Friday, March 19, 2010

Boards of Reality

Every season I always look out for and collect pictures of designers' backstage "model boards." I feel like these usually get overlooked in favor of other backstage pictures (like ones that actually feature models), but I think they're a goldmine of information especially if you're big on models.

Aside from individual model polaroids, these model board are the closest most of us will ever get to seeing models au naturale. And the beauty of these boards is that you can see all your favorite girls in one go, and even discover some new girls that you previously overlooked. In addition to being extremely functional, these boards also serve as the fashion version of "Where's Waldo" in that it can take a few seconds before you spot whichever model you're looking for.

The boards look different from designer to designer, yet they feature nearly all the same girls. Some have the girls in their full looks, others just feature their stark head shots. On the surface these board don't appear to be anything special; but if you look closely they're full of little surprises. (And I'm personally attracted to their meta aspect in that they're pictures of pictures. I just love that!) They tell you a lot about the models, and a lot about the show process if you pay extra attention to all the notes, post-its and scribbles. For example, I noticed at least two instances where a girl was on the board, but didn't actually walk the show in the end. Let's see if you can spot who and what shows I'm talking about. ;) If anyone actually gets this I'll be impressed because that means you actually read what I write instead of just scrolling past it....haha! I'll even give clues if you ask....

You get to see how the girls look without full hair and makeup and also how they look all lined up next to each other for comparison. You begin to notice similarities, differences, who's naturally beautiful, who needs a little help from the makeup, etc... Also, I think that age tends to shine through really well in these. Some of these girls really look their age (which is really young) without the glossy sheen of the runway to hide their youthful innocence. On model boards things are laid out bare, without pretensions, without editing. Perhaps the closest thing to reality in an industry that is all about aspirations.

Have you been able to spot Freja in all the model boards posted so far? And here's one last final board for you to look over. It made quite a stir for it's realness. Freja isn't on it, but a lot of girls are and if you haven't already, it's definitely worth perusing for a good while. Some models look amazing to the point where they look otherworldly (hello Constance!)....others, not so much. I feel like this could go in a new section of US Weekly called "Models, They're Just Like Us!" they age, they get bags under their eyes, and they even get acne. Not that I think this is a bad thing at all, mind you.

Fashion is a wonderful form of escapism and fantasy; but sometimes we all need to be reminded that it's "perfections" stem from the same imperfections that bind us all together and ground us in a solid reality.

BTW, most of the images are in HQ so definitely click through if you want a better look. Also, the show and the image source are all in the image file name.

Image Credits: cobrasmake, dazeddigital, dossierjournal, elle,, fashionista, dolcegabbana, lastnightsparty,,,, thelovemagazineblog, videofashion twitter, vmagazine, ysl facebook


Anonymous said...

the only thing I noticed is that Freja is on the Nina Ricci board, but she didn't walk in that show.
interesting post, keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

wow!the LV board is quite interesting. Adriana looks really different.Lily D,Catherine and Maryna did not look good too.i think the only two models that still look beautiful are Edita and Frida.but, at the end, they all appear so serene and breathtakingly beautiful in the show.aaahhh..the magic of makeup and hair

Anonymous said...

did freja and catherine walked in the same show?!

Anonymous said...

i notice they're both in the Stella Mccartney's show.not sure about other shows though.

Rrose Sélavy said...

Why is anyone even bringing it up as if it were an issue? They're both adults and professional models....of course they would walk the same show if they were both cast in it. This isn't middle school. Fashion is a business first, and models have jobs to do. Now can people just please move on? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

so who was on the board but didn't walk the show????

Anonymous said...

Like all of your other posts, this post was lovely. Thoughtful. Smart. Interesting. Three words that aren't usually all used to describe a blog post. Especially a fashion blog post.

While cleaning up the showroom for a certain new designer that I intern for here in New York I came across all of the model polaroids and model cards from the Fall 2010 show. I took them all. It was too hard to resist. The photos were so natural, so real that I felt like I was intruding. Like I was watching them from the window at night or something. People like to complain that the models we have are all alike and maybe they are on the runway but when you look at the model boards you can see every slight difference in their skin tone and their lips and their eyes and it's beautiful. Stunning. Refreshing.

Miranda said...

I am constantly in awe of your interpretations and sharp eyes. It's like nothing Freja-related escapes you, uh, without some sort of amazing analysis that I definitely would have never thought up on my own. It's so intriguing.

I've looked through all the mood boards you've posted, but I'm not very sure which models we're trying to guess here. Do the rep post its on Liu Wen and Ieva have anything to with not walking a show?

You analysis has often opened up my perspective on a lot of things.

Anonymous said...

Who is on the first row, 6th column on the last board?

Rrose Sélavy said...

@justassoon...: Thank you so much for your compliments and for reading! You have a great blog yourself! :)

@Miranda: Thanks for always reading and commenting. :) Even if your perspective is the only one I open up, it's all worth it. Fashion is just as worthy of serious thought as any other subject. And no, I wasn't referring to Liu or Ieva. ;)

@anonymous: Natasha Poly.