In showbiz, the old adage says the show must go on no matter what obstacles and disappointments get in the way.
That’s proving true for Lincoln County modeling star Laura Kirkpatrick. Friday’s fashion show and after-party fundraiser at the Boyle County Fairgrounds will go on as planned, even though Kirkpatrick herself won’t be there, having been called back to Hollywood for some pretty important business.
“She’s so disappointed,” said Hannah Kirkpatrick, who is filling in for her older sister at Friday’s event.
Laura is unable to speak for herself. She’s off limits while filming an upcoming season of “America’s Top Model,” the TV show that launched her career two years ago. Laura was among the previous contestants on the show to be invited back for an all-star type competition that is currently shooting at an undisclosed location in the Los Angeles area and could air this fall, though details are being kept hush-hush, even from family members.
“We have no clue,” Hannah said. “They like to keep everything locked-down secret.”
Laura left California and returned to Lincoln County on April 28 to spend a month visiting with family and friends while gearing up for Friday’s show, which will benefit the Kirkpatrick & Burton Bluegrass Dyslexia Foundation she founded last year to raise awareness for the learning disability that afflicted her as a child.
She was in town less than a week when a “Top Model” producer called and told her they wanted her back for the upcoming season. They flew her back to California on May 8 to begin filming, Hannah said.
It was decided that Friday’s show should continue in Laura’s absence, even though her missing star power might diminish attendance.
“I’m afraid that’s a possibility, but I’m hoping people will see her heart is still in it and it’s still her cause and they’ll come out and support the foundation,” Hannah explained.
The fashion show will feature swim suits, summer wear and vintage lingerie created by four Kentucky designers, including the Kirkpatricks’ grandmother, Wanda Sue Kirkpatrick, who designed some of the clothes Laura wore on the TV show two years ago. The swimsuits designed by the elder Kirkpatrick will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the foundation.
While some of the models will be industry professionals and Laura’s friends, the majority will be from Kentucky — including half a dozen from central Kentucky — with various levels of runway experience.
“We have three girls who have never been on a runway before,” Hannah said. “We wanted to give people who wanted to do this a chance.”
Following the fashion show, an after-party will give the night a glowing ending. Attendees are encouraged to wear white to better be seen under the black lights. Glow-in-the-dark paints and other accessories will add to the dance’s atmosphere.
“We’re calling it a glow party,” Hannah explained.