Model Students (cont.)

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The look agencies wanted over the summer has been ‘quirky’ and the move now is towards ‘Scandinavian’: tall, blonde, wide-set eyes. This is finally a move away from the waif look that has predominated over the last few years. It will however, probably be a while yet before the Sophie Dahl, actual-woman-in real-life ‘look’ becomes more than a token gesture.

Cathy had said that I’d probably be surprised by the people she picked out. Model scouts have to see people as though they are looking at them through a camera lens. Apparently that is why the guy I had decided was Mr. Beautiful for the night was not suitable: his brow was too low and his eyes too deep-set to work on film. He was also a no-no because he looked like Stephen Dorf. Though this is very sexy, there are actually quite a lot of guys who have a similar look. This means it’s a very competitive area to be in and not a very sellable commodity.

This bit of the game isn’t nice. People aren’t supposed to be products, are they? It must be nice to be worth millions, but unless you are a Cindy Crawford or Helena Christiansen then you’re probably going to be in the £2.50 range. Generally students are a bit more arsey than that and like to think they’re at least worth the money the council, or their parents, spend on them each year.

It is a curious business to be in, especially when someone who sells one season doesn’t sell the next, and what makes a good model is not how attractive they are, but how versatile. London Student’s photographer found this later in the evening. However much she insisted the guy in the OTC outfit was attractive, Cathy just would not agree. “He is cute, but he’s not model material,” she said firmly. We got a photo of him anyway, under the pretext of needing an image giving a general impression of the Fresher’s Fair.

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Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith

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