Blood, Sweat, And Tears: A Day In The Life Of A Couture Model

For all the glam cliches that go along with being a runway model, it’s also a job. And according to Dior model Michelle Alves, a day at work is awfully tiring, stressful, and dangerous. Alves blogged for Modelinia about walking in John Galliano’s floral-themed couture collection, giving a behind-the-scenes look at what a top model goes through for a Paris fashion show. She faints at a fitting, where someone sticks a piece of candy in her mouth and shoves a shoebox-as-makeshift-barf-receptacle at her, spends four hours in makeup, doesn’t recognize a single model backstage (because they’re so dispensable, she says), and on top of it all, gets bloodied on the runway. Some highlights after the jump! [Modelinia]Michelle arrives to her fitting weak and sick after having suffered some mysterious “stomach virus” …

“But a whole day without food had a bigger impact on me than what I expected. My face was pale, I had deep circles under my eyes, and my skin didn’t have the same shine. Not even to mention how shameful I was feeling to have had fainted at the Dior fitting the night before … I started to hear the bells ringing, my vision started to fade, and I could feel fast hands undoing my corset as somebody put a piece of candy inside my mouth and somebody else offered me a shoe box just in case I’d need it.”

More proof that the fashion industry is using young girls and tossing them out …

“I hear my name to get in line. I’m number 27, out of only 30 of us, one dress per girl, and after being away for 3 years I don’t know any of the girls anymore. The market has changed, and has changed fast! Girls are almost disposable, one season then they are out! No wonder why there is so much interest on the supermodels again! Faces are not recognizable. When you start to get used to them, they are gone!”

Before stepping out onto the runway, tailors adjust her dress with pins last-minute, which end up stabbing her shins as she walks …

“I’m concentrating, one step after the other, I’m kicking the dress that is getting under my foot, but has so many layers that they keep coming back, faster then I can walk, the last minute pins started to scratch my leg … I’m getting closer to top of the runway. My heart is beating and it feels so good to be here one more time. I came off the runaway, they lift up my skirt and my leg was bleeding.”

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