Can you remember when and where you were scouted? How old were you?
The first time I was scouted, I was 12 and it was in Topshop on Oxford Street - I remember the scout coming up to my mum and her freaking out cause she thought I’d been shoplifting when they asked if I was her daughter!
What is the earliest memory of a model burnt into your mind?
Lily Cole shot by Tim Walker for British Vogue. My sister had it stuck up on her wall and I always thought she looked like a beautiful alien.
Can you tell me an iconic model whose work you got very fascinated by? — What did you feel when looking at images of them?
It’s so cliche being British but both Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whitely. I think I just wanted to look like them really - they sell effortlessly cool and effortlessly sexy very well and before I knew about how much work goes into looking like that, it seemed so unattainable, and we always want what we can’t have.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
Absolutely not. I feel like it exists more obviously within film than fashion though. I generally think I am able to tell which films are written or directed by a man or woman by looking at how the female characters are fleshed out (or not as the case may be).
What was your first fashion shoot?
My first real shoot (aka not a test) was for a Japanese magazine called Union. It was shot all on Polaroid and I loved it as everything was made to look like a dolls house. I think I was 15.
What do you love most about being a model?
The travelling is amazing, playing for work is amazing and the range of people and lifestyles you get to meet and see is so wonderful and inspiring.
What do you most hate about being a model?
Sometimes you get treated like an object - people talk about you brutally in front of you and your expected to not react. It can be frustrating.
How do people react when they find out you are a model?
I feel like because of social media, if it’s for film work, people weirdly now know before they meet me a lot of the time so I don’t see their reaction. And socially, I guess most of the people I am around now are either in similar industries so they’re unfazed by it. I think people are more surprised that I have a brain to be honest.
What is the most common question you get asked as a model?
‘So do you like, not eat?’ It’s boring and I literally eat my bodyweight in pork buns on the regs.
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about // who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
I find it quite hard to answer this. I’m not sure I would want to start in fashion at this age. I’m trying to slowly move away from it to focus on my art, so it’s not something I feel like I would be hunting if that makes sense.
Statistics show that only 1 in 10 of the big money jobs i.e. womenswear- beauty and perfume campaigns are shot by women. Is there just no qualified female fashion image makers out there?
I’m actually shocked at those statistics. Some of my favourite photographers working now are female; Charlotte Wales, Harley Weir, Petra Collins and of course Christine Kreiselmaier ;) So they exist and they deserve to shoot more!
How does it feel to be shot by a female photographer vs a male photographer — is there a difference, if so how?
You feel more immediately looked after in a way. There’s less of a having to work out their vibe. It’s weird actually, just thinking about it now, all the times (bar maybe one) I’ve shot topless or naked, when I’ve just been asked on the shoot to and said yes, it’s been with female photographers. I always say no to male photographers asking the same request.
What makes you feel comfortable in front of a camera?
People being nice and you feeling beautiful in the clothes and makeup! Also I think seeing the mood board, and it aligning with your tastes always helps because it means you’re excited about the end product and know what you’re aiming for.
Besides modelling what do you do?
I’m a filmmaker - I write and direct!
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long in hours/days/years did it take you to feel like a master of a craft?
I don’t think I’ll ever feel like master of anything. There is always more to learn - whenyou feel like you’ve mastered something, you’re just being complacent.
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
I mentioned her before, but Petra Collins is my all-time favourite. She blends art and fashion, feminism and fantasy with a heavy dose of pop culture and it’s always beautiful. My one to watch would be Amie Milne. She shoots stills and moving image in a really beautiful, clean way.
Who is your female designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
Phoebe Philo is my female designer icon. Every time you put on something designed by her you just feel like a WOMAN and I love it. My one to watch is Paula Nadal - she’s got that same eye for tailoring but also adores tie-dye. What more could you want.
What do say about the charge that all fashion imagery is predominantly sexist?
I would say that the people who say that haven’t been on an all- female set, making magic.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect fashion image making?
I think it already is. I just hope it’s for the right reasons and not because companies see the commercialisation of a social movement as an opportunity to exploit and make profit.
When I look at your work as a model, my favourite is the shoot by Chloe Mallett. What is yours?
Aw thank you! That was such a dreamy day. I think my favourite shoots are always with people I love - I’ve done a few trips with Jane McLeish-Kelsey that have been really special. She also shot me and my sister for The Violet Book which is probably an all time favourite!
What qualities do you value in an agent or booker?
Honesty and empathy.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
‘If you feel uncomfortable, smile, say you’re going to the bathroom, call your agent. Don’t come out till they’ve sorted it out.’ And I think the advice I would have wished for earlier on would be that the industry is so fickle. It will all happenand move on faster than you will be able to process, so enjoy the ride!
What was your relation to design/fashion prior to modeling? Has it changed?
I was so young when I started I didn’t really have a concept of fashion and design. So it has definitely changed! But I think in 11 years, anyone’s would change.