The visual art of runway modeling is in the form of presenting attitude with line and motion. The aim is to animate and stir people’s interest by employing poise and natural expressions. It is the art that collectively sell and entertain and at the same time embodies the model and the client.
In high fashion, a catwalk is the narrow and flat surface that spans through the showroom. It is oftentimes referred as the runway where models parade in distinct sway or strut to demonstrate clothing lines and accessories. A runway or catwalk is a stage set up with risers and dramatic lights to provide the audience with a better view of the show. In fashion language, to express “what’s on the catwalk” is to refer to the latest trend or craze in the fashion world. So what’s new on the catwalk?
The Changing Trends of the Catwalk
Fashion never stops itself from changing. It always metamorphoses into something new and entirely different from the previous trend. The same is true with the runway models that are also called live models. During a fashion show, they wear clothes created by either famous or amateur designers. In the past decades, the demand for runway models increased by a noticeable percentage due to the emergence of new designers coming up with the latest in fashion. There has also been a comparative change in the qualifications and skills which the market required in a runway model particularly when it comes to the physical aspect.
The New Standards for Runway Models
In the past, measurements for models are 35.5-23.5-35.5 inches or 90-60-90 cm. Today, runway modeling requires catwalk models to be measured according to the British Association of Model Agents or AMA standard of around 34-24-34. This means that models are supposed to be much slimmer in shape than their colleagues are in the past. She must stand at least 5 ft 8 in or 1.73 m. Male runway model, on the other hand, must be standing at a height of at least 5 ft 11 in to 6 ft 2 in, with waist measurement of 30 – 32 in and chest measured at 36 – 40 in. Typically, male models for the runway are skinny and have well toned abs. Compared with the models in the past who were more fleshy and feminine, the present day female runway models have more masculine features like flat breasts and broad shoulders, flat buttocks, same waist-hip ratios and masculine skeletal proportions. The reason for this is that these high-fashion runway models are made to emulate the bearing of adolescent males.
The New Attitude and Art of the Catwalk
The famous runway walk is also not as flashy compared to the flamboyant style popularized by supermodels in the like of Naomi Campbell. Instead, models of today walk with a natural stroll as they project themselves to be walking human hangers with a designer’s cloth on them. The eyes are focused ahead and not on the audience. It takes an exceptional skill to focus away from the bright lights ahead because doing so may blind and disorient them as they walk down the runway.
Coping in the world of runway modeling requires talent and wit. To be considered as a real artist, the model must be able to present the merchandise as something good by using only the body and some facial expressions. This art form does not require using the voice. Moreover, the model must be able to entertain the audience and immediately catch their attention upon entrance until exit on the runway. This needs the model’s imaginative skills and correct attitude. As a result, the pleased audience is there to applaud not only the models but the designer as well.