I love doing castings. Not to see the girls strut their stuff in front of me, that’s still a little weird, and embarrassing too. I mean, in the end, you can only chose one or two. No, I love doing castings for the moment when, finally, a girl walks in the room and you feel something special.

That’s exactly what happened with Helena. I was looking for a model for a shoot I was doing with Spanish Vogue. She walked in with a determined stride, sat down, let out a big smile, and I knew she was the one.

How do I chose what model to work with? Hmmmm, good question, thanks for asking (??!!?).

Outside of a presence and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi that never quite explains it, there’s a ton of little details to look for:

J’adore faire mes castings. Pas pour voir des tas de filles défiler devant moi, ça c’est plutôt bizarre. Et assez embarrassant, puisque finalement on ne va en choisir qu’une, ou deux. Non, j’adore faire mes casting pour le moment où enfin, une fille entre dans une pièce et quelque chose se passe.

C’est ce qui m’est arrivé avec Helena. Je cherchais un modèle pour une scéance photo que je faisais pour le Vogue espagnol. Elle est arrivée d’un grand pas décidé, s’est assise sur la chaise, a fait un sourire, et j’ai su que c’était elle.

Comment je choisis une mannequin ? Hummm, bonne question, merci de me la poser (??!!?).

En dehors de la présence et du je-ne-sais-quoi qui ne s’explique pas, ce sont des tas de tout petits détails :

A girl with style will understand the clothes that we’ll make her wear.
A girl not afraid to smile will make long days of shooting a lot more fun.
A girl on time will avoid of the total nervous breakdown of an entire team who woke up at 5 a.m. to be ready to shoot at 7.
And a give me a girl with a sense of humor, and I am in heaven.

Helena has all that. No wonder she is so successfull. Working with her was such a good time that we became friends. And we even found a second for a coffee in the middle of New York fashion week. We took a few photos. I love her gypsy style (Gypsy. C’mon now seriously, how stupid is it to try to define someone’s style? But you know what I’m saying), her collection of fantasy tights, and her love for what she does.

You know what she said to me? Right in the same vein as Giovanna on Sunday? That there’s nothing better than a pair of heels to feel beautiful. It makes her more confident. And even if it’s just for a head shot, she prefers to be wearing heels.

Wait, even for juggling apples on Bleeker Street? Yep, even for juggling apples on Bleeker Street.

It’s so wonderfully complex to be a woman.