Meadham Kirchoff and Giles bring 'regular' girls to the runway [Catwalking]
The runway is no stranger to the idea of street or alternative casting, but more often than not it remains the professional model’s domain. Which is why this season’s flurry of ‘regular’ women on the catwalk has been so conspicuous. Giles, Rick Owens, DKNY and Meadham Kirchhoff have all employed the talents of non-professionals to present their clothes for autumn/winter 2014.
Mr Deacon, has used unconventional casting throughout his decade-long tenure as one of London’s leading designers, and Rick Owens’ autumn/winter mix of models and ordinary folk follows his epic show last September in Paris: his entire collection was aggressively and brilliantly displayed by traditional African-American step teams. The fash pack had never seen anything like it.
Move over Cara, this is DKNY's new crew for Autumn/Winter 2014 [Catwalking]
DKNY channelled the innate verve and buzzing style of its home city by creating what was almost a sidewalk catwalk – by featuring real New Yorkers (including more recognisable faces like DJ Chelsea Leyland and rapper Angelhaze) instead of identikit models, the brand’s DNA felt significantly more potent. And LFW’s Meadham Kirchhoff once again hand-picked a selection of out-of-the-box beauties to walk alongside a model-line up, making their teenage dream collection all the more believable.
On a simplistic level this kind of real casting makes huge amounts of sense: a consumer will surely relate more easily to someone who is considered ‘normal’ and 'genuine' (note the presence of many inverted commas in this piece – it’s a prickly subject matter, right?). The beauty world has already jumped aboard, first breaking down barriers of ageism: Sharon and Kelly Osbourne are new onto MAC's books, Nars' new face is the divine Charlotte Rampling and Marc Jacobs continues to draw attention to the many women he admires, following his inspirational women campaign at Louis Vuitton by using 64-year old actress Jessica Lange to star in his eponymous beauty ads.
On another level, it helps designers further project and develop their girl for the season. Perhaps it’s more than just killer cheekbones and long legs that help convey the season’s inspiration. Add to the mix that personal or individual style is a highly coveted asset and it starts to look like a no brainer for marketing chiefs across the globe...
Rick Owens' real ladies storming the Paris runways [Catwalking]
With the arrival of a London based alternative agency called the Anti Agency, it would seem that this kind of casting is in demand. Set up by stylists Pandora Lennard and Lucy Greene, they aim to provide ‘casting solutions for companies and to promote people we believe in’ and have already worked for brands like ASOS, Dr Martens and Urban Outfitters as well as style publications like i-D, NYLON and Tank.
So could we see some surprise faces in next season’s ad campaigns? Will this movement continue and not implode in it’s own ‘moment’ or tokenism? Watch this space new face.