Behind the Seams: Model Casting

A few years ago, I interviewed Cintia Dicker, a tangy Brazilian model with a tangle of red hair. Now she's in the L'Oreal hair commercials with Scarle
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A few years ago, I interviewed Cintia Dicker, a tangy Brazilian model with a tangle of red hair. Now she's in the L'Oreal hair commercials with Scarle
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A few years ago, I interviewed Cintia Dicker, a tangy Brazilian model with a tangle of red hair. Now she's in the L'Oreal hair commercials with Scarlett Johansson. Then she was gorgeous and goofy, with a little sister who looked like her, but blonde. "Will she be a model too?" I asked, imagining the two of them scorching runways. "No," Cintia answered thoughtfully. "I'm not sure I would want her to have this life." At the time, I didn't understand. Of course modeling was a tough job, but really - Scarlett run-ins and free Dior? Come on. I should have said "why," but I didn't. Then after Saturday, I got the idea of "this life." That's when I curled up on the casting couch of Douglas Perrett, a New York model pro whose every snapshot is chronicled on his blog, "Confessions of a Casting Director." In two hours, we saw about fifty girls, a blur of wide-set eyes, towering shadows, and clomping heels replaced - in secret, in the hallway - with Ugg boots when the girls were done. Below is a film strip of the casting session, plus Douglas' take on the role of a Casting Director. Check it out and decide if "this life" could ever be for you...

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This is Dioni Tabbers, a newbie who arrived from Holland last week. After waiting for fifteen minutes by the to be seen, she walked the faux runway (from the window to the door) at Douglas' office, then got her Polaroid taken, said thank you, and left. Douglas' verdict? "Beautiful face... and we like girls who look like they've dressed themselves in the morning. If they look like their agency picked out all their clothes, then how can they ever pull off a runway look?"

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"We keep track of the girls by Polaroiding them, then using these little stickers - stickers are invaluable. A green sticker means we like them, we want to use them. But it's also up to the designers - we sit with them and hear their vision for the show - pretty girls, severe looking girls... that shapes a lot of our casting. But you know the weird thing? I don't see the clothes until the actual show! My interns backstage see the clothes before I do!"

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How many people does it take to pick a model? Check out Douglas' team from L-R: Samantha Sussman, Adrian Karvinen, Tess Brokaw, and Elle Perez, all modeling the Development NYC t-shirt designed by Blood is the New Black. "We give the t-shirts to the models but only if we like them! It's like our secret sign!"

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Are these the new faces to watch? Only Fashion Week will tell... (and for the record, yes, I still want to be Cintia)