Model Bonnie Sofia at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Bonnie Sofia shared what it was like to model for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the inside scoop!

1) How does modeling in France different from your runway experience in New York?

In France the designers took a lot more risks on the runway. They were less likely to shy away from nudity. I have some runway pictures from France that I can’t even post on social media. I never had this problem with my runway pictures from New York. Another difference I noticed is that France is more tolerant of diverse looks when it comes to models. Even though the height requirement is still strict, there is a much higher tolerance for models who are different from the “cookie cutter” look.

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Bonnie Sofia (left); Becca Avill (right)

2) What was the craziest thing that happened behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival?

I consider myself a very low drama and down to earth model, but I guess even I have my limits. During this particular show, there was an organizational mistake. Usually models are not allowed to book designers who are showing their collections one after another. However, this time they did not clarify, so all the models booked back-to-back designers.

Since I hadn’t come back from the runway yet, one of the organizers told my next designer to give the dress I was supposed to wear to a different model. It did kind of break my heart because the dress was an absolutely stunning creation from German designer Luciana Adulari. I was excited about being able to wear it on the runway and have pictures in it. So when I saw another model sewed into my dress, I couldn’t hold back the tears! Someone from the hair team got me a glass of champagne while 2 other hair stylists told me jokes to cheer me up.

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Bonnie Sofia (left) and Lucy Bale (right)

3) How would you describe the atmosphere? Did you like any of the fashions or designers ?

The atmosphere of the show was incredible. It was definitely one of the best that I had ever been to. Designer Andres Aquino is a perfectionist and his shows are always flawless. One of the things I liked most about the show was its diversity. There was a wedding dress collection by Hany ElBehairy, as well as a lingerie collection by Duonvlang. One of my favorite designers at the show was Kelsy Dominick from DiDomenico Design. It was inspirational talking to her and walking for her, because she is just full of enthusiasm and motivation. She is an example of how far you can go in a short amount of time.

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Designer DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou

4) Did you experience a language barrier while modeling at the Cannes Film Festival? If so, how did you manage?

Fortunately, there was not too much of a language barrier. Since most of the designers and models were international, the lingua franca was English backstage. There were a few French models who didn’t speak English, but I have enough French to get my thoughts across at least. [But even for the non-French speaking models, it was not a problem at all, because the designers and organizers spoke English. ]

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Bonnie Sofia (left) and Lucy Bale (right); Designer DiDomenico Design

5) Did you meet anyone interesting at the Cannes Film Festival?

One of the most interesting people I met was Lionel Madiou, the photographer for the DiDomenico Design team. He is absolutely phenomenal. I’ve shot with him twice since Cannes and each time I was just blown away by the results.

6) What was the most challenging part of your experience?

For me, the most challenging part of any runway show is surviving the castings. I’m considered short for a model (5’8”), so I’m not always a top pick for designers with floor length gowns who need to ensure they are not going to be tripped on by the model. Kelsy of DiDomenico Design was the first of three designers who selected me. As soon as she did, I breathed a sigh of relief. I’m also thankful to my boyfriend, who was nice enough to let himself be dragged to this casting with me. He kept telling me not to stress. I think it doesn’t matter how long I have been modeling, castings will always be stressful.

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Lucy Bale (left); Bonnie Sofia (right); Designer DiDomenico Design

7) What was it like after the show? How did you feel? Did you go to any after parties?

One of my favorite parts of a show is after it is over. Haha. This may sound strange, but this is a very special moment where everyone–designers, organizers, and models–collectively breathe a sigh of relief, pour themselves a whiskey, and bask in their accomplishments. The atmosphere after the show was unusual because there was an after party at the venue itself. So the runway turned into a dance floor! The guests, models, and designers all mingled and danced together. It is one of my favorite memories. 

You can follow her on Instagram: bonniesofia

-Jenny A.

 

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An Inside Scoop of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

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Becca Avill (left), Lucy Bale (center)  & Sophie Levine (right)

Meet Models Becca Avill, Lucy Bale & Sophie Levine:

Lucy, Becca and Sophie gave me an inside look into what it was like to model for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the inside scoop!

1) What was it like to model at the Cannes Film Festival? What was the atmosphere like?

Lucy Bale: It was one of the best experiences. Everyone was excited to be there! Before every change, it was chaotic and mad. Everyone was yelling. But it all came together and was absolutely AMAZING when we got onto the catwalk. Before a show, I can be shy. But when I get onto the runway, I am a different person. Shout out to Jera, my modeling agency. Thank you!

 Becca Avill: It was chaotic, super busy and fun! We were booked every day that we were in Cannes. During the mornings we had castings and during the days we had rehearsals. I love doing catwalks because they are a lot more social and I get to meet other models.

Sophie Levine: It wasn’t the most organized but it was a lot of fun. When we were getting ready for a show, people were joking around and just having fun. The makeup artists and hair stylists were really nice. My hair was short for the shows so when I heard the words “slicked back” while they were talking about my hair, I was so nervous. It actually came out amazing!

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Lucy Bale modeling for DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou

2) Have you ever modeled for other international fashion shows? How was it different from your runway experience here?

Lucy: Yes, I have also modeled in the UK. Cannes is more structured. They pick their models beforehand. They know what they want. If you’re not what they’re looking for, you’re out. In the UK, it’s less structured. When you show up to a fitting you can change their mind and show them why you’re there. Also there were a lot more people working at the Cannes Film Festival.

 Becca: I started modeling internationally across France and London.  When I was in Cannes I was asked to stay and model for a few more days. I would say a major difference between my experience in France and in the U.K. would be the food. In the UK, it’s unheard of not to provide food and refreshments during a modeling event. In London, it’s important to watch over the models and give them food.

Sophie: Cannes was my first professional show… Though I have done student shows. In the student shows they’re always indecisive about what you’re wearing. They’ll have all the models try everything on before deciding who wears what. In the Cannes Film Festival, they were more decisive on what the models were wearing. They would give us something to wear and say wear this. I prefer Cannes. It was more relaxed.

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Becca Avill modeling Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

3) What’s the coolest thing that happened behind the scenes? What was your most exciting moment?

Lucy: Being given the opportunity to do more shows. Designers would come in after a show and ask if we wanted to model for them. Yay! It was very self-uplifting… it was awesome!

 Becca: I met Leonardo DiCaprio! Oh and I met Fat Joe and Tiger at one of the places I went to. Cannes is a very good place for networking for international modeling agencies.

Sophie: Meeting everyone and especially the other models. Everyone was very friendly. The models took each other’s pictures backstage. It was cool how people recognized me after the show. They would say “you were on the catwalk!” It was also really nice to meet the designers. Some of the dresses were absolutely stunning.

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Sophie Levine modeling for Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

4) What was the funniest thing that happened?

Lucy: All of the models were hungry and were trying to sneak out and buy croissants to feed everyone. I learned that next time I have to pack a lunch!

Becca: Going out at night directly after a catwalk – I made some fairly bold fashion choices on a few occasions.

Sophie: Walking around with my hair and makeup. The hair stylists were dancing behind the scenes while they were doing my hair! With no music!

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Lucy Bale (left) & Becca Avill (right) modeling Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

5) What was it like to be backstage?

Lucy: Models would be half naked and the people working backstage would come up to us and help us change into our outfits.

Becca: I’ve done a lot of fashion shows and they’re always very fast paced and exciting. The only downside is that people do seem to forget you’re human and everyone and their mum wanders in while you’re changing.

Sophie: Everyone kept an eye out when the models were changing. The media would come behind the stage and just start filming even if models were changing in the background. I liked how all the models would stand in front of the camera so that the other models that were changing could have some privacy.

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Designer Andres Aquino. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Tjaša Škapin. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer DiDomenico Design. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou
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Designer Hany El Behairy. Photographed by  Lionel Madiou
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Designer DUONVLANG. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou
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Designer Luciana Adulari. Photographed by: Lionel Madiou

I’d like to thank Becca Avill, Lucy Bale  & Sophie Levine for giving me their time to interviewing them. I’d also like to thank  Lionel Madiou for his beautiful pictures. Thank you!

-Jenny A.