Sunday’s severe weather threatened to ruin Luminosity, an outdoor fashion show organized by Jacqueline Craig’s Blacque Séance. A rain delay pushed the show back by more than an hour.
But when the music cued them to kick off the runway walk, Lillian Jones’ child models managed to reverse the soggy energy brought about by the rain with their fierce postures and matching faces.
“I teach my children reality,” Jones said. “Rain, what’s that? We have a job to do.”
And those baby divas worked! They strutted with signature pony walks and all types of supermodel attitude.
“I teach that to all of my models, from the new ones who just came to me for rehearsal in June to the ones who have been with me for the past five years,” Jones said.
The four youth featured in Craig’s runway show on Sunday were just a small sample of what audiences will see when Jones, more than 100 child models (ages 4-16) and a dozen or so stylists, designers and boutique owners present “This Is Me” on July 14 at SLU’s Busch Student Center.
“I’m hoping that the children walk away with self-identity – this is who I am, like it or love it, I can only be me,” Jones said. “That’s what ‘This is Me’ is about.”
The power of self-love is a lesson Jones passes down based on personal experience.
“Growing up, I was always the dark-skinned skinny girl. Back then, light skin was in, thickness was in,” Jones said.
“But when I looked in the mirror all I wanted to do was be okay with who I am versus what the next person is. I knew I couldn’t worry about that. And that’s what I wanted instill in my girls and my boys with this show.”
Her shows have grown to become a highly anticipated fashion experience for young people in the five years that she has been presenting. Jones typically has girls decked out in colorful tutus and bedazzled Chuck Taylors, among other signature looks. She has boys get their suit and tie on with crisp bowties or swagged out in urban wear.
“I hope that the kids show them what they have been working on as far as their walks and their attitudes and all of that,” Jones said. “The clothes might not be them, but their attitude is what you see on the runway.”
For Jones, the runway is her route to guide her young models on the path to self-confidence.
“It’s about being who you are and loving you first,” Jones said. “Once you love you, everybody else will come on.”
LAHA Clothing’s ‘This Is Me” will take place at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. doors) on Sunday, July 14 at Saint Louis University’s Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand. For tickets, or more information, call (314) 458-4153.