Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fact or Fashion. By Alicia Pyke.

I’ve been present at a lot of fashion shoots lately and what you see in a magazine has as much to do with the art of illusion as it does the clothes. Or the model. And I’m not even talking about Photoshop. Here are some of the tricks of the trade that routinely take place before a single frame is snapped…

· Sometimes it takes as many as three people to shoe-horn a model into a dress: one to hold the garment in place, another to bring the fabric together and one to work the zipper. Speaking of zips, whether you’re in a studio or at home, never rush these temperamental metal monsters. If it sticks try again in a couple of minutes. Persisting will only result in a tear or broken zipper.

· Squeezing into a corseted gown is even less pleasant. Did you know a model’s ribs can actually be lifted and compressed slightly to help with fastening the hooks and eyes? Ouch. According to one clothes horse, the bones settle back into position after the dress has been on a few minutes and breathing finally becomes easier. The same goes for breasts.

· If you’re looking at a photograph of model in a long dress and you can’t see her feet, she’s probably wearing thongs or trainers (if she’s tall and body-confident), balancing barefoot on her toes ballerina style (if she’s shorter or needs to elongate her body) or in some truly hideous heels the stylist doesn’t want anyone to know she called in.

· When it comes to foundation less really is more. The less foundation a make-up artist applies, the longer it takes and the more brushes are required to blend it. BTW, powder is on the outer. Experts are using the latest liquid formulations sparingly, working them right into the skin and blotting away any shine so there’s really nothing to powder down.

· Hair stylists use eyelash glue to stick temporary hair extensions on at practically every shoot. Even if the model has long hair several extensions about 7cm wide are usually placed at the roots beneath a layer of hair around the face and at the top of the crown to add volume. After a quick blast with a hair dryer the extra locks are secure enough to curl and brush like real hair.

So now you know…

Image credits: America’s Next Top Model, Fashion Magazine, Burberry.
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