Fireworks at Seaside Model Search

July 18, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Elite 2001 Model Look USA Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum Tuesday, 07.10.01, 8 PM onward
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Models are not just born. Modeling agencies must search high and low for tall, thin, pouty girls, and then put them through a series of tests to determine their true model-ness. Case in point: the Elite agency's 2001 Model Look USA event, which took 32 girls from across the country to New York, where they got new hair cuts and a quickie modeling course, and were sent down a runway built aboard the Intrepid in order to compete and determine which ones were actually most model-y. (Take the venue's warship past as a metaphor, if you like.)

Model Maggie Rizer (hostess of Diffa's recent casino benefit) served as M.C. for the event, which was designed to pick three winners who will compete against other girls from around the world in Paris in the fall, in order to award three ultimate winners with modeling contracts with Elite.

Before the actual runway fashion show.phpect of the event began, guests--fashion journalists, Elite execs and the girls' families--sipped champagne and mingled along the ship's deck overlooking the Hudson. (Best site: Elite model Karen Elson inching away from the bar and almost bumping into a woman who looked like someone's Aunt Martha from Kalamazoo.)

Next, everyone went into a white tent from P. J. McBride, where Collapsable Giraffe and Juicy Lime had constructed a 7th on Sixth-worthy seating and runway setup. Guests found collapsible fans on their seats, and many fanned themselves a la Karl Lagerfeld while waiting for the show to start in the hot tent.

When it was time for the competition, the 32 girls (some as young as 13) did more than just walk the runway; Elite put them through a catwalk obstacle course, forcing them to walk in pairs, to walk in groups of three, to walk with props (umbrellas, fans, flowers) and, finally, to walk in jeans. After a panel of judges (fashion editors and Elite models and execs), Rizer announced the winners (a tie made it four), and everyone headed back to the deck to see a smoky, colorful fireworks display by Bay Fireworks.

--Chad Kaydo

See photos of the tent from this event...

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