SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 4:45 A.M.
Almost everyone else in Dallas is asleep, but when her alarm clock rings, Jane Henley gets out of bed quickly. Her eye-opener is several cups of strong, black Brazilian coffee. Jane has been a model with the Kim Dawson Agency for four years, and is used to early-morning calls for the big fashion markets at the Apparel Mart. This morning, she has to be there by 5:45 to prepare for the Manufacturer’s Show, open to any manufacturer willing to pay $60 for each piece he shows.
Jane arrives at the Apparel Mart loaded down with about a dozen pairs of shoes and a make-up kit the size of a tool box. Before the show she has to decide which shoes and accessories go with each garment. The process takes about an hour. Jane is a versatile model. Most models specialize in runway, showroom, or photographic work. Janes does all three, and makes about $70 for the show, compared to $60 an hour as a photographer’s model and about $80 a day for showroom work. Not all shows run smoothly. This morning, some of the changes are sloppy, and jogging suits and evening wear appear on the runway at the same lime. Several manufacturers complain, and Kim Dawson, director of the Kim Dawson Agency, lets the girls know how she feels about their performance.
When the Manufacturer’s Show ends at 9 o’clock, Jane has fifteen minutes for a breakfast break, then has to head for the Bill Becker-Belva Morrow showroom to model Halston dresses. Here she models for Sara Barnett and Thelma Keasler of Sybil’s in Jacksonville, Texas; then, assisted by Halston vice-presideni Don Friese, she shows the line to buyers Jody Greenwood, Bernice Westley, and Russ Jones of Houston.
Normally, Jane would work the Halston showroom until 5 p.m. Today, however, the buyers are as interested in the Super Bowl as everyone else in Dallas, so Jane has an hour to relax.
Jane arrives at the dressing room to prepare for the evening’s Group HI couturier show, all of the make-up tables and mirrors are taken. The top show of the market, the Group III show is an object of fierce competition by models: It’s attended by designers, manufacturers, and photographers from New York. In the back of every model’s mind is the possibility that this could be the beginning of a new phase in her career. Jane makes the best of a bad situation and does her make-up sitting on the floor before a full-length mirror. She has half-a-dozen changes during the show.
Finally, at 8:30, Jane’s fifteen-hour day is over, and she goes home.