[Premier Model Management]
Hedi Slimane is a fan of an edgy Brit girl, remember he launched the career of Lily McMenamy when he picked her to walk in his first ever show for Saint Laurent. This season Hedi is championing another face to watch, Doug (shortened from Sarah Douglas), as he selected her to walk in the Saint Laurent show in a world exclusive. Impressive work considering this was her first season. The 18-year-old model, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, was spotted through an East Coast trains competition, and is now signed onto the books at Premier. She is splitting her time between the catwalk and the library, as she is a first year student at Royal Holloway reading Psychology.
We caught up with the model to watch about what it was like to work with Hedi Slimane, her first ever fashion week experience and which models helped her survive the chaos...
What was it like to have a world exclusive with Saint Laurent – did you meet Hedi Slimane?
I was so pleased to get the exclusive because I wasn't expecting to at all. I met Hedi at my first casting and was very nervous to have him watching my walk but he was really nice and told me to relax and walk just like I was walking down the street. He was great, he offered really helpful advice about walking, with emphasis on walking fast and with confidence and less about doing it a set 'right way' but just to do your own thing.
What was it like backstage at Saint Laurent and what was the highlight?
The backstage atmosphere was so exciting. Quite a few other girls - Lida Fox, Helena Severin and Laura O'Grady had the worldwide exclusive and were at fittings for quite a few days like me so I hung out with them mainly. The highlight has to be walking out on the catwalk. We had a really cool track and that meant you could just walk to the beat and properly enjoy the experience.
Which was your favourite look from the Saint Laurent collection?
My first look was some high waisted ankle grazer leather pants with a cream shirt and the most amazing jacket. It was a dog tooth pattern, had huge shoulders and was very 80s - I would wear it everyday if I could.
[Premier Model Management]
How do you stay healthy in fashion week?
I'm a vegetarian so finding food in Paris was a little harder than usual but I had some delicious salads with French cheese and baguette.
What are your top beauty tips – how do you look after your skin and hair?
I try not to use too many products and keep it simple with a twice a day 'clean and clear' face wash which helps to keep spots away. Because I have short hair, it gets greasy quickly so I wash it every day and use Argan oil a couple of times a week to get high shine.
Talk us through how you were spotted?
Premier did a competition in partnership with East Coast where they came to my local train station in Newcastle. Unfortunately I was busy that day but my dad took a photo and Premier said they would like to see me in London.
How did you find your first fashion week experience?
It was great, it was my first season so to be able to focus on one show worked out really well. By doing the exclusive I got to avoid the craziness of tonnes of castings but still got to do a great show.
What is on your model bucket list?
I'd love to shoot for iD or Dazed and I can't wait to do a full circuit for fashion week next season and hopefully get to walk in every city.
Which models inspire you and why?
I love Tilda Swinton. I think her striking look is so unique and cool but particularly she inspires me because not only is she a hugely successful model but she is a great actress too. I am really into drama and would love to be able to act as convincingly as she does.
Which models help you survive fashion week?
When I was in London I shared a room with the lovely Thea Hudson and we got on really well. It was great to have someone at the model flat who you could hang out with at the end of the day and just have a laugh with. And the girls I met at Saint Laurent because for a few of us it was our first show we could share our nerves and excitement and the other girls who were experienced could help us to relax.
As a model, do you feel pressure to create a social media persona? How do you cope with it?
I think it is obvious if you're not yourself on social media so you can't put on an act. You've got to tweet, instagram and Facebook stuff you like and that interests you - so that's what I do.