A fashion designer has spent many hours designing their clothing range, so will want to display them as well as possible. A model who flatters their designs will always be preferable. In terms of the photographer, they normally have little say but will be pleased when they find themselves working with models they have met before and who are therefore familiar with their style of direction.
So, this article will look at reasons why it is best for a fashion business to employ models as opposed to saving money and just using staff from inside a nearby office.
A Live Model Rather Than a Mannequin
For a more realistic image, it is far better to see an item of clothing displayed on a real live model rather than on a mannequin. This is because the live model can show off the movement of the dress and how it is carried on the human figure. A person can move and position themselves at angles that a mannequin cannot. It would take a long time for a photographer to keep moving a mannequin around to achieve the designer’s desired image. Far longer than it would take to direct a human model into that position. Also, a model can smile, whereas a mannequin is practically faceless. A nice smile is attractive and psychologically sells the clothes that the model would seem to be enjoying wearing.
Modeling was established as a profession in 1853. The moment when Charles Frederick Worth asked his wife Marie Vernet Worth to model some clothes that he had designed.
Where a mannequin comes into its own is in a shop window display, where it would not be practical or cost-effective for a live model to stand there modeling an outfit all day. Although, having said that, in 1898 Weinstock’s department store in Sacramento, California, caught the attention of the crowds by having a Vanishing Lady for their window display. A live model who only showed her head, neck, and shoulders, appeared behind the glass wearing a hat, to slowly vanish into the floor, to then reappear seconds later in a new hat. In the late nineteenth century, to compete with the various newspaper adverts and billboards, shop owners would have their window dressers go to extreme lengths to get their shop noticed. Further research has also revealed that, in the 1920s, Selfridges would use live models as part of their window displays. Today, it would seem less practical because of the higher wage costs and someone’s willingness to stand there in one position for so long. Even the guard in the sentry box at Buckingham Palace in London is not expected to stand still for more than ten minutes. During their stint of two hours on duty and four hours off, they will every so often march up and down in front of their sentry box.
For a Pleasing Look
Much of today’s world is based on expectations and achieving a certain look. Many top designers will see their clothes and the model as one. As Hubert de Givenchy (French fashion designer) is quoted as saying: “The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.”
Fashion designers will often work with the same models who have in the past showed off their fashions to their best. A certain outfit, for instance, might look better on a taller model as opposed to a shorter one. This is true in most instances and the reason why most models in the profession are tall. Generally, women are expected to be between 5’ 6” and 5’ 11” tall, and men between 5’ 9” and 6’ 2” tall. Petite models are becoming more common, however, allowing women 5’ 4” and below the opportunity to enter the profession. In addition to being endowed with the perfect measurements, a model will be adept at walking at the right speed down the catwalk for an action shot, and in making sure that all the folds of their outfit adopt the correct positions.
Another reason for using a model might be that, if they are a famous one, the name then tends to get attached to that brand of clothing. Rather like a celebrity or member of the royal family is seen wearing an outfit, which then ends up being desired to be worn by half the population. Association is an important part of fashion photography, and because of this, the top models can earn huge sums of money for their services.
To conclude… A few reasons why a professional model should be used to successfully shoot fashion images. It is a photographer’s dream to have models that not only look pleasing to the eye but understand direction, as if acting out a movie, and who has the skill of literally bringing clothes to life, even for a still image.