Spring Fashion Week Day 5: Behind the Scenes at the TODAY show

Jane Fonda and I
Jane and I chillin’ at 6am

If you liked the segment, please email the show at today@nbc.com

I love what I do. Especially on days like today. Today I was on the TODAY show for the 4th time and this was by one of the best tv experiences I’ve ever had.  I mean I got to hang with Jane Fonda. JANE FONDA. I spoke to John Mayer, whose people totally dismissed me, which sucks because ‘Daughters’ is one of my favorite songs. I guess he would rather be all up in Jessica Simpson’s grill.  I also got to meet Ed McMahon and had to supress the urge to say “HEEERRRREEE’S KATHY”! Plus saw my peeps, Al, Anne (who is gorgeous in person), Matt (hottie), and Natalie.

So what goes into doing a segment like this? Here’s the breakdown…

The Prep: A five minute segment like the one I was on takes about 20 or so hours to prep for. First, it involves finding the models and for me it was VERY important to show very diverse group of models- all ages, sizes, colors, and even lifestyles. My point is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, can look great without spending a million dollars. Next, I contacted stores and pr firms in order to get the clothes. Since I was working under a very tight budget of $75 for the complete look including shoes and I wanted to pull from stores that were accessible whether you lived in Bismarck, South Dakota or New York City, this is the part of the process that takes the most time. I actually page through tons of sites, spend hours combing the racks of the stores, and sepnd half a day looking though various showrooms (read my upcoming article on my visit to the Isaac Mizrahi show room and the upcoming Behnaz Sarafpour for Go International line. Two words: HOT DAMN!). 

Next, I put together 2 to 3 looks per model to bring with me to the fitting, which if it’s a show in NYC like the TODAY show, I do the day before to make sure everything fits right and to give us a chance to pick up any last minute items.

Now I must break from my description of the process to tell you about the real cool part working on this segment in particular. Because the TODAY studios are being remodeled for Meredith, who starts tomorrow, we were “forced” to use the Saturday Night Live (SNL) wardrobe room and “had” to work with one of their wardrobe department heads, Tim. Can I tell you how cool it was to be in the wardrobe room and to see the closet for all of the cast of SNL (note: Horatio Sanz wears a size 11 shoe, Rachel Dratch a size 6.5).  Plus Tim is sort of like my fairy wardrobe- mother/father He got us all together, steamed all the garments and even taped the bottom of the shoes for us!

So back to how I put together the segment….

Each model came in for a fitting and we decided what outfit would work with their particular lifestyles and personal style. This is usually the most fun for the models, because it’s not everyday that you get someone to dress you up. Once the outfit was selected, my lovely assistant Tahesha handed everything over to Tim, who steamed, taped, and plucked the garments into perfection. 

The Show:  The cars arrive for pick up at 5:30am. It’s really hard to be cute at 5:30am in morning. When I first started doing this I really tried to look cute , now I roll ou tof bed, jump in shower, brush the stank off my breath, and put on what ever is clean and somewhat matches. Model Cherise for the bump or live spot

Once at the studio, we do what is called a “run through”, which is exactly like it sounds,  a run through of the segment.  During a run through, the models learn where to walk and how to stand for the camera and I get an idea of where I’m going to sit and who will be doing the interview.  After the run through, everyone goes for hair and make-up, which can take a bit of time, but is fun. The great thing about a network show like the TODAY show is that they have full hair and make-up- on most local shows, the anchors have to do their own make-up.  While the models are getting dolled up, I go over the segment with the producer(s) and make any last minute preps or…. in the case of today’s show… I chat with Ms. Jane Fonda. Models at the Today Show

After all the prep and waiting, we walk out of the green room (which are never green) and head out to do the segment. Although it’s five minutes.. it feels like 2 seconds.

Recap of the looks:

Malinda: Business Professional
Jacket- Newport-News, $19
Pants- Isaac Mizrahi for Target, $27.99
Shoes- Newport-News, $19
T-shirt- Sears, $4.19

Daphne: Business Causal
Dress- TJ Maxx, $24.99
Shoes- Payhalf, $29.00
Necklace- Forever 21, $5.00

Jennifer: Causal
Tunic- Spiegel, $19
Leggings- TJ Maxx, $9.99
Purse- TJ Maxx, $19.99
Belt- Forever 21, $7.99
Shoes- Spiegel, $19

Cherise: Dating
Dress- TJ Maxx/Marshalls, $24.99
Shrug- Sears, $10
Shoes- Payhalf, $20


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  1. Shelby says

    I just wanted to tell you that Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, not South Dakota. Unless there is a Bismarck in South Dakota that I don’t know about.

  2. Lynne says

    I loved your segment on TODAY. My favorite look was the TJ Maxx dress and Forever 21 necklace w/knee high boots—so adorable!

    Since TJ doesn’t have an e-commerce site, I need to track it down in the store. Is it possible to post photos of the looks?

  3. TBF says

    I will try and get up links.. Apparently, Spiegel didn’t realize the power of TBF and sold out of many of the items featured in the segment…

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