Manon is the very last model I photographed this past season, and she happens to be one of the sweetest new faces too. If one new model touched my heart this round, it would be Manon. I have many stories to share about her, but I will share the moment right after this image for now.
After stopping for photos for everyone after Elie Saab - the last major show of Paris Fashion Week, Manon told me goodbye with a sad face. Personally, I always feel horrible whenever I see a girl sporting a frown, so of course, I asked her what was wrongÖ And she told me that she was sad that fashion week was over! Newbie fever? =)
Wow! In the 5 seasons that I have covered fashion week, I have never heard a model tell me that she was sad that a whole month of crazy torture was over - not even the top models who are direct books and do not have to go through castings.
Haha! I love fashion week, and I try to cover every season in at least 1 city since 2010 - all out of my own pocket - so that I get to cheer on the models and take pictures that I love taking. It is very fun to me. Itís no secret that I enjoy fashion week! I look forward every season to the craziness of the hunt and meeting up with my photographer and fashion week friends from around the world to shoot the modeling darlings that we adore. Plus, from my own personal experiences, I always get the chance to shoot the sweetest, kindest, and most beautiful girls on Earth. Thus, fashion week is always a blessing for me. =)
Consequently, when Manon said all that, my heart was stolen! She is a keeper and super adorable! Iím so surprised that she was not tired and fed up after walking 15 shows in Paris and a total of 32 shows overall. She was always smiling, happy, and full of life whenever I spotted her. I must say this kind of attitude from a new face is unbelievable and refreshing! Most models love to model when it comes to photo shoots ó however, most models do not enjoy fashion week at all. They participate to stay relevant and on the radar.
To be honest, I understand and agree from a modelís perspective that fashion month is not enjoyable. It is torture, and I feel so bad for the girls every season as I witness with my own eyes the sadness and torture that are included with fashion week. Think attending castings with hundreds of other girls and feeling like meat at a market, casting directors and taste makers calling you ugly or fat, 6 A.M. call times, dirty and rough hands touching your face and pulling viciously on your hair, creeps and perverts lurking around the shows, backstage people and security being rude and treating you like a stereotypical dumb model, photographers backstage and in the streets who wonít give you just 5 minutes to yourself during a smoke break, no sleep for a whole month, fittings at 10 p.m., no time to eat or sleep, having to be in 3-5 different places that are all far from each other within 1 hour, being away from your family, friends, and significant other, etcÖ Fashion week on the modelís side is not so fun. It can be very rewarding in the end when a girl has a great runway season walking for top shows and then later on booking major campaigns. However, for more than half of the girls that walk, the story is very, very, very far from being that brilliant.
Anyway, I love what I do so it was very nice to see a model - who has not yet been jaded by this cruel industry and world - enjoy working during the madness that is fashion week. Cheers and cap off to you Manon! <3
In the last edition of Memorable Moments we share the inside world of SS13 as seen through the models that were runway favorites.
Photography, Janelle Okwodu
Production, Kristen Bolt
Manon Leloup (Wilhelmina New York)
WHERE YOU SAW HER THIS SEASON: Calvin Klein, The Row, Prada, Jil Sander, Missoni, Balmain, John Galliano, Celine, Stella McCartney, Valentino, McQueen, Miu Miu
MANON’S MEMORABLE MOMENT: There were two moments, of course Calvin Klein because that was the first one and the music was nice, I realized that maybe this wasn’t so scary! The music was peaceful and calming. We went straight to the airport afterwards and it was nice to travel to Paris for a little while and get to spend some time there. I really liked the intimacy of the backstage at Balmain as well, it was wonderful.
Last edited by 2ou3choses; 20-11-2012 at 03:45 AM.
Itís an irritatingly clichťd moniker, especially in the fashion business, but thereís nothing else to call Manon Leloup but a bona-fide ďItĒ girl. Perhaps itís her long, swanlike neck or maybe her bushy, albeit perfectly groomed, brows. Or maybe itís that arresting French gamine mystique she radiates that has designers mad for Leloup. Signing with Wilhelmina mere weeks before the most recent New York collections castings, the Croix nativeís rise was fast and furious, making her one of the most talked about faces of the spring season almost instantly. With 20 shows under her belt (nearly all on the ultraelite, ultraexclusive end of the spectrum ó Celine, Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, etc.), Leloup is no doubt destined for impressive editorial work and then, campaigns.
But enough about her modeling career. Leloup has another talent (some girls have all the luck). As it turns out, the 20-year-old is proving herself quite the accomplished photographer. During the spring collections her favorite accessory was an old-school Nikon FM, which she wore slung around her neck as she ran from show to show, where she documented her backstage journey from New York through Paris. Here, she shares her pictures with WWD.
WWD: How long have you had that camera? Manon Leloup: I actually got this from my grandma. Itís a hand-me-down. Itís very, very old. This camera has been around the world like two times already. Itís manual, which is what I like and I just use the simple Kodak film that everybody was using before [everything] was digitized.
WWD: When did you first get into photography? M.L.: Well, my grandma gave me this camera when I was 11 and Iím 20 now, so nine years ago. I have digital cameras, too, but theyíre bigger and during fashion week you donít want to carry around any extra weight. Iím also more partial to analogue because everybodyís doing digital.
WWD: Another obvious difference is that with digital you have unlimited takes. M.L.: Exactly. When youíre shooting analogue, you canít do ďclick, click, click, click.Ē You think about what youíre shooting more. Also, in New York, I only had two rolls that I bought before I came here so I used those in New York and Milan. Then when I got back to my apartment in Paris, I looked everywhere for more film. I practically ransacked the place and found two more rolls. I definitely think the pictures are more thought-through with film because itís so much more precious than digital.
WWD: And you have the suspense of not seeing the result instantly. M.L.: Yes, I was so excited to get them developed. Thatís the magic of analogue, you discover later. I remember when I got the pictures back, I was sitting on my sofa with my boyfriend and I was like, ĎIím looking first.í I wanted to make sure they looked good before he could see.
WWD: What made you think of taking photos to chronicle your fashion season? M.L.: For me, it seems natural to take pictures. I donít understand why more models donít take them during fashion week. I was having my first experience of fashion week and I was like, maybe this will never happen again so I want to capture everything I can.