Model abuse at Fashion Week

This bruised and mangled foot is the result of too many fashion shows. Photo courtesy of darklamb.tumblr.com via Styleite
This bruised and mangled foot is the result of too many fashion shows. Photo courtesy of darklamb.tumblr.com via Styleite

Models can make a lot of money for strutting down the runway, but at what cost? Twenty-year-old Aussie model Chrystal Copland walked in a whopping 21 fashion shows this season including opening the Louis Vuitton show in Paris, but her experience wasn't all glitz and glamour. She shared a few of the darker moments with Women's Wear Daily. Her least favorite part? "The hair pulling," Copland told WWD. "I've lost half of my hair in the past month because it just gets ripped out. But it'll grow back. I mean, you just have to think you're there to work and that's part of your work. That's how I get through it."

Before Copland left for her first shows in New York, a fellow model veteran gave her some much needed advice. "My best friend Dempsey [Stewart] told me how to take comments that are difficult and how to handle it when you've got like six people touching you and screaming at you to come here, do this, do that.," Copland told WWD. "She said you just have to try and remain calm and be nice to everyone because it'll be over soon and it'll be worth it."

Throughout the interview Copland insists modeling is great, but describes it as utterly taxing. "Everything looks so beautiful when you see it that you think it comes from this glamorous fantasy world but behind the scenes, everyone's screaming and yelling at each other and stressing out. People are running around like crazy backstage. If you want to go to the bathroom they're like, 'No you have to stay here.' It makes you appreciate how hard everyone works." Copland also said that despite modeling for years in Sydney and Tokyo that New York designers really push their models on the runway. "They were telling me like 40 times a day how to walk and they were always like 'Faster, faster, you're not going fast enough.'"

You can also forget about sleep! Copland told WWD that there were nights when she didn't even get to bed. "I got called in for a 3 a.m. refitting [at Louis Vuitton] and I was thinking, why do I have to go back for a refit? Have I done something wrong? When I got there Marc Jacobs was like, 'Chrystal, you're opening the show!' I was just over the moon. The call time for the show was 4:30 a.m. so I didn't sleep at all but it was easy to stay awake because I was just so happy and so excited."

That does sound exciting and glamorous and totally freaking exhausting! We attended and covered roughly 20 fashion shows in New York this season, but we can imagine being in them is a whole other insane level of stress. Also, we stumbled on one image that made us swear we'd never ever be jealous of another model's jetsetting catwalk lifestyle: this model's foot at the Louis Vuitton show. Thanks (?) to Styleite for showing us the real horror of fashion week. You see, this is what happens when you're a very tall model with very large feet after a very long month of walking in fashion shows. Your toes are crammed, your feet are covered in bruises and don't even fit into the shoe, but off you go down the runway to work it in front of the audience and a pit full of photographers. But it's worth it, right?

Related links:
20 things you didn't know about New York Fashion Week
Why don't supermodels like their bodies?
Backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Supermodels without photoshop



Crystal Copland opens the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. Photo by Giovanni Giannoni via WWD
Crystal Copland opens the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. Photo by Giovanni Giannoni via WWD