Saturday, October 30, 2010

casting time

                In a previous post i described one of the castings i have been to here in Paris, and i have mentioned the comp cards of the models hanging around the mirror. Among some gorgeous girls whose composite cards i saw tehre there were Natasha Poly and Carolyne Trestyne. Here is the photo of this great mirror surrounded my these beauties.


Paris Day 6

Today I had only one casting, however it took a few hours. My apartment-mate, Nastya, and me arrived to the agency before the casting to get some things done. However, once you get to the agency, time flies by very fast. So, we talked to our bookers, had a coffee, talked to the director of the agency, got the details for the casting. After, my booker showed me the pictures from the test that I did a couple of days ago. We decided on the ones we liked, discussed a few things and realized that Nastya and me were late for the casting already. Oops! However, we were told to go anyways.
So, we arrived a little late and saw a huge line up. The girls have been sitting there for hours waiting. The casting was for Rewanta hair tools and it was for a TV commercial. The client wanted to see a lot of girls, so the girls from small and big agencies were there. While waiting in line I saw a girl, whose name is Caitlin, who is also with Elite in Toronto! It was so great to see her, because our agency wrote us yesterday that we were both in town and we emailed each other in the morning and wanted to catch up on the weekend. And here she was! Caitlin is placed in Paris with Crystals agency, the agency I was supposed to work with at first, however things changed and I went with City. Caitlin is a very nice girl and I was fortunate enough to work with her in Toronto and it was great meeting her here again!
Anyways, we have been waiting in line for more than an hour, at first, sitting outside later in the room. What I noticed in the waiting room was the comp cards of the models hanging on the wall by the mirror. It is very common to see comp cards of different models sitting somewhere at the client’s studio, however this was more special. The reason was that there were composites hanging there of such great models as Natasha Poly, Caroline Trestiny, and some others! Pretty cool, I thought!
There were a lot of gorgeous girls at the castings. Many Russians, as always, a few Canadians and some other girls form different countries. When I was called in to the actual room, where the casting was happening, I was asked what question I would prefer to be spoken to. I chose English, because I would understand what they would say in French, I was a little scared to try. Then, I was told what to do. I had to introduce myself, then back to the camera, shake my hair, lift it up and down, then turn ¾ and play with my eyes with the camera. All this was being filmed. After I did this section, the woman who was filming the presentation, asked me to put on a turtle neck sweater and take it off on camera, then touch my hair from top to the bottom and then look at the camera. It was fun! Afterwards, she asked me to show my portfolio on camera, as well, which I thought was weird. But I guess they wanted to remember each girl in details. This was a very long casting! Hopefully, successful!
After that, Nastya and I decided to go to St Germaine district. We went into the little streets, found a cute café, sat down outside under those hitting lamps, ordered wine, fondue and stayed there for almost two hours eating and drinking! It was fun to have such a long dinner, great conversation, and amazing food and watch people passing by.
On the weekend we wanted to go to the Disney Land, but Nastya has a test on Saturday and I have a test on Sunday, so we will have to stay in the city. But I am sure we will find some other time to go and ride roller coasters, for now, building portfolio! J

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paris Day 5

On Monday, there is some National Holiday in Paris/ France, this is why no one will be working. But because of that everyone is being very laid back on Friday, so if nothing was planned beforehand, there would be nothing happening. As I have nothing for Friday, we are going for a looong walk around Paris!
            In fact, my feet are killing me! Notice that it is not only because of high heels, I have been wearing flats today and still…Even when I am lying down or sitting they are still aching L
On Thursday, today, I had a few castings and they all weren’t that far and all went good until the last one. The last casting was out of Paris, like many of them are. Before going there, I specifically checked on the internet where exactly I had to go and I came to the right place, on time, and started looking for the number that I needed. In fact, I needed a building number 36-40, however there were buildings 42 and 32 and nothing between them! So, I walked around, I asked people, then some guys gathered around and started helping me, then I knocked someone’s apartment building to ask whether they knew where 36-40 was. Nothing! Everyone thought that it didn’t exist. Notice, all this was happening in French. In about 30 minutes, I called the agency which told me that I was in the wrong place! I started arguing that it could not happen (although I obviously trusted them, but could not believe it!) and they promised to send me the details on how to get to the right place. When I got the details, I realized that they wanted me to travel around Paris, switch train 3 times and make it to the other metro station that seemed to be close to where I was on the map. Suddenly, I saw another model coming up to where I was. It turned out she was also looking for the same casting and her map also showed this place! Which one of us was crazy? J So, we decided to not take a bunch of trains and go where the agency told us to go but by foot. This wasn’t the best choice for our poor feet, but it definitely saved us time. The problem was that we were on the right street, but it ran to two different directions starting from a main street, and it went to both directions starting from number 1. And no west/east or anything like this. It seemed like we had to guess where to go. So, we finally made it to the casting, where we also had a coffee and afterwards we asked how far the metro station was that was convenient for us. The casting director said it was only 10 minutes away by walk. We walked and walked and walked and finally made it there, forty minutes later… By the way, the other model that we made this journey with turned out to be from my native city in Russia, where I was born and raised before coming to Canada!
Since I did not have anything else after the castings I decided to visit Champs Elyse again. I went in to a few shops, got some great things at good prices, on sale. Some presents for myself, my fiancé and my friends. It was very exciting! Afterwards, when I started seriously loosing feeling of my feet, this time for real, I decided to sit down in Lauduree and enjoy some desert! What a treat that was! I sat down on a closed terrace, ordered caramel tea, macaroons and an éclair, turned on French music on my Ipod and opened the book. It was so great to sit there and enjoy myself. At this moment I thought again how blessed and lucky I was to be doing what I was doing and thanked God and everyone who made it happen for me again and again. I also thought how inspiring Paris was, because here I constantly feel so motivated to do things, I get some great ideas and I am always excited to be doing things! Oui, Merci Beaucoup pour ca, Paris! :)
P.S. Today, a bird sh** on my portfolio… so it better be a good thing. Lol. In Russia we say that it means that I will get a lot of money… fingers crossed for the jobs? ;)
Macaroons at Lauduree

on the way to the casting, near Grand Opera

near my favourite place


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paris, Day 4

Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. This is what I kept telling myself the whole day and by 2 pm what felt like 9 pm because I was so tired I actually both believed and felt it.
Have you ever done 2 castings and 3 test shoots/creatives in one day? All in different ends of Paris! And it is normal. Quite honestly, I ended up doing only 2 tests and 2 castings today. For the 3rd test I was simply late by more than an hour! It is all because there is no wi-fi in this city and I can’t google where I have to go exactly. So I got off at the wrong metro station and had to walk walk walk because  I didn’t know how soon the place I need would be. I made it but more than an hous later and I could not stop apologizing, because I have never been that late! The photographer was kind enough to give me some water and told me to go and not be late anywhere else, then called the agency and rescheduled the test. And I thanked him and promised to not be late to him again.
So, I arrived to my next casting and next creative on time. But this second test finished at 4:30 pm and I had to be at the next creative at 5 pm on the other end of Paris. Of coarse, I was late, but not that drastically. In fact the last creative was really cool. Very simple make up and hair. Very beautiful lighting, fun make up artist and fun photographer, who almost did not speak English, so we tried to practice his English and my French. J We were shooting in the studio but for one shot he brought me outside on the terrace, topless. Yes, I don’t have to mention how cold it was (+10 C). But it was so worth it because we got a shot with Paris and Eiffel Tower in the background!!!
When I was late to the first creative today and I looked at the map and realized that I would have to travel A LOT today, I almost wanted to start crying and just wanted to tell everyone off. I was so extremely hungry, sleepy, thirsty, tired. I simply had no time to stop by a café and buy a baguette and a bottle of water! Forget sitting down somewhere and enjoying myself. I decided the following, regardless of how many baguettes, macaroons and crepes I eat here, I will never ever gain weight in Paris!
Oh, yes, about me wanting to cry. I just told myself ‘Isn’t this what you wanted? Didn’t you ask the agency to make you busy and wanted to do castings, tests, jobs?’ “So, Shut up, and smile!”. And so I did. This is true, this is what I wanted, this is what I got, and I am very lucky to be where I am. And these thoughts made me realize that I am becoming stronger and stronger.
view on Paris from Sacre Coeur

Eiffel Tower from Sacre Coeur


Sacre Ceour

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paris, Day 3

I am still struggling with the internet… This city just does not want to make internet working for me. I can either check whatever I need at the agency, or catch wifi at home, but it disappears every 2 minutes… or find by chance a café with wifi, but there isn’t many of them here… even Starbucks wifi is weird! Or, today I found an internet café, but their you can’t use your own computer and the place is not very pleasant.
In terms of modeling it is slow for me at the moment, because i have to develop my portfolio so my book is more “Paris”…I can't wait to start running around to the castings.
Today, I decided to go to Monmartre and enjoy Paris from the top! I forgot why I love Monmartre, but I was reminded why, today. When you come out from the metro, you see Moulin Rouge and then you have to walk all the way to the top of the hill, through these cute tiny streets with a bunch of cute shops! After, you come out to a little square where all the Parisian artists are gathered and they are selling these beautiful paintings there, there is cafes all around the square, and looooads of tourists, which didn’t bother me. From there you go around the corner and this breathtaking view of Paris opens up in front of you, and you turn around and there is Sacre Coeur. I checked it out inside, took few pictures of the panorama and then sat down on the stairs of the Church. From there I was watching people, enjoying the sunshine, listening to the musicians and taking pictures. Then, an old man started playing ‘ Belle’ from Notre Dame de Paris musical on the violin. It was so beautiful! Afterwards he played ‘Kalinka-Malinka’, some other French songs and waltz. I was getting hungry, but I didn’t want to leave the place. So, I decided to go quickly grab a glass of wine and a crepe! I brought it all back to the stairs of Sacre Coeur and continued watching the street performances and listening to beautiful music, while enjoying the sun and the view.
It was such a beautiful day! And I am coming back to Monmartre again this visit. Together with St Gemain these are my favourite spots in Paris.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paris, Day 2

It was a beautiful sunny day, today! I went to meet my agency and get further directions from them. The agency is located near Chams Elysee and is so spacious and so beautiful! Just a lot of big rooms, very tall ceilings and beautiful, to die for crown moldings on the ceiling everywhere! Everyone was extremely nice. We went to get a French phone for me and another girl, Martha, and a metro pass. Walked to Champs Elysee, saw Arc de Triumph, passed by Lauduree, but I didn’t have time to get my macaroonsJ It’s ok, may be tomorrow? Afterwards, we went back to the agency, I got my portfolio organized for Paris. They also told me that I would have to develop my book here. So, I went to meet the photographer, who was Canadian, with who I might be shooting a beauty creative. The place where he was at was next to Eiffel Tower, so I went to visit Her J Took, a few photos and walked towards La Place des Invalides, it is so so beautiful there!  The architecture in this city is just blowing me away slowly. Such cute buildings, both inside and outside! After that, I was hoping to sit down at some café, have lunch and read a French magazine. At least try to read it. So, I sat down at the café on the corner of some little street outside. It was beautiful since I could see a bit of the Eiffel Tower, a bunch of people walking by and it was heated from the top. Plus they had free wifi, which was great because the internet in the apartment almost does not work, which is a pity, because I really really need it. And this city is crazy, because you can’t just buy internet, all the networks are locked and they don’t even have wifi almost anywhere L So, I ate there quickly while talking on skype with my grandma, and went to another casting with a Milano agency.
Today I felt simply stupid at least 20 times! Why? No, not because I was trying to speak French and couldn’t understand what Parisians were saying. Because I travelled a lot around the city, and every time I would come out from the ‘metro’, I would get lost. First, every metro stop has a bunch of exits on different streets. Second, when you finally get outside, although I have a map and I can see where to go, I never know if I have to right or left. And today I chose right over left every time it was supposed to be the opposite, and vice versa…
Tomorrow I am going to the agency in the morning to take some polaroids and then off to the castings. Today I realized that when going to the castings you simply don’t have time to eat or anything, and you definitely don’t have time to see the city because you always on the ‘go-go-go’.
By the way, I love the fact that French man wear scarves, it is just so much more stylish! However, I am disappointed with French women so far… where is the sense of style and desire to look beautiful?...

one of the agency rooms

gorgeous ceiling

with Her

Les Invalides

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paris Day 1

Oui, Je suis a Paris, finalement!!!!
I didn’t fly for a couple of years already and given the fact that my fiancé is terrified of airplanes, I was a little worried taking off at YYZ. But after a movie, Sex and the City 2 en francais, a glass of red wine later, I felt like I was ready to sleep. And so I though, once I closed my eyes my brain started working… remembering French!!! After the movie and knowing that I was going to Paris, and had to remember at least a few words, my brain could not fall asleep… this continued for 7 hours. Poor me got no sleep and arrived to France at 9 am.
Now, at the airport a driver was supposed to meet me and bring me to my new home for the next 4 weeks. I knew two things, that his name is Jean Michel and his phone number. After 10 minutes of looking at people and trying to see which one of them looked like Jean Michel, I was about to take my phone and call him. But here he was, young, tall, and super stylish  Jean Michel came up to me saying in cute French: “I am so sorry that I am late, Ksenia”, of coarse I am not mad.
On the way to the city form the airport I saw a huge line up from the highway to the gas station. I asked Jean Michel what happened. He said that last week there was a strike because of the changes in the pension, and everyone was on strike. I thought that it was weird that even gas stations were on strike! Today they are working, and everyone is trying to get gas… But all the other stores and cafes are closed in the city (except touristic places), because it is Sunday. Aren’t French weird? :)
He dropped me off at a very beautiful building where I was supposed to live for the next little while. I came in, went through one door, then a little nice courtyard, then another door, and there I saw these long, high…stairs!!! And I had to get to the last floor… But thank God, then I saw an elevator… like those old ones, where you have to open a door yourself. I open this elevator, and try to get inside of it, and realize that I have to stand really, like really close to the wall in order to get inside with my bag. This was the smallest elevator I have ever seen in my life! Ever!
The apartment is really cute and big! To my surprise each girl has its own room! That’s a big deal, especially for Europe! Wow! Full kitchen with dishwasher and all appliances. Nice bathroom, TV in the room, big living room. Very impressive. Except, the Internet here is really bad! And it is very cold in the apartment…
But there is also something else that is awesome, we have a cat in our apartment! Her name is City, lol, just like the name of the agency J They found her and brought her to live here, it is adorable. She has an attitude but was kind enough to come and lie down next to me today, and let me pet her.
Once I got in it started raining, so me and another Russian model started waiting for the rain to stop and once it did, we went for a walk. We decided to go to the district 5, St Germain and walk around. We went to see Patheon, Bastille square, Latin district and just went through a bunch of beautiful little streets. When it got darker we also saw Eiffel Tower from the far and on the way back we came out towards Notre Dame which was a nice surprise.
Things that surprised me today and I still can’t get over it were the following: to go to the bathroom in McDonalds, you had to pay 1euro. And to go to the bathroom in Starbucks, you have to take your receipt, punch in a special key code, and only then, you can open the door. And to get out of the bathroom, you have to find a special button, otherwise the door won’t open….Amusing, eh?
Also, you know how Paris is famous for all those cafes having tables outside on the walkway? Well, those tables and chairs are still out, full of people chilling there in +5-+10 C! You know why? Because they have special heating lamps form the top, to keep the customers warm! Love it!
Oh, and the last thing that ‘killed’ me was that the Luxembourg Gardens, wehere we wanted to go to for a walk closes at 6pm. Is it normal? Come on, it’s a park! Why would you close it? Especially on a Sunday evening.
C’est ca for today!
Another new girl just arrived, she is from Norway and her name is Martha.
Tomorrow I am going to meet the agency and see what is happening for me J
A tout alors!

St Germain at night

my room

City, the cat!:)

Eiffel Tower somewhere there

planning a Halloween costume: thsi hat, plus baguette, plus wine ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

packing is never easy

Packing is never easy. Especially when you go away for 4 weeks in the fall...I had a lot of dilemmas on which jackets to take, what shoes, etc... I will definitely need warm sweaters for walking around the city...but i also need outfits for castings... plus i for nights out... so it was a long process of packing...
but i decided to not go crazy cause i am going to the capital of Fashion! If anything, i will always find something that i need:)

Paris, je viens ici:)

carefully packed bag

love the cover, can't wait to read it!

smth to write in

Friday, October 22, 2010


I just came back from D&G show that we did in Spokes Club in Toronto to finish off Fashion Week.
Unlike other times, this show started on time and was just very quick and nice. Oteh rtimes that i did shows in Spokes Club, they were good and fun, but we would always start late. SO, this was a nice surprise!

Tony Chaar Salon experts did our beautiful curly, sexy hair. Makeup Forever worked on our faces and creted fresh nice make up. Beautiful clothing. Sexy models, actually girls and guys together! The show was great!

Here are some photos, didn't have time to take more...
hair touch ups

in our 1st looks, well i am actually wearing my jacket on top

Tony going crazy with the hair

with a Russian beuaty, Serafima

in our finali looks

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toronto Fashion Week madness

     When Toronto Fashion Week comes along, it seems that everyone talks not about the collections but about the drama following the FW! Last year there were petitions going on ' Feed the Models'.
     This season, at first some agencies got together and said that they won't let their models work for free. This was a great move, allowing models from tehse agencies to make some money this season, actually!
Drama continued on with one of the model's fainting yesterday backstage at the shows.
Lets see what else will happen in the next two days. But, just to mention, in case you wonder, models got some food this season, thanks to FDCC, designers and other contributors, but it is not enough, still.

Now, to the collections. Unfortunately, some great designers aren't showing this season, such as David Dixon and Lucian Matis. Also some designers started off showing their collections before the official schedule of the FW.
Now, i am not a part of FW this season, and di didn't have a chance to see the shows live. However, i thought it was interesteing that this year the week opened up with Holt Renfrew featuring some of its great designers. Also, one of the most anticipating collectiosn for me every season, Pink Tartan, surprised me thsi time. In a good way. Great bright colours, cool shapes, and fedoras! A sure must have next SS 2011!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

talk about crazy

I was browsing through the internet a few days ago and found these 'beauties' :) Talk about crazy! These shoes are totally unique! Funny thing, they are so wearable! Watch these to be used and abused in all the upcoming editorials ;) Bravo, McQueen and LV!

gorgeous McQueens

straigh off the runway fun LVs

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


      May i say 'Thank God', i am not doing Toronto Fashion Week this season? No-no, nothing against our Canadian designers... but my schedule this week is just insane!

It is constant rush rush rush... and when i just thought that today i would study all day long, the agency called me and told to go to the fitting asap. Yes, friday night, instead of packing my bags and chilling home with my love, i am doing Dolce and Gabanna show in Spoke's club!

I have 2 exams in 1 day and i am not even close to being ready.. and when i am trying to sit down and open the book, another email, another phone call and my studying is at the end of the list again.
 I also got to remember my french, because i will definitley need it. I guess, i will have to take the notes and dictionary with me on the plane.... because? I am off to PARIS on Saturday!!!!

Oui, les rêves deviennent réalité!
A demain!


Monday, October 18, 2010

She got it!

A woman who many people hate, the one who many people love, some say she is a style icon.
Hate her or love her, Olivia Palermo (model ,acctress, socialite, star of "The City") sure knows what she is doing when it comes to clothing...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

on my mind

What to know what's on my mind? These will tell it all... C'est maginifique!!!

Taryn Davidson for Marie Claire Italia October, 2010. By Txema Yeste: