F’row word of the week
Real People (reel peepul) n. (half strength) derog. Okay, so it’s actually a phrase not a word, but a valid one, as you shall see. The term is used by magazine girls to refer to the non-models who occasionally turn up in shoots called things like “Chic at Any Age!” and “Chic for the Office!”
Real People are especially useful in fashion’s dud months (i.e. Jan/Feb and July issues) when everyone’s seen the looks of the season shot on Lara Stone and is yearning for a fresh idea. That the very existence of the concept of Real People suggests that models are unreal/fake people/chimaera doesn’t seem to worry the fashionista – perhaps the fact that ex-models can become Real People when they get old is reassuring.
So who’s keeping it real? Not just any old people, clearly. Frazzled working mums, Supré fans, students and people with regular-sounding jobs (accountants, chemists, charity workers, teachers etc.) need not apply. Not that it’s up to you to apply. The editors do the choosing – a (real) girl can but hope.
You have a reasonable chance of being selected to represent reality on the pages of a glossy magazine if: you look almost like a model in clothes and are a fashion PR; you look almost like a model in clothes and are a big spender at Belinda; you look almost like a model in clothes and present a slightly off the radar TV/radio/music video show; you look exactly like a model and intern in the Vogue office.
Young and pretty artists, film directors, architects and dancers will also be considered as long as they haven’t made the big time yet – serious fame renders one unreal. But don’t stress of this charge is leveled at you…come the March issue, it’ll be back to the fake people. Where there’s life, there’s hope…
In conversation. Hints and tips for daily use:
It’s the Feb issue production meeting at Runway magazine. The troops are bored and have been banned from shooting Balenciaga till next season.
Fashionista 1 says: “How about we do a Spring Clean Your Wardrobe! story, and shoot it on some Real People?”
Fashionista 2 says: “Great! How about Nicole Trunfio?
The Editor says: “Sorry girls but Nicole is a model. Who else you got?”
Fashionista 1 says: “Skye Stracke?”
The editor says: “She’s a model…”
Fashionista 2 says: “I’ve got it! Steph Carta!”
The editor: “I give up. Let’s do a Models Off Duty! story.”
Fashionista 1 says: “O.M.G! Unreal idea!”