Smile Down the Runway

Alt title: Runway de Waratte

TV (12 eps)
3.842 out of 5 from 2,050 votes
Rank #1,684
Smile Down the Runway

Chiyuki Fujito has a dream: to become a Paris Collection model. The problem is that she hasn't grown past 158cm. As she is too short for a model, everyone around her tells her to give up on her dream. However, no matter what anyone says, she wouldn't give up. Her classmate, a poor student named Ikuto Tsumura, also has a dream he hasn't been able to let go of, which is to become a fashion designer. But one day, Chiyuki tells him that it's "probably impossible" for him, causing him to consider giving it up…?! This is the story of two individuals who wholeheartedly chase after their dreams, despite others telling them that they won't ever come true.

Source: Kodansha

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Reviews

demuredandy
3

Do not watch this if you have a background in fashion and design.I'm sure it's a lovely story, but I couldn't make it past 2 episodes. Everything was so unrealistic that I couldn't help but cringe the entire time.Firstly, sewing clothes is a very expensive hobby! There's no way Ikuto, the poor kid, could afford to buy fabric to make clothes just for fun. There are only so many hours that he could work as a highschool student, so it's unlikely that he could afford to buy random thrift store items to alter, on top of his contributions to supporting his family.In episode one, Ikuto mentions making a suit for some guy's kid. Suit jackets are one of the most complex garments to make. Ikuto is poor, and has no formal training. There's no way he would know how to draft a mens suit from scratch. Even if he's using a commercial pattern bought from the local fabric store (let's pretend for a second that he's not poor, and can buy patterns and fabric), the sewing techniques for constructing a suit are still too complex for some student to pick up without the guidance of someone with tailoring experience.In episode 2, the big drama is that they have one missing model. You don't need 40 models to wear 40 dresses. It's totally normal for there to be more looks than models. It's pretty normal for the model that opens the show to also close the show. They made such a big issue out of nothing, I hated every second of it.When the designer's assistant/dressmaker is asked to alter the dress to fit Chiyuki, she says "Shoot, the fabric is too thick to alter the length" I have no idea what kind of fabric they're using, but there's no such thing as a fabric that's too thick to alter. To alter the length, all you need to do is to cut the fabric, and hem the raw edge. If they managed to cut the fabric to make the dress in the first place, they can definitely cut it again to shorten the length.We also find out the the famous independant designer doesn't know how to sew. How can one possibly start up their own independant brand without a basic ability to sew???? To be an independant designer that doesn't have any sewing ability, you basically need to be born into wealth, so you can hire pattern makers, and tailors/dressmakers. You can't just start up a fashion brand with a bunch of pretty drawings.I'll probably watch one more episode to see how Ikuto will fix the dress. I bet the solution is going to be something stupid that couldn't possibly be done within the 15 minutes they have before the show starts.*update*I was right. He chopped off the sleeves, and at no point does he take the dress off her so he can hem the armholes. Somehow he ends up with a pretty significant amount of fabric; enough to make a voluminous high-low hem, halter neck, apron styled cover. He would need at least 3 metres of fabric to achieve the desired style and volume. There's no way he could have salvaged that much fabric from the hem of the dress. And reveal gimick was also super unrealistic. The fabric would need to be draped to form two sacs of fabric on her back, for the reveal to drape the way it did at the end. I know too much to enjoy this anime. I'm not going to watch any more.*update* I ended up hate watching the entire series, and it did not get any better. More ridiculous scenarios, and unrealistic solutions.Episode 4 was even more frustrating than the first three episodes. When Ikuto is taken to Geika Institute of fashion, he meets Toh. Toh removes a ribbon tie feature from another student's dress, saying that the feature is too heavy for the fabric to handle, and was therefore distrupting the silhouette. The fabric tie was made from the same fabric as the dress. The dress was most likely a medium weight, plain woven cotton or poly-cotton blend. There's no way that a tiny scrap of fabric on the back of the dress would weigh it down so much that the fabric would pool at the waist. If they wanted a realistic problem and solution, the tie could definitely ruin the silhouette if it were pulled too tightly. This would pull the side seams out of alignment, causing diagonal wrinkles directed towards the bust, and large horizontal wrinkles at the front waistline and hips.When the students go to Hajime's studio, it is revealed that they are unable to source the silk-look poly-cotton satin from their original supplier. I'll give them some credit for their first realistic industry problem, but it's all downhill from here. When asked why they don't use real silk, the realistic reason would be that real silk isn't within the price range of their customers. The reason they give us is that silk is too soft to achieve the correct silhouette. WHAT SILHOUETTE??? The fabric is literally just draped on the body, supported by the shoulders. There's nothing spectacular about the design that would require a specialised fabric.When discussing the changes in textile, somehow they change from a silk-look poly-cotton satin to a silk crepe georgette??? Satin has a smooth, shiny texture, while crepe groegette is totally matte, with a distinct crepe texture??? The fabrics are nothing alike?? The customer that ordered the 400 shirts is going to be in for quite the surprise!And then we get to making the sample garment. I get that it's an anime and they have to make it exciting, but this is so over the top. "45 DEGREE ANGLE! NEEDLES 7 AND 9! IF YOU CAN'T SHAPE IT ON THE TABLE, DO IT ON THE TORSO! SET IT ON THE PAPER AND CUT!"... geez, no need to shout 😅. When making any kind of garment, there are two ways to create the pattern; draping on the mannequin, or drafting from an existing garment block. Personally, I would start by drafting the pattern from an existing block, sew up the shoulder and collar, put it on the mannequin, and then pull, pin, and manipulate the rest of the torso until I achieve the shape I want. After everyhing is pinned in place, you'd then cut away the excess fabric, and transfer the changes to your pattern. Of course Ikuto stuffs it up, since he has never worked on the bias before. Hajiem gives us some bullshit about calculating the elasticity of the bias for different fabrics. It's true that all fabrics react differently on the bias, but I'm pretty sure there's no mathematical formula to calculate this. As far as I'm aware, it's just a process of trial and error. Then it's Toh's turn. He starts by draping on the mannequin, they cut out a lot of steps, and then you see him stitching the buttons on while the garment is still on the mannequin. Sewing buttons on the mannequin wouldn't be impossible, but it's unnecessary, and would make life a bit harder. When the garment is revealed, it has a satin sheen instead of a matte crepe finish. Minor details. Moving on. Hajime says they'll use this sample to draw up patterns for the factory. He gives the task to ikuto. There are two ways of doing this; You could completely unassemble the garment to trace the pieces, or you can do your best to lay out the garment flat on paper and trace the pieces with the garment fully intact. Ikuto doesn't use any of these methods, but somehow drafts direcly on paper??? This could be realistic if they were drafting a normal garment cut on grain, but bias cut garments can't be drafted by sight alone. The Toh gives us some bullshit about how Ikuto doesn't fully understand the elasticity of the fabric, and how the front of the sleeve head should be reduced by a few millimetres to prevent wrinkles????? If anything, you'd want to add a few millimetres to allow for greater ease of movement??? The only reason a sleeve would create wrinkles is if it were too tight??? And that pretty much ends episode 4. I hated it.

Dominance
7.3

I love this anime, but one of the worst things that it does is leave out is the truth about modelling. Specifically, I am referring to how many models need to or feel pressured to stay skinny. Unknown to most people, models have poor bone quality, enduring Arthritis and Osteoporosis from ages as young as nine. Similarly, thousands of models fall victim to mental disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-uBZk89qM0&feature=youtu.be). It is sad because 1 in 19 models feel the need to eat less or purge the food they have already eaten as a way of maintaining their weight. This anime completely glosses over this fact. The primary age range for these sorts of disorders to appear in young models is between the ages of 15 and 24 with victims having 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers. I dislike when media ignores these facts as a way of furthering the story's plot. This avoidance of critical information glorifies the visual aspects of the action while completely neglecting the mental or physical suffering that comes along with it. As a note, Smile Down the Runway repeatedly instills the belief that "you need to be skinny tall and skinny " in order to be a model. This is inaccurate and shows a blatant disregard for the plus-sized modelling industry that is currently overtaking the small-sized modelling industry, and ignores the other members of the same industry who are suffering from the accompanying social and mental trauma. In either episode 1 or 2, Chiyuki Fujito's mother alludes to her daughter's eating habits when she says, "you are skinny and talented, but it's too bad you don't have the height." This quote aggrandizes being skinny and tall while simultaneously condemning those who are short or heavily-set. I concluding by stating that it is shameful for an anime as highly praised as Smile Down the Runway to persecute a group of people simply because the author believes it will generate a 'good story'. They should do their research as present accurate facts.

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