Alice Christian is an actress and fashion model from London and is our latest StarNow competition winner. Despite Alice’s hectic schedule working on a variety of assignments and traveling back to her native Cheshire, we were delighted when she agreed to complete a full in-depth interview for Urbanity Chic. Read on to discover (amongst other things) which modern day fashion designers Alice Christian is inspired by, what her career highlights have been and how she discovers new music.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
After travelling the world I wanted to become an actress and I enrolled at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. When I returned to London I went to castings for anything and everything, and happily fell into modelling. I became the face of the couture bridal jewellery brand ChezBec a couple of years ago and I have been modelling ever since. WWW.CHEZBEC.COM
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 really marked the transition from being an aspiring model to a working model for me.
This came with confidence, something I undoubtedly found whilst taking part in the Miss Great Britain competition receiving the titles of Miss Oxfordshire and Miss Publicity. You have to find confidence from somewhere if you’re about to go on stage in front of hundreds in a glittery swimsuit and heels!
The competition gave me an insight into the ‘no one day is the same as the next’ lifestyle of being a model and I fell in love with it -- One day I was raising money and awareness for the homeless of Oxfordshire by sleeping outside on a freezing December night, and the next day I was on the Alan Titchmarsh show on ITV!
I did many TFP photo shoots to expand my, at the time very thin portfolio, and inject some variety into it, until I got myself an agent and finally started to be paid for my time.
Q: Who inspires you?
I don’t have to think for even a second on this one. Katie Piper inspires me.
A model and presenter who was a victim of a cruel acid attack on her face. Three years on she has her own charity, The Katie Piper Foundation which dedicates it’s time to helping people with disfigurement.
When Simon Cowell offered to help her with a career in television, she asked that he instead be an ambassador for the charity. She is an incredibly strong and brave lady, and her story inspires me to remember what is important in life.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Catherine Middleton. Extreme outfits, bright coloured hair and skyscraper heels seem to adorn the most photographed these days, but for me the Duchess of Cambridge outshines them all with her simple lady like style and poise.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
On location. Absolutely! I’ve seen some amazing places whilst shooting on location! I do a lot of bridal shoots, which are always set in the most beautiful country mansions, and I always have a fabulous time as the people in the wedding industry are so lovely. I recently did an editorial shoot in a 4 acre field of lavender. The colour was so vibrant and it smelt amazing. I got some good results that day as there was a sparkle in my eyes because I was enjoying myself so much!
Q: Do you have an interesting story about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
I once filmed a commercial on the beach for Catriona Rose, a designer that makes stunning dresses from silk scalves. It was a long day, we were shooting from dawn until dusk in the hot sun with me running up and down the sand. The final shots were of me in the freezing sea, where I not only had to pretend it was lovely and warm, but also act as if I couldn’t feel the sand mites biting me all over my body! I left the shoot nursing the hundreds of bites and my pretty severe sunburn, but with a real sense of suffering for my art!!
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I do my research on all the team involved, looking at their websites and taking in their style so I know what to expect. I get a good night’s beauty sleep with lots of Burt’s Bees lip balm on and make sure I arrive early and fresh! I feel like I spend a lot of my time doing my nails! -- I like to wear polish in strong colours in my own time, but I’ll always turn up to an assignment with natural nails.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Of myself? A favourite photograph of me is one where I have the look that the casting director is searching for!!
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Mario Testino. I have a degree in Fine Art from The University Of Leeds. Mario Testino and the artist Howard Hodgkin took a lot of my attention whilst I was studying. I spent a lot of time painting on the faces of anyone who would let me and photographing them.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
The team at Vogue… if they’re reading this… : )
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
I think it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I am very easy going with it, and I don’t follow trends as such. I like timeless pieces.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Day by day my style is just very functional. Pair of jeans and a t-shirt. For an event I like something simple with a great shape, and then a show-stopping accessory. I’m a magpie, so I have a lot of large sparkly necklaces and earrings in my jewellery box!
Q: Where are you based?
I’m currently based in Knightsbridge, London.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I’m originally from Cheshire in the North West. I must like it, as I am always going back to visit!
I get a lovely homely feeling when the train makes it to the green Cheshire plains.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I have had lots of highs, as well as lows. But a high that springs to mind is a recent shoot that I did for Brides magazine on the London Eye and outside the Houses of Parliament. I had a delightfully huge dress on, the weather was glorious, the team were great, and a crowd of London tourist to witness every shot- and even take some of their own!
It was a great feeling to be working in the city that I love, and have it as my backdrop.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I’m a ‘Shazamer’. If I hear something I like, I download it straight away -- which leaves me with an interesting shuffle playlist! Everything from ballads to garage music -- but I never seem to know the name of any songs or who has sung them!
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new models or aspiring models what would it be?
Do it for yourself. If you’re not comfortable on a photo shoot it will show in the pictures.
If a stylist wants to shave your head on one side and dye the other side green, have the confidence to say no and walk away. That’s hard with five pairs of eyes staring at you, but you’re not just a product, you’re important and your life continues after that shoot.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
The support from my family.
Editor’s Note: Alice Christian has a timeless and profound style that can be applied to almost countless situations to create an artistic and creative shot. Definitely one of Urbanity Chic’s “One’s to Watch” for 2011 and beyond.
If you’d like to contact Alice Christian or see more of her portfolio just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/alicechristian
web page link: www.alicechristian.com
casting call pro: http://www.castingcallpro.com/uk/view.php?uid=253094