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A Model's Reading Guide for Fashion Week

By Serena Solomon | September 9, 2013 6:52am
 With hours in hair and makeup before runway shows, models carve out serious reading time.
What the Models Are Reading at Fashion Week
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LINCOLN CENTER — These models devour books.

From novels about lust and love to hard-hitting political commentaries, Fashion Week's models are burying their noses in volumes thick and thin during their downtime.

The runway strutters often have to arrive at shows three hours before they start to get their hair and makeup done, which gives them lots of time to crack a book before hitting the catwalk. And the models were more than happy to talk to DNAinfo New York about the tomes in their bags.

"It is great to be asked what I am reading," said Czech model Klara Urbanove as she lugged around a heavy novel on her country's royal history. "Most of the time people just ask us what we eat."

Here's a look at what the Fashion Week models are reading:

"Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" by Hunter S. Thompson

When Paizley Sloane, 22, hangs up her modeling heels, she may pursue a career as a political journalist — thanks to Hunter S. Thompson, whose work she is reading this Fashion Week.

His book “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72’” is a collection of articles he wrote about the 1972 presidential race and the intense Democratic primary fight.

Thompson's writing style is also an inspiration to Sloane.

"It's no bull s---, it's raw and people like me because I am raw," she said.   

"Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin" by Timothy Snyder

This gruesome history book on World War II and the Soviet Union is what you will find in the hands of 19-year-old Danish model Dana Korstenbroek in between runway shows.

"When I read history it keeps my mind busy," she said, on her way home after walking in the Carmen Marc Valvo show. "Sometimes when I work it's so shallow."

Korstenbroek's brother is currently a history student, so she never has a shortage of reading suggestions, she said.

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

Trinidadian model Michelene Auguste, 20, first heard of the book "The Alchemist" when listening to an interview with the actor Will Smith.

"He said it was his favorite book," she said of the 1988 novel about a young shepherd who travels to Egypt after dreaming of finding treasure there.

"It is about going after your dreams," said Auguste, who downloaded the book on her phone. "It is a good message with good quotes."

"Úděl královský" by Jiří Hanibal

The title of this Czech book can be translated to "The King's Deal," according to model Klara Urbanove. The historical novel unravels the sometimes tragic true story of Václav II, a 14th-century Czech king, she said.

"He was put in jail and his cousin was meant to take care of him but, he [the cousin] didn't because he wanted to be king," Urbanove said.

She said the book is one of her mother's favorite reads.

"50 Shades of Freed" by E. L. James

Solomiya Zgoda is only 17, but the erotic romance series that starts with the "Fifty Shades of Grey" already has her hooked.

"I love the character Christian Grey. He is a great character," Zgoda said as she ran into Friday's Rebecca Minkoff show at Lincoln Center.

Her Own Journal

While many models are reading, Talia Richman, 18, is writing.

The Australian model, who just began modeling full-time and is traveling the world, is documenting her journey and experiences.

"I like the fact that I will be able to remind myself of these memories," Richmond said. "I am having so many experiences at the moment."

If a show's hairstyle takes a long time, Richmond said it is the perfect time for her to get out a notebook and pen and start writing.

"It's old school," she said. "Therapeutic."