How To Ace a Lingerie Show

Well – at my grand old age, modelling still never fails to throw surprises at me. At about 3pm on Wednesday afternoon, I got a text from Igor saying, “Hun, would you do the DeMontford lingerie show tomorrow?” MTF fave Marcie was sick and had had to drop out at the last minute.

Now these are the sort of last minute words to strike fear into most models hearts. Through our minds will flash ‘LAST NIGHT PIZZA’ ‘BIRTHDAY WEEKEND’ and most likely ‘HAIRY BUSH’!

However, I’ve been feeling kinda great about myself lately thanks to my dance classes and even more remarkably I HAD JUST GOT A SPUR OF THE MOMENT BIKINI WAX!  Throughout my 20s I’d have just said no, because I was too self-conscious and didn’t feel good enough in any way: confidence-wise, physical appearance, my walk – I just pictured cellulite, wobbly thighs, no boobs and falling over and flashing my fanny in full to the cameras at the end of the catwalk.

I’ve sort of reached an age, however, where I think ‘it’s now or never’, as well as ‘well it’s as good as it’s gonna get.’ I like a challenge and I have learned that doing the things that scare me are usually the most rewarding. Plus it’s all blog fodder in the end.

*Does a few dance classes, can’t stop taking clothes off* Pic by Shamil Shah

I replied yes immediately and, remarkably, got it! Best of all the day was a total surprise: not at all as scary as you’d probably imagine. Whilst I wouldn’t say I ‘aced’ my show in the sense that I’ll be getting called up by VS as the new Miranda Kerr, I did observe how everyone else was walking, looking and carrying themselves and that inspired my post. Here’s my handy guide to lingerie shows:

1) Hair Removal

Yeah, you won’t want much hair on your body other than that on your head. I got in a bit of a panic cos I have a ‘triangle’ (we’re all friends here) but for the DeMontford show everything has to be kept as PG as possible: we had to wear nipple pasties, and we all had to wear a uniform teeny tiny g string, even if it was visible under the lingerie.

Cheeky! The delightful g-string visible below the lingerie. By Actually Ellie

If you’re doing something like Victoria’s Secret/Agent Provocateur, you’ll probably have to be smooth as a marble statue from the nostrils downwards.

2) Body Prep

I asked a couple of girls what they usually do the night before and on the day, food-wise, but they had absolutely no advice for me whatsoever! Some gentlemen models I know fast for 24 hours (as in not even any water) so they get defined abs but I’m never going to do that as I am a fainter.

The girls I was asking had known about the booking weeks in advance, so possibly stepped up the exercise and cut down on the cakes a bit beforehand, but they weren’t doing anything extreme. You’d assume everyone’s juicing/nil-by-mouth but actually lingerie is fine with a bit of boob/hip/thigh.

Pic by Emily’s lovely Mum, Annie

I had a good salad for dinner, which I always have in summer anyway, and on the day had my smoothie and snacked on chicken and veg. You have to learn what will keep up your energy, what will bloat you and what will keep you feeling full, which is totally different for everyone.

3) Feeling Confident

I was of course still very nervous when I arrived at the venue. I know it’s bad to admit but it’s true: i just worried that everyone’s body would be perfect and I’d look out of place. However, as we all got totally naked but for the world’s smallest g-string and awaited our 8 looks each, it was edifying to see that (admittedly within the 5″9, size 8-10 template) there was a real range of bodies. There were flat chests (hello), big boobs, wobbly bums, no bums, thigh gaps, strong thighs, defined abs, less defined abs, narrow waists, pear shapes, athletic bodies, hourglasses, as well as stretch marks and cellulite. And everyone looked utterly knockout in their own way, especially as they all radiated so much confidence.

On top of this, everyone was so supportive and complimentary of one another, which gave backstage a really lovely uplifting atmosphere.

So rather than worry about my body not being ‘right’ I was inspired by everyone else’s confidence and just enjoyed the day and enjoyed what I’ve got.

4) Not Falling Over

This is the scariest part for me. I’m not great in heels, and I never have been. And then in the fitting, I was put in endless tight, long fishnet skirts WITH TRAINS, which are the curse of many an America’s Next Top Model contestant.

In the run through I was actually totally fine, which chilled me out.

But by the time of the show, my feet had got a bit sweaty and my ankles a little tired, especially as we had to run through a backstage obstacle course of wires, steps and ramps, down outside stairs, change and run back up and through said obstacles between each look. All I can suggest is…Take insoles with you, insist on shoes no bigger/smaller than 1 size if possible and take each step slowly and confidently.

As for long skirts: you need to do a teeny tiny little kick with your leading toes for every step, which gets the skirt out of the way so you don’t trip on it, plus it makes the skirt billow in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

When you turn, you need a mixture of prayer, giving it a good step around and keeping up the kicky-step. Try not to focus on the fear and relish the fact that you’ve been entrusted with ‘the dramatic look’.

5) Enjoy Yourself

Yes! My first few looks I don’t think I enjoyed myself enough. I was so nervous! Especially as our bookers Igor and Kathryn were in the audience. I tried to walk at the pace of the other girls, which was a tad faster than mine, and I felt jolty and stiff. As the show went on, I enjoyed myself more and more and went at my own comfortable speed.

The more you rush each part, from the walk to the pose at the end, the less likely it is that you’ll get good pictures for yourself AND the designer you’re representing. We were told to hold our poses for four counts and, even though it felt like forever, just savour the moment! It FEELS like way longer than it actually is.

I left that show feeling elated: to have the confidence to do it was no mean feat for me, and seeing so much emerging talent whilst being surrounded by my friends wearing nipple tassels and looking like utter goddesses was pretty awesome, too. Igor, Kathryn and Emily Vickers-Willis’ parents had hugs for us all and tears of pride, which wasn’t just a great feeling but pretty special for us models, too.

My all-time favourite pic of the show. Look at Emily! Pic by her lovely Mum. 

Rebecca x

PS: Warning: nipple pasty removal CANES.

One Comment

  1. […] since my lingerie show, I got a five day shoot with a catalogue company, which was tough at first physically cos of the […]

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