The Very Big Catwalk event in Liverpool was a great success last weekend. The Guinness Book of Record attempt to have the most models on a catwalk was achieved and everybody had a great time in the sun down at the Pierhead. The catwalk was full of diversity. People were coming up from the crowd to take part. Plus there were many planned ‘walks’ on the runway representing local charities and businesses.
Very, the mail order ‘shop till you drop’ catalogue sponsored the event. Celebrities like Rochelle Humes and Lauren Pope walked the catwalk to endorse their fashion lines. They were joined by a bevvy of beautiful girls (and some pretty cute lads) all looking fantastic in the clothes they got to model. Most of these girls were volunteers and were clearly having a great time being a model for the night. This morning they’ve probably woken up still on a high and wondering if it is something that they can actually do as a job. A lucky few may even be holding agency cards that the model scouts were passing out after the show.
But wait girls and boys, before you jump in feet first there are a few modelling tips that you need to know. Just a couple of things to consider before you start emailing your pictures out tomorrow and getting excited. As with anything it’s always best to be prepared. So take a look and let us know what you think.
Modelling – What type can you be
Saying you’re a model is a blanket job title for job that you do. There are several different types of models and each type requires certain skills and specific looks. For instance:
High Fashion Runway and Editorial (Fashion weeks, Vogue, Elle, Designers campaigns.) – Females should be over 5ft 8inches, a size 4 – 8, have natural everything (no extensions, no false nails or lashes) natural skin colour (no fake tan) and no piercings or tattoos. Males need to be over 6ft; lean but toned, have naturally good hair and again a natural skin colour. Both need to have excellent posture, good teeth, defined bone structure in the face and be attractive to the camera. These models are for designers to display their clothes on. The clothes are on show, not the model who is wearing them.
Commercial/ Print/ Real Life Editorial – These models are not pigeon holed by body size and the regime is less strict. The types of models that come under this section are Glamour, Advertisements (such as a family on the front of a cereal package), catalogues that cater for all ages, shapes, and sizes and none-glossy magazines (such as Now, Reveal etc.) These models should still be attractive, and except for glamour work, be as natural as possible. They need to look like they could blend into the public as the products they are modelling for are usually selling something to the general population. In contrast to the fashion modelling, where it is a specific client that will be interested.
Plus Size Modelling: Ok for fashion and runway work, ANYBODY over a size 10 is considered plus size. There is a great market for these models at the moment, as companies are now catering for customers that are on the curvier side. However, unless you are one of a chosen few (Sophie Dahl, Crystal Renn for eg) you won’t be walking a high fashion designers catwalk if you’re a plus size model. It’s based on the fact that designers make small sample sizes so they don’t use as much costly fabric and also if your curves are ‘the bomb’ then people with be looking at how fit you are in the clothes rather than the clothes themselves. Plus size is great for commercial work as companies want to get their looks out there but keep your expectations real.
Child Modelling: Basically a kid, of natural average proportion that is really cute or has a distinguishing trademark (like an awesome afro, or great white teeth.) The competition is high for kids, but not impossible as everyone has campaigns running all year (such as Boots, Asda, Matalan etc.)
I could go on but they are the four main sections and you would be in front with planning if you knew where you may slot in.
Whether you’ve down your homework or just been approached in the street, the agency you sign with will be your God! But there are tons of bogus ones, so be careful. Basically any agency that charges you to start with them should be avoided. The only cost you may pay would be a minimal photo shoot charge for your portfolio. Anyone asking for money over say £50.00 could potentially be ripping you off. When you pick an agent research it, find out about the process and then if you like it, sign with them. If they tell you that you NEED a portfolio done by them for £500, they are bogus and ripping people off using the person’s dreams as a tool. DON’T BE FOOLED. Especially relevant for pushy Mums, who will pay small fortunes to make their cherub a star.
There is no agency that will pay for a new model to go to a casting. You may have been scouted and you could be on your way to global domination, but until you get there you have to pay your own expenses. For instance, if you get a casting in London and live in Liverpool you have to pay for your own travel. If you get to said casting to find it has been put off until the next day, you have to foot the bill of your overnight stay. It’s a costly business when you are on the rise and you’re not guaranteed a job just because you have been to the casting. You will spend more than you make at the beginning, that’s a fact sadly.
As with cost, time is also an issue. To ‘make it’ and be a success you have devote a huge amount of time going to go-sees and castings. With travel, one appointment can take two days and unless you’re doing it for fun, you need to think along the lines of lots of hours with minimal return. At least for the beginning. If you become the next Kate Moss, then not so much. But it’s a competitive industry and a fickle one at that.
That brings me on to the last and probably most important information to consider, which is
Confidence and the ability to handle rejection
9 out of 10 castings will reject you. You’re in the room with 50 people that are as beautiful or handsome as you. It means you have a one in 50 chance in getting the job. When you get rejected, casting teams can be quite specific. For women especially you could be the perfect 34-24-34 and be told you have legs that don’t have the specification thigh gap, therefore taking you out of the running. Your agency won’t send you for jobs that you don’t have a shot at, they need to keep their reputation, but again, all the people in the room will have been sent for the same reason and that’s a lot of contenders. However, when you do get a job, the triumph is epic. Your own portfolio builds and you’re on your way to moving from the starter line. Just always remember that photographers and designers etc. are artistic types that have a vision, it has nothing to do with you.
Mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, then try again
It works every time in my humble opinion. If you have been scouted or fancy your chances and are realistic about what you can achieve then go for it. It’s a hard job, but hey you could get to wear stunning clothes and look flawless in print. That can only be a plus point surely. Oh and how do I know all of this? Well I pay attention and I adore high end fashion. Plus there is no-one in the world that has more information about the entertainment industry than a pushy mum. I have the badge for the being the pushiest, pushing, push Mum of all time (apart from Kris Jenner.) Just ask if you need any help