Understanding Fashion Modelling Jargon and Terminology

The world of fashion modeling comes with its own lexicon, terms and phrases that might sound like a foreign language to those new to the industry. Whether you’re a budding model or someone simply passionate about the fashion world, understanding modelling terminology is essential.

This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the terminology.

The Casting Call and Audition Process

1. Casting Call:

A notice or invitation extended by a casting director or agency, inviting models to present themselves for potential work. It’s essentially the first step in the audition process.

2. Go-See:

Similar to a casting call, a go-see is when a model meets with a client or casting director to be considered for a particular job. It often involves showcasing a portfolio and sometimes trying on the designer’s garments.

3. Callback:

A subsequent meeting or audition requested by the client, suggesting further interest in a model for a specific project.

4. Portfolio:

A collection of a model’s best photographs, showcasing their versatility, range, and experience. It serves as a visual resume.

5. Comp Card (Composite Card):

A model’s business card, featuring a selection of their best photos along with essential information such as measurements, contact details, and agency representation. This is sometimes known as a z-card.

Striking the Perfect Pose

6. Pose:

The position or attitude a model adopts during a photoshoot or on the runway. Good posing is essential for conveying the desired mood or message.

7. Editorial Pose:

Poses crafted for editorial fashion spreads or magazines, often more artistic and narrative-driven.

8. Runway Walk:

The unique way a model walks on the runway, tailored to suit the designer’s vision and the garment being showcased.

9. Natural Light Pose:

Poses designed to capture the model in natural light settings, emphasising authenticity and simplicity.

Behind the Scenes: Production and Styling

10. Wardrobe Stylist:

A professional responsible for selecting and coordinating the clothing and accessories worn by models during a photoshoot or runway show.

11. Hair and Makeup:

The process of styling a model’s hair and applying makeup to achieve the desired look for a photoshoot or runway presentation.

12. Lookbook:

A collection of photographs showcasing a designer’s latest creations, often featuring a range of outfits in a styled presentation.

13. Haute Couture:

High-end, custom-designed fashion that is often one-of-a-kind. Haute couture pieces are crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Industry Interactions and Professionalism

14. Fitting:

A session where a model tries on the designer’s garments to ensure a perfect fit before a photoshoot or runway show.

15. Art Director:

A creative professional responsible for the visual style and concept of a photoshoot or fashion campaign.

16. Model Release:

A legal document outlining the terms and conditions under which a model’s image can be used by photographers or clients.

The Business Side of Modelling

17. Exclusive Contract:

An agreement that stipulates a model can only work with a particular agency or client during a specified period.

18. Mother Agency:

The primary agency that discovers and nurtures a model, often playing a central role in their career development.

19. Editorial Calendar:

A schedule outlining the themes, topics, and release dates for upcoming fashion editorials in magazines.

20. Rates and Usage:

The compensation a model receives for their work, often based on factors like experience, the scale of the project, and the intended use of the images.

Navigating the Digital Landscape

21. Digitals:

Basic, unretouched photographs of a model taken without elaborate styling, used to showcase their raw, natural beauty.

22. Influencer Model:

A model who leverages their social media following and online presence to influence fashion trends and promote brands.

23. Tagged Photos:

Images on social media where a model is identified or “tagged” by the photographer or other users, increasing visibility.

24. Content Creator:

A model who not only models but also creates and shares content, such as videos and blogs, often on social media platforms.

Embarking on a career in fashion modeling is an exciting journey, and understanding the industry’s unique language is a crucial aspect of success. Whether you’re perfecting your runway walk, attending casting calls, or collaborating with creative professionals, this guide equips you with the vocabulary needed to navigate the diverse and dynamic world of fashion modeling.

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