mercoledì 17 novembre 2010


moolto sim _Axa party, originally uploaded by arialee miles.

What means sense of style?

I am simply a good average model, I am not a contest lover  and due to my private way of being I am too wild to be fully stylish , so for someone I could even be the less suitable person to talk about such this delicate question , but , notwithstanding , I have my clear ideas on it.

And as always I am going to talk about it, because too often I see some misunderstanding between sense of style and success and some major mistake between popularity and professional skills.

Sense of style is not easy to define but most of people immediately can distinguish who has well developed styling skills and who on the contrary lacks of them even if sometimes the difference is really small .

Like all the abstract, not definite concepts, to catch the full meaning of sense of style needs quite a mind effort.

I would define “sense of style” in its higher noble meaning, that quality which allows someone to be noticed for their elegance and class for the inner harmony irradiating from their person , the characteristic which allows to stand out in a crowd , without the people can explain rationally the reason their attention is captured .
Something like an intangible allure which surrounds that person like an invisible shine which hits directly the fantasy and the senses of the bystanders.

Those such blessed people could wear even very simple clothes but so well put together so underlined by an inimitable and unique shape a well chosen skin, perfectly appropriate hair, shoes and so exquisitely suitable accessories so that the person wouldn’t pass unnoticed . And yet people wouldn’t be able to explain why they notice, because of the inner invisible harmony leading the ensemble.

Everything so being part of the ensemble that every single item would seem made for the other like rings of the same chain .

Style in this meaning is even the skill of being able to give life and glamour to sometimes questionable clothes with unique details, chosen among many for their capability to attract the attention although never becoming excessive.

Because true style is never excess even when it portraits the excess itself.

Better said, sense of style is able to turn something that could be potentially excessive in a piece of pure elegance and in many cases in living art.

We all can see models ( and not only ) on runway but even in everyday life wearing daring avant garde outfits, incredible hair, hyperbolic accessories and excessive hats but most of the time we look at them with amazed admiration, looking at the grace and the poise with whom they portrait the otherwise inconceivable ....and at the same time we can point at once who has the style shine and who lacks of it.

In facts all of us (even not professional well trained eyes) can at once notice if the ensemble which is portrayed is harmonious, capturing, or on the contrary it is dangerously descending the slope of the excess and worse of the absurd.

In fact the very same creations, specially the most daring ones, can be extremely interesting and full of style , astonishing in their pure essence, absolutely haute couture or on the contrary almost disturbing , spoiled of every cultural meaning and reduced to a grotesque masquerade.

And here the good professional model responsibility, the well trained sense of style, the attention to the details are the requirements which prevent this last fateful eventuality .

In fact, sad but true, the different runway fate of these very same dresses is all a matter of the models’ good taste, attention commitment and sense of style in addition of course to the sense of the runway , intended like that mix of walk , presence and choice of appropriate poses .

A badly chosen detail, a poor or even worse cheap accessory , the lack of respect towards the balance in pairing the lines and shapes of a complex outfit , a not more than perfect editing, a shape out of proportions or even worse with gross or newbie features , the not measured tone of skin, the wrong colour of hair, to not talk of a bad chosen pose can determine the easy passage from the alluring haute couture to the plain average or worse, alas , to the ridiculous.

That’s why it is good and commendable ( and in this way must be understood and respected ) the effort of those agencies, or designers’ events organizations, to keep really high standards in models requirements and preserving themselves and their good reputation carefully not surrendering to the easy indiscriminate, opening their gates to the crowd of the new “models” that after few days of runway a somewhere beauty title and barely, if any, a quick school, think to know in depth how to master and tame a committing show.

Sad but true in my two years of running back and forth the catwalk I have seen more than one so called professional not being able to turn smooth , not being able to change their clothes technically and quickly, not adequate in their editing and with shapes and skins with more than one flaw.

I am not being snob nor mean here, and who knows me knows even I am neither snob nor mean, but only preserving the professionalism of the many serious model who take this career with the due commitment giving to it a lot of themselves and doing even some sacrifices and renounces.

Because I can sure you, it is quite different to work in a well chosen and high level environment where all is planned and checked twice in advance than in less careful ones where everything is let to the case , where models are not adequately instructed about the agency minimum runway criteria, where the production is not present with an attentive eye and the weight of its authoritativeness.

A well done show where the harmonic flowing of well trained models, able to face even the last minute unavoidable inconveniences, portraying impeccable well styled outfits and gracing the runway with their elegant and well chosen walks and poses is not only a joy for the designer, the audience and the production but is a source of pride for the models , at least for me it is , one of the best rewards this career can give.

But honestly I can say that the fierce competition in fashion environment , not only among models but even among the many fashion agencies, is raising the bar so that is brought in SL modelling an average good degree both among models and agencies, even reaching in some golden spots levels of excellence never seen before which easily cross the border of the live art performances .

These crisis times are difficult ones, but even times where the effort to professionally stand out and make the difference has brought to the scene a rare creativity, where luckily very few space is left to amateurs who can even have fast rises but that don’t last .

So back to sense of style , we can see some models walk with pride, pose with poise and fluently dominate the catwalk wearing clothes which scream mercy out loud ( it happens !) and other models that are literally eaten alive by otherwise majestic , beautiful creations of talented designer , killing themselves and the dress with a complete wrong styling.

And it is this last eventuality that serious academies and agencies should try to avoid insisting never enough about the importance of an hard, merciless and accurate work on oneself so that the complete mastery of technical aspects of the runway practice can allow to the model a more accurate work on her style and expressivity .

So in my not so humble opinion sense of style is a magic mix of many qualities, the uniqueness, the ability to find the right detail, the eye for the balance of shapes and lines, the good taste and the ability to always put together an agreeable outfit .

Sense of style in my vision is understatement and harmony, it is the inner class, it is the skill to create a dream allure around a simple pair of ripped jeans and it is, sometimes when the occasion is propitious, the courage to dare and explore with a foot in one owns culture and another in the realm of the fantasy .

This mix of qualities can be helped, cherished, refined with experience, even developed with hard work and practice but only if it is present at least at an embryonic stage since the beginning in the real individual before than in the SL model.

Sense of style can’t be created from nothing and main thing it can’t be created only in SL setting aside the cultural humus of the RL individual .

So if the real person behind the virtual model is not able to dress in RL , has not taste , creativity, sense of occasion , harmonic eye for colour and shades it will be very difficult that the pixel product will shine of its own light.

Because good taste and eye for harmony are a culture and like every kind of culture, they begin in our RL everyday life and only after develop in SL through the possibilities and the tools we have here to take care of them .

Obviously there are outstanding exceptions but they are exactly… exceptions.

Some rare people anyway are very good to pretend, although lacking of a well developed sense of style and in the awareness of that , with the guide of pre made outfits and following the latest newnesses on market , are able to stay in balance disguising personal lacks in expansive clothes.

That’s why in every good school the “freebie test” is always a good bank where the real sense style of the trainees is disclosed and tested .

But sometimes, for mysterious astral influences (and sometimes not so mysterious and not so astral…) someone lacking of sense of style thanks to this capability to disguise (even that is a skill after all ..) rise to popularity.

Pages and pages have been written in SL blogs about the equation professionalism and popularity in SL modelling scene and I don’t want add my two cents to it , mainly because being part myself of some contests , with alternate results, every thing I could say could sound hypocrite if not worse envious.

I have only to say that sometime the equation among popularity , professionalism and style is an equation that has its easy declination on the pageant’ stages but that can mortify and not make justice to the dozens of serious very skilled models who are committed but that prefer to work keeping and preserving their understatement.

I am not saying one choice is better than another ( I myself can’ t decide what side I want to be .. but that is a personal limit of mine I will have to deal with ^^ ), and I respect who has the cold blood to unceasingly bear with pageants and contests, I want just invite to not make easy equations, because if most of the time the aforementioned attributes ( popularity , sense of style , success and professionalism ) live together other times they don’t walk with the same step, and we can assist at some prodigious which make arise to the Top Models’ heaven some blessed lucky soul about whom is allowed to have some doubts . But we aren’t here to criticize anyone so lets go on :P

So we can say that sense of style is the natural skill to sparkle with harmony of moves, projecting all around a light , sparkling and glittering for the way one can compose their clothes , their accessories , their gaits and their attitude .

Now don’t laugh but even in a virtual world the way you move , the way you walk , the way you move eyes , the way you are able to catch the eyes, the way you find to stand out in a crowded casting can make the difference between a shining model ( I don’t like the word top model it is one of my many pet pevees ) and a honest runway employee.

In all our model classes we will hear teachers talking about uniqueness, well that won’t be the fruit of some well placed shopping of skins and hair, it will be only the consequence of a natural gift well developed through hard work and merciless practice .

The path towards our own uniqueness is a journey that never stops until we pursue this career, because in fashion world everything changes and evolves around us and we must be able to change with the world which changes.

Modelling schools teach us how to style an outfit , what poses is better to use and what is better to avoid , how to build and modify a model shape, how to select good quality hair and a flawless skin , but no school will teach us what is the right moment to make float a gown with a move , to make that little turn which captures an applause, to slightly shake the head to capture in that exact convergence of time and space the soul of the audience ... to tame the runway and the audience making them ours .

Yet that indefinite capability half charme and half spell that some of the models have to kidnap the soul and the imaginary of the audience is , in my opinion , the essence of the sense of style.

giovedì 11 novembre 2010

attenzione e nascondigli !

Mi piace certe volte prendermi alla larga , circumnavigare il corso dei miei pensieri soffermandomi .
Attendere ed osservare con pazienza , mentre il filo si tesse , autonomo .
Non scorderò chi sono nè dove vado . Mi raggomitolo nel mio pensiero e aspetto .
Il tempo all fine mi dà sempre ragione ...