It’s almost fashion week season, with events in London, New York and Paris all coming up, and I have one pretty sure prediction: the models won’t be smiling. In spite of some hasty claims that happy faces are now de rigour, a blank expression is a perennial trait of model behaviour.
Detractors of fashion often complain about the convention of the non-smiling model and the industry’s love of a surly pout has even been lambasted in films such as Zoolander. Catwalks have long been a smile-free zone – well, you can smile at the end when the designer pops up to present you with a bunch of flowers, but during the show, the smile is a no-no. In fashion editorials, too, smiles are like steak and chips on a model’s plate: very rare.
The other thing that has always troubled me about this is how tiresomely predictable it is. Being predictable is great if you are a bus or an excellent cup of coffee – but surely the essence of fashion is to push aesthetic boundaries, to welcome change for change’s sake. So why do they pull the same miserable faces at every single show, every single season, every single year? Stupid, isn’t it?