6 Models Making Catwalks A Tiny Bit More Diverse
The Debrief: The new new faces
Over the course of fashion month, models made sandwiches, skateboarded, and selfie-sticked down the catwalks. At Rick Owens, models wore… other models, strapped to their chests and backs. When it comes to winning column inches and committing to a narrative, different is better – though it’s a mantra that’s yet to be extended to model casting, as all girls cast are expected to fit into the one look of each show. Not that models are all cookie cutter identical, but that’s what the big shows usually strive for; a ‘model army’ of girls with praying mantis proportions rendered identical in perfectly matching wigs.
Refreshing, then, to see a few new faces stepping their toes out of the Stepford line this season. Yes, they're all skinny and beautiful - that prerequisite for walking a major catwalk show hasn't disappeared just yet. But these girls are doing their bit to slowly break down the homogeneity of the fashion industry.
1. Lineisy Montero
Lineisy Montero started off her season strong, walking in 23 shows during New York Fashion Week – and so many in London, Milan and Paris that I stopped counting and started just thinking of them as busloads. About 7 busloads, oversubscribed megabus loads, of shows. The 19 year old Dominican model opened the Prada AW15 show last season – not bad for her first catwalk – and casting directors took notice. And while she’s not the first black model to break the mould, her natural afro marks an important swing towards the natural, and away from one-size-fits-all wigs.
2. Ruth Bell
It’s not every woman that can carry off a buzzcut, but then models aren’t exactly the everywoman when it comes to looks. Ruth Bell was a successful model (read: Topshop campaign) as a long-blonde haired British 19 year old. The buzzcut came later, with a booking for an Alexander McQueen campaign, and it’s all gone a bit batshit from there, with a whole lot of runway walks culminating in her latest turn, as campaign star for Saint Laurent’s cruise collection.
3. & 4. Giulia and Camilla Venturini
One shorn head might be an exception, but three are a trend. German model Kris Gottschalk, who first shaved her head after a motorbike accident, went shorter and blonder for the Givenchy show, at the special request of Riccardo Tisci. And three? The Venturini twins, who definitely sound super-human, and look it too, even when they’re wearing florals. Skinheads + florals for spring = actually possibly groundbreaking.
5. Neelam Gill
You might recognise Neelam Gill as the girl that Zayn Malik’s rumoured to be dating, but I’d hope that you recognise her from the billboards, instead. She’s the first British Indian model ever to star in a Burberry campaign, and her catwalk CV is none too shabby, either.
6. Gigi Hadid
And in the body corner? Gigi Hadid, who has been called ‘too large’ to be a catwalk model, despite being 5’10” and a sample size. Even those speaking in her defence are using the word curvy – but if Gigi Hadid is curvy, I dread to think what that makes the rest of us.
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Pictures: Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty
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