Behind-the-Scenes at a Fashion Show – no Divas allowed!

by Rachel Weigler

Ah, runway shows! There is nothing more exciting than the hustle and bustle backstage in preparation of the big night. Designers, makeup artists, stylists, hair stylists, media…. it’s enough to make your head spin!

As a model, I have walked in numerous runway shows here in Indianapolis. I have worked with so many amazingly talented designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and wardrobe stylists. I have come to know many wonderful, beautiful models. I have also seen the darker side of the industry; the cliques and the divas who cast a shadow over this otherwise exciting experience.

So where do the models fit into all of this? Some might say that they are the most important part of the show. They are the ones who are wearing the designer’s works of art, right? Well, I tend to favor the idea that models are the LEAST important people in the room. Now before all the models reading this start sending me hate mail, hear me out. What I mean, is CREATIVELY the model is on the bottom of the totem pole. There is so much planning that takes place to produce a runway show. The makeup, hair, and designs have been carefully pieced together so that everything about the production flows together seamlessly. This is usually done long before any of the models have even been selected.

Arrive on time for hair and makeup. I know that it can seem like a “hurry up and wait” kind of deal, but it’s a basic courtesy that many people in our industry have forgotten. There are a dozen girls who need to have their hair and makeup done, and maybe two or three talented people in charge of doing them all! And we need to learn a little patience. MUAs and hair stylists can get a little edgy when twelve girls are fighting over them; wait your turn. And make sure that you arrive for hair and makeup with clean hair and a clean, un-made face. It’s so much easier for them to do their jobs when they have a blank canvas to start.

NEVER tell anyone on the creative team how to do their job. I cannot stress this part enough. The creative minds have already melded, and the decisions have already been made. Sometimes a model may have a little say over a specific hair style, but this is rare and should be considered an exception, not a rule. Also, if you don’t like the hair or makeup style that has been chosen for you, it’s best to keep your mouth shut about it. Remember, this is a COLLABORATION… no specific model is the star of the show.

Go with the flow! This industry is based primarily on opinions, and everyone has one. Models, we have the very difficult task of juggling everyone else’s opinions while keeping ours to ourselves. It is important to keep things in perspective. Maybe you don’t like the styling for a particular show. Well, the next show may be your dream job! But, if we run our mouths and upset the people that matter, there may not be a next show.

Models, we are REPLACEABLE. There are dozens of girls who could put on a sweet outfit and rock it down a catwalk. I think sometimes we need to be reminded of this fact. Humble pie is good for a model’s soul, after all. We are here to take direction and follow those directions perfectly. We were selected to represent the hard work of many peopleand be the embodiment of a collective vision. Nobody likes to work with a diva, and with the number of models available in the Midwest, nobody should have to.

Check out a video of a recent shoot that Rachel had with Anna Ziemniak for Sweet Revenge Lingerie!

Rachel Weigler is a freelance model in the Indianapolis market. She has extensive experience in runway, print, and promotional modeling, and is currently pursuing agency representation for commercial modeling. Rachel also writes a style blog.

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