Confessional: Shalom Harlow
Shalom Harlow returns to the runway for Alexander Wang's Fall 2012 show after a four-year hiatus. In this film, the brunette beauty talks about her journey to 90s supermodel stardom.
Released on 6/13/2013
People often make the assumption when they hear
that I had hippie parents, that that means
that I grew up on a commune or something like that,
and that's not the case.
My parents were missionaries.
I was born outside of Toronto.
In terms of, like, what I was taught,
there's definitely a strong sixties idealism
that I'm really grateful for.
I was scouted at a Cure concert,
model scout approached me there, and
if I modeled, and I thought that was ludicrous.
When I started coming to do shows in New York,
New York had a pretty electric energy then,
it was the early nineties, and there was a lot
of really fun theatrical types that were designing,
and so the runway kind of became the stage
for all of these mega model personalities
to flaunt their stuff.
(moody bass riff)
I had no relationship to the fashion world whatsoever.
I'd never even seen a fashion magazine.
I grew up without a television
and just really wasn't very connected
to pop culture in that way.
I was like Alice in Wonderland.
I mean, I had no reference point for anything,
and I was suddenly in Paris,
on catwalks for designers that I could
barely even pronounce their names.
We would all watch on the monitor,
while so-and-so was out there doing her thing,
and we'd be screaming and clapping.
It was about personality then, and it was about
what you did at the end of the runway.
And then sometimes it would be about one-upping each other,
you know, like, woah, so-and-so just, like
did you see that, oh yeah well here I go.
This idea of returning to the catwalk is, um...
I do feel some nerves, and I do feel the height
of those shoes.
I hope I don't slip, was the next thought.
On the runway, how does that feel now?
Does it feel any different, does it feel the same?
I'm curious to examine that.
(moves into moody rock music)
Generally speaking, I think there's a lot projected
on beautiful women, period.
At least, maybe this is just my fear,
but I do sometimes feel like, dismissed,
before I've even been allowed to participate.
I have moments of feeling really wounded,
but I am pretty optimistic, and I do enjoy a lot of my life.
And I'm peaceful inside.
(energetic rock music)