Many of you will know that I live in a very special house. My Husband The Architect designed a super modern residence reminiscent of the physical incarnation of a DJs mix of the Titanic versus Apollo 13. Or something completely different from that. I'm not so good with the architecture lingo.
ANYWAY... as a result of living in this very special house, we have a lot of fashion shoots take place inside its walls. This is a great thing for us, as the fashion shoots pay a great deal of money with virtually no effort required on my part, except that I must clean the house beforehand, which of course does take a great deal of effort, but one which many people (notably, My Husband The Architect) argue that I should be taking anyhow.
Having fashion shoots in my home gives me an Up Front And Personal insight into the workings of the fashion industry, one which very few people who do not work in said industry ever get to have. And, though we all read about how unglamorous fashion shoots actually are, when these words of wisdom come from people in the very glamorous magazine industry, we tend not to take them too seriously.
So let me tell you, as an absolute layperson, I can assure you, they are completely unglamorous, and completely illusory.
Let me elaborate:
There is a photo shoot occuring in my backyard as I type. Out of the crew of about eight, none are particularly well dressed, most are wearing jeans and thongs (the daggy kind you put on your feet, not the sexy kind you wear under your clothes, though I suppose it's possible they are wearing both), and a couple are markedly overweight. None of the women are especially attractive or stylish, though one of the men is nice looking - or at least he would be, if it wasn't for the big sty on one of his eyes. Not a good look.
The model, when she arrived, was totally nondescript. Yes, she was taller than the average person, and slimmer, but certainly not someone you would look twice at in the street. After an hour in hair and makeup she looked lovely, but then after an hour in hair and makeup I would look lovely too, and no doubt so would you.
Out of the dozen or so models who have posed in this house, NONE of them has been particularly gorgeous or glam. They tend to be very thin, and pretty-in-a-bland-way. Some have nice skin, some have pimples. They are also usually very young, reserved, quiet and shy. Whilst the crew seem comfortable with each other, joking around and laughing, the models generally stand alone and outside the group, obediently waiting to be called upon to pose for the cameras.
Each shot is set up carefully, with lighting, shade, camera angles and props carefully positioned. Makeup is reapplied between shots. Often the model's clothes are pinned or clipped at the back to give them a better line. And if something is out of place, or there is blemish or mark, the photographer isn't fussed. 'We'll take care of that later,' he'll say.
But you know what's really weird? Even when the clothes are pinned and the makeup is done and the lighting is arranged and the model is standing in front of the camera - even then she doesn't look as good as she will on screen. It's bizarre. I can look at her across the room, and she looks nice, but when I look at her image on the monitor she looks incredible. Why? Well, I have no idea, because I'm not a photographer, but it's got something to do with the magic of the camera.
It's all an illusion. So please remember this when you're looking in your fashion magazines. And please also remember this if you visit my home.
Because I don't clean my house unless the cameras are coming. We may look glamorous from the outside, but the truth on the Spaceship Titanic is far, far messier.