By Simi A Mira
Fashion models and catwalk models are often interchangeable, as fashion models will sometimes strut their stuff on the runway and catwalk models will sometimes pose for glamorous fashion shoots. Despite their similarities, there are some key differences between the two. Are you a fashion model or a catwalk model, or are you both? Well, sit tight, beautiful people — you’re about to find out.
Fashion models are models who work closely with photographers and designers, most likely in a studio or on-location. It’s like a Hollywood set-up: a director, a producer, a photographer (or videographer), a set, and of course, the glam squad (A.K.A. stylists, hair and makeup artists, and the designer’s staff). Being photogenic in this case is probably the most important thing. Posing, knowing your good angles and how to position yourself in a way that’s flattering for your body, for the angle of the camera, and for the angle of the light are all strengths of fashion models.
Cara Delevingne, a model hailing from England, has decided to completely give up runway modelling for acting and fashion modelling. Instead of appearing at London Fashion Week, she has became the brand ambassador of a Swiss watch brand, TAG Heuer, and she flaunted her striking features on the cover of American Vogue.
Fashion models, like catwalk models, are there to highlight a designer’s work; they’re there to demonstrate how the clothes or accessories look on a human figure. Together, they become a work of art — fashion meets beauty. The photographer’s job is to capture the perfect moment of that union, and to send it to magazines, catalogues or other publications so they can show fashion-conscious people the latest styles.
Catwalk modelling, also called runway modelling, requires the ability to showcase a designer’s work while walking down a long platform, often in front of a pretty extensive audience. If you can walk backwards, spin, and impress a large group of industry people, all while wearing a gorgeous piece of clothing, you’re probably a catwalk model.
Fashion designers will usually have a show twice a year to showcase their new collections to a group of buyers. These people are often the crux of the fashion industry, and though it doesn’t reach as many people as editorials do, you’re often in the presence of some very important figures.
Many catwalk models have backgrounds in dance; they are extremely graceful and can flaunt the hauttest couture while simultaneously striding down a platform. Rick Owens’ spring 2014 Collection during Paris Fashion Week was a perfect example of this — all of his models were professional dancers. Catwalk models also must be photogenic, but the most important quality a catwalk model must embody is, well, their body. They gotta combine fashion and movement. A living, moving image of the designer’s desired look.
So… Which One Are You?
Some supermodels, like Australian model Gemma Ward, rock the runway during Fashion Weeks (fun fact: Gemma Ward made her first appearance on the Australian runway at age 15) and grace the cover of Vogue on the off-seasons. Many models, especially supermodels, are experienced catwalk strutters and fashion photography visions.
Whether you’re agile, graceful and fierce on the catwalk or serene, photogenic, and striking on camera, you probably have experienced a little of both elements of the fashion industry. And if you know your strengths and are unabashedly fierce as only a fashion or a catwalk model than I admire your industriousness — you guys are killin’ it.