Thursday, September 24, 2009

Casting Intricacies

Prada was the first major runway show Freja ever walked in. Back during the FW0506 season she made her international runway debut as a semi-exclusive for the brand, and then promptly went on to Paris where she walked all the major shows. It's safe to say that Freja's never looked back. That initial casting decision by Russell March launched the amazing career that we know of today. In fact, it's exclusives and debuts like this that are responsible for the careers of many of our favorite models.

So what makes one girl different from another? Why did Russell choose Freja and what did he see in her? I guess he only knows the real answer to that, but I think we can gain some insight into his mind from this interesting interview of another influential casting director, Michelle Lee:
I guess what I look for in a model, are what differentiates one model as being good and one as being not so strong. It’s a model that has some sort of strength, whether it’s inside of them or it’s a physical characteristic. There has to be some element about them that grabs your attention. I think especially within the last year, casting has gone that way where people are less looking for that wet blanket, hanger body, no personality, no special kind of characteristic. Now people want these girls/women who embodies strength and power, it’s either somebody you want to look like or you believe them in these clothes. It’s much less about these new pile of 13, 14 year old, it’s more about these girls who have something that are slightly masculine about them, some sort of inner fortitude even if it’s a silent quiet strength, there’s something there. Or it could be something humorous or funny about their look or their personality. Something about them has to be extraordinary. There aren’t a lot of them out there but they exist!
Michelle of KCD is responsible for casting Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs (among a slew of other things). Yes, I realize that her casting process is probably totally different from Russell's, but I think the general idea of what she says applies across the board whether you're casting Prada or a local high school fashion show. There are just some concepts and universal truths applicable to all situations.

Isn't it amazing how the bolded parts above describe Freja to a T? It seems like Michelle had her in mind when she gave this interview because the qualities she describes are the very same qualities that attracted me to Freja. They are the same qualities that define her model persona: inner strength, power, silent fortitude, unwavering calm, slight masculinity...Freja embodies and is famous for it all.

So with Prada happening in a few hours and Freja likely to walk, you can bet I'll be watching the new exclusives and debuts to see what they bring to the table. Although I tend to think none of them will be able to hold a candle to Freja, only time will tell. Afterall, it did take a few seasons of practice for Freja to go from this green behind the ears, punky teen:

To this fierce as all hell, get in my way and I will stomp you woman:

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