Aisling Knight is a model and actress from Surrey, 30 minutes from central London. Although Aisling is currently diligently pursuing acting opportunities in London she kindly agreed to complete a Feature Model Interview for Urbanity Chic. Read the full interview below to find out, amongst other things, how Aisling was initially discovered, how she prepares herself for a modeling shoot and what her current career highlights have been.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I was actually approached by an agent, who told me I had what it takes. It actually turned out to be a con. After paying a lot of money for pretty amateur images I never heard from them again. But I did put some of those pictures online, along with some very basic un-retouched photos of myself.
It was from there I was spotted by a photographer named Paul Baichoo (http://www.floydandphoenix.com) who invited me to do a test shoot with him at his studio. He wanted to re-create the ‘girl with a pearl earring image’… to this day we still haven’t shot that, haha! We hit it off straight away and got shooting anything and everything (sometimes with his photographer brother Phoenix, too!). Very quickly I had a substantial portfolio full of beautiful images and from them I’ve had the chance to work with many other people. So although my first encounter of the industry was negative, everything happened for a reason and it has in some way helped me get to where I am today.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Busy, educational, tiring, inspiring, expensive, life changing… and hard….. very hard! I learnt so much last year it almost makes my head hurt thinking about it! But everything was worth it. From London Fashion Week, to being in a lads mag, to co-hosting a radio breakfast show… It was all good fun, and thats what life should be all about, right!?!
Q: Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me -- my family, my friends, even down to people I see in the news (like that little old lady that beat up the burglars!). But in terms of people in the fashion world…. Lily Cole inspires me as a model, for making the round faced-ginger thing work! But also for making the cross over into the acting industry, something I hope to do too but in a slightly different way. Angelina Jolie inspires me so much as an actress; I take something away from every film I see her in, and in terms of style and in the way she presents herself publicly.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Oh gosh… this is a hard question, I am rubbish at remembering names of designers. I only ever remember the ones I’ve worked for! So on that note; Judith Hanley owns Vintage Parlour (www.myvintageparlour.com) which has some of the most amazing authentic vintage piece’s I’ve ever seen! She has a vast collection of beautiful dresses, circle skirts and gowns from all around the globe, taking their inspirations from most decades! Also, she is one of the most stylish people I’ve ever met. I totally wanted to steal her shoe collection.
I tend to admire people that stand out, without obviously “breaking the mould”. Personally I like simple, nice cut, textured clothing (and neutral colours at the moment). One thing the model industry has taught me is that you have to suit ANY item your given to wear, but not everything will you… I realised while I could wear what I was told to wear and make it look appealing to a viewer, not everything would feel right on me, that must be where personality plays a part in personal fashion!
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
Totally depends… on the weather! A nice sunny day, or even a crisp winter day out in London is so fun to work in, so its rubbish when you’re stuck in a studio. But then when its pelting down with rain or you have to lie down in the snow (its actually happened on more than one occasion)… a studio sounds pretty good!
Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
I once was called for a casting out of the blue (which isn’t unusual), no information about it, only that its for “Top” something “Model” something. So I turned up at this big hotel in London, where there was about 40 other girls all sat in one big room waiting to be called in. Naturally, I was called up first (being “A” and all) so I walk through the arch at the end of the room to meet 3 people sat at a desk like a panel of a TV show. No introduction just “Can you strip down to your underwear and turn around please”. I laughed, stripped, turned, redressed, then was told to walk forward to a taped spot on the floor. At this point one particularly hard faced lady said “Thank you, any questions?”, so I said “Yes! Could you tell me a little more about what I’m doing here, whats the purpose of this casting?”…. “No. We will not be talking about that today. Goodbye.” she said, without even looking up!
As I walked back through the arch it became obvious all the other girls had heard this. I reassured them by suggesting they just say “No” if asked if they have any questions…
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
Prepare!? I wish I had time to but when you get home at 11pm and have to be up at 6am it’s normally a case of a shower, washing face, washing hair, drying hair then sleep. I try to keep myself up to date on the maintenance front anyway with a cleanse, tone and moisturise routine at night and doing my nails etc on the go! Multi-tasking is the key 😉
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Not at all. My preference changes more often than my Facebook profile pic. I guess I like it when someone catches me in a new way.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Annie Leibovitz. A-MAZ-ING. Not just her fashion work, or the set she did for Disney, but also her personal books where you can see her at home with her children. Her raw talent almost seeps through the pages. That women is seriously gifted!
I have had the privilege of working with some very talented people though; Floyd and Phoenix (http://www.floydandphoenix.com), who i have formed an unchallenged bond with so they will always be favourites :), Innis McAllister (www.innis.co.uk) who brings out my best side every time, Mike Lerner (www.mikelernerphotography.com) who I’ve only shot with once but was ‘jolly good fun’, and Liz Van Bokhoven (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarnishedrose) who, photographically!, I’d do just about anything for!
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
There are loads of people I’d like to test with but the moment acting is taking up so much of my time now so its difficult to arrange it with people. Also, you have to be of use to them; thats what testing is all about. So though they might enhance my portfolio, I may not enhance theirs (or vice versa). Therefore you have to pick your moments.
There’s so many in the film industry too. I’d love to work with the director Phillip Noyce. Also there’s Christopher Nolan and Jim Henderson… What men ey! *sighs* 😉
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is life. It affects everyone, whether they like it or not, and everyone has an effect on it. It can change the way we think, the way we live out our lives and the way we spend our money… I’m a culprit for that ‘impulse buy’ thing, where you see something you honestly believe will change your life, so you buy it. Then, for those few moments you forget about the hefty sum you’ve just overspent on something that probably took only a few hours to make because for those moments it makes you truly happy… well, it does me anyway… haha!
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Pretty lazy. I’m a comfy girl. I like cosying up at home with a film and good food so I like to be relaxed in whatever I wear… Shorts, oversized jumpers, woolly cardigans etc. When I go out for a night, I like to keep it pretty classic, something stylised or timeless, understated not in your face… LBD, red lips, statement jewellery, mega heels!
Q: Where are you based?
I come from Surrey! And I’m lucky enough to still live in a little village in Surrey where nothing much goes on but it’s friendly, beautiful and full of horses (and the occasional alpaca). It’s about 30 mins outside London by train so I love the hustle and bustle of London, then coming back to compete tranquility in the country.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I couldn’t possibly choose. To me, the highlights are measured by how much I enjoyed them, not how much i got paid or who saw it. I really enjoyed shooting abroad in Abu Dhabi last year; we had a lot of fun! I also enjoyed doing some catwalk work at the Ideal Home Show in London and this lead me to meet so many lovely people. Actually, a real highlight of my career is the people I’ve met. When you go to a shoot as a model, and leave with a new friend, which happens a lot I think! Like when I went to shoot with Omar Shaker (www.creativemediaunltd.co.uk), met him just once, and now he is one of my best friends.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
That’s for me to know, and you to find out! 😉
Q: What do you do to relax?
Read (scripts), write (songs), watch films and generally just relax at home with friends, family and my little pooch!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
A lot from Colbie Caillat and P!nk (big fan.). Some older stuff too like Van Morrison, Go West and my aunt Lauren Christy. I recently bought the White Wire Drift album, they’re are an awesome little up and coming band (www.whitewiredrift.com).
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
I don’t know about interesting! I did ballet up until a few months ago, and i used to be a bit of a gym fanatic until i ran out of time to go. When i was younger i did Irish dancing classes, swimming and violin lessons but gave them all up, probably for the best. Lets just hope my calling wasn’t in fact to be an “Irish Swimming Violin player”! I am thinking about doing puppy classes with my dog… does that count as a hobby?
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new models or aspiring models what would it be?
Don’t do it. Haha! (a part of me jokes)
You have to really want it. It’s full time, hard core and it will control your life! It’s demanding, defeating and expensive. You have to give it everything to start reaping any sort of reward. It’s one of the most fun things to do when it’s good, but you have to be able to take the rough with the smooth, the dick heads with the sweethearts, the good times with the bad. You have to be able to deal with the early mornings, very unglamorous living (most of the time) and being treated like a prop.
If after that you STILL want to be a model then all you need is: back bone, a lot of free time and some good pictures. Be prepared to work for free to begin with. Find a good agent or make some good contacts, don’t let it change you (too much) and hope for the best!
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
This is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Performing is my oxygen. If I wasn’t modelling, acting, dancing, singing or presenting I would be… well, a teacher! Hahaha! No in all seriousness, I’d be lost. It’s not something I chose to follow (because I would have chosen something a lot easier, trust me), it just chose me. So I hope it delivers!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Now that would be telling. A girl’s got to keep some things close to her chest! 😉
Thanks for having me!
Editor’s Note: Aisling Knight has an extremely commercial look but also actively seeks modeling opportunities that are creative and stylistically appealing. We believe this is truly what fashion and style is all about. With poise, looks, a serious sense of humour and a flair for acting we’re sure everyone will be seeing a lot more of Aisling in the coming months and years!
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Aisling Knight just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/AislingSKnight
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001626736970
web page link: www.aislingknight.co.uk
entertainment profile: http://www.starnow.co.uk/aislingknight
modeling profile: http://www.modelmayhem.com/1371418
acting profile: http://www.uk.castingcallpro.com/view.php?uid=257512