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Friday, August 7, 2009

Knowing a Bit About Fashion Doesn't Hurt

Sometimes we tend to think of certain areas in the modeling industry as being black and white. But there are times when things overlap and I believe that is true when it comes to fashion. Most of us believe that unless we plan on becoming fashion or runway models, then having some knowledge of fashion isn't necessary--however, that isn't entirely true.

The more you know about your craft--even if some parts don't apply to you--can only help you, not hurt you. When it comes to clothes and fashion I believe that it is helpful to learn the basics. That goes for both male and female models, regardless of what type of modeling you do.

Even shorter models have to deal with clothes and wardrobe for photoshoots and in those cases, it is great to know what you're talking about--mainly when you're dealing with a wardrobe stylist. The people that are responsible for putting together your outfits for a shoot are fashionistas in their own right and in order to help them do their job better when working with you, it's good to be able to speak their language.

I'm not saying you need to become a fashionista or take some classes in fashion design. When I say learn the basics about fashion, I really mean the basics. For example, I have a shoot coming up for Microsoft and I was told to expect a phone call from the wardrobe stylist.

When I got that call she asked me a few questions about my wardrobe and while coordinating what clothing items I needed to bring, she asked me to describe the items in detail. And that meant going beyond what color it was. Because I learned some basic fashion speak, I was able to paint her a picture of what I would be bringing. This made it much easier for her to advise me on what to wear.

There are other times when they'll simply tell you what to bring and will supply the rest at the shoot. But for the times when you have to talk to the wardrobe stylist and need to explain what you have, basic fashion speak will make everything go off without a hitch.

When it comes to describing clothing items, even the colors can be expanded upon. We all know there are different shades of many colors. Make sure you know how to describe your clothes when it comes to colors.

For example: instead of saying a "red" shirt, you can expand on that by saying you have a "magenta" shirt, or a "wine colored" shirt. It doesn't have to be super fancy. Some colors come in vivid shades, while others are more pastel (think of pastels as a somewhat "faded" shade of color--pastel green and ivy green are two totally different colors and could make a big difference in a photoshoot).

Learn about style and cuts. Some common fashion speak includes the following:

- Baby Tee
- Tank Top
- Baby Doll
- Scoop Neck
- V-Neck
- Turtleneck
- Ribbed
- Sheer
- Camisole
- 3/4 Length Sleeves
- Dress Shirt
- Polo
- T-Shirt
- Sweater
- Peasant Top
- Denim
- Wool
- Satin
- Polyester
- Capris
- Wide-Leg
- Boot-Cut
- Shorts
- Skinnies
- Skirts
- Coat
- Jacket
- Shawl
- Sundress


- Heels
- Pumps
- Dress Shoes
- Sneakers
- Wedges
- Platforms
- Flats

There are plenty more terms you can look up on your own but I would imagine that most of you have these items in your closets. There are tons of fashion websites and online magazines that specialize in fashion and come with tons of photos. Visit such sites and see what you can learn. The more you know, the easier it will be to communicate with wardrobe stylists, photographers, clients, and whoever else is in charge of preparing you for a shoot.

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