Full Disclosure: The following post is coming from the mind of a dance movement therapist (me). Don’t know what this means? Read it. You will get the point(e)….YASSSSSS!
I love fall fashion week. Not because of the reason you think — it has nothing to do with the fashion or the trends that are happening or what the designer is showcasing (although those are definitely reasons for loving fashion week!), but I love the energy a model gives off while wearing the designer’s clothes.
Depending on the theme, fabric, or designer’s ideas, a model’s ability to bring about some type of positive feeling in the audience can and will ultimately cause them to buy the designer’s clothing. Walking the runway and posing for a picture focus on two different types of movement qualities that appear to be key for models (get ready for my dance therapy lingo), creating and carving into a shape (or posing) and walking the runway.
Based on a movement repertoire (movement style), a model can truly bring clothes to life in ways that not many can imagine.
A model’s walk and pose on the runway, of course, affects a person’s decision of whether they like the designer’s clothing because of their taste, but there is also a deeper emotional level at play. Sometimes a model’s walk can bring up unconscious feelings, memories, or experiences we’ve had that can impact our decision in saying “yay” or “nay” to the designer’s work.
For example, if you see a model that walks with a pressing action (very strong, direct and indulging) while in delicate, light fabrics, the model’s walk may turn you off from the clothes completely. Maybe because the movement style does not match the designer’s clothing (which in some cases could be the artistic vision of the designer. But the question
is why would this mismatch be unattractive for you? Could it be that the model’s walk reminds you of someone that you admire, while the clothes remind you of someone you despise? Could seeing this combination on one person be confusing or unappealing? Could it be that you find yourself to be a grounded person that embraces the model’s walk, but does not see themselves as being delicate and light for whatever the reason may be. Is it scary to be delicate in your fashion sense and strong and grounded in your movement? Would you give off the wrong message? Or does it just not go with the trends of society?
Ultimately a model’s walk can be unattractive or attractive based off your past experiences of whom the walk reminds you of (maybe your mother, brother, true friend, fake friend, or a persona that you never saw yourself as-strong, confident, etc). Without recognizing it, these internal feelings you’ve felt from the model can then in turn be projected onto the designer. THIS is why it is important to have models that are able to hone in on the designer’s vision and WERK run with it. Watching such models capture the designer’s vision is truly remarkable and beautiful.
Thinking about the models then like Linda Evangelista, Karlie Kloss, and Naomi Campbell, and how their distinctive walks used very specific movement qualities (dab, float, glide) that were always interchangeable with different body parts (arms, legs, hips) captured the audience and increased revenue for designers.
I wonder what the runway models now, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Selena Forrest will embody for the designers and the audience. Will it be complimentary of one another? Of course the audience’s unconscious (and maybe conscious) feelings of a model on the runway this week, particularly someone like Kendall Jenner will bring up feelings for some audience members that are repulsive or gracious which could mostly be a projection of how they feel about the Kardashian’s. This can then affect the decision of the audience loving or hating the clothing of the designer. But, can someone like Kendall Jenner use her movement style to persuade the audience to only look at her modeling within the designer’s vision? Can she provide an opportunity for the audience to decide for themselves whether they like or dislike the fashion or is the Kardashian/Jenner name and reputation too strong for the audience to disconnect from? Will it ultimately influence the audience to say “yay” or “nay” to the designer?
Overall the important part of all this is that as the audience, whether you are at an actual runway show (I’m jealous!) or are watching the shows after fashion week on YouTube, there is more than one reason why we are influenced by fashion. If we are aware of our biases and why they are so present for us, we may be able to be more open to exploring different designers’ styles, based on the models presentation, whom we originally would have said “nay” (for me its Tommy Hilfiger).
*Words italicized = Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) terms