Fitting: how a model becomes a real-life mannequin

“How many times you go shopping and you hear your bff saying: – this jacket doesn’t fit you at the back, your arms are too long, the sleeves are too short or the pants don’t have the right cut for you…-. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, the purpose of a fitting is precisely this: when there’s a defect it doesn’t mean that you are built in the “wrong” way, instead it may be that the clothes were not fitted in the proper manner. Each one of us is different, obviously, but when the piece of clothing has been tested as it should have, it will definitely have less flaws regardless of who will end up wearing it. This is my job… Yes, I am a real life mannequin, I test clothing items and more than often I get stung by pins, but I’m happy with what I do, almost always… My days always start early in the morning and as soon as I get to work I put on a lovely pair of high heels that will stick with me for the rest of the day. By now my feet, like the feet of a ballerina, have become insensitive to pain; I can wear high heels the hole day long and feel nothing at all. But I get to wear wonderful garments every day and sometimes I feel like a princess, even if the magic ends as soon as I get back into my jeans and plain t-shirt. Very often my friends ask me: – How is it that garments sold by brands cost so much more compared to other more economical brands? – My answer is always this: it’s all about the work and the time required for each item, hours after hours of fitting in order to create a perfect garment. Carefully choosing the textiles and obviously the attention to details coming from the trained eye of the person who does the fitting… a trained eye that I myself have acquired after having done countless hours of fitting. I’ve become a sort of an expert in textiles, finishings and sewing styles. Actually a model’s work can also be this so it’s better to learn as much as you can in life because you never know when it may come in handy.”

The “fitting” part comes after the garments have already passed through design stage, production and adjustments phase (with the help of a tailor mannequin). At this point the item is ready to be tried on by a model who becomes a real life mannequin. Like this the stylist can see the overall effect of the garment, how it fits and it can also help spot defects that need to be corrected. In the fashion world, fitting is a pretty well paid job for a model (compared to other types of jobs that “regular” models may get); it’s a long and tiring work that forces the model to stand on high heels all day long, always at the disposition of the stylist having to fulfill all of his or her requests. In order to complete an entire collection it usually takes several months and late working hours can very well be required as the launch show approaches.

The same name – fitting –  is used for when the models have to try on the garments before the fashion show. Once the designer chooses a model to wear his or her creation on the catwalk, she is then called again to try on the garment(s) and if there are small adjustments to be made in order to make it all fit as a glove, the seamstresses get to work.


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