Listen to this and then you’re allowed to keep reading and viewing.
Around March or April I had a brief Skype interview with Australian model Vali Clarke which I would rather have conducted down under at Bondi Beach or behind the scenes at MFW. Vali is an up and coming model based out of Sydney, Australia. We discussed the importance of personality, not-giving-a-fuck, Boeing commercial aircrafts and the Hadid sisters.
Disclaimer: I have a huge crush on Australia and its inhabitants which developed due my father’s relocations around the world; one of my most vivid memories of my childhood is viewing the millennium fireworks over Zaha Hadid’s Sydney Operahouse and my instrument of choice is the didgeridoo.
Under my photography persona I’d prepare a chair in order to handle Vali’s 180cm height, I’d put the camera aside, squat down and talk to her about a teacher that she hated during high school in order to achieve the “fashion look” in between the smiles and conversation, tell her to hold that thought, lower her chin, look a bit up and snap a photograph. The result would be a human equivalent of a lioness, a rare one might I add. A mane that’s gingery red, brows that naturally wave upwards parallel to light blue eyes, a slim nose and a freckle that’s an evil twin’s to Marilyn Monroe’s.
“I could pass as a model but I needed to work on it” tells me Vali at around 4AM Israel time about the beginning of her modelling career at the age of 13-14. Modelling came to Vali after some trials and tribulations of working on a skincare routine, being herself and understanding that personality is a main key to beauty. It’s a really rare trait to understand the above premise at the age of 18 and it’s also transcended to clients booking her. At the time of the interview it was MFW and Vali was booked for three shows a day for three consecutive days.
“Vali was scouted on Manly Beach after a concert by a fashion which probably noticed her height off the bat, genetics are to her advantage as well as her calm and fun personality. If you glimpse into her Instagram feed its a mix of feelings, shenanigans, sunsets and cigarettes.”
Last year there was a poorly written article by a journalist that probably has some, as Eric Cartman would say “sand her vagina” and has no idea how cynicism and online personality works.
“But Vali has a double life: on the day I meet her, she's wearing sandshoes, T-shirt and denim shorts. Her nails are bitten. She talks in a torrent. Today she's been into the city to train for an after-school job at a shoe store. She lives with her single mother in an inner-west flat and is thinking of doing something in customs and border protection when she graduates (although she would like to model). She can tell a 747 from a 737 and likes to watch documentaries about plane disasters. She travels economy class with her mother to visit family overseas. She bought the Ralph Lauren bag at a discount fashion store. The nice boat was hired. The grand piano was at her boyfriend's school formal venue. She appropriates vignettes of sophistication as they spin past.”
The above is a cringe worthy attempted at framing a model to be this glamorous Victoria Secret, my life is perfectesque personality to a girl that’s down to earth, lives a usual life but just likes fashion. I bet this journalist did a bunch of weather reporting before this piece.
Nowadays, top-models for GUCCI, Prada and Italian couture houses are equivalent of Gummo characters that are multidisciplinary people, that live at home but own a pair of BALENCIAGAs, yiou don’t need a roof terrace to rock couture, research over feelings, mom.
I. Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell
II. Johny Depp or Orlando Blood
III. Bella or Gigi
Vali naturally doesn’t give a fuck but not in a condensing way, she’s a great person a talented model and a cynic online, just like everyone born post-baby-boomer generation. She’s articulate and has a clear vision of where she wants to get to.
You can follow Vali here.