Modeling: Inside Scoop from a Designer
Have you ever wondered what designers are really thinking? What are they looking for in a model? And, more importantly why did they choose HER over YOU?!
I hate the guessing game just as much as you so this month I interviewed Jules Bly a brilliant wedding gown designer who customizes and hand makes high quality gowns from natural silk fiber that feels amaaazinggg on your skin (I know because I’ve modeled her gowns ;-))
I interviewed Jules hoping to discover two things: first, I wanted to know Jules as a designer and second, I wanted to know what kind of advice she has for aspiring models.
I know most of us are here for the advice, but I think it’s important to learn about and appreciate the lives of designers and what inspires them. After all, designers can have a great influence in our modeling career (and which direction it goes), so getting to know them is never a bad idea ;)
You launched your bridal business in 1989, what were your first few years like?
“The key thing back then was building a brand – we didn’t have social media, only print ad so it was expensive and very challenging to get the word out.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
“Nothing is new, everything is stolen—but, in the industry we call it ‘influenced.’”
“My inspiration comes from a variety of sources—cloth/lace/garment/flowers/patterns on the beach after the wind has blown/arrangement of leaves after they’ve fallen."
“Also, as a creative person with an eye for detail, I notice lots of things. I pay attention to everything. And, I do stop to smell the roses.”
When designing a gown, do you have a bride/experience/feeling in mind?
“A bride should be able to fall asleep in her gown”
“I design with an eye for ability and comfort- not too much structure is involved.”
“My aesthetic is elegant, sexy, slightly extroverted, and must be classy.”
Where do you think the industry is heading in terms of style and design?
“A lot of see-through gowns’”
“You want your pictures to last a lifetime—to hang on your wall-- to show to your granddaughters… You don’t want to ever be like ‘Oh my gosh, what was I thinking?!’”
“… like in the 80’s with the Princess Diana Sleeves, they were massive”
“Oh my gosh, the 80’s were so ugly!”
They say fashion repeats itself every 20 years, and I’m just glad we skipped the 80’s!
Are there any big challenges you face now as a wedding gown designer? How is it different from when you started out?
“Coming up with something new…”
“When I started out, destination gowns were my focus… now everyone has a designation gown in their collection since destination weddings are so popular.”
So, now that we got a little glimpse into the world of a designer, let’s dig in and see what advice Jules has for models! Keep in mind that Jules is a wedding gown designer so her answers are most helpful for girls trying to break into the bridal modeling industry.
What physical qualities and personality traits are you looking for in your models?
PHYSICAL- CURVES, BOOBS, 5’9 OR 5’10 (IDEAL)
“It’s all about having the right proportions, especially for bridal gowns”
PERSONALITY- OUTGOING, CONFIDENT, CHEERFUL
“These personality traits are especially important for showroom scenarios. The model needs to relate to the buyer because she is part of the selling process
“You can have an edgy pout, but you also need to smile in bridal”
Full disclosure-- my first bridal photoshoot ever was with Jules. Since I’m more familiar with editorial work, I had some serious blue steel going on during the shoot! Everyone kept telling me to SMILE … You need to smile and look like you’re happy to be getting married, duh! :O
What are some of your model pet peeves?
I love this question that Meg came up with… Stay tuned next month for Jules’ answer + more model tips!
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