Models: The Real Skinny

A&E, 2003


The dark business of being beautiful is revealed in this inside look at the lives of some highly successful models and several desperate to make it.

With unprecedented access to top editors, designers, agents and casting directors and to the blistering experiences of four diverse, fascinating young women during Fashion Week in New York, this two hour documentary features Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, models Karolina Kurkova, Liya Kebede, Jamie Bochert, Nadia Vodianova,  Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell and a host of top fashion designers including Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and Narciso Rodriguez.



The New York Times
By Ruth La Ferla

Published: May 6, 2003

Sam Payette, 17, alights in Manhattan from Canada and visits designers, casting agents, bookers and editors in hopes of jump-starting a modeling career. She is one of four young women who are the primary focus of ''Models: The Real Skinny,'' an A&E documentary to be shown on Friday.

Not a continuing battle with weight, not the prospect of endless rejection, not even the cold sore on Ms. Payette's lip can keep her from her rounds. In a business in which, as she dourly observes, ''everyone is out to get you,'' she marches on with porcelain beauty and steely tenacity.

''Models'' offers some familiar observations about a career path that can be strewn with perils -- among them loneliness, debilitating fatigue and drugs -- but it is matter-of-fact, not prurient. Within weeks of arriving in New York, Jamie Bochert, a lanky 20-year-old hybrid of Cher and Joan Jett, is $30,000 in debt to her agency for rent and travel expenses. Trying to pump up her spirits before a round of ''go-sees'' with photographers and editors, she sullenly tells herself, ''I've got to show my book, talk up a storm, show them what I have, and I don't have much.''

Amy Wesson, a seasoned model trying for a comeback after a bout with drugs, submits to the scrutiny of a casting agent who won't take her recovery on faith. "A designer has roughly 15 minutes to show about 50 outfits", explains Kevin Krier, a fashion producer. ''You're not going to waste two looks on somebody that might fall down,'' he tells the camera.