Style Counsel

Top Model

Questions for Terri Morgan, founder and director TCM Models and Talent.

By Laura Cassidy January 3, 2009 Published in the May 2008 issue of Seattle Met

You grew up in the Tri-Cities and began modeling in your teen years; after a stint in LA, you walked department store runways all over the Northwest, and then you bought the agency that represented you. What was your defining year? Nineteen eighty, the era of slim, jewel-toned YSL looks that went with wide belts, black opaque hose, stilettos, gloves, and hats. Waitódid I just describe Fall 2008?
Who were the icons at that time; who were the Kate Mosses and Naomi Campbells? Christie Brinkley, Kelly Emberg, and Iman. You didn’t know them like people know the supermodels of today; they were working girls, not celebrities.

They’ve all maintained such great skin. What have the bright lights taught you about skincare? When I was younger I didn’t have great skin and I did everything wrong. My skin is very sensitive, so now I avoid anything that has fragrance and I use a lot of moisturizer. I try to never go to bed without washing my face; each time you do so it ages you seven days! And at this stage of my life, every day counts!

How does being a professional clothes horse affect your wardrobe? It made me a bit of a chameleon. I’m extremely comfortable trying new things and pulling off a variety of looks. But you’ve got to be able to dress for your mood. For me, it starts with shoes, and then I move up from there. I might wear a little ballet flat with a swing dress one day, and stilettos with a slim skirt and a fitted, belted jacket the next.

Another trick of your trade: Being graceful in stilettos. I love sexy shoes and I hope we can see more of them. Stilettos are so much more flattering than chunky heels.

Roll your shoulders back, let your head rise up, arms hang loose, and glide!

Today you’re doing a Diane von Furstenberg Version 2.0 thing; fitting, considering you both got your start in the late ’70s. Lately all of my favorite new pieces are DVF. When I wore her dresses years ago in shows, I thought they were all too old lady. I never owned any of her wrap dresses, but her new silhouettes are perfect for me.

Describe your style in three words. Classic, easy, current.

What can everyone do to be a little more model-like every day? Posture is the key to visual poise. When you stand up straight, your clothes will hang better, you appear more confident, and you walk with more grace. Roll your shoulders back, let your head rise up, arms hang loose, and glide!

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