When it comes to being a runway model, walking is more than putting one foot in front of the other.
At one point in a two-hour boot camp, runway coach Gerry Simpson asked novice model Hanna Coons to start over four times. Pause longer, relax your hands, turn your lead foot out and show more energy were some of the instructions from the seasoned coach giving a crash course in runway modeling for a group of a dozen as part of Sacramento Fashion Week.
In its eighth year, Fashion Week aims to elevate the capital citys style sense while highlighting some of the best Northern California designers, said producer Duane Ram. The week of events is highlighted by designer showcases Friday and Saturday night at the California Auto Museum. Ram said the event started slowly as a passion project, but has grown each year. Ram said he scouts year around for the tall, lean figures the fashion industry craves.
Tuesdays boot camp, in a vacant storefront at Sacramentos Downtown Plaza, included a more eclectic mix of models, including several children. It got off to a slow start at the 4 p.m. announced start time there were only two participants. The numbers eventually grew, and the nervous Fashion Week interns who had been drafted as fill-ins and wanted nothing to do with modeling were allowed to slink back into the background.
With the energetic Simpson eyeballing every step, it turns out walking down a runway is more technical than one might think. Above all, models should move with efficiency and grace. Each movement is purposeful without looking measured.
Get used to the camera, Simpson implored. The most important thing you want to do is look comfortable.
Why are you scared 25 people in this room? When the show comes there will be hundreds, he said.
Coons was one of the tall, lean figures Ram coaxed into giving it a shot.
Its overwhelming, but exciting, said Coons, of Vacaville. Ive never walked in heels before. Its a lot harder than it looks.
And for models in training, Simpson offers these pearls of wisdom:
• Your best friend is your full-length mirror.
• You have to know when less is more.
• When youre modeling its not about you, its about selling.
• If you fall, go gracefully.
Call The Bees Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269. Follow him on Twitter @NewsFletch.