Paula Ciascai is a fashion model who originally comes from Romania but now lives in St. Johns Wood, London. Read the full in-depth interview below to find out how a competition in Romania catapulted her into a commercial modeling career, what fashion means to her and what its like in her native Romania.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I entered a photographic competition for a beer advertisement. It was a national competition for the most popular beer in Romania. I won the competition and my modeling career took off after that.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Very exciting, I put my photographic portfolio online and was inundated with offers. The most exciting of which was a photographic shoot for a historical fiction book called Roma Victrix, by Russell Whitfield. I played the role of Sorina-The Dacian warrior, which I am actually. The photographer was the great, Greg Goodale.
Q: Who inspires you?
People inspire me.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Without a doubt, the icon of fashion for me is the one and only Coco Chanel!
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I have no preferences. I can feel creative energy in any location as the creativity comes from within.
Q: Do you have an interesting story about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
It started with a usual family evening in Romania, suddenly, my brother, who is an artist, came into my room where I was reading, telling me that he has a great idea for a photo, he asked me to take my top off, to hold the beer bottle on my chest, he wrote on my skin with a black marker the text for the beer ad ” You have seen them. The beer is mine now”, took a B&W photo and this was the winning shoot of the National Competition.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
The best recipe is a good night sleep to start with and then, I immerse myself in the theme of the shoot or show. This puts me in the correct zone.
Q: Do you have a favorite photograph?
There are many and through the eyes of each photographer I can see myself from different perspectives as they can show different sides of me.
Q: Who is your favorite photographer?
I don’t want to name any particular one.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
There are a lot of great people around in this industry. If Jesus would have worked in fashion industry I would love to work with him.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a way of expressing my many different faces, alter egos, my different personas.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Eclectic…my style each day is governed by my mood of the day. And trust me, it is never the same…I am very changeable, like the weather in England.
Q: Where are you based?
St. Johns Wood, in Central London.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Well…Is just wonderful! I come from a fascinating country called Romania, actually from Transylvania. Romanians are a beautiful nation with warm people, intelligent and very spontaneous. Their main feature is a fantastic sense of humor. We always see the funny side in things which allows us to laugh when life is really tough.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Everything and nothing. I have not yet reached my zenith.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
A role in a movie preferably with Keanu Reaves hahahha, or Al Pacino, I wouldn’t mind either haha.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Laughing, music, reading, watching people in every-day life and walking in the rain…
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Music can lift us out of depression or dig us deeper into depression….Personally, I just can’t function without music…So, I have got a variety of music Pink Floyd, Future Sound of London, Goran Bregovic, Edith Piaf, Tchaikovsky and many others.
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
Music, reading, I like intellectual debating and provoking reactions from people (I can argue even with my own shadow in a mirror!). Being a psychologist I can say that psychology is my everlasting love.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Just be yourself, feel your way and keep your standards to the highest level!
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I have so much life, running through my veins each morning as I awake.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Oh yes. At every photo shoot I think of a secret which nobody knows about me and nobody will.
Editor’s Note: Paula’s striking and dynamic look exposes depths and vulnerability which makes every shot appealing.
If you’d like to see more of Paula’s work or get in contact, just follow the links below:
facebook link: www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/ciascaipaula
starnow link: http://www.starnow.co.uk/paulaciascai
Any other links: http://www.russellwhitfield.com/sorina.html