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The energy backstage on Wednesday night was noticeably different from the night before: everything felt more relaxed, looser, more energetic. Part of this was surely due to the models, runway team, volunteers, and hair and makeup artists falling into their groove, but the shift in atmosphere was due in large part to the pint-sized child models backstage. Whether playing games, dancing in a circle with the volunteers, or simply plugging their ears against the contemporary music blasting from the runway tent, the wee supermodels were a constant source of entertainment. The hair and makeup team had finished with JLINSNIDER’s models well in advance of the show, and models sporting eye-catching black lipstick lounged about the chairs, reading or texting. Soon they were dressed, lined up, and marched down the runway, while Ike Behar’s male models loitered about with Kleenex stuffed into their collars, receiving touchups. Emerging Designer Serena da Conceicao was all smiles and laughs in the holding tent as she prowled through her models, making last minute adjustments. Her models were calm and relaxed, joking around until the last minute. The children in Emerging Designer Lulu Long’s show were positively bursting with energy, and the tiny supermodels bounced around the holding tent prior to their show. Runway logistical master Jacqueline Lawrence swooped in and persuaded the energetic tykes to “keep a bubble in their mouths” as a means to keep the kids quiet, and then they were off to mug for the photographers. One young model in particular had a cautious, unique journey down the runway, which had both the Hyemin Cho models craning their necks, and the backstage staff and model coach Michelle Wood laughing to the point of tears. The Hyemin Cho models ladies and their sleek ponytails received multiple touchups to safeguard against the evening’s humidity, and the be-gloved models dashed to line up for their turn on the runway while Clarissa Arocena & Bryan Datinguinoo’s models received some interesting hand makeup. “We’re supposed to be workers,” one model explained, struggling not to touch the designer wares. Emerging Designer Cassidy Elizabeth-Mae Brown’s models towered over the crowd backstage like African goddesses in their colorful, stunning attire, elaborate headpieces, and impressive heels. The girls seemed to have really formed a bond with each other and the designer, and the models rushed in for an emotional group embrace as they tottered down the runway “off-ramp”. Then more wee models lined up to strut their stuff on the runway for Kris and Bob Galmarini and their line neve/hawk. The night gradually drew to a close, as hair stylists and makeup artists tucked away their belongings, models said their goodbyes, and everyone paused to congratulate the evening’s Emerging Designers.