Hold the Glamour

I am a full-figure model and working mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a Leo. I am a first-generation Aussie and mother to two amazing little native New Yorkers. I believe that fashion is important—but so is real life. I believe that all women are beautiful and strong. I believe in working hard and loving harder. I believe in eating delicious food and drink with close friends, in breathing deep the air of new places, in laughing until you cry. I believe that when our bodies and minds are healthy and balanced, anything is possible.

Tag: airport

The airline lounge experience

Why are airline club lounges more crowded than the general airport? I’m currently sitting in the Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney awaiting my flight to the US and there are people everywhere. It is bursting with activity. I head to the farthest end and find a seat looking out at the tarmac.

Sydney - Air New Zealand club lounge

There are travelers from all over the world and the lounge is busy with phone calls, laptops, conversations regarding business and the well-deserved holiday.

Generally, to gain entry into one of these lounges you either have to pay for an annual membership (where applicable) or travel enough like I do that you automatically get access because of your status with the airline or group.

The passengers descend upon the complimentary food and beverages like it’s the last meal on earth. It doesn’t appear very attractive or civilised really. I laugh when I see the notion of ‘free’ or ‘complimentary’ enter the human psyche. It’s like a feeding frenzy!

The lounges generally provide the comfort and services the airport doesn’t. From nice sofas/chairs and furnishings, to free Wi-Fi and power points/plugs everywhere to name a few (so travelers can charge their electronic devices whilst using them). I personally have two devices that need power top-ups when I travel like this.

I’ve spotted many a celebrity or personality at an airline lounge. The last was Ivanka Trump in New York recently. She was eating olives and sipping white wine. I wonder who I’ll see next?

What is the best airline lounge experience you’ve had?

What made it a great experience?

What can you recommend to the airlines to improve their service or experience?

Kansas City

For my last job, I traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for a couple of days. I’ve been there before however, it’s been a long time. I’ve shot in K.C. for a jewelry company and for a magazine shoot or two (editorial). Kansas City is in the middle of American, or so people say.

I arrived the evening before the shoot started and stayed at a lovely and relatively new hotel called the Ambassador Kansas City. The shower and bed were amazing. I had a wonderful night of rest and sleep. Not what I’m always used to at home I’m afraid.

The other two straight-size models and I were picked up and taken to the studio which was nearby. We shot at Rush Wade 2 Studios on Locust Street. It was an impressive studio that was large, beautifully outfitted with all the treats and fun you’d expect in a studio that’s located outside of New York City, where space comes at a premium.

Kansas City - In studio

Kansas City – Rush Wade 2 studio

We shot an all American campaign for the denim company. Packaging jobs are fun and you can push the boundaries a lot more than with catalogue. Packaging/campaign shoots are more about the image or feel of a company rather than it being about the garment which is the case with the typical catalogue shoot.

The photographer (whose family own the business and studio) built a skate ramp for some downtime play. See below. I have never seen a skate ramp in a photographic studio ever before in my life. How very cool indeed.

Kansas City - Skate ramp in the studio

Kansas City – skate ramp in the studio

I discovered an orange Vespa parked in some corner near the hair and make-up table. I’m not sure if it worked or if it was more like a piece you’d find in a museum (for display purposes only). Everything was strategically placed and clean. It was a vintage, hipster, rock ‘n’roll showroom.

Kansas City - 1964 white pick-up in the background

Kansas City – 1964 white pick-up in the background

Art, history, technology and inspiration working together. It was a new playground for me to explore. I like new places. I like to learn new things and am curious about life. This shoot allowed me to delve into the lives of others that live in the middle of America.

Have you ever been to Kansas City?

If so, what did you do there?

Did you see Dorothy and her red shoes? I did… At the airport on my way home to New York.

San Francisco sessions

I recently returned from San Francisco, CA were I was working on a shoot with a new client. I flew the six hours it takes to get to the west coast from New York and I must say, I love San Fran! It has been over ten years since I was there last. I have missed it. The sun, blue skies and mild winter weather welcomed me with open arms. I could live in San Francisco in a heartbeat. I really enjoy the west coast of the USA.

Once on the ground, I caught a cab and checked into my downtown hotel. I stayed at the Hotel Diva and I’m sure the hotel has seen many a Diva walk the hallways. The small boutique hotel was clean, comfortable and the staff were helpful and friendly. I requested a ‘quiet’ room and fortunately got one. Sometimes it is hard to get such a room in a place like this.

I slept really well – the bed was so comfortable I barely moved. I love a good, big, comfy bed and the right pillows are crucial. I slept with four body pillows of a soft to medium firmness. Just right! I was in heaven.

I caught up with one of the two models I was working with – Molly, in the foyer of the hotel. We shared a cab to the studio where we were shooting the following day. We had a fitting for our outfits to ensure they fit correctly and properly. Tailors were on hand to have the clothes fit our bodies. Not too many clients do this these days unless it’s an advertising job, campaign or the client simply has a good budget.

San Francisco - Ivana, Molly and I at our fitting

San Francisco – Ivana, Molly and I at our fitting

San Francisco - the clothes on the rack for the eight day shoot

San Francisco – the clothes on the racks for the eight-day shoot

After our fitting was done, Molly and I went to Tan Bella for a spray tan. The client wanted our skin tone to be a little warmer (colour) so off we went inside our very own spray tan booths. We were instructed how to stand and position our bodies in four different poses to ensure an even coverage all over.

San Francisco - Tan Bella for a spray tan

San Francisco – Tan Bella for a spray tan

A machine sprayed me for the first time and it was a very good and even tan. There was no bronzer applied with the tan so it didn’t rub off onto our clothes etc. We kept the tan on overnight and showered in the morning so it could process. We had to keep the spray tan on for at least six hours.

I have a client who requests a spray tan all the time, and usually a woman with a spray gun applies the tan and instructs you how to stand and move inside a little room. The tan from Tan Bella is hands down the best I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. I was impressed.

Molly and I return to our hotel not long after. I call my family and say good night to my angels – there is a three-hour time zone difference from the west and east coasts of America so I had to call before their bedtime.

Then, Ivana and I step out for a quick and yummy dinner in a nearby Japanese restaurant. It was delicious and it was lovely to have company and someone to share the experience.

The next day, the shoot goes smoothly and the very large production team are happy with our progress and results. I shoot single shots of my outfits then doubles with either Molly or Ivana and then finally the client wants options with the three of us in the same shot. The more models in a shot, the longer the shot takes and the more frames you have to take, generally speaking. You see, three of us have to look good in the same image which is harder than one might think.

San Francisco - Hans our photographer is all smiles during our shoot

San Francisco – Hans our photographer is all smiles during our shoot

We finish early and the three of us head straight to the airport hoping to catch the last flight of the afternoon, before the red-eye flights we are booked on, heading to the east coast. We don’t make it and that’s just what happens sometimes. I just go with it.

San Francisco - Molly, me and Ivana on our way to the airport

San Francisco – Molly, me and Ivana on our way to the airport

The American Airlines terminal at San Francisco airport is one of the cleanest, nicest, newest, widest I’ve ever seen! As I passed through security, I spotted a Yoga Room inside the terminal! Are you kidding? I have never seen a Yoga Room in an airport before… Welcome to the west coast people! I love it.

San Francisco - the Yoga Room at American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – the Yoga Room at American Airlines terminal

I sat in the Airline lounge comfortably waiting for my 10.40pm flight to New York. I ordered a meal from one of the organic/natural deli’s in the terminal. It was so up my alley. There was fresh, healthy food choices every where I looked. I wish all airport terminals were like this one. It was so civilised.

San Francisco - American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – American Airlines terminal

San Francisco - American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – American Airlines terminal

What amazing or crazy things have you seen in your travels?

What airport terminals do you love to frequent? Why?

What suggestions or recommendations do you have for better services inside airports?

Women of the world

I arrived in Minneapolis 11.15pm local time (that’s 12.15am EST). I was picked up from the airport and taken to my hotel along with a straight-sized model Lana that I worked with earlier this year and with another client. We were busy sleeping on the plane so we caught-up once we were in the car and on our way.

Our hotel room was nice and clean. I unpacked, got my work bag ready and fell in to the big, comfortable bed by 12.30am local time. When the alarm sounded at 7am, I was pretty sure I hadn’t moved all night.

On the ground floor of the hotel, I meet the four other models I was working with over the next few days at Starbucks – a very necessary start to our day. I knew Lana already and my dear and stunning friend Barbara Brickner was the other full-figured model on the shoot. The other two lovely ladies were straight-sized.

Minneapolis - Our location shoot

Minneapolis – Our shoot on location

We hit it off right away, discussing family (husbands & children), work, travel, schooling, fashion and of course the juggling of it all. It was a common thread amongst all five of us and we had a lot in common. We didn’t stop talking, asking questions and sharing advice whilst the camera clicked away. It was so refreshing to be amongst women of the world who had come from all four corners and traveled it well both personally and professionally.

Minneapolis - Behind the scenes

Minneapolis – Behind the scenes

That evening, our client took us out for a delicious Japanese dinner. We all loved it and ended up in bed a little later than we had anticipated. See what happens when women get together and spontaneously have glamourous fun over dinner and a glass of wine?!  It was a great way to start the shoot and it gave us the opportunity to get to know each other, including the client and producer.

Minneapolis - The stunning Barbara Brickner laying one on me

Minneapolis – The stunning Barbara Brickner laying one on me!

One of the models had ‘googled’ me since it was my first time working with her, this client and the other four models. They other’s have been regularly working together over the last year or two. I thought it a little odd at first. I can’t say I’ve ‘googled’ another model prior to a shoot before – perhaps it has become more of a common thing these days. Well, she knew a bit about me before we started shooting anyway – it started the conversation rolling amongst the crew.

One of the questions that was asked of me was, what editorial was I most proud of or that I liked the most that I have done in my career. There were two that came to mind – one was the jet-setting feature I did in the Australian Cosmopolitan magazine about five years ago and the other was in the Australian Women’s Weekly. I must say, the women’s magazines in Australia really support curvy, beautiful women of all shapes, sizes and ages. This is wonderful, exciting and rewarding at the same time.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous and fantastic to have more editorials for women who are curvy and of all shapes, size, colour and age represented by more, if not all magazines around the world – a representation of WOMAN not just young, slim and pretty?

What are your thoughts?

Work, castings, boyfriend’s and family waiting

 

 

Welcome to Milwaukee airport, WI

Welcome to Milwaukee airport, WI

 

Milwaukee - Robyn Lawley and I in the car off to the studio

Milwaukee – Robyn Lawley and I in the car off to the studio

 

Milwaukee - in the studio after lunch

Milwaukee – in the studio after lunch

 

 

As I sit at my dining table writing this post, I have three roofer’s banging away repairing our skylight ceiling that leaked oh so many weeks ago. We’ve had an enormous amount of rain these last two weeks in New York so finally they are here… Leaks and roofer’s!

This week I flew to Milwaukee again on a 6.30am flight right after the Memorial Day long weekend, with every man and his dog traveling to and fro where ever they came from. The airports were a hot mess with people traveling it seemed to all places imaginable. All flights were full, there were lines and queues from the minute you walked in to La Guardia airport.

I got in my beauty rest for the duration of my flight which was about two hours. When I disembarked, I walked over to Starbucks and was hanging for my Caffè Americano… basically, a rich, full-bodied espresso with hot water in true European style. It was a good kick-start to my morning… now I was ready for work!

In line for my Americano, I saw a male model I knew whose name was Gary and then I saw the beautiful Robyn Lawley. Robyn not only is a supermodel but someone I’ve known since she started her phenomenal career in Sydney a few years ago. She started shooting Sara for Ezibuy with me and we worked together for about 18 months. It’s been awhile since I saw her so we had much to catch-up on.

We shared a car ride to the studio… I felt sorry for our driver as we didn’t shut up and continued our talks throughout the day and night. Work was great. Had lingerie shots to get all sexy for… you should have seen my big Texas hair! Comical really. It was a steady day for the both of us.

A model shuttle took us back to the airport (there was five of us returning to the airport). One girl was flying to Miami the rest of us to New York. We bonded, chatted and laughed all the way in peak hour traffic to Milwaukee airport.

Once we checked in, went through security and had our wood fire oven pizza for dinner, the four of us walked over to our gate to discover our flight home was delayed by three hours. It was due to severe weather in the New York area which included Washington and Boston. There was a band of thunderstorm activity blocking our path home and the three New York airports were on lock down! No flight in or out for hours. What now?

We hung out in the lounge and found Gary waiting to get home on the same flight. The five of us bonded over ridiculous work and travel horror stories. Boy, we could have written a book. We all had our tales of woe, frustration, stress and tears at trying to get home after work was done.

We hung in there. One of us was always going up to the gate agent on a regular basis and asking what the update (if any) was. We were told an hour after our flight was scheduled to depart, that we’d have an update soon. Our update was that we would board shortly and hope for the best! If air traffic control gave us the green light, we would be lucky to land by midnight. That was the case. We were so happy to have made it home we didn’t care how late it was. Work, castings, boyfriend’s and family were waiting for us the next morning.

No one was prepared for the taxi line-up however! Unbelievable… I’ve never seen lines that long at all taxi ranks in 10 years of living in New York. Nor had my fellow models. I arrived home about 1am and had awoken by 3.45am the day before… It was a long day filled with fun, glamour, stress, frustration and relief.

Who said glamourous miracles can’t happen!