elite model look
Last week I headed down to Baker Street for an evening of glamour and dream-making. It was, of course, the 2012 finals of Elite Model Management‘s infamous Elite Model Look.

Following a six month nationwide search, twelve boys and twelve girls had been selected to take part in the holy grail of modelling competitions: the catwalk final. (I’m not kidding here – previous winners have included Gisele, Alessandra, Cindy, Eniko, Fei Fei, and Erjona). Up for grabs were three prizes:
1) FEMALE: A model management contract with Elite London and the chance to represent the UK in December’s Elite Model Look final (held in Shanghai).
2) MALE: A model management contract with Elite London and a trip to Milan to walk at Men’s Fashion Week.
3) FEMALE: A contract to be the face of Look Beauty (her campaign will feature in Superdrug stores nationwide, in addition to general advertising), an editorial spread in Look magazine, and an Elite Model contract.

As expected, all finalists were twenty times as beautiful in person as they were on film and the competition was incredibly tough to call.

With struts wrapped up, the winners were announced as Gillian Matthew (aged 16 from South Lanarkshire – Prize 1), Conor Doherty (aged 16 from London – Prize 2), and Molly McGeachin (aged 19 from Brighton – Prize 3). The three SuperBeauties were enveloped in hugs from their fellow contestants who – like the rest of us – could not wait to celebrate the end of this phase of the competition with Henry Holland on the after party decks.

elite model look
elite model look
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24 Hour Catwalk

24 Hour Catwalk

  • On January 10th, Alexa Chung‘s latest TV venture – “24 Hour Catwalk” – will premiere on the Lifetime network in the US. The premise? A hyperactive version of “Project Runway” where four designers compete to produce the most fabulous collection of clothes and win a $10,000 cash prize each episode (which is filmed over just 24 hours). Judges will include Miss Chung, designer Cynthia Rowley, fashion editor Derek Blasberg, and publicist James LeForce. Check out a sneak peek here.

  • In two days, Elite Model Management will host their 28th Elite Model Look World Final competition in China. Currently, 70 aspiring models are in Shanghai undergoing a specialized ‘boot camp’ before the final round.

  • Lady Gaga‘s new music video for Marry The Night has been released, and marks her first video as a solo director. Describing the video as “autobiographical” and the “worst day of her life”, Gaga is institutionalized while wearing next season’s Calvin Klein and some incredible custom Giuseppe Zanotti shoes. I’ve had worse days.

    It segues into a Fame-like dance number (in stilettos, of course) and nostaglic Eighties pyromania. It’s bloody awesome.


  • Jessica Simpson may be pregnant, but she certainly has no plans to slow down on her path towards fashion domination. Though she just launched a joint girl’s fashion venture with (little sister) Ashlee Simpson, reports are in that Jessica will be launching a maternity line, a children’s footwear line, and an under-5s line. Because shoes, fragrances, luggage, jewellery, handbags, clothing, denim and outerwear isn’t enough. Rock on, Jessica.

  • This week, the Wall Street Journal profiled the incredibly talented fashion designer Dries van Noten, and taught us that sometimes even the big gun’s get it wrong. Very wrong.

    Two years later, close call No. 2 came: the Persian Gulf War. Most fashion companies lost a great deal sales-wise because American retailers slashed their spring/summer 1991 orders as the country went to war in January. Van Noten experienced that and more: “That season,” he says, “I made the collection inspired by Iraq and Iran”—having conceived and designed it before Iraq invaded Kuwait. As it happens, he says, “we have a system where jacket names begin with a B for blazer, and skirts are with an S for skirt, so that season the blazers were called Baghdad, the skirts were called Saddam, and so on. All the shipments to New York were blocked in customs because the papers were filled with names of cities of Iraq and Saddam.”

    “That,” he says quietly, “nearly caused us bankruptcy.”

  • Congratulations to Michael Kors Holdings who have finally plunged into the stock market and are currently plotting an IPO. They intend to trade under the name of KORS on the New York Stock, and hope to sell 48 million shares, including over-allotments, between $17 to $19 a piece. Which means, yes, you will soon be able to own part of Kors’ company (soon to be valued near $3.62 billion) for under $20.
  • Irina Shayk Naked
    Sports Illustrated model Irina Shayk has been manipulated in more ways than one by GQ Spain. Let me share a press release with you:

    Supermodel Irina Shayk is the victim of “photoshop” and breach of contract over photo approval in GQ SPAIN.
    Model Irina Shayk is a victim of photoshop and GQ’s Spain negligence in her recent cover, editorial and feature in the magazines December issue. The intimissimi ambassador dawns [sic] the cover in an Intimissimi lingerie body suit but unfortunately was photoshopped to appear naked in 3 images of the 14 page spread.
    In every image photographed Ms. Shayk was dressed in lingerie in the artistic and tasteful shots done by famed photographer Vincent Peters but due to negligence on GQ’s part it seems as if Ms. Shayk “poised” [sic] for pictures entirely nude, which is false. A contract was signed on behalf of Ms. Shayk by Elite Model Management where she was to have approval of the interview, cover and images and was refused that right by the publication. Ms. Shayk was not nude and did not approve these images. Irina Shayk NEVER saw the images, cover or caption that was used in GQ Spain.
    Futhermore, in an effort to sell more magazines SPAIN GQ printed “Want to see Animal Irina Shayk nude?” these kind of statements are not only not true but also defamatory towards Ms Shayk’s persona and image this lack of professionalism and neglect towards the future of Ms Shayk’s modeling career in an effort to sell magazines is not only shocking but unacceptable from such an established and prestige publication as GQ.

    While we’re all aware that Photoshop gives us beauty that isn’t that poreless, skinny, voluptuous, pulled together, etcetera – creating an image that doesn’t exist is really too much, especially when it compromises someone’s integrity. I will say it time and time again; do not trust what you see.