At the James Ferreira fashion show on Friday, one foreign model had everyone’s eyebrows raised as she fiddled and tugged at her dress while walking the ramp. At Varun Bahl’s show at Wills India Fashion Week a few days ago, another model raced down the ramp like a motor car, biting her lip and looking at her feet. While watching these antics on the ramp, everyone is left wondering who these models are?
“Who are these girls? They can’t even walk the ramp, not to mention most of them have thunder thighs and cellulite. Models like Carol Gracias have such lovely legs walking out after them,” says a disapproving Umesh Jivnani, fashion stylist. “The ratio of bad to good foreign models is about 50 per cent, but why have that ratio when the model selection jury has chosen the best Indian models,” he adds.
Bahl, who was also watching Ferreira’s show, expresses surprise, “I don’t know what that girl was doing on the ramp, constantly fiddling with her clothes. There is a difference between the way Indian models walk and the way foreign girls do it, but I personally prefer our own models.”
While designers must select a few non-Indians to show foreign buyers how their clothes might look on different body types and ethnicities, most are unhappy with the group selected this time.
Designer Zubair Kirmani explains that most of the models are visitors who’re here to make a quick buck and gain some experience, before trying their hand at shows abroad. “They get their portfolios shot and then get a couple of ramp shows to show clients abroad. Most come down only for a couple of months,” he says.
Kirmani’s own experience wasn’t too pleasant. “Even though my dresses have a relaxed fit, they were tight around the thighs and butt for some of the foreign models who do not have the right size.”
Mark Luburic, from Anima Creative management, a modelling agency known for bringing down foreign talent, says, “Most of our models are based in Mumbai, and WIFW prefer to look for foreign models in their own backyard rather than fly professionals down to the Capital. Plus, there are many small-time modelling agencies springing up now who see foreign girls and pitch them as models, even if they don’t match the standard.”
Designer Rohit Bal, who was on the model selection committee, says, “The initial lot of foreign models that came to us weren’t enough. We were satisfied with our final choice.”