July 10, 2015
We have all witnessed the unglamorous happenings on the runway; models falling in Lady Gaga platforms or getting into a tangling mess of Dior chiffon, but that is all well and known to us. What about the things we don’t see? During a fashion show, there’s only one we don’t get to catch sight of, and that is BACKSTAGE. This is the hibernation of all models, the flurry of impatient designers and the constant battle of hair and makeup artists working on top of each other. Here’s a backstage pass, as we let you in on a few secrets.
The public fallacy and the painful truth.
1. The Wait.
If you have ever been to see a runway show, you will know that on average, they usually last no longer than 40 minutes. Not a strenuously long time right? But, models have to prepare, so how long does this actually take?
The majority of runways set a call time between 9 and 10 hours before show schedule. This consists of rehearsals, hair and makeup, and then the final show. But the real strain is the waiting in between, before and after hair and makeup is complete, waiting for the show, waiting on backstage photographers; models are not allowed to ‘roam’ or leave the backstage area and the final show is just around 30 seconds for each look!
2. The Clothes.
Wearing a full look on a runway is one of the most exhilarating feelings – walking out wearing thousands of dollars of Prada attire or a Gucci slip on, who wouldn’t? Many times, the public expect models to be wearing runway pieces on and off the runway, but the reality is, designers do not give the pieces to the models. In fact, runway pieces are mostly samples, so if a model damages or ruins a piece, the agent has to pay!
3. Being Camera-Ready, Always.
As we all fantasize about the glamorous lifestyle and the celebrity exposure of models, do we ever wonder about its downsides? Hundreds of photographers and media press congregate backstage for the sneakiest peeks of models at different stages of preparation. Unfortunately for the model, once the photograph is taken, they have no control over where it is posted. Who fancies publishing a non-makeup morning selfie? Not us!
4. The Beautiful Pain.
From wearing studded accessories that don’t always sit comfortably, to squeezing size 40 feet into whatever size that’s available, models are sure to feel exhausted after a day at work. Backstage isn’t always fun and giggles, girls are expected to squish and squash into the tightest of spaces whether it’s their size 2 waist or their size 40 feet, or, imagine hair being backcombed until it sits brashly into style. Would you trade a day at the office for a day on the runway?
5. Get a strong backbone.
Not only is modelling a tough game to break into, the whole fashion industry can be very overbearing too. From casting with designers, to rehearsals with show producers, and even working alongside other models. One thing models must learn very quickly in the industry is to grow a backbone, and a strong one at that. When you have 30 seconds to change between looks, nobody cares where elbows are flying, and designers certainly aren’t afraid to tell you that you’re too big for their garments!