NOW that the Singapore Fashion Festival is upon us, it is impossible to walk down Orchard Road without encountering an impossibly tall, underweight woman with a large file tucked under her skinny arm.
Yes, the noodles, er, models have arrived.
At the Singapore Fashion Festival - going on now till next Sunday at Civic Plaza, Ngee Ann City - the models come from all over the world.
Some have names with no vowels, some with at least four syllables.
Some look like they've just stepped out of the African plains or a Nordic cottage.
While the models are international, based on the opening weekend, the belle of the Fashion Festival ball is a 24-year-old from Singapore.
Sheila Sim is in 10 of the festival's 24 shows. She was in the opening night's Matthew Williamson show and yesterday, she was in both the Ashley Isham and the dazzling Robinsons shows.
Sheila has model-royalty blood.
One of her aunts is former top model Ivy Chng and another was a finalist in The New Paper New Face in 1993.
But Sheila protested when we said she looks like she is Singapore's top model.
'Oh no, that would be Junita Simon,' she insisted.
The marketing student added: 'Junita is way more experienced.'
After six years of modelling, Sheila is happy doing just that. It is not a stepping stone for a career in entertainment.
The 1.75m tall girl said nobody recognises her off the runway.
'And I like it that way,' she said, with a wry smile.
Also at the Robinsons show were three girls from The New Paper New Face 2007.
Jessica de Costa, Natalie Foster and Sheralynn Shen Jega were dressed in cigarette girl costumes and distributing ice cream and brochures.
Jessica said: 'The experience was quite fun and good because I got to see the backstage of a major fashion event.'
It was Sheralynn's first time at the festival.
BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
She said: 'Our Singapore models were better than everyone else.
'Sheila has such a lot of stage presence and Junita is in such fantastic shape, even though she had given birth.'
Sheralynn was not the only one who made that observation.
After the show, the artistic director of theatre group Wild Rice, Ivan Heng, stopped for a chat.
He said: 'The Asians really did so well, better than the foreigners.'
Maybe it is time for the fashion industry to take note.
This article was first published in The New Paper on Mar 30, 2008.