Modelizing the Mannequins of Paris
October has always been the time of year I traveled to Paris, long before becoming a resident, when airfares were reasonable and I had birthday gift pocket-money to spend. Every year I’d celebrate my birthday in Paris with a meal in some fabulous three-star restaurant or hold a party with friends from all over the globe who were willing to gather here (who wouldn’t?!).
It was always a bit crisp, always sunny and deliriously delightful. It was also always Fashion Week. This year’s week of fashion frenzy seems to have brought with it even more “mannequins” than I can ever remember seeing. Everywhere I turn, there is a six-foot-plus tall long-haired waifish woman in tight jeans gliding past — too fast to even catch a photo of (which I’ve tried on several occasions and too slow on the draw to get on digital “film”).
These are the spring/summer 2006 collections with the usual top names mingling with a few fresh designer faces. The “spirit of Dior” marks its 100th anniversary this year. Friday, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano for Christian Dior used the newly renovated Grand Palais as the backdrop, with Dior’s “nude” theme set to a dramatic light show under its enormous glass cupola! American actresses Lucy Liu and Sharon Stone were among those who lined up to applaud the show. Wednesday, October 9th, Louis Vuitton opens its biggest store yet on the Champs Elysées after a near two-year extension and revamp.
One hundred ready-to-wear shows are on parade until October 10th, and with an average of 12 to 20 models needed depending on how much is showing, that equates to approximately 160 runway models wandering the streets of Paris.
I have the impression there are ten times that number, based on how inferior I’ve been feeling this week as the lovely lanky Amazons whoosh by, their long legs taking them down the cobblestoned streets at a stride twice as fast as mine. I’ve spotted even more than I have of the black-robed, fur-brimmed rabbis with their followers and families making their way from celebratory dinners to synagogues for the Jewish New Year in the Marais. (I’m envious, too, of their stunning fur hats…wouldn’t that look elegant against a snowy sky…or on a runway model?!)
With all those mannequins making-up or dressing down in town, I couldn’t help but think of all those “modelizers” on the Paris paths drooling in their wake. Gotham Magazine has pickup line advice for them…
DON’T SAY: “Are you a model?”
“If the gal in question is a model, she will be offended that you have questioned her modelability. She will either be thinking ‘Excuse me? Have you seen my face? I am God’s gift to America’ [or Europe] or ‘OMG. I totally knew those bite-size burgers at Pop Burger were adding up. Now I have thighs and I don’t even look like a REAL model.’ Spare her. This is not a compliment.”
“If she’s not a model, she knows it and it comes across like a cheese-ball line. Say it to a girl who is 5’2″ and it’s the equivalent of asking the guy in the blue button-down if he’s a body-builder. Appearances are not that deceiving. Minimize your own stupidity.”
DO SAY: “Which agency are you with?”
“The mark of the true modelizer. A guy who says this is either in the industry or in the know. Who cares, you’ve gotten yourself a good minute of her time. For the pro, you should know the top ten agencies in the city [world].”
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]
P.S. Mark your calendar for October’s Coffee Gathering “Parler Paris Après Midi” next Tues
day, October 11 starting at 3 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information. See you there!