Mad Men star sets model example for curvy girls
By Christine Lavelle
MAD Men seductress Christina Hendricks is leading a resurgence in demand for curvy girls in Scotland’s fashion industry.
Some of the country’s top modeling agencies say their clients are crying out for their girls to promote the perfect hourglass silhouette made famous by the fiery-haired actress.
Hendricks, 35, who plays Joan Holloway in the US TV hit, was named the sexiest woman in the world last year in a poll of female readers published by Esquire magazine.
Angelica Gray, 19, a size-12 model from Glasgow, is tipped to become Scotland’s first “plus-size supermodel” after being nominated for Scottish Model of the Year 2010.
She was featured in Vogue Curvy – an offshoot of Vogue Italia – last year, and was a finalist to become the face of Evans, the UK’s top plus-size retailer.
Cathy Owen, operations manager at the Model Team, which represents Ms Gray, said her success has been helped along by the hype surrounding the 60s-set TV drama Mad Men.
Ms Owen, who has over 10 years of experience as a model, stylist and a photographer’s personal assistant, said: “At the moment one of our plus-size girls Angelica Gray has been doing amazing things.
“She flew to Milan recently for a shoot for Vogue Curvy and she is fast becoming Scotland’s top plus-size model.
“A lot of our clients just now are looking for that ‘Mad Men’ look, and Angelica fits the profile perfectly as she has a classically beautiful face and a gorgeous figure.”
Hayley Brown, director of Manequin Model Agency in Edinburgh which now has six plus-size models on its books.
One of them is Gioia Henderson, 20, from Edinburgh, a “curvy model with red hair”.
Ms Brown said: “She was requested to do photos for the Tom Coller agency in Germany as they wanted a girl to look authentically ‘Scottish’ with red hair for their portfolio book.
“She has a similar look to the actress from Mad Men and work for her has really picked up over the last few months.
“We have had a lot of interest from our clients who are looking for this type of model.”
Scottie Brannan, a partner at Superior Model Agency in Glasgow, said they have recruited a 5ft 9ins size-12 Slovakian model on the back of the Mad Men phenomenon.
Elena Mokra, 21, was drafted in to join the agency’s book because she “fit the bill”.
Mr Brannan said: “Actresses like Christina Hendricks are showing women how to embrace their curves.
“Elena is blindingly beautiful and it’s a shame that before now she wouldn’t have been booked for mainstream jobs.
“Elena has only just joined our agency and we are busy introducing her to our clients via the agency. All I can say is that we have great confidence in future bookings with her.”
Mr Brannan added: “In the last nine months there has been a slight change with clients, even the height stipulation of 5ft 8ins is beginning to waver.
“Subtle changes are happening within the industry – it’s quite luxurious for us because now we can choose the most beautiful girls, regardless of height or size.”
Sue Thomason, editor of Beautiful, a lifestyle magazine aimed at curvy woman, said: “There is no stopping the trend of curvy women becoming successful in the fashion industry because women have seen them now, women like Christina Hendricks, and they see how stunning they look.
“Programmes like Mad Men are helping – plus size models are the new ‘it girls’.”
Stephanie Gallagher, 27, a size-16 model from Coatbridge, was chosen as the Christmas cover model of Beautiful magazine – just two months after she started modeling.
“Actresses like Christina Hendricks are brilliant role models for young women, because she looks absolutely fabulous,” she said.
Karen Diamond, director of Model 1 Agency in London, said it is not just curvy girls who are being transformed into Christina Hendricks types, as anyone can style themselves up to have an hourglass silhouette.
“Anyone can create a bit of cleavage and nip in the waist to create that Mad Men look.
“The show has definitely reintroduced an interest in this type of look with regards to how the girls are styled for shoots.
Hendricks revealed this week that she “can’t wait” to get back to work on the set of Mad Men.
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