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Gait Check

Runway coach J. Alexander rates the season’s struts. (The Belgian girls get their walking papers.)

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A wipeout at Oscar! Nervous stomping at Marc! We surveyed last week’s runway action with legendary model coach J. Alexander, the man who put the swivel in Naomi Campbell and the swish in Kimora Lee.

So much drama! What’s going on with gaits this season?
Well, winter is hard because the clothes are much heavier. But the biggest problems are the crossing of the feet and the stomping. It’s a deadly combination. Heels are breaking, people are tripping.

Wait—aren’t you partly to blame for all this?
People say I started the crossing because there is some old footage of me crossing. But that is only when I’m wearing a tight skirt to the knee. To. The. Knee. And tight! I actually think Gisele popularized the crossing. She can do it. And then Carmen Kass took it to an extreme. And then all these other young girls watch that and get the wrong idea. And I think the Belgian girls started the stomping.

This year there also seemed to be a lot of posing going on . . .
There’s another problem! When the girls wear the evening gowns now, they get to the end of the runway and spread their legs like Saturday Night Fever. I’m horrified.

Do you have a plan for how to deal with this?
We’re definitely going to be seeing a new gait for spring. I’m already working on it. Now I’m telling them, Don’t model. Walk.


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