Cassie Leigh Wardle is a fashion model from London. After checking out her portfolio of work we were delighted when she agreed to complete a feature model interview for Urbanity Chic so that we would have an opportunity to share her work with you. Read on to find out how Cassie, or ‘Rae Rae to her friends, got into fashion modeling, what she’s hoping to achieve throughout the rest of this year and what has motivated her to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
Q: So tell me a bit about your nickname. Where did Rae Rae come from?
Rae. Rae is a shortened version of ‘Raven’ which is my nickname from secondary school, when I had an unholy obsession with birds. Little to say, I have not grown out of it. They still remain my favorite animal.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
My closest friend in secondary school when I was 16 managed to convince me to pose for his portraiture project, as well as go on an outdoor shoot. For weeks and weeks I said ‘no’, because it simply wasn’t my thing (At this stage, I was hardly fashionable and a complete tomboy) until after a long time of nagging, I finally agreed. Little to say, it did the job opening my eyes to a whole new area of my life and what I could be, and I had the most wonderful time laughing and shooting and seeing myself, for the first time, looking good and looking feminine. I couldn’t help but want to pursue the ideals of it all, and from there I blossomed into the young lady I am now. A huge change, but a welcomed one. I couldn’t be happier.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was a rollercoaster but I didn’t get into modeling until late September/October– it was when I had my first professional shoot, and arranged my first shoot myself following in December. The first was with Pierre Lemond which was all to do with getting the hang of this, that and the other before I burst out on my own to learn about TF* in December. I went about it all wrong and it was a bad experience, and I got harassed straight away as well as manipulated, it scared me, scared me so much and for a short while I considered never modeling again, having opened my eyes to the sinister side of the industry. Nonetheless, I bounced back after a few wise words and a strong will, determined to never make the same mistake, and from there, put my negative experiences behind me.
Q: Who inspires you?
I fell in love with photography (And latex) after seeing Bob Carlos Clarke for the first time. He is sensational.
Also – the more modern Mario Testino and Peter Lindbergh.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
As much as I love studio work, I adore location shooting, shamefully though I have not yet done enough! I will certainly have to do more. I love the idea of being creative with the environment around me. It doesn’t feel so restrained!
Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
At the beginning after the shoot which I explained previously as being completely horrifying I was recovering and looking for another TF* shoot. The photographer I contacted explained to me she had a MUA already for a project to do with ‘ice’, the funny thing was it was one of my closest friends from Science in secondary school. It was a fantastic shoot and a great reunion, it just reminds you how small the world it sometimes, but it was just what I needed.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
Get a good nights sleep more than anything, less than 8 hours is not enough for me. Moisturize like crazy the night before and the morning after and drink as much water as possible. I eat healthy generally everyday, which is my best habit.
Q: Do you have a favorite photograph?
I can’t even begin on this one. I love all my shoots for different reasons. It’s all in the experience, if you have a good time, it shows. But one I manage to look at more than often is a semi-nude photograph by Rossana Araujo, I love it – and here was me saying the fashion boob wouldn’t ever make an appearance. I changed my tune.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Favourite isn’t something I like to say, but Rossana Araujo, Glenn Richardson and Adam Robertson have helped me so much, being generally wonderful people, giving sensational advice and being expert photographer’s.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
Plenty. I find new people who inspire me everyday, browsing photography consumes my spare time. Karl Baxter, Catherine Day, John Barone, Kristina Vassilieva only begin my list of photographers. And then models, Colleen Deary, Ellie Liberachi and Sparrow… beautiful women…
Q: How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is me, it is the definition of myself, constantly evolving. A learning process which shows how my mind works and why – I am a perfectionist, and it reflects in the fact I am a nuisance and don’t like to wear more than 3 colours at a time and live by the rule, boobs or bum (not both!).
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Saffron Walden is my hometown, although I am based in London. Such a sleepy little town is Saffron Walden, and until I came to London I was in my own little nutshell with my own ideas and impressions of the world, no wonder I was so innocent before I got thrust into the city. It’s such a quaint place where everyone knows each other, but I have to say I am so happy to have been brought up there, it’s got my heart and it taught me to care great amounts from the people within it.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I would like to have a sense of personal achievement in my portfolio, as well as combining the things I love, like combining animals into my shoot. Not only that I would like my name to be recognized.
Not famously, after all I want to be realistic, but I want people to notice my face and think ‘I’ve seen her somewhere before’.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Don’t even ask. I’ll list the first 5 which come on shuffle for you.
Alexisonfire – Born and Raised
Heartburn – Architects
Rising Sun – DRT
World Spins Madly on – The Weepies
Keep on Moving – Five
Yeah… lots of random songs.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Research into your photographers, don’t be afraid to ask for reviews or experiences, and always talk to models who have been in the industry for a long time, they know best.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
Negative experiences. Always bounce back. Don’t let anyone get you down.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I will put my heart and soul into my passion, you can ask anyone that I will go as far as I can to ensure that a shoot goes well, or extends to it’s full potential. I’m caring and enthusiastic, as well as eager to learn and try new things. Out of the ordinary is my kind of territory.
And randomly, I love owls.
Editor’s Note: Cassie’s diverse and creative portfolio creates a definitive avant-garde edge to her work that demonstrates an appreciation of style and fashion. We’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of Cassie in the coming months and years.
If you’d like to find more about or contact Cassie just follow the links below: