Behind the Scenes With Bevo

 

As an editor, I hold largely a desk job. Never could I imagine work would have me beaming the sun directly into the eyes of a 2,000-pound steer.

When he lowered his head and fixed his eyes upon me and the 6-foot reflector that I was holding like a gore-me flag, fear stalked into my heart. I’d lived in Spain but hadn’t dreamed of playing matador.

This was the surreal scenario on our January|February cover shoot.

Not only were we shooting with UT’s famous mascot, Bevo, at home on his ranch, we’d also brought in a New York model dressed a lot like Lady Gaga.

We were illustrating “From Ranch to Runway,” our cover story about how UT’s Textiles and Apparel program launches its graduates into high fashion. (You’ve heard of the student fashion show that draws 5,000 to the Frank Erwin Center each spring, right? Well, get ready to hear the rest of what this powerhouse program accomplishes.)

The contrast between Texas’ rural ranch land and the fashion world’s urban couture-land fascinated photographer Matt Wright-Steel and EmDash designers Erin Mayes and Kate Iltis, who dreamed up the shoot.

It took 13 people on the set to pull it off, from makeup artist Texas dela Rosa to hairstylist Ashanti Maxwell to wardrobe coordinator Eve Nicols, and each one contributed something special.

Most of us were just doing our jobs, so a special thanks g0es out to to the exceedingly patient and just plain nice guys of the Silver Spurs. Although finals were near, Peyton Wyatt and Robert Schulte volunteered to drive out and give their time, handling the colossal Bevo with complete gentleness and professionalism for several hours in the sun. Now that’s service to The University of Texas.

Huge props and gratitude also to the talented designer whose clothes gave us just the right look: Kalgari Ferris Eaton, BS ’11.

Another special thanks goes out to model Taylor McCausland, BS ’11, Life Member, who flew down from New York for the shoot. Her in-demand schedule even includes modeling on the upcoming all-star season of Project Runway, so we especially appreciated her time, and we all agreed she’s one of the most fun, down-to-earth models we’ve ever met.

In the end, Taylor summed the shoot up best: “This was 7,000 times more fun than I even expected!”

Look for “From Ranch to Runway” in our January|February issue, which hits mailboxes (and the Web) within the next few days.

Photo by Matt Wright-Steel.

 

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