Elite Model Look Competition 2012: Supermodel Wanted

"What's interesting about the creative industry is that sometimes people churn out their best work when they are unknown. You'll never know who might stroll in with the potential to become The One." said Eric A. Ceret, executive director of Elite Model Look Singapore. His eyes alert and you began to understand the reason behind the process of vetting and sieving the models from the regular folk that EML has chosen for this year's competition. EML utilizes a two-step casting system that screens online hopefuls before inviting them for a second round of live castings. For Ceret, a film director and photographer who has spent most of his professional career in New York churning out award winning billboards, the most important aspect of EML's judging process is being able to detect and spot the talent that exists in an untrained model. It is in the raw, untainted beauty of inexperience in an amateur that EML hopes to be able to polish into its fullest potential - much like a diamond in the rough.

Elite Model Look needs no introduction. The international agency with a sterling record for discovering beauties and honing talents such as Cindy Crawford, Fei Fei Sun, Gisele Bundchen, and Constance Jablonski holds an annual international modelling competition, the largest of its kind in the world with 70 participating countries, on a continuous search for the supermodels of tomorrow. For EML, it's all about gaining an edge against the competition and any model signed under them can rest assured that their career is in expert hands.

Care to join me for a ride?
On a freshly rained-in Saturday afternoon with the scent of petrichor still lingering in the atmosphere, I headed out to the Alexandra Retail Centre for the very first roadshow that EML Singapore was hosting. There are simply not enough superlatives to describe how elated I was to have been given the opportunity to experience this year's EML casting process in a model's perspective. A catwalk flanked by two Volkswagen sponsored cars had been set-up against a larger than life billboard. Make-up stations provided by official hair and makeup academy and company the Make Up Store complete with hollywood mirrors framed by a gazillion lightbulbs. A camera station laid out with a lights and a host of video equipment made out the mini photography studio.

Getting polished by Make Up Store

I arrived in a casual combination of a sweater dress in sweetheart print and brown boots. Needless to say, this was the total opposite of actual potential models who should be in a simple skinny jeans and tee-shirt combination. Less makeup and no superfluous accessories. Simplicity and minimalism is key in any modeling casting session so designers or judges alike would be able to see the model in the most non-distracting manner possible.

The first process is the height test. In conjunction with international requirements, females must be at least 172cm or 5'8" and males at 180cm or 6'0". This year happens to the first time that the competition is open to both genders thus ushering in the dawn of a growing demand for male supermodels. Fashion has never been a female-only exclusive however it is only recently that there has been a more public and international acknowledgement of fashion for men.

Feeling gloriously pampered

Thankfully, the folks at EML were quick to take note that my height was way under the requirements and spared me the embarrassment of measuring. To my delight, the next stop was the makeup station. At the skilled hands of makeup professions from the Make Up Store, I was primed, shaded and glossed up just like a model. My makeup artist was incredibly deft in her strokes and she expertly created depth, highlighting the contours of my incredibly Asian features. The end product was an airbrushed effect of perfect skin. I wish I could be more modest about my makeup transformation but I'd be lying and downplaying the entire experience. My hair was straightened and my bangs kept straight for a natural look.

Arsenal of makeup weaponry 

Ready for your close up? You betcha. The photo session was short and simple. My poses were imitations of recollections of reality tv modeling shows such as Next Top Model whereby I attempted to smize or smile with my eyes. Looking back, it must have been a hilarious sight to watch me attempt to connect with the camera without my usual touristy grin.

Lights, camera, action!

The catwalk was the final station. I feel that in every new experience, there should always be a challenge about it that makes it memorable and definable. The catwalk was in fact as difficult and exhilarating as I thought it would be. A model must be confident in her walk. She parades the designer's clothes with pride and grace as she walks in perfect poise, not pretentiously but instead enjoying the limelight and the attention that she receives from the adoring crowd. It is that energy that I felt when I strutted down the catwalk not once but five entire times. While I refuse to question or perhaps my refusal stems from actually finding out that my walk was the worst catwalk in fashion history, I take it in stride that thankfully, after the fifth walk, I had successfully completed the casting circuit.

New face! Watch out!

While it's safe to say that I did not make the cut as a model, I do hold high regard for those in the modeling world. It's a tough, intensely fierce industry built upon the sweat and dreams of many. Fear not however for EML is right here in Singapore opening up doors and creating opportunities for new faces like never before.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a top model? Head on down to Vivocity this Saturday on the 20th of October or to Tampines Mall on Sunday the 21st of October from 10:00 to 20:00 for live castings. Oh yes, EML accepts walk-in applicants so don't miss out on this spectacular opportunity! And be sure to smize!

I'll leave the catwalk to the pros.
Where dreams begin
untagged photos are courtesy of EML Singapore.


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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