With New York Fashion Week in full swing (shortly followed by London, Milan and Paris) models from across the world are finally getting the chance to put their walks to use. Months of practicing, falls and hip wiggles behind them, the stars of the runway are here once again. But how do they do it, mastering a stride that’s seductive, professional and unique all wrapped in to one? We may not be able to unveil every model’s secret (we imagine many of those are kept under tight wraps) but here at UK Models we can sure enough enlighten you on a few of the fundamental rules.
As simple, obvious and good for your health as this first tip is, it’s genuinely surprising how many people (models or not) don’t walk with a good posture. Standing upright is essential in this industry. Whether you’re stood in a queue waiting for castings or you’re showing the world what you’re made of as you gracefully stroll down the runway, keep your back straight!
A poor posture looks lazy, it’s not the healthiest body position either. And who wants their clothes/make-up/accessories shown off on that? No one.
Although we’re not suggesting that you sit with a book balanced on your head to try and improve things, we do recommend you work on your ability to keep an upright position at all times. Get friends and family to remind you whenever you begin to slouch, or take a photograph of yourself slumped and then compare it to one of you sat up. You’ll be amazed at the difference in shots.
Whilst walking it’s imperative to keep your eyes focused, this is a rule that works very much hand in hand with your posture. Forget looking around for friends or family in the audience, if your gaze is cast forward you will find that you naturally stand straighter, thus have a more professional look to your stance.
Another one for homework is mastering the high heeled shoe. If you’re into your wedges, platforms, stilettos, good news for you, you’re probably more than capable when it comes to walking around in a pair. But if you’re not, get practicing. The majority of designers (up and coming right through to world-recognised) will have their models walk the runway in heels. These may be of a kitten height, they may be 7-inch platforms, regardless, you will be expected to walk confidently in such.
On that note, two more points come to mind. Firstly, confidence is key. Walking with intent, looking in control of the situation and giving the impression of a strong, empowering woman is important if you want to have any kind of presence on the runway. Much like day to day scenarios, confidence can get you through many situations even if you don’t have the experience/education to back it up, so don’t be shy, keep that head held high!
And the second point? If you fall, get straight back onto your feet. Sure, this is an embarrassing situation to even contemplate, let alone deal with, but it’s a reality that even the greatest super models have had to contend, Agyness Deyn, Naomi Campbell and Lindsey Wixson included (although we don’t recommend you YouTubing these as the videos may put you off for life!). If it does happen to you, just like the professionals do, take it with a pinch of salt, stand back up and keep going. Remember that onlookers will only be as phased as you are.
Finally, a signature walk is important if you want to become the next Karlie Kloss (who prides herself on her killer stare and effortless sway). That said, don’t fake a style. If your shoulders don’t naturally sway, if your hips don’t wiggle, don’t try and make them, this will just look false. But by practicing your walk more and more you will begin to notice a style that’s personal to you, and that’s what you want to fine tune.
And as for our best bit of advice? Practice, practice, practice, because we all know that that leads to perfection.