Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Craft of Modeling: Part I Give Them What They Want


I started to understand clothes only when I started to work in Paris. I was discovered by Thierry Mugler. His show was my first and only press show when I first stepped foot in this fashion capital. I became a muse to him and the collections were fitted on me. I was one of the first girls (the other - Beth Todd, editorial model) he took on his first location shoot for a French ELLE fashion spread and for his first photography book, THIERRY MUGLER Photographer.

It is very hard not be enthralled and energized by Mugler. His energy and creative genius hits one like lightning. Everyone around him was in love with him; not in the romantic sense but in a ‘creative collaboration’ sense. He is able to seduce everyone working for him; His assistants, his make-up people, his hair people, his PR office, models -myself, included. He had a knack of getting everyone around him to give their ‘body and soul’ to his collection.

Thierry Mugler is a perfectionist. He never would let up until the make-up artist got the right shade of red lipstick, the right shape and volume of the mouth, the direction and energy of the eyeliner that would determine the slant of the eye from theatrical or stage perspective. But all these details, he had already envisioned and they were all in his sketches. He even had names for each garment (Claudette, Camille, Cyd Charisse…)

With models, he was very discerning. He had a type of woman in mind….a goddess. One catches on fast by the words he uses when he likes something.
“Divine!” he would exclaim in French.

As a muse, there were hours and hours of standing up in 4 inch heels while the madams of his atelier were fitting the clothes and hitting my body with their stray pins, but I was never mentally absent. I involved myself in the process of creating the garment. My mind would focus on the visual and auditory and kinesthetic clues that were everywhere in the atelier.

I understood that the sketches were his vision. I gave Mugler the woman he envisioned. I gave him the Claudette, the Camille - the pose, the attitude, the face in his sketch, the movement.

I understood that he wanted a goddess. I gave Mugler that. And when the show comes, you are that person – you are that goddess, if only for that moment.

I could feel the texture of the garment on my body. I could feel the movement of the design while it was on me by trying it on and walking with it. I gave Mugler what this garment is suppose to feel like when a woman puts it on.

Designers are master creators. They have their visions - a dress, a collection - their masterpieces. Their creativity and intensity rubs off on you by the mere fact that you are around that creative energy. And to have mastery in the craft of modeling – you have to understand the process and give them what they want.


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12:01 PM  

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