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Wilford Hongfu Liu is a third year in Stats and Machine Learning and Remi Adeoti is a first year in Tepper. They were chosen by the Lunar Gala Model Coordinators as the first pair to be showcased in our new Model Spotlight series. Wilford and Remi, both first-time participants in Lunar Gala, discuss their experience thus far in this self-conducted interview.

W: I got interested in LG because I wanted to do something a bit more creative. I come from a dance background, and I thought, what if I do something like modeling? I feel like LG gives us an opportunity that’s not like the regular runways where you have to be this tall, or this skinny, and I think that’s great.

R: I joined LG because I didn’t know anyone at the school, it was my freshman fall, and I wanted to get into something. LG gave me the opportunity to meet other people and do something that was outside of my comfort zone. When you’re walking in practice in those three lines and everyone’s looking at you, you know everyone’s looking at you. So you gotta put your face on, and say okay, I can do this.

W: What did you expect from the environment coming into LG?

R: I think for the first two practices I was a little intimidated because I felt like everyone already knew how to walk. I also thought it was going to be pretty clique-y, just because most of the people in LG are sophomores, juniors, and seniors, so they know each other or have met each other before. I was anxious about that, but as soon as we got to practice, people were talking to me. The environment was already carefree and relaxed, and it was a nice surprise. What’s been your favorite activity that we do? Warm ups, moods, the walking down the runway activity that we did?

W: To be honest, I think it’s more the choreography for me. Having partners, too. Suddenly you have to think, ‘Am I in time with this person? Are we gonna turn at the same time? Are we gonna pose at the same time?’

R: I think my favorite is floods, just because they’re so hard. Imagine like 8-9 people walking on the same foot at the same pace, with different lengths of strides, different heights-- so when it works out, it’s really satisfying to watch.

W: I remember I once led the flood and kept thinking, ‘Am I walking fast enough? Is everyone behind me?’ But you’re not allowed to look! I didn’t know that just walking could be so rewarding. Sometimes out of the blue when I’m just walking around campus, I decide to walk like I do in LG.

R: I do that too! I find myself making sure that my feet are crossing, because in LG your feet have to cross and your shoulders have to be back. Are you excited for the lines that you’re in?

W: Yeah, I remember after we got chosen and measured for the lines, I kept asking my designers, “Which one is me?” because they had the sketches and I just wanted to know which one I was going to be wearing. I’m just really excited to try on whatever we get.

R: I’m really excited for the designers to say like, “Okay Remi, I think we have it!” And I think after the show, I’m going to be so sad to part with whatever I wore because I feel like even though I didn’t create it, it’s still my other piece.

W: I think you can buy the pieces (Transcriber’s note: this is confirmed, there is a post-show sale every year), and I kinda want to buy them since they’ll fit me perfectly, you know?

R: I feel like we currently only know the models, but meeting the photographers (from the Model Spotlight photoshoot) like Meijie, Franklin, and the others was cool because they know parts of LG that we don’t usually interact with.

W: LG’s so big and we’re just such a small part. Like imagine the week of, when the stage is out.

R: It’s gonna start sinking in.

W: Remember the first time we did moods while walking? How was that for you?

R: I think the easiest moods for me were fierce and angry, but it was hard to do dreamy, sad, and happy because I don’t walk like that. I walk with a stone cold serious face, but I started working on it while walking down the street. Like you’ve been doing mad for eighteen years, let’s try dreamy for like ten seconds.

W: Happy is the hardest thing ever, because you’re not supposed to smile, and for dreamy I feel like I just have to zone out while walking. It’s tough, but I find it really fun when you can do it right. I think the model coordinators give us tons of really helpful feedback.

R: During practice, I make sure to go on both lines so I can get feedback from each one of them. I feel like they’re all a stickler in something, like Jessica is serious about the feet, Pauline and Ugne look for the 45 degree angle with your arms, and Julianne wants you to give the feeling and emotion. And I want the nitpicking so my walk gets better gradually.

W: Do you think you’ll ever be ready for the show? What are you expecting it to be like?

R: I don’t think I’ll ever be ready but I’m excited for the show to just bring together creative minds and showcase the theme. I’m also excited just to continue talking to everyone, I feel like every day I’m talking to someone I’ve only spoken to for five minutes or someone I’ve talked to for two hours of practice for.

W: I agree that I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for the show, just because it’s our first time too. The butterflies are going to be there when we start walking onstage. I’m expecting an artistic explosion-- I’m just so excited to see it all come together.