Prom dress fairytale

Faith Lawrence, In-Depth Editor

High school students with jobs usually work in retail or in the restaurant business, but senior Jamie Forst spends her time getting dressed up to be in front of a camera.  

On the weekends, Forst works as an ambassador for local dress shop Z Couture. Z Couture has the largest selection of couture dresses in Central Texas that carries designers like Sherri Hill, Jovani and more. Z Couture sells dresses for all occasions, like prom, pageants, and quinceañeras. As an ambassador, Forst models in Z Couture dresses to post on social media.

“My favorite thing about modeling is honestly wearing the dresses,” Forst said. “They’re so much fun because most of the time these dresses, I would never wear because they’re expensive dresses. When I put on a dress, I just want to take it home. There are so many dresses that I’ve put on and the ladies were like ‘This is amazing, this dress was meant for you.’ They just make you feel so good about yourself and I’m like ‘Yeah, you’re right, this dress was made for me.’”

Z Couture posted a photo on their Instagram story asking people to apply to be an ambassador. Many people applied but only fifteen got the job.

“I had been following Z Couture on Instagram for quite some time and one day they posted applications for the ambassadorship,” Z Couture ambassador Hayley Fitz said. “I applied promptly and was chosen for the position several weeks later. As an ambassador, I am responsible for posting photos of myself wearing dresses from Z Couture. I post on all platforms of social media, spreading the word on Z Couture as the #1 formal retailer in central Texas. I attend photo shoots and represent their brand whole heartedly.”

The main job of an ambassador for Z Couture is to promote the store by posting photos of themselves in Z Couture dresses to their social media and to give away discount cards to people interested in purchasing one of their dresses.

“Being an ambassador, I have discount cards so if anyone wants to buy a prom dress; they can come talk to me and I have a discount card to give them,” Forst said. “They can go get a discount on any dresses at Z Couture. I also get a discounted prom dress. I’ve already picked my prom dress- it was one of the first dresses I tried on and they took a discount off so it was a lot cheaper than it was supposed to be.”

Modeling for Z Couture can help students get future modeling jobs by helping build up their modeling resume and portfolio with their photos.

“I am going to college for film acting, and modeling is totally in that industry,” Forst said. “I mean, I’m having a lot of fun with it. When I go out to California, maybe I’ll look at some modeling agents and show them my portfolio for what I’ve done with Z Couture.”

Ambassadors are required to attend four photoshoots within the twelve weeks of the ambassador program. The ambassadors try on dresses selected for them by stylists and pose in the dress that looks best on them. They are then put into groups to take photos with based on which dresses look best together.

“Each model is styled by us for the photoshoot depending on the location, and are coordinated depending on what other model(s) they will be posing with,” Z Couture owner Kristin Jacobs said. “We have professional photoshoots with a local senior photographer, Pamela Hults, who helps the girls feel like a natural behind the camera.”

Forst has attended two photo shoots so far- one in Z Couture’s store front and another in Common Ford park, a lakefront park in central Austin.

“I woke up at 6 AM and got to [Common Ford],” Forst said. “It was like 30 degrees, freezing cold, and I was literally in this spaghetti strap dress.”

In addition to being an ambassador for Z Couture, Forst is also heavily involved in theatre and recently played Donna in Bowie’s production of “Mamma Mia.”

“The last shoot we did was like a prom party, so there was confetti and balloons,” Forst said. “We were supposed to pretend we were at a party. Afterwards, the photographer came up to me and she was like ‘You were amazing. I really felt like you were at a party’ and I was like ‘Thank you, that’s my acting coming in.’ She started laughing and she was like ‘I could totally tell that you were an actor.’ It’s fun putting the acting aspect into the modeling.”

Forst, along with 14 other ambassadors, was chosen by a panel of judges after submitting an application to Z Couture. Forst was chosen for her involvement in theatre and that she is enrolled in Bowie.

“She is the sweetest and has such a positive attitude,” Jacobs said. “She lets Z Couture style her without any complaints and just rolls with all of our crazy ideas. We adore her.”