Fuss over modeling fees is apparent on the runways of New York


November 03, 1994|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,Sun Fashion Editor

Models are living fashion. Unlike clothes, which can be nipped and tucked from season to season to keep designers abreast of the trends, the girls can stand only so much alteration until they start looking too tired.

The ones the cameras and press love can negotiate supernova fees. The rising stars have to settle for less and smile nicely to get bookings for top designer shows. Now the Federal Trade Commission is taking a look to see if the $750-per-show guidelines that fashion industry organizers and designers have suggested for collection runways actually constitute price-fixing.

That may sound like a lot to the average working stiff, but it is only powder-room change for the Naomis and Lindas used to $10,000 or more a show. They're still here but tend to work for their designer chums.

The fee fuss puts a different face on the spring collections.

Carre Otis is back working the runways and trying to run away from ex-husband Mickey Rourke. New York tabloids are suggesting the model/actress fears "stalking." Designers have complied and the volatile actor, who was a runway regular, has not been welcome.

Carre -- you remember her -- was the one with a motorcycle in the Calvin Klein ads. She was better on a bike than high heels, which had her wobbling at the Mark Eisen show. Whatever, too many miles of rough road or domestic distress, but she isn't up VTC to glam-glitter.

The new model interest is Chrystelle, a French import who works the runway with a cool eye instead of the rest of her, which is pretty impressive, too. We'll see more of her.

Icy Nadja Auermann's leanest and longest magic legs that were made for a camera were not made for walking. The chilly hard blonde of magazine layouts turns gawky and self-conscious in front of a crowd.

Then there's Linda Evangelista, whose extraordinary looks work everywhere, no matter what she does to herself. She now has a blond Marilyn Monroe mop. Models who are going for the Hollywood retro look are too young to remember that brassy hair, pancake makeup and greasy lipstick were products of primitive cosmetics and straight peroxide.

The young ones, however, will play movie star. That may be why the fashion industry continues to refer to them as girls.

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