It's a Fashion Week cliché. One after another, twig-legged models emerge from behind the curtains and stomp down the runway in long gaits, one barely distinguishable from the next.
But Shakara Ledard comes out dancing.
She has every reason to shake her frizzy black hair and swivel her hips. In this show, Ledard not only models clothes, she makes them.
Ledard made the switch from clothes hanger to fashion designer last year.
"I've always believed that modeling was going to be a transitional tool into something else, I just didn't know what that something else would be," she told CBSNews.com backstage before her debut runway show on Monday.
Her new label, Roxs, was spotlighted at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. Ledard shook it down the runway in what was just a test run, 30 minutes before the official start time for a fashion show called The Venue, which features independent designers.
"We've been able to do something a little bit more creative, a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more low key than going to the tents, which is … hectic," said the show's co-creator Ron Smith.
"The tents" was a reference to the big time. New York's winter Fashion Week is the annual North American unveiling of more than 100 designers' spring collections, held in venues across midtown Manhattan, including the exclusive "tents," a 65,000-square-foot temporary structure set up in Bryant Park.
An invitation to a show is a rare and exclusive commodity; the rule of thumb is if you aren't a designer, friends with a designer, uber-rich or an A-list celebrity, you're not getting in.
Although dozens of blocks from Bryant Park, the Metropolitan Pavilion was beyond bustling mid-day Monday. Its first-floor showcase room was nearly busting to its seams with models, Aveda stylists, spectators and goodie-bag grabbers.
"I am so excited I cannot even describe it," Ledard said. "We've been working so hard on this collection."
Her second collection, School of Roxs, is a playful mix of prep and punk rock, with items pieced together from leathers, herringbones and plaids. The fabrics are stacked and meshed — one herringbone piece is printed with plaid.