The life of a fashion model is often associated with the glitz and glamour of the industry, from dressing in designer wear to being beautified by makeup artists and hairstylist. However, not many outside the industry are aware of the hard work that takes place behind the scenes when organising a photo shoot or producing a runway show. Two budding Cape Town models were given the opportunity to experience the dynamics of the industry for a day. Keegan Basil, 23, and Azola Bam, 20, were treated to a model makeover after beating many hopefuls in a competition run by the Cape Argus, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) and M.A.C. Cosmetics.
The three-day fashion week starts today at the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed and North Wharf. It is attended by the who’s who of the industry, including designers, buyers, media and fashion photographers.
The two winners will attend one of the shows as part of their prize. Basil and Bam started their day at 10am at the Boaston Society Lifestyle Space in Long Street where they were styled in Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane. Mbane will be presenting his SS16 collection on Saturday at 3pm. Basil was dressed in Boaston Society’s in-house brand, UNNNCD.
This was followed by a visit to the Adriaan Kuiters studio in Kloof Street where the winning pair were dressed in the latest Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen collection. Their Spring and Summer showcase is tonight at 9.30pm.
The winners received a special make-up tutorial by M.A.C. Cosmetics resident senior artist Keagan Cafun, who gave them the latest on makeup tips and tricks. Basil’s experience was topped off with being taught how to walk the runway by one of the country’s best runway models, Jimi Owobo Ogunlaja of the Jimisterio Catwalk Academy. When it comes to making an impression on the catwalk, Basil was not too far off in achieving the perfect runway walk, says Ogunlaja.
“Basil is a natural at it. However, he needs to work on walking with a straight back posture and avoid swinging his arms.
“When it comes to walking down the catwalk, it’s important to keep your head and shoulders straight. The movement is from your waist to your thighs and don’t exaggerate. Always remember it’s not about you, it’s about the garment you are wearing… and that’s what determines a good runway model,”says Ogunlaja.
Our winners ended the day with a photoshoot at the V&A Waterfront. Reflecting on
their experience, the highlights for Basil, an actor and presenter of the KeeganBshow
on Hashtag radio, included the runway tutorial and wearing designer clothes.
“Having Ogunlaja teaching me how to strut down the runway was a highlight for me as he is one of the models I look up to. I’ve taken in everything that he told me,” says Basil.
Bam’s highlights included learning the ins-and-outs of applying makeup. “I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given. I valued the experience, especially since I am still new in the industry.
“I got to learn about local designers and the backstage life,” says Bam, a student and model signed with casting agency Almost Famous.
●Ticket prices for the Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Cape Town are R100 to R250. For tickets and more information on shows, go to: Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za)
This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on July 30 2015.