TUTTLE MODE | REVIEW
by James Tuttle
RuPaul and Design Star took a back seat this week because we have a very special treat for you here at Tuttle Mode. It’s our first ever book review!
Now, wipe that stupid look off your face. Books can be fun, especially when they’re about two of your favorite things—sex and fashion! Just ask Jackie Collins or my longtime friend, bestselling London author Lulu Taylor. We are introducing a new novel called Walking Marina written by a male model about the modeling business and that, as far as I know, hasn’t really happened before.
Author D. R. Hildebrand. All this and he's smart, too!
The story follows an aimless teen catapulted from a Mid-western steel mill into New York’s fiercely competitive modeling world. When his novelty begins to fade, he gets pulled into the seamy underside of the business, testing his morality and, ultimately, his humanity.
Author D.R. Hildebrand
by James Tuttle
D. R. Hildebrand, a model, is the author of Walking Marina.
JAMES: Just how autobiographical is Walking Marina? There are some pretty graphic sexual situations involving the protagonist whose name also begins with a “D” and more than one involves a cash transaction. Hmmm.
D. R.: So essentially you want to know if I’m a big ho’. Nope. Sorry, James, it’s fiction. But it feels real—thank you—because it’s inspired by years at castings, listening to models tell some very graphic stories. I started creating a plot out of their diverse and intriguing experiences, peppered here and there with some of my own. But it certainly isn’t autobiographical, which is better because my life really isn’t all that fascinating.
JAMES: You paint a vivid picture in your book of the Great Divide in the business between male and female models, where the girls are working steadily and the guys are waiting for scraps. Do you think that it’s possible that, male or female, the most in-demand faces are getting all the jobs whether it’s Lara Stone and Karlie Kloss or Jon Kortajarena and Clement Chabernaud?
D. R.: Definitely! And that’s part of the reason why I wrote the last chapter as I did, but when women are booking 80% to 90% of all modeling jobs in New York, it’s difficult to argue that any parity exists. An article in V Man a few years back put it all quite plainly: “Modeling has always been a woman’s world—economics and simple psychology have conspired to make it so.” Walking Marina simply exposes this world. It takes modeling, the most obvious exception to patriarchy’s rule of supremacy, and uses it as a mirror.