Wanted: Models with an attitude

Emily Rasinski

Hopeful models strut their stuff for a chance to participate in Portfolio 2005

Fashion students critique senior biology major Latoya Simmons as she poses in front of them. The students rate the possible models and will decide whether to use them in the spring fashion show. Above right: Senior Kristina Chavez has her measurements ta

Credit: Andrew popik

“Alright baby, shake that thing,” Shammi Chowdhury yells in the auditorium of Rockwell Hall.

A man dressed in a white T-shirt and jeans steps rhythmically down the runway. He pauses at the end, strikes a timid pose, turns around, and walks back to where he started.

The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising held its Portfolio 2005 model call Monday and yesterday.

According to Chowdhury, director of the fashion show and instructor in the School of Fashion, the school uses the model call to select the women and men who will walk the runway during the annual spring fashion show.

Students in Chowdhury’s fashion show productions and promotions class and the fashion design instructors select the models. Chowdhury said the selection is based on three criteria: measurements, walk and attitude.

“You can tell if they’re afraid on the runway. It’s how they walk, if they carry themselves well,” she said.

Senior psychology and German major Derik Heinz said he liked the attention he got on the runway.

“They told me they wanted to see some sass,” he said. “So I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll give them some.’”

Other possible models like non-student Ritesh Singh, a North Royalton resident, felt differently about their modeling experience.

“Its kind of like, ‘Oh crap, I have to go now,’” he said. “It isn’t that dark so you can see everyone, and the music isn’t all that loud. It’s kind of nerve racking.”

Before the models get the chance to show their stuff on the runway, they are first photographed and measured.

The height requirement for the female models is between 5-foot-9 and 6-feet tall with a dress measurement between 6 and 10. The height requirement for males is 6-feet to 6-foot-4 with a chest measurement between 42 inches and 46 inches and a waist of 26 inches and 32 inches.

“I would love to have all sizes represented,” Chowdhury said. “But the design students work with certain dress forms, and I comply.”

Senior fashion design and merchandising major Nicole Foos agreed that the person’s size is important. She said she was looking for men with broad shoulders to model the line she designed.

“It’s about how my stuff will fit them,” she said.

However, Chowdhury said measurement exceptions are made if the model demonstrates a certain presence on the runway.

“If it’s an inch here or there, give or take, we’ll work with that,” she said. “You can stick heels on them, and they’ll be fine.”

Chowdhury said fashion students usually select about 30 women and 15 to 20 men for the show. Although the show requires fewer men than women, she said she has a harder time getting them to participate.

Because of this, she has had to resort to some unusual methods of recruitment.

“I don’t know if it’s because they’re shy,” she said. “If I see a cute guy, I go up to him and ask him to model. I saw a guy at Rockne’s today and told him to come.”

Foos said she is happy with the turnout they had.

“There were so many gorgeous people,” she said.

The models who are selected will be notified through e-mail or phone by tomorrow. After that, they are in the hands of the designers and their instructors. Each design student typically creates four garments. The model is called in for fittings throughout the rest of the semester until the line of clothing is complete. During the show the models will have about four or five clothing changes.

This year’s fashion show will take place the weekend of April 15 with a Hollywood theme.

Contact Fine and Professional Arts reporter Emily Rasinski reporter [email protected].