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A Model Life - Intern Wardrobe

A Model Life
Claire Bodie

Despite the negativity that can surround the fashion and modelling industry, it is a world that has provided me with great opportunity.

 

I grew to 5’10 by the time I was 12. As a lanky, spindly-legged teenager I received more than a few unpleasant comments at school, with boys generally favouring the petite, bustier girls. Fortunately for me, the fashion industry has different ideas. Having never been particularly forthcoming at school, people were surprised when I shared a photo of myself striding down the runway at London Fashion Week.

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Family had mentioned to me that with my height perhaps I should give modelling a try. At 16 I applied online to a company that promised to ‘kickstart your modelling career’, and was thrilled when they rang to organise a shoot. Nervously, I trembled my way through the whole experience. You can imagine my delight when they told me I could be the next ‘big thing’, as long as I had good photos. My mother parted with £1000, and the company promised that they would help get me signed. We never heard from them again, and none of the images were deemed agency standard.

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After much rejection from modelling agencies, I decided to use model networking websites, arranging shoots with anyone who was willing to work with me. This was how I met Florian. I got a message asking me to go to a fitting at a designer’s house, for a London Fashion Week Show. The clothes fitted me perfectly, and I wore three outfits at his show, which was covered by every major fashion magazine. The thrill and excitement of thousands of bulbs flashing as people rushed to photograph me, got me hooked.

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Two years later, I am finally signed to a handful of agencies. It felt like the years of rejection and unpaid shoots had been worth it. My life has totally changed, and I never know day to day what will happen. I can go from sitting in a university lecture, to tube hopping around London going to castings, to shooting in a vintage diner in pajamas. I have worked with designers who dress Scarlet Johansen, shot with an ex rockstar-turned-photographer, and even got to meet a couple of iconic supermodels. It’s early mornings and late nights, and it’s definitely not a job you can do without passion.

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People underestimate how many hours week are dedicated each week to manicuring, pedicuring, plucking, shaving, moisturising and exercising to make sure I stay in good shape. I have only been told to lose weight once, where on a shoot a client said I would need to drop half a stone to get more work. Given that my BMI is 17, putting me in the ‘underweight’ category, I can only presume that this particular client wanted their models to adopt the ‘near death’ look…

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Being a model has given me confidence. Not just with the way I look, but confidence to want things and not be afraid to ask for them. I lost count how many times I got told to consider giving up because of what a ‘tough’ industry it is. Yet with persistence, I have been working my way up the modelling ladder and achieving my dreams. I have also learnt how to deal with rejection. For every 10 castings I go to, I may only get one job. But that’s just one of the many risks you take in this industry. After all, you’ll never win the lottery unless you buy a ticket.

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