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The models of Fashion Week Las Vegas

Fashion Week Las Vegas season five concluded on August 12, 2014 as it always does: with an announcement of the winners of their modeling contests. Shelbi, Hector and Candy (the winner of the social media contest) were acknowledged in that ceremony.

Amy Lefevre
Amy Lefevre
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Madisan Amelia on the runway at Fashion Week Las Vegas
Madisan Amelia on the runway at Fashion Week Las Vegas
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The contests reflect a certain narrow set of criteria, and point us to who excelled on those criteria. But they don't reflect all the other ways that models can stand out in fashion shows. During the course of the week some “guest models” - not part of the competition – were on the runways as well, and some of the competitors also were outstanding in ways not captured in the competitive criteria. The more outstanding of them deserve recognition as well.

And so, based on an unofficial and completely subjective survey of some members of the audience, the winners in different categories:

Best supporting actress: Madisan Amelia. If a designer wants her models to glide down a runway with a formal, emotionless expression, Madisan can do that. She does “fierce” as well as anybody, too. But give her a little bit of leeway, and what you get is subtle and effective performance art that enhances the mood suggested by the outfit she is wearing. There is no better interpreter of a garment walking the runways of Las Vegas.

The eyes have it: Fashion is only partly about the clothes. It's more about a feeling, an emotion evoked by the clothes and the model wearing them. Karenn Cano draws you in, immerses you in her soul and makes you live a little bit through the outfit she is wearing. Her eyes are that compelling.

Looking back on it: As the model comes down the runway she helps you to appreciate the clothing she is wearing by her attitude and presentation. And then, when she turns and heads back, it's time to move your attention on. You already begin to focus on something else. Except . . . sometimes a model will look back, give you an inviting expression and put a little exclamation point on what you have just seen. Many models do it; few with the perfection that Yomaira Federico has mastered.

Best use of a pony tail: Abbie. What's this, you say? A pony tail is important in fashion? Well, no, not exactly. But when the clothing is fun and flirty, when a stately walk down the runway doesn't really capture the essence of it, what happens to the pony tail is a pretty good indicator of how well the model is selling the garment. Abbie shows how it is done.

Best clothes hangar: It's often said that the best runway models are walking clothes hangars – they are chosen because their bodies are best for displaying the garments in the optimum way. Amy Lefevre embodies that concept. She is excellent at presentation skills as well, but Amy is what designers dream of when they arrive to meet their models.

Legs. All the way to the floor. Fashion models are notoriously “leggy”, but that was quite literally taken to a new height by one of the guest models on the first day of Fashion Week. Halle Katrine was, well, just astounding.

Rookie of the year: Liberty. When she stepped out on the runway on Monday she was “being a model” for the first time in her life. Three days later she had walked four times as the opening model for a designer's show.

The pictures in the slide show with this article show each of these models doing what they do best.