Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is less than a month away, and as Fashion Reverie prepares to give it readers exciting and comprehensive coverage, Coco Mitchell gives much needed advice and encouragement to models who are prepping for all the castings and hustle and bustle that accompanies Fashion Week.
Always aware of what the industry currently requires, Coco Mitchell with great care and intelligence generously imparts her pearls of wisdom. In this installation, Coco gives advice on runway walks, model prep, and personal style.
Coco, I know you are a supermodel from the 80′s and 90′s, when models ruled the world. Nowadays, most of the fashion magazines are filled with celebrities. Where do I find inspiration for acceptable, fashionable, personal style?
Coco Mitchell: There is an amazing site called models.com that can give you a sense of what is fashionable and assist you in developing your own personal style as a model. Check out the 50 top models’ link. Keep an open mind. Be color blind when you look at the models; after all you’re looking for style. A model’s style is usually paired down—no earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings, a least not all at the same time. A model must inspire as well as be a blank canvas.
Coco, I want to come to New York City and get signed with a modeling agency. What is the first thing you suggest I do prior to coming to New York York City?
Coco Mitchell: I am a firm believer in preparation. You need pictures. The biggest mistake that most aspiring models make is using a photographer whose work is not current or up to par. Remember, modeling agencies will not blame the photographer for the bad images, they will hold you accountable as a model who is not prepared to work in a major fashion market.
Do your homework and carefully study magazines that use only models. Do not imitate or emulate celebrities that are on the covers or in the pages of these fashion publications. Celebrities are not models and not expected to perform as such.
Secondly, study the “feeling or attitude” you get from each shot—sexy, sultry, piercing, questioning, etc. Ask yourself what you have to do to achieve that look. What is the model thinking about when they emote. Emotion is not just in the face. Look at the total feeling from head to toe, from shoulders to fingertips; even examine the position of the hands and feet.
All this reflection and examination takes time. Have a friend help you practice until your modeling is more organic and natural, like dancing. Once you are confident that you can deliver, find the right photographer. Ask to see the photographer’s work. You know what to do. So, don’t settle!!
Miss Coco, I do a lot of shows. Everyone says I have a fierce walk, but how do I know if I have what it takes to do the shows in New York, Milan, and Paris?
Coco Mitchell: It has been my experience when training a model that already has some experience that sometimes modifying or tweaking the walk can be a challenge because some models believe their walk is appropriate for every runway show or designer. Be aware the runway walks should evolve or be adjusted depending on the show or designer.
If you are serious, and you sound like you are, go and look at the shows on youtube.com from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fall/winter 2013, Milan Fashion Week fall/winter 2013, and Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2013. Ask yourself “do I fit into the lineup of these shows, and is my walk current and reflects the walk in these shows”? Nowadays, casting agents are not looking for “signature walks.” They want a very cohesive show.
If you feel you need to tweak your runway walk, use the runway videos on youtube.com as your sounding board, so to speak, and Practice, Practice, Practice !!!