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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Glamour Magazine’s Lauren Chan Made Her Dream Come True

You’ll never guess who came to my blogging class! Lauren Chan, the Fashion Features Editor for GLAMOUR MAGAZINE! Not only does she work for Glamour Magazine, she is also a former plus-size model! I was so excited to meet her! I love how lively and down to earth she is. She just tells it as it is. When she mentioned to the class that magazines can look at different blogs for content, it really opened my eyes to how important blogging is.

Back in March, I decided to take a blogging class at FIT so that I could work on my blogging skills and meet other bloggers. I figured that it would be a great experience and I just wanted to surround myself with people also starting their own blogs. I never thought that we’d have a guest speaker from Glamour Magazine, let alone a former model.

I love that.

A lot of the models that I interview for New Style Modé have so many different interests. I’m so glad that Lauren is able to use her experience as a plus-size model and follow her dreams to write for fashion. Believe it or not Lauren actually writes about trendy plus-size fashion, models and body diversity! You go girl!

I decided to do a little bit of homework and read some of Lauren’s articles. Personally, I loved her article about the interview she had with supermodel & plus-size model Ashley Graham. It was a great interview where they talked about Ashley’s experience as a plus-size model and some of the challenges she faced. What spoke to me the most was that even though Ashley faced a lot of obstacles, she didn’t give up…she still pushed forward and followed her dreams. I won’t go into too much detail about the interview but if you’re interested, you should definitely read it. Please note that some of the content in the article is a bit mature. [Click here for the link to the article.]

It might be cliché to say but keep follow your dreams. Just look at Lauren. She started off as a plus-size model for Ford Models, she kept working on her dreams and now she is an editor at Glamour Magazine.

What are your dreams? Are you still following them? Tell me about them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them. 🙂

-Jenny A.