Models: Are You Human? Are You Dancer? Or Are You Cat?
“I learned how to track animals at a wilderness survival camp. One of the methods used for identifying a species’ prints is in calculating the animal’s straddle, the distance of the hoof or paw out from an imaginary central line. Only one species has negative straddle, where the feet actually crisscross over that line: cats. And runway models.” – David Rakoff, Don’t Get Too Comfortable
It is a universal truth that models are tall, lithe, with legs that begin where my eyes barely reach and holster the languid arms of an artist’s croquis. While many argue that clothes are put on them because they look good and this is because of weight, I would like to counter that it might, in fact, be because of their movement; “That characteristic slouching, ball-bearing-hipped sashay,” wrote Rakoff of their walking abilities.
In a song titled ‘Human,’ The Killers sing a question that we’d like to put forward to these models: Are you human? Or are you dancer?
“Or are you cat?” as the late David Rakoff so poetically implied.
To which we really have to wonder, exclamate — and please join us, if you will — cogitate:
HOW DO MODELS WALK LIKE THAT?
And if you’re still not sure and are thinking, “How do they walk like what?” then I kindly ask you to turn your attention to the photos above.
On the left we have an ad for Saint Laurent, and on the right an image from 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s SS14 look book: Back arched, hips out, shoulders forward with their legs in what can only be described as a jaunt, it seems like a physical anomaly that they can walk in such large strides. And remember, they don’t just walk, they saunter, like a red-maned lion on the Serengeti. They defy the physics of confirmation.
A croquis, which I mentioned earlier, is a type of drawing that fashion illustrators produce wherein the proportions are technically incorrect; the necks are too long, the legs three times or more the length of the torso. Each artist has their own math, but the general refusal to accept anatomical correctness is a stylistic choice. They chose to draw these models as feline aliens. Why? Because like the Modigliani-necked women who will display designer clothes twice a year, everything looks better when it’s larger than life.
And now, I ask all the Safari-heads, ballet patrons and cat enthusiasts in the house to kindly stand up. Scientists, we may need you also. Share your wisdom with us. How do models walk like this? Is it because they are, in fact, otherworldly creatures? We already know they are exceptionally attractive. Or does the length of their limbs allow them to do things that my five foot frame simply cannot comprehend? Have they watched A LOT of Miss Jay? MAYBE they were just really good at navigating sidewalks from a young age?
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