It's always a great feeling when a client contacts you saying that you have been recommended for the job. Meili recently has put together a team of people who are performing top level work. Finding a stylist in Beijing is a challenge with an international eye so it was a great pleasure to work with Meili (http://www.meilistyle.com) and see her bring up the brand to a new level. It was also great to finally work with Chique. It's also great when a client tells you that they will be happy to use you again. All in all a perfect day!
Getting new photos in a models' book is one of the most important things to the career and evolution of the fashion model. The book is like a CV, showing all the work experience and "level" of the model. Clients looking at the model's book can understand if this model is a working model, if she/he has enough experience to handle the job, and of course, what they look like on camera.
Many times models travel to a country and stay for 3 months, and then return to their hometown or move on to another market, leaving their past agents to collect any photos/tearsheets that they maybe have done, but had not published during their time in that country. This can often be a nightmare as agents have a new batch of girls coming into the country and have already forgotten about the last model. As their business is on turnover, they are not concerned with "the last batch", unlike in markets such as Europe, where the models may return periodically, Asian markets often have the models leaving and not returning again. So the question is, how does the model manage to collect their tearsheets?
First, as a model, try to get as much information about the client, the name of the client, or photostudio as possible. We all know it's not professional to take the contact information of the client, photographer, etc and may make your agent mad if you do so--they may think that you will work with them directly. However, in markets such as Asia, I would recommend most definitly to get the telephone number/email of the assistant, photographer, or the photostudio, and then if your agent doesn't follow up, I most certainly contact them. For example, I have been chasing these photos here for 6 months because I knew the shooting was so successful and great photos. Asking my agent repeatedly, he got no results for whatever reason. I finally asked him to give me the contact of the client so that I could try. The client finally gave me 3 photos from the shooting for my book.
Persistance. The only way is to keep asking your agent. Keep it in their mind--they have so many girls to take care of you will need to send them a reminder. If this is not successful, then go for the client and write them a sweet note thanking them for the job and asking if you could receive any beautiful photos from the shooting. If they were to ever ask you to work with them directly, you can simply refer them back to your agent for any job booking. This way you avoid any conflicts and return the client to your agent for work matters and you still get the photos for your book.
Many times in my career when I started, I worked for free for this exhibition of that upcoming designer, or this editorial for that big photographer. As I progressed in my career I had less time due to bookings, and passed through a period where I was no longer doing free things for anything, that's called the money making period: when you are hot, you have to grab it all. Then you come to the top of the piramid and you are financially stable, with your clients, and booking less but for more money. This is the stage where it's time to start your next life projects and thinking, and to give back. Never forget the exposure that xyz designer/event/magazine/photographer gave to you when you started, and now it's time to lend your name to support with attention, contacts, and notoriety the next generation.
I know some models just want to go to they gym or laze around in the sunshine (never!) all day dreaming lazy dreams of beauty, but it is in these moment that I promise you we are actually thinking, planning, diving deep into the soul to know what we are to be doing.
So it is with great pleasure and honor that I participated in the ESMOD Beijing graduate class of 2011 fashion show. Let me tell you! The quality of the designs were stunning. I have a few pieces that I would love to buy and I like all my outfits (of course since I"m the princiapal model I got my pick). The whole fitting was so super professional and many of my model friends from the New Silk Road Modelling School greeted me with "Anina!!!" and we instantly hugged (even though we cant really talk to eachother there's that model-bond). Sitting on my friend's lap I show her my photos I'd been snapping during the fitting of her and the other models. We laugh and she QQ Weibo's me and another girl Sina Weibo's me (there are so many social networks in China). I still cant write in Chinese....at least they can read my English.
It's fun the imagination of the graduating class's imagination. Some highlights to entice you to stay tuned. You can see the article written, but it's in Chinese. The fashion show was covered by the whole Chinese media as ESMOD is a very prestegious school from France. 360Fashion are the proud sponsor, with the ESMOD EVENT GUIDE MobileMags fashion app you can download from the gallery and check out all the designers directly in your mobile phone!
It's getting to be fashion week in China and soon there will be so many casting and fittings and big competition between the Chinese models, the western models, and everyone else. Body size will be a major issue along with height and makeup. How to know what the designers want and how to get that job?
First, you need the perfect Casting Dress. It should be black and slim. If you hips are a bit bigger, wear a bra to increase your bust size and choose something with a slight A-Line.
Second, your makeup should emphasize your eyes but not be too heavy. Shadow with some brown or line it with some black, but make sure your features stand out with any spots covered up, dark circles whited out, and some gloss on your lips. If you have a round face, contour under your cheekbones with a slightly darker base or powder, if you have a long face soften it with some rose on your apple cheeks.
Third, she shoe is so important. It must be high high high. It must be black. It must be comfortable to walk in, it must give you support, and it must be fashion. No exceptions to the rule, you must make sure your shoe fits you Cinderella.
Fourth, cream for your hands, cream for your legs, cream for your hair, you should sparcle and shine. Don't forget to moisturize your feet, hands, lower legs, and thighs the night before your castings so that the skin is popping and smooth. Get a petticure, a manicure, and make sure you have rubbed off all that dead skin from your heels.
Fifth, relax and do some walking at home. If you have a mirror, great, if not get a friend to come and watch eachother. Feel what it feels to walk down the runway. When you are in the casting pretend you are on stage at the Chanel show in Paris. Cop an attitude they want to see power down the runway.
I was so thrilled when I finally got to shoot with my blogger and model soulsister, Zanita. After following her for many months she finally had a moment to shoot with me and the photos turned out so magical. Here is my backstage story with videos where I share with you the full scenario, and here is the post about the shooting on Zanita's blog.
When you are on a fitting, it's the final frontiere: if the shoe fits, so to speak, you got the job. If it doesnt fit, you are not invited to the ball, Cinderella, and there are no mice or fairy godmother gonna wave you a pumpkin or dress in this case. So how to conduct yourself?
The fitting is when they are making the lineup and outfit choices, so fit is what is most important. Suck in that gut, tighten those buttocks, make sure you can walk smoothly in those heels because this is the last "casting" before you are confirmed. Make the dress fit. You know you can do it.
If the bust is too big, and the dress if falling off, INHAIL. Try to hold your breath and keep the dress up.First impressions last. If they like it, the dresser will come and make it tigher and pin you up, but make sure when you walk out, it looks like it fits for a few minutes until they decide they like you.
If the skirt is too tight, cross your legs when you stand so that the hip area is smaller and you dont have that vertical wrincle. Tighten your bum as much as you can, as this will lift your butt and make your legs slimmer. Hold in your stomach (if you have one).
When the designer is tugging at you, lift your arms out of the way so that he / she can pin you without problems. If they ask you any questions about the fit, answer them truethfully but size up the situation and feel the vibe of the designer.
A lot of a fitting is also the designer checking out if you match his style and vibe, so pay attention to the personality. If they are quiet, be quiet. If they are chatty, chat and be friendly.
Smile. You cant imagine how far a smile from a model who likes their job can get you. It brightens anyone's day during the fitting. When you are walking, wipe that smile off your face and be graceful.
Its a great relievf when you see them write your name on the posters that the designers put up with the collection order. It generally means you got the job! Even if the model is not yme ou in the photos because it's the fit model, I like to see my name written...anyway...If this girl had red hair she could almost be me! See more photos from the show on my Anina China blog.
Photographers need to print books--I dont know why but believe me there's some editor somewhere who has their coffee table book on their coffee table. Some art directors somewhere have a bookshelf full of photographer's "portfolio's in print". I think it is because with a book photographers have the ultimate controll on the color saturations of their photos and can also go down in history and prove their manhood/womanhood or show to the world--I dont know--but they are nice to look at while you are waiting for the castings. For a model, you can believe me, you have just made history if you have the honor of getting your photo selected to be in a top photographer's book. They really only select the best of their best photos, so if it's you, girl you are boomin' and can show it to your children when you have them and say to yourself, "I have arrived to be timeless."
I am really honored to be included in Zack Image's book. He's one of Beijing's top photographers and it's really hard to get to shoot with him as he's really picky. I've only shot with him three times! Why? Because he only likes long hair. I managed in this photo to get away with being shot with my short hair, otherwise he always puts the long hair on me. I love going down in history and he even gave me a copy for my nostagic records.
These days you cant walk out of the Louvre or Sommerset House, or the Fiera without being snapped up by photographer--if you are lucky and if you have style. It used to be that models dressed all grunge to the backstage area and were quite anti-fashion. These days you almost have to look like you just walked off the catwalk in a couture dress. That's why I recommend wearing some type of hat if you dont want to freeze to death in a mini skirt or wear something with too many colors and layers. A sparkly hat can really make your whole low-key and functional backstage look spice up enough for the bloggers and the street-fashion backstage Japanese and Chinese photographers snap you up and put you on the web!
I had the great pleasure to be invited by McCann Erickson HK, to the prestigious Grand KAM FAN 2010 Awards Ceremony in Hong Kong, on November 26th. It was a glamorous event with all the top advertising agencies in Hong Kong. I was invited to give some awards to winners and I was one of the judges for the "Most Glamorous Man & Woman" attending the event. I was thrilled to be able to attend such a high profile event in Hong Kong and pick out a dress to wear from my friend Ahlaiya's exclusive shop "Creatures": A&B G/F, 14 St. Francis St. Wanchai, HK +852 25201912 Awesome clothing by appointment only! See some of the photos here.
Outside the dinning room, they had an exhibition with the finalists on display. The most thrilling of them all was the April Fool's Day Metro Campaign where users were allowed to write stories about Hong Kong about what will be in the future. The best stories were printed on April 1st and distributed throughout the city. All the stories were available to read online and it was really an exorcise in showing the concerns of the people and their thoughts about what the future will hold. Totally successful!
The winner was Leo Burnette for their IKEA "Curtains" campaign where in theaters they had a trumpet sound and then the curtains open...to reveal some curtains, then another trumpet award to open those curtains...to reveal more curtains...and so on until the final curtain (I believe these were even shower curtains!) with the screen showing IKEA. Really simple, really got the point across!
Another one I really enjoyed was the organic baby food with the trees on the diapers...very funny, and the Financial Times sent a ken doll to every customers saying that they had the perfect reader for them and outlined the demographic. Very funny. The diamond advertising was interesting and very detailed but very hard to read. I had to stand with my nose almost to the paper to really see all the diamond cutter drawings. Another one was for Greenpeace, with tiretracks--but when you looked closely you see the polar bears jumping from the melting icecaps. A work of art.
I fell in love with Hong Kong and it's tiny streets, and the desert of the evening was the treat to go to KEE Club (most exclusive club in HK) where Peter Kruder from "Kruder and Dorfmeister" was playing! I am not a girl that goes out all night but the music and the people in the club were too awesome to leave earlier than 4am!
Russian models have a lot of Russian style. But this girl really blew me away in her awesome red and black pattern angora dress with funky overcoat. Great look i'd love to have myself in a cool location.