Wednesday, September 19, 2007


for a long time, hengelo was able to boast the longest catwalk in all of europe. that title now goes to arnhem, whose catwalk is 1 km in length. poor hengelo, ours is only 1/2 km, and our city isn't big enough to expand it. but it's still pretty cool.

for several years, hengelo has hosted a modespektakel, or fashion show, every autumn to showcase its plethora of boutiques and clothing stores. at first i thought this was going to be a really stupid thing, mostly because the men setting up the catwalk the evening before kept me up half the night with their clanking and yelling and noise, and then when i woke up expecting a quiet(er) sunday, i saw giant loudspeakers right at the same level as my living room window. um, not happy.

but once it got started, i thought it was actually pretty neat! apparently many of the stores in hengelo pull together to sponsor this thing. and each store has a small group of models, sometimes only four, sometimes i think i saw up to almost 10. each model is wearing something specific to that particular store, the styles that they have in stock currently. and so these models will walk along as a group, wearing the clothes from the stores they are representing (i think even the firefighters were showing off their new threads too), and they'll all share the catwalk. there's spaces in between the models so that you can tell which store they are with, and you know which store they are with because each group will carry a shopping bag with the store's name on it. anyway, there's an announcer telling you about the stores and the styles and where to go for the warmest winter coats and finest suits and biggest selection of wedding dresses, etc. it's actually a brilliant marketing tool because they did it on a sunday, when there's NOTHING to do in town, so everyone came out to see the show. and the stores were open that day too, which never happens, so if you get inspired by something you see you can already run off to that store to pick it up.

but the BEST part is that at the very end, there were these four girls modelling for a store called "kiddotje." (which is a funny play on words, because "cadeautje" in dutch means "little present", but they use "kiddo" instead. cute.) kiddotje is a pregnancy/baby store, obviously with maternity clothes or they wouldn't be in the modespektakel. so these four ladies were all about as far along as me, and they're modelling these clothes. well, when you're on the catwalk, you don't look down at the people watching you, but instead you look up. and when you look up, you look directly into our living room window. so i'm standing there, watching this fashion show from my window, when one of the ladies spots me looking down at them. she notices my babybump and nudges the girl next to her. and then she says something and all 4 of the girls are now looking up at me -- so i turn to the side and show them my babybump, and then they all turn to the side too and show me their bumps, and we're all comparing babybumps at the same time and pointing and laughing at each other! lol! then one of the girls held up her bag from her store to show me where i should go to shop for maternity clothes (doing her job, of course!) and then sauntered (as best a pregnant woman can) along the catwalk to finish up the show. it was hilarious!

only in holland can i watch a fashion show from my living room window. how funny is that?!

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