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Ramp pa pum poh!

With two fashion weeks in Delhi and one in Mumbai back to back in the coming weeks. Sujata Reddy gets seasoned models to explain some ramp fundas.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 21, 2009 16:02 IST
Sujata Reddy
Sujata Reddy
Hindustan Times

It’s that time of the year when fashion looms large and models are super busy. With two fashion weeks in Delhi and one
in Mumbai back to back in the coming weeks, we thought it was a good time to get seasoned models to explain some ramp fundas. Of course they picked their own bakras for the crash course while Sujata Reddy took notes.

Check out special

Model: Inder Bajwa
Student: Sam Bajwa (he insists they are not related)
Bajwa’s rampology: Skin fix

The right make-up is very important for boys. The girls can cake it up, but it’s not recommended for the boys. A bronzer should suffice.. especially for Indian skin. There are times when guys have to go all out and cake themselves too. For Arjun Khanna’s Ice Cream collection, I was decked in silver make-up. Otherwise, some lip balm and hair gelled to suit the clothes should do.

Guys are lucky again.. I’ve worn a lungi for a Wendell Rodricks show. Make sure not to forget your shorts inside. There have been times when a boy missed a sequence or stood at the wrong place. At such times, the onus of letting him know his mistake and making it look scripted lies on the boy who follows.

Three years ago, I froze on the head ramp. I still don’t know what had happened.

On most occasions, there are just four boys swarmed with an entourage of girls. So we end up with many more changes than the girls. Often, there is no time to tie the shoe-lace, or touch-up on the make-up.

There have been times when I was given ill-fitting clothes, with last minute make-up, the works. But we are expected to ‘manage’.

Backstage banter
The boys are friendly and supportive of each other. Humour sails us through most backstage blues. The only disadvantage is that we are expected to give the girls our seats during make-up sessions.. but never mind.

I haven’t seen the girls bitch about each other.. (laughs) at least it doesn’t reach our ears. They only grumble when a girl goes for make-up out of turn.

Talk the walk
Over the years, I noticed that you have to know English to achieve your goals in the modelling industry. A boy may be fabulous at his work, but lack of knowledge of English can restrict his growth.

When I came to Mumbai, I didn’t know a word of English, but today, I can hold a conversation.

Advice to Sam
If you think you have it in you to become a model, give it your best shot, nobody can stop you. Otherwise, stay in Jalandar.. life there is simple and real. At least the people there know to laugh at simple things.

Model: Amrit Maghera
Student: Sabina Paul
Maghera’s rampology: Fittings

Make sure the clothes fit you well during the fitting sessions, and shoes and accessories as well. If a sequence requires you to wear extremely high heels, practise walking in them well in advance. I’ve walked in 7-inch heels and felt like I was walking on stilts. If you think you can’t walk in them, tell the choreographer, he’ll work something out.

Fitting sessions can be extremely boring and tiring. One has to attend at least four-five sessions before deciding which dress suits each model.

Loo break
Laughs) Going to the loo before a show is very important. I’ve seen girls run off to a nearby loo seconds before their turn to walk the ramp. If your bladder feels ready to explode while on the ramp, you just have to smile and walk.

Most models cut down on carbs during fashion weeks. No starving though.. we have to have the energy to be active through the week. There is a canteen stocked with a salad bar and egg whites for us.

Quality check
Back in London, where I grew up, they use very high quality products that are least harmful to the hair and skin. Sadly, that isn’t the case here. Very few designers use wigs. So, I end up spending a bomb on hair conditioning treatments and the like. Last year, an artiste burnt a model’s hair backstage. I felt very bad for her.

Stressed points
I’ve yelled at my helper because she held a dress the wrong way and I wore the back on the front. (Smiles) But I always go back and tell her not to take it to heart.

Sabina Paul
I always wondered what’s the big deal about walking the ramp. Now I can vouch for the fact that walking a few meters in a designer ensemble calls for tremendous talent. Sticking out your hip into your audience’s face is tough enough but doing it with the ooh la la attitude is tougher.

Sam Bajwa
I’ve been besotted with the glam world ever since Inder became a part of it. I must admit it’s no cake walk. But.. it’s not impossible either.

First Published: Mar 16, 2009 16:29 IST