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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

You Better Work!!! Understanding What Makes a Fashion Show (Part II): The Fitting

Now that you've been hired for the fashion show (high-five!), the next stage in the process is to get fitted and help the designer(s) figure out what you will wear. You'll be notified of the date, time and location of the fitting in advance. Typically fittings are held a few weeks before the actual show (although in rare cases or for smaller shows, the fittings might be held a few days before).

Unless given specific instructions on what to wear, you should arrive to your fitting with comfortable clothes--there is no need for a stylish outfit since you'll be changing in and out of clothes all day. Additionally, you won't be dealing with hair and makeup so you can come natural. Bring your heels, unless they will be provided for you, so that the designer can get a complete idea of how the outfits will fit on you and make adjustments to the length, if necessary.

Female models should wear nude colored, seamless thong underwear (can't have those pesky pantie lines!) and a nude colored strapless bra, unless told otherwise. In some fashion shows you won't be able to wear a bra so it is a good idea to bring some pasties or inserts (also affectionately known as "chicken fillets" LOL). Male models should wear boxer briefs, unless told otherwise.

Because you'll be dealing with various clothing items and their materials, it is advisable to avoid wearing any heavily scented perfume, cologne, body spray or lotion. Also avoid deodorant, which can leave an unsightly white streak on the clothes as you change in and out--even the deodorants that claim to not leave such marks shouldn't be relied upon.

Designers won't be happy if they don't receive their garments in the same condition they were in at the beginning of the fitting. Avoiding fragrance prevents the smell from becoming absorbed in the fabric. If you feel like you're going to sweat, one industry insider trick is to have a box of tissue with you. Place a couple underneath your armpits and it will absorb the sweat without getting it onto the clothes.

The fitting is a pretty informal event so you'll be dealing directly with the designer(s) involved. Like a go-see, they'll have you come out, walk in the outfit and turn around so they can view how it looks on you. You won't always get to wear the outfits that you try on, however. It is up to the designer--not you--as to which garments you'll ultimately be assigned to wear in the actual fashion show.

Sometimes there are last minute changes on the day of the show as well, so do not be surprised if you find that one or more of your outfits has been given to another model. Do not get upset and instead take it in stride--it happens and it comes with the territory. I did one fashion show where two of my favorite outfits I tried on (and was assigned to) were given to someone else the day of the show. On top of that, in the same show, a gown I was supposed to model was actually taken off me while I was in line to go on the runway because the designer (who for some reason wasn't present at the fitting), didn't like the way it fit on me and gave it to another girl instead. Was I upset? I was fuming! Did I make a big scene? No (as much as I wanted to give that designer a piece of my mind)...I simply went back to the dressing room and sat out of the final segment.

While the people backstage were appalled by what happened, I think they were more surprised by my reaction: I just shrugged my shoulders, said, "It happens" and picked up my book to read until the end of the show. Fashion shows may be glamorous to the audience but they can get UGLY backstage.

During the fitting be professional but also have fun...don't be afraid to get to know the designer and have a conversation. This is networking at its finest. If the designer has a positive working experience with you, chances are they'll keep you in mind for future fashion shows and projects.

Do not fuss or make "requests" to wear something on the rack. Remember, this a modeling job--you're not shopping. Again, it's not about what you want. In some situations, you might get lucky and have a designer who is really cool and allows you to choose an outfit that you want to wear. But if that doesn't happen, be professional and take what you are given.

Once you've been fitted and the designer gets your final measurements, you'll be done with this part of the process. Up next? The rehearsal!

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