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: models

And the winner is Melbourne — the world’s most livable city!

For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne wins the honour and title of the world’s most livable city. Congratulations Melbourne!

For the past 20 years I have been a frequent traveler and visitor to Melbourne not only for work but for pleasure as well.

My husband was born in Melbourne so we have always seen the family and had great friends to visit.

Melbourne has fashion, food, sport and a fabulous cosmopolitan lifestyle to offer. I simply love it and feel very comfortable in it.

I can certainly see and notice the difference in growth, development and expansion Melbourne has gone though as I’ve recently started working in the city again.

So can someone tell me — what then is with the attitude of some of the cab drivers of the world’s most livable city?

Just the other day, the cab driver who picked me up from my hotel was not impressed I wasn’t travelling far enough than the $10 fare I was going to pay him. He hissed and fussed. I wasn’t happy.

One of the models I work with in Melbourne refuses to use the regular taxi service companies for the same reason and books all her transport through Uber.

What do you think of the Melbourne cab drivers?

Is there another city in the world that has a bad rap for its cab drivers?

What do you think of Uber and similar transport services? Are you a convert? If so, why?

Is Melbourne really the most livable city in your opinion and why?

Now with that out of my system, I’m hopping on a plane heading to Europe. See you at fashion week Melbourne!

Be well.


What is ‘Sizeable’?

‘Sizeable’ is a new and interesting website that was created by fashion writer Larissa Thorne, 25, from Melbourne, Australia who was herself frustrated by her own online shopping experience.

The website uses six models all of whom are a different size — interesting right? They all model each piece of clothing allowing the online shopper to get an idea if the style and cut of the garment will suit their body shape and size.

The website launched recently and all six models are friends of Ms. Thorne who have their dress size and measurements posted on the website to help frustrated shoppers simplify their online shopping experience. The models come in all shapes and sizes and are regular women you would find on the street.

Once you get on the website you select your model of choice, then start shopping the looks your model is wearing. You get to visualise yourself in the clothes for your body type before purchasing.

I personally think using models in all shapes and sizes is a brilliant idea! I’m surprised no one has done this sooner, that said, kudos to Ms. Thorne for doing it!

Would you use this site to shop online?

What do you love/dislike about this concept for a website?

What do you think of using ‘regular’ women verses ‘models’ that come in all shapes and sizes?

I’d love to hear your thoughts — don’t be shy! Happy shopping in the meantime!



And the weight debate continues…

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia wrapped up yesterday after a five-day event in Sydney and once again the weight debate of models hits front page news.

Jackie Frank, the editor/publisher of Marie Claire spoke out against the weight of some of the models used in this weeks fashion show, now dubbed “The Hunger Games”. One model in particular was in designer, Alex Perry’s show.

The model in question came down the runway looking unhealthily rail thin in one of Perry’s gowns.

Sydney - Models walk the runway at the Alex Perry show. Photo: Getty Images.

Sydney – Models walk the runway at the Alex Perry show. Photo: Getty Images.

Frank spoke out publicly at her shock and even called the models agent, hoping they would help her get healthy and to do something about her rail-thin appearance.

Alex Perry apologised for the slip-up and for his “serious lapse of judgement from my part that I actually let that happen”.

This is what needs to happen NOW:
1. Designers need to INCREASE their sample sizes
2. DON’T book models who are too skinny and look unhealthy

That’s where it starts. From there, the models don’t have the pressure to starve themselves to fit in to the samples the designers create. From there, you get healthy, happy models who actually look beautiful.

I personally love shape, form and curves in general and the supermodels of the 1980’s are my favourite women of the modeling era. They were healthy, gorgeous and they worked non-stop, sending positive body image messages to young girls like myself, who wanted to be just like them.

What kind of message is the image above sending society that include so many young and impressionable girls? That it’s okay and acceptable? I applaud Frank that she spoke out with such gusto — well done to you Jackie!

More has to be done and immediately. Let the designers take the lead by taking the pressure off models and what size they are. There is nothing sexier than a woman with curves and flesh! That’s what I want to see on the runways of the world.

Let’s not forget a picture is worth a thousand words.


Hair, glorious hair!

Lucky for me, my parents gave me good hair. I have thin hair however, a lot of it. It really helps in my industry. My hair is worked on most days of the week so it’s important to have a lot of it and for it to be healthy and strong.

NYC - A hair piece

NYC – A hair piece

Many models and actors don’t have the same amount of hair as I do so they resort to hair extensions or hair pieces. I knew nothing of this until I moved to New York 11 years ago. It wasn’t something I had to deal with.

On occasion, when a client likes to use the wind machine and they love good hair, the hair and make-up artist will add some additional hair pieces to my own hair to fill in the gaps or the holes that the wind machine can create.

NYC - Bill Westmoreland taking my hair pieces out

NYC – Bill Westmoreland taking my hair pieces out

I love working with Bill Westmoreland. He is old-school and has been in the industry a long a time. He knows how to handle hair and make you look your best with the face and hair you were blessed with. Bill is an artist.

NYC - Bill Westmoreland and I

NYC – Bill Westmoreland and I

The hair pieces clip into your own hair after it has been back-combed a bit. It adds some tension for the clips to hold on to (not fun combing/brushing it out at the end of the day though). Then you are good to go.

I don’t feel the hair pieces in my hair until the end of the day when they start to get heavy and my head gets a little sore. I really don’t know how the girls who rely on their hair pieces or weaves can handle it after so long. Thank goodness it’s an added bonus for my look, not a necessity. I am one of the fortunate ones I have come to realise.

NYC - Liz Polden, me and Bill Westmoreland

NYC – Liz Polden (stylist), me and Bill Westmoreland (h&m)

My team of Liz and Bill are bar none! They are fabulous and make my day so easy and fun. I had a great day at work. Lucky me…

I’ll find out some of the best brands to buy to make life easier for you. In the meantime…

Have you ever worn hair pieces or hair extensions?

What did it feel like?

Do you know of any good places to have these hair pieces/extensions made up for you?

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?

Did anyone say ‘Taxi’?

The past week I had a trip out-of-town for work and it was as usual, pleasant and easy as I’ve come to expect with this lovely and regular client in Wisconsin. I took an early morning flight out, get picked-up in a Town Car or similar (with my Starbucks Grande Americano in hand), worked that day then it’s back to the hotel for the night. A shuttle bus takes me and the other models (straight-size, full-figured, men and women from all over the country) from the hotel to the studio and then it’s another day of work and playing it up to the camera.

Once I returned home and arrived at La Guardia Airport, not only was it bitterly cold, every taxi line or queue was also unusually long for this Wednesday night. I tend to walk a few minutes over to the American Airlines taxi rank which is typically the one people know least about and found myself behind approximately 25 people. During my wait, I noticed how many different types of New York City yellow cabs there are now. I counted at least five on this evening. They are all the same colour however, they are different in size, shape, make, model and most importantly, leg room.

Nissan NV200 - 'Taxi Of Tomorrow'

Nissan NV200 – ‘Taxi Of Tomorrow’ – Image courtesy of Nissan

Being the tall chick that I am, I am usually hoping and projecting for one of the Ford Crown Victoria cabs that tend to have more room for my long legs. Then I spot the latest version of the yellow cab model emerging in to the market, approaching the line. It’s called the ‘Taxi Of Tomorrow’ and it was launched in April of this year by Nissan. I wanted it to be mine as I had never been in one to date.

Sure enough, this newcomer was mine. I was excited to experience this new yellow minivan style of cab and was hoping it was more like the London black cabs on the inside. Well, it wasn’t. I did have enough leg room however, the seats were hard and the second row of seating could still only accommodate three passengers. There were no fold out seats to seat more people like the London cabs have. I was disappointed.

NYC - Large Nissan NV200 taxi door

NYC – Large Nissan NV200 taxi door

The doors were really big and there was an enormous amount of overhead space which both the driver and I had no idea as to why, in addition to this very large area for luggage etc. The driver drove fast and I felt like I could tumble out of my seat belt and go bouncing around this big, hard, square box. It was weird and not completely comfortable.

NYC - Inside the 'Taxi Of Tomorrow'

NYC – Inside the ‘Taxi Of Tomorrow’

I did like the large windows so you certainly had a better view of the world around you however, if it can’t carry more passengers and it’s not comfortable then what’s the big deal? What are the benefits if it’s not aesthetics?

Have you experienced one of the new Nissan New York City taxis? If yes, what are your thoughts?

Where do you think the best cabs are in the world? Who does them best?

An illusion of fantasy & perfection – retouching a VS angel

I’ve just received the Victoria’s Secret ‘Christmas dreams & fantasies’ catalogue in the mail and as I flick the 175 page goliath, I am reminded of how beautiful, sexy and picture perfect the models are on every page. Oh my!

I also recall these last few days, there has been much talk and chit-chat all over the place regarding retouching of images and the famous and gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model, Doutzen Kroes whose ‘raw & real’ images came to the media surface accidentally (not what anyone wants really). It’s one thing to reveal it yourself and it’s another when it’s secretly leaked and the world finds out when you do.

Jezebel claims that some pictures leaked on the forum The Fashion Spot – where one could plainly see the difference with images that had post-production work and those that had not. The world gets to see – once again, what remarkable work goes in to creating an illusion of fantasy and perfection. The true-to-life moments and aspects of photography that capture bad backgrounds, lighting discrepancies, stray hairs, wrinkled garments, bruises, skin imperfections and discoloration, samples that need to be colour corrected etc. are an everyday occurrence for retouchers in the media and fashion industry.

Are we youth obsessed and still trying to attain perfection? Clearly so. Is everyone supposed to look like they are forever 18? Please people!

Some celebrities and stars have put their hand up to pose without the use of Photoshop or make-up to show the world what they are truly, naturally like for charity or cause, or to simply raise media awareness. Some notable celebs include Jessica Simpson, Sarah Murdoch and Brad Pitt.

Everyone I know retouches, even though clients (especially for web or internet shots) are very particular about keeping retouching to a minimum because it becomes a cost and time thing. That is, clothes need to be smooth with minimal wrinkles, no bras or bra straps showing, no VPL (visible panty line), hair pushed back for half the shots so they don’t have to spend time and money retouching ‘unnecessarily’. They are quite firm about it. They have an idea of what they want to present to the world at large and they stick to it.

So what would you rather see – the unattainable or the real? Or is somewhere in the middle OK?

What are your thoughts on retouching and Photoshop?

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!