want to do fashion and he’s friends with this woman named Anita. She is a fashion casting director, but she started years ago and does a lot of campaigns for a lot of designers. She recently started a business, the Establishment Casting agency, and has 3 other people working for her. Normal stuff that we do day to day is we do rounds of models, where we make charts and call agencies, figure out what designers want, what models, and find out what they are looking for.
I started with the busiest time of the year which was Fall Fashion Week.
I went in on the first day and my supervisor Richard told me to go to the Marc Jacobs studio. I had no idea what was really going on.”
Catherine told me that there were, of course, models there when she arrived.
“So, I would label a lot of models which means, they would put their pictures on the boards that included who did it last year, who the creative director chose etc. and each board changes just about every minute. When the models came in for hair and makeup, I would greet them, make sure they had water, write down their names, the time they arrived, and later would start to call cars for the models late in the night.
The show was crazy.
When the designer, Marc Jacobs, arrived they knew he was on his way so you prepare.
He would come in, he had a megaphone, would play his music really loud and he always wore these really big heels, so you always kind of knew where he was due to heels he wore.
Twas the night before the show where they were doing fittings, hair tests and make up tests, and I saw Gigi and Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, which was cool. I mostly observed the events. It was helpful to see it and see how it actually works rather than just doing intern work. I would watch how it worked and how it all played out.”
“After fashion week it was very slow. It was just me and Richard because everyone else was at fashion week in Milan and London. Things slowed down A LOT.
Now I take in things to shoots like camera equipment, and clothes. I do a lot of PDFs now. Which means if were doing a campaign for a designer they say what they want and Anita or Calvin or someone will think of models or call casting agencies, find what the designer is looking for who they think would fit. So they would send me the names and I would make PDFs, which is like three pictures of them that shows them pretty well--so one body shot, one half body shot and one head shot--so that way Anita can see who they are. I choose the photos, and sometimes they have to tell me “not those”. For example, we were doing one for Rika Magazine and there was a lot of elegant French women and they would go through and really show me who they were looking for. If it was wrong, they’d tell me and that would kind of help me to find the best one.
Casting is there every step of the way and is sometimes overlooked.
IF a model gets sick, casting has to have a replacement immediately, they have to be there.”
Even though Cat’s internship was the coolest thing ever, she still struggled when she arrived. Everyone does.
“[Coming to NYC] was very different, it was crazier, louder, more exciting, scarier, better, and I am definitely not fully adjusted and it takes some adjusting. But I think that the reason why I didn’t totally freak out when I came here was because of how much I have wanted to do this my whole life. I wanted to be here in the city and have a really cool internship.
Before I came here, everyone was asking ‘are you excited?’ I tried not to think about it, I tried to keep myself numb, because it was a big change. Yes, you have other kids in the program, but you’re by yourself. No one was like, Oh I’ll see you there [in NYC].
When I started thinking about my parents leaving, it freaked me out. It definitely took me time to get used to it, but the NYAP keeps you busy. Just like totally immersing yourself in the city and not thinking about how far away from home you are and going out to explore the city with these people you don't even know [helps].”
Cat goes to a Christian school, so I asked her how it has been navigating her faith in a new city.
“I had no idea [how to maintain my faith], because it definitely became a part of my life that I enjoy and I wanted to keep that. So, talking to and finding those people that do go to church, and hooking onto those people to go together. I haven’t been steady, but I try to get involved, but it's a sense of community that you have anything in common with, but still, going to church is comforting and like a home. Even when you don’t have a ‘home base’.”
Now, Cat has been working a couple of stylists here and there, doing photoshoots, and exploring the city. She is fierce, strong and keeps on pushing forward. Just like everyone else, her journey has just begun. After interviewing her, it helped me personally because I truly knew I was not the only one attempting to find my place, and it is only a matter of time before you become a true New Yorker. In a fast-paced city, the city may never slow down, but students in the NY Arts Program are certainly learning to conquer it.
Written by: Nina Regalado