THE intricate makings of the modelling world are a looking glass that very few get to be a part of.
There have been the lucky few regular people picked from relative obscurity — from places like an airport lounge, who are then transported to the wonderland of fashion houses, couture and catwalks. Usually these hold an ethereal beauty like no other. They are the Kate Moss of the world.
Then there is the grand stature of one’s name. Let’s face it, a recognised surname can open the hinges of even the heaviest of doors. Nepotism is nothing new to the fashion world; the greatest design houses have been built on it.
In the nineties having the aristocratic lineage of the Duke of Devonshire and Deborah Mitford as grandparents could only have been an endearing quality for model Stella Tennant to hold. Thanks to those regal genes Tennant’s beauty depicted the quintessential British regal rose. Even as a plus-size model Sophie Dahl’s encompassing beauty captured the imagination of designers just as her grandfather, Roald, had done with words.
The modelling world has always been rife with tales of bullying, peer pressure and eating disorders. Most recently it has been reported that statuesque newbie model Kendall Jenner has fallen victim to the cruel words of bullies who feel she’s not worthy of the catwalks due to her famous background. While the 19-year-old may be a part of reality TV’s most infamous family, she is hardly the first model of privileged background to have hit the runways.
Kendall Jenner grew up in a whirlwind of fame. Her future was almost certainly set up for something in the limelight. From a young age she had a clear vision of what she wanted to do and that was to be a model. When you have Kris Jenner as a mother these dreams are almost always certain to come true. But if this was her younger sister Kylie’s dream, it wouldn’t have worked. Kendall was blessed with an equal mix of the Jenner/Kardashian genes. Unlike her sisters she has less of the curves and more the Jenner height and slim line body made for the catwalks.
Having the Kardashian name behind her, undoubtedly brought with it opportunities not open for the average girl on the street, but it also brought with it an uneasiness. Kendall knew that she needed a clear strategy for her career to work. This meant keeping her famous siblings away from those first shows. Taking on a model from such a brand as The Kardashians is a risk, especially for a brand as iconic as Chanel. But Karl Lagerfeld saw beyond the name to the model within.
The heady mix of fashion and rock ’n’ roll has throughout time created a flawless combination. If there was ever a more complete recipe for a cocktail of fun, power, sexiness and fatal attraction this is it. And so when rock royalty and supermodel supreme collide, the end result will be a creature of beauty and splendour.
Georgia May Jagger is the very epitome of this blend with 80s’ supermodel Jerry Hall and the legendary Mick Jagger as parents the genetic heavens were always going to be on her side. As the face of Rimmel London, Provocalips, Georgia May has put her best assets, those lips, forward. As a child Jagger learned how to perfect her strut for the catwalk from her model veteran mother. Since hitting the fashion scene, Jagger has carved her own identity taking to the catwalks of big name designers such as Alexander Wang, Burberry and Chanel.
Making the cover of Tatler magazine at age 17 under the title, ‘The Coolest Girl in Town!’ is a great honour in the fashion world. With parents as famous as Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, it seemed inevitable that the Geldof girls would be thrown into the world of celebrity. By their teens Peaches and Pixie were already branded as London It-Girls.
Their younger years had been shrouded with the heated affair their mother had had with Michael Hutchence, topped off with both their tragic deaths. The path towards fame had been laid before them without their consent. While, unfortunately, Peaches succumbed to the dark side of fame, Pixie has shaped a strong career for herself in the fashion industry. By the age of 19 the wide-eyed beauty had made the cover of Vogue Italia, going on to grace the cover of Elle Uk in August 2013.
For its spring/summer 2009 collection, Pringle of Scotland chose Geldof as one of its new campaign faces. Alongside Daisy Lowe and Lydia Hearst, she was shot by legendary photographer Stephen Meisel. Since then, she has also appeared in campaigns for Loewe, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, Henry Holland and Agent Provocateur. Geldof has walked for Vivienne Westwood, PPQ and Luella, among others.
The new kid on the model block, Romy Byrne has made a big impact with her big eyes and big hair. Born and raised in New York, the daughter of Oceans 13 actress, Ellen Barkin and Irishman Gabriel Byrne, Romy has lived one of those few Hollywood lives out of the limelight. While her father may raise his head every few years with a few controversial words – remember his slamming of the ‘The Gathering’ as a scam?
This is about as celeb-like that he gets. Not your typical idea of a heartthrob, Byrne is one of those actors who inadvertently have fallen to the title due to his career, with it even winning him the vote of sexiest male on regular occasions. Romy was signed to the New York office of the Next Model Agency over a year ago. With clients such as Molly Sims and Alexa Chung on its books, Byrne’s career is definitely heading on the right fashion track. Blessed with striking dark looks Byrne’s modelling highlight so far has been walking in the Giles autumn/winter 2014 show.
First Chanel gave us trousers, the sixties gave us the mini skirt and Vivienne Westwood gave us punk. Having the creator of punk fashion as a grandmother must be really something special. Model Cora Corre, granddaughter of Vivienne Westwood, knows only too well how extraordinary this is. While her friends received gifts of Barbie dolls her granny sent her corsets. Though with Serena Rees and Joe Corre, founders of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, for parents it probably wasn’t such an unusual gift.
From a very young age Cora was exposed to fashion, making her runway debut at the tender age of four for Westwood’s Gold Label Collection. At age 10 Cora wore the corset sent to her by Westwood, to Buckingham Palace when her grandmother was made a Dame. She then went on to wear it for a shoot which was art-directed by the late Alexander McQueen.
With such a foothold into fashion royalty it seems that modelling was a natural step for Cora. The striking 17-year-old signed to top modelling agency Next this year. She has gone on to walk the catwalk for Westwood’s Red and Gold Label collection and also Giles, and has appeared on the pages of publications including W magazine and Purple.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved