Noelle McCarthy: Keep on walking

By Noelle McCarthy

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Noelle McCarthy, backstage before walking the runway at last night's Zambesi show. Photo/ Lanisays.com
Noelle McCarthy, backstage before walking the runway at last night's Zambesi show. Photo/ Lanisays.com

By the time you read this, I will have modelled. I'm part of the Zambesi show at the Marr Factory on Monday night in Auckland. This year they're putting "real people" in with the professional models.

In the future, where you're reading this, the show's already over. It went well, I hope, for everyone involved, myself included. Now though, it's the night before, and I am nervous. It's amazing how much anxiety can be generated by the simple act of putting one foot in front of another. But walking's different in the context of a fashion show. Out there, it is theatre, because everyone is watching. At least I'm prepared if the worst happens. The first thing I did after I said yes to it was go on YouTube and watch Carrie Bradshaw falling over.

It's the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie models for Dolce & Gabbana. I didn't even need to watch it again; I know it by heart. Carrie on the runway is my favourite moment ever. Carrie falling down in the fancy restaurant and yelling at the hostess, "Those stairs are dangerous!" after Big tells her he's engaged comes a close second. I love these scenes.

Sarah Jessica Parker has a knack for physical comedy, so Carrie has always been a very good fall-er.

That's not why I love them though. I love them because they are real and honest. Somewhat literal, too, for sure. Falling and getting back up again was always Carrie's trademark. Emotionally and physically, she hit the deck at least once every season.

The catwalk moment is the best of them. The ultimate fashion pratfall - Carrie is left writhing on the runway while Heidi Klum steps over her - is every model's worst nightmare and it underlines the theme of the series, which is friendship. As Carrie scrabbles about on the ground, Samantha mouths "are you okay?" at her. Carrie nods and rolls her eyes at her. It's the same little eye roll every woman gives another after she's had a shocker. Then she picks herself up, shakes it out and keeps on walking.

Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw's catwalk moment.
Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw's catwalk moment.

This is why I still love Sex and the City. This is why I will always love it. It hasn't aged well in places; some of the fashion is hilariously dated. Nothing screams late 90s/early noughties like outsized corsages and that Dior newsprint dress that Carrie loved so much. It belongs in a museum now, or a bin-liner.

At it's best though, Sex and the City was a showcase not only for the zany genius of costume designer Patricia Field, but also for some fine writing and acting that celebrated women's lives in a way that was funny, stylish and joyful.

Carrie falling over on the runway is one of the show's greatest moments, not only because she looked great doing it, but because she picked herself back up again and her friends were right beside her.

But just because I love that scene doesn't mean I want to re-enact it. Fingers crossed for me at Zambesi, please, that I don't end up fashion roadkill.

Editor's Note: No one fell over.

- VIVA


* Follow Noelle on Twitter here.

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