Another week, another fashion extravaganza to rush headlong into. London, the littlest fashion week, is in full swing as I type this, and Austria and Cato are here to show us how walking more than a dozen shows in six days is done. (Blister Band-Aids, your own eye makeup remover, and a big bottle of cheap conditioner plus the richest overpriced salon hair mask you can find — for combing out and repair, respectively.) Madeline? Never makes it onto British soil. Dum dum dum! Clip above, and recap after the jump.Madeline — whose hipsterish, short-haired look struck me as likely to suit the client imagination better in London than perhaps any other stop on the fashion circuit, fails to get her work visa papers stamped in advance of her trip. So British immigration puts our favorite Hoosier on a plane back to New York. Her booker looks at her like she's an idiot for forgetting the notarization of her visa — and it is a rookie error. But doesn't Madeline also pay IMG to keep her up to speed on such details of duck order? It strikes me as almost as much their fuck-up as her own, since I'm guessing, like every model I know, that Madeline relies on her agencies for all her immigration arrangements. Her booker should have been reminding her about the visa stamp daily. He should have put that shit on the girl's chart. If there's even a chance it was your bad or incomplete advice that put her in that position, it's passive aggressive in the extreme to go all philosophical-shrug on a girl who's still too young to drink and who, having just done a trans-Atlantic round trip and missed her chance to even be in the London shows, is no doubt feeling entirely bad enough. Weaksauce, IMG.
But London proves difficult even for those who make it off the plane. Austria and Socrates McKinney, her Santo Domingo mother agent, have a hard time navigating their way to castings — even with a driver. (Now wise to the trap of agency debt, I can barely look at a driver without seeing dollar signs spinning like on a slot machine. That luxury must be costing the poor teen a fortune — far more than she could make back in a month of shows. And he's not even getting her to her castings.)
In one scene, Socrates makes Austria take over his call with IMG London and write down her own new casting information because, he says as she wearily takes the ball point, writing gives him headaches. Oh, mother agents! They all work so hard for their lifelong, exclusive, worldwide, multi-agency kickbacks.
Cato reconnects with the man who is possibly the world's most influential casting director, Russell Marsh, who determines the lineups for clients that include Prada and Miu Miu. (Cato got last season's much-sought show exclusives for those.) (Marsh was accused earlier this year of accepting bribes from both IMG and the agency Women to cast their girls in Prada: strangely enough, Model.Live doesn't mention this particular scuttlebutt.) Marsh likes Cato, London likes Cato, Cato walks ten shows.
Austria does three. Including one where a harried fast-talking show director insists on calling all the models by their runway order numbers — as in, Number 3, Number 4, get over here now — because "It's just the easiest way." Austria's sad, perfectly still face in the chair as the makeup and hair artists tug and turn her this way and that speaks volumes. She looks magisterial on the runway, though, so I can't help but suspect the girl is enjoying herself a little bit. At least that's what I hope.
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