Where have all the smiles gone?

I’m not sure when, where, why or how, but something strange has been happening on runways from Paris to New York to London and everywhere in between.

Less than a decade ago, models did this on the runway:

See? Teeth! Photo: Jesse Gross/Wikipedia
See? Teeth! Photo: Jesse Gross/Wikipedia

They smiled.

Comparing La Campbell to anyone is a sin, but I digress.

They smiled. They winked.

They looked like they were actually having a good time. You wanted to be them. You wanted their joy, their lives. And most important, the clothes they were wearing.

Yes, those were the days. The days when models had teeth. And weren’t afraid to show them.

Why so glum?

A few weeks ago I opened my Style.com Daily newsletter featuring “The Top 10 New Models of Spring 2015.” I saw this:

They're mad as hell, and no one knows why. Photo collage: Style.com
They’re mad as hell, and no one knows why. Photo collage: Style.com

I didn’t know whether to pray for help or run for cover.

The last time I looked that mad I was streaked with dirt and limping.

You don’t need to know that story.

At first I thought, perhaps, the stern, angry glares were on purpose…a reflection of the clothing. A dark moody lace ensemble reminiscent of Lily Munster would require a stern stare.

But let’s take Elie Saab’s breathtaking line for SS 2015. Among the flounces of lace and finery he’s known for was this:

Elie Saab, Spring 2015, Photo: Style.com
Elie Saab, Spring 2015, Photo: Style.com

Ah. wait. Let me fix that.


Much better.

Smile though your bank is breaking

Now, the average Elie Saab gown runs about EUR 6000.00 or more. You would think that someone attempting to sell a dress that costs as much as a used car would have the models show a couple of molars.

What’s going on? Are they mad? Do their feet hurt?

Am I missing something?

Should the state of a model’s face have an effect on if a piece of clothing is sold or not? Or, is it that designers have instructed models not to smile or show any expression for fear of stealing attention from the clothing?

If the latter is the case, if a beautiful woman showing a beautiful smile takes away from a designer’s vision, then perhaps that vision needs a rethink.

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