Fashion modelling is considered glamorous, thrilling and lucrative. It is tough, competitive and often a short-lived career. The main areas of modelling are for fashion shows and for fashion photographs or for the electronic medium. There is an overlap between these areas and many models do all. Fashion modelling focuses on clothing design and manufacture. The trend setting fashion houses produce collections of exclusively designed ‘garments’ or even accessories. In fashion shows the press, customers, buyers from the most exclusive shops etc. are welcomed. The trends in fashion business are set at such shows.
NATURE OF WORK
Fashion modelling is of three kinds: Live modelling for ramp fashion shows, Photographic or still modelling and modelling for the electronic medium.
In live fashion shows fashion models display clothes and accessories to potential customers in a professionally choreographed setting and hence to the best effect. In fashion photographs they model to the requirements of the photographer. The two specialisms demand quite different qualities, but there is much overlap and many models do both.
Models with exclusive appearance, physique and style are best suited for live shows while those who lack the requisite physique may choose photographic or electronic medium for modelling.
Designers who build up prototype garments on the model are ramp modelled in fashion shows. Displaying garments involves details such as how clothes hang, the seams and the hems. Models walk with natural, flowing movements, bringing attention of the spectators and allowing close scrutiny. They also answer questions about the clothes. Models often work freelance.
Photographic/Television (TV) modelling
Models work in the studio or on location for still photographs or for the television. Some famous models obtain work with fashion and women's magazines. They also feature in the non-fashion sections such as furniture and carpets. Models also work in advertising and for magazines, for TV ads, for promoting fashion and other products. Models who have exceptionally attractive hair or eyes, may specialize in modelling particular products such as shampoo or beauty products.
Photographic sessions are long, strenuous and demanding. Models pose for long periods and have to be cooperative and patient while the photographer adjusts the light, set etc. They have to follow instructions even for changing facial expressions, for looking relaxed, natural and lively.
Models work with arc lights under intense pressure of constant glare of the camera's lens. In ramp shows the work environment is glamorous yet tough. Long hours of waiting, preparing and performing can be very stressful. Fatigue and fears have no place. In still modelling or electronic modelling often shoots take long hours. Frequent dress changes are required.
Modelling is an art, which is a combination of both beauty and expression. An attractive physique, good height and good looks are some basic criteria for entry. Fashion models look good, have attractive features, a healthy complexion, even teeth and lusturous hair. Those with an interesting appearance, rather than classical beauty, are often preferred. Photographic models need to be highly photogenic. Good health, a high standard of physical fitness, good physical co-ordination are essential. Models have a pleasant, outgoing personality, tons of confidence, a happy attitude and trendy approach to life. Their lifestyle blends into their profession. They can work in a group and have interest in performance. Brains, brawn and beauty trained with versatility and enthusiasm are ideal for modelling.
Models may have to spend long periods waiting. Hence they must be patient and interested even when tired or bored. Self-confidence is needed but models must be able to accept critisism and rejection. Modeling needs a professional approach.
Fashion Models work for ad agencies, fashion houses, export firms and for fashion designers. The job could be for live on photographic modelling.
Prestige of an assignment determines the earnings of models. Beginners for live shows get Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.Print ads and reputed magazines pay Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per photograph. Television models get between Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000. Established models earn much more
Modelling begins with training with a reputed modelling agency. To enter, a portfolio of photographs has to be presented. This takes good investment but must be really professional. Fashion magazines, advertising firms, leading designers often experiment with new faces. Contacting their model coordinators is another option. Students with a flair for acting/dramatics and candidates from acting schools may be picked up by agencies looking for fresh talent.
Some Agencies, Photo-studios and Institutes which offer courses are:
Catwalk, K-40, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi
The Ramp, A-22, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 110 049
Glitz, F-100, Lajpat Nagar Phase II, New Delhi
Platinum Models, A-2 76, Shivalik, New Delhi
Sumiko Nanda, B-104, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi
Suvo Das, B-127, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Tina Factor, C-31, Defence Colony, New Delhi
Rafique Said, 2 Carmichael Road, Murnbai-26
The Coordinator, Ashoka Apt. Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai-5
Atul Kaobekar, Negative Space Photograper, 94 Municipal Industrial Estate, Worli, Mumbai-18
Boman Irani, 51/2, Paradesi Shyam Nivas, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai-26
Dabu Ratnami, 13th Road, (Anmol (9)), Mumbai-7
YSG-Worldwide Model & Promotion Agency, Orient House, 4th floor, Adi Marzban Path Mumbai-38.
Face, 1-795, Jesia Building, Jamshedji Road, Dadar, Mumbai 14
International Institute of Mass Media, H-15, South Extention, Part-I, New Delhi-110040
International Institute of Electronic Media & Advertising, B-l 7, Greater Kailash Enclave -1, New Delhi -110048