I was so looking forward to meeting the modeltestants! The first crucial part of this competition is finding and selecting girls to make the winning team. What am I looking for in my models? I want the girl who is willing to fight for what she wants, who has the inner fire and is passionate, determined, quirky, has a lot of personality, who is up for challenging herself… We are all looking for the “diamond in the rough” who possesses that intangible “it” factor.
Honestly, I was impressed with the girls. It isn’t easy to do runway, let alone to do it on a whim and in your underwear no less! I still get a rush of adrenaline before stepping onto the catwalk – but that’s what makes it all the more exciting.
There is much room for improvement, but there is a lot of potential in these girls. They are all very strong and unique in their own ways. I knew who I wanted on my team, and I knew that I’d fight for them if I must!One walk in particular that stood out to me was Ray’s. Her walk was a complete and total disaster, but there is something special about that girl! I knew I wanted her on my team immediately. Kira…there’s a model who needs to take things down a couple notches. Since she is in the competition I have to assume she came here to learn, but that walk showed she might be a little too confident and might think she knows it all. As the saying goes “If you are riding a high horse, there ain't no way to get down off it gracefully!” Amanda…there’s a girl with sass! Her bubbly personality is transparent on the runway and I wanted her on Team Lydia immediately.
Tips for walking the catwalk…for me, the most important thing is to make sure your shoes stay on! I have tiny feet so typically I superglue my shoes on when doing runway shows. Yes, it’s true! Frankly it’s a small price to pay to walk and not stumble. Most importantly, when you’re out there on the runway, try not to overthink your steps. You walk every day of your life, no? So take a deep breath and have confidence in yourself! Worst case scenario you trip, which unfortunately happens to all of us at one time or another! When I first began modeling, I practiced my runway walk daily in my highest “ankle breakers” with the late Willie Ninja (known as the Grandfather of Vogue - a legend in the fashion industry, he is deeply missed). He actually gave me runway show footage of Naomi Campbell to study. She truly is queen of the catwalk!
I LOVE the girls on my team. They are all very different and they complement each other. I think Naomi and Anne may see us as the underdogs… But they had better not underestimate Team Lydia! It’s game on!!!
The first campaign challenge was just that: a challenge. It’s Juicy Couture! I have never had to design or organize a storefront window, so I was a little nervous. I wanted my girls to do well, have fun, and win! Plus I didn’t want to have to send anyone into the elimination room. I MIGHT have overanalyzed the concept and positioned my girls to be more like true mannequins on display, versus adapting the concept to a fun-filled night. To be fair, my girls held their poses for over a minute in the window, emanating the true Juicy Girl. They were dressed beautifully and appropriately as to draw in young customers who love to have a good time, be adventurous and respectable yet flirty and fun, and not look like club crawling skanks – Yuck!
Elimination…My heart was breaking for my team. There was a moment I thought I might cry when I had to tell my girls who would be up for elimination. Though I had only known them for a short period of time, I truly care about them and wanted to mentor and see them all succeed not just in this competition, but long after. Everyone is expecting me to send Allison into the elimination room. I couldn’t do it. She was criticized for the perfume bottle, which was my (bad) idea, I could not in good conscience send her into that room to face Naomi and potentially have her sent home.
I chose Ray. She was the youngest and most “green” of all my girls. I hated that there was even a 1% chance she would go home, but I had to make a choice. Out of everyone in the competition, she could benefit most from staying, and I could only hope that Naomi recognized that in the elimination room. In every decision I make on The Face, I am justifiably strategic. The fact of the matter is, life isn't fair -- and neither is fashion.
Luckily, however, Naomi made the right decision and kept Ray! I was so happy about the decision. Team Lydia survived a very tough round, and you better believe they’re ready for another.
Until next week!
[Photos: Oxygen Media/Tim Brown, Oxygen Media/Steve Fenn]