[show=spikedheel size=large]This is probably a weird thing for a nerd girl with a college education to say, but man I’d love to be Heidi Klum. It’s not just that the 35-year-old mother of three can still rock a bra and panties collection for Victoria’s Secret, either. Klum’s on-camera persona, from hosting Project Runway to minor acting work, combines her fierce model looks with a pleasant smile and slightly awkward English, a combination that humanizes her, and makes her seem like someone fun and approachable (who just happens to be married to Seal).
And like most web series built around a known personality, Spiked Heel is at its best when making use of Klum’s undeniable charm. Launching on the site Modelinia as part of the hoopla surrounding New York Fall Fashion Week, Klum stars in the comic book pastiche as the Kluminator, a superhero who seems to spend most of her time making sure fashion shows go well and fighting the supervillain Faux Pas, whose new death ray is aimed right at Bryant Park.
But the series feels like an odd fit for Modelinia, a site seeking to expose the realities of model life for the fashion-devoted — what kind of crossover is there between fashionistas and superhero fans? Especially when Spiked Heel doesn’t do a lot to serve either audience.
The plotting is flimsy, even for a three-minute web series, with most of the first episode’s drama revolving around a potentially collapsing runway (as if models didn’t already have a rough time getting down them). And aside from the joke of Faux Pas’ name, there’s nothing to really engage Runway or haute couture fans. After all, most popular superheroes these days sport more fashion-forward ensembles than the Kluminator’s — hell, even Hulk can claim to be experimenting with a deconstructed look.
One thing Spiked Heel does have going for it is its visual palette — while many web series, including Crackle’s Coma, have experimented with the comic book look, Heel transforms low-budget rotoscoping and digital effects into a hyperreal look that’s much truer to a pure comic book style — which is infinitely preferable to VFX artists who attempt to recreate reality with limited resources, producing amateurish results.
And while Klum doesn’t have a lot to work with here, she does seem to have a lot of fun rocking her costume and pretending to have superpowers. That’s why I want to be Heidi Klum when I grow up: No matter how bad the situation, she still comes out looking good.