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Model speak: 'It's a glamourous lifestyle, but it's not easy'

Last updated on: September 19, 2009 

Model speak: 'It's a glamourous lifestyle, but it's not easy'



The 6'1 Sanea Sheikh is proudly eclectic. For instance, in this morning's GenNext fashion show, she was thrilled to wear six-inch heels for one of the designers, bringing her to a staggering 6'7! "It was fun," she says. caught up with the leggy beauty for a brief tete-a-tete.

How Lakme Fashion Week this year? What patterns and trends have you seen?
I've seen a lot of volume, a lot of structureless garments, etc. I think the emphasis is on comfort and easy dressing; it's not about getting 'all dressed up'.

And how would you define your personal style?
I'm very quirky in my dress, so I like to think out-of-the-box. For a semi-formal event, you can find me in some loose, baggy dhoti pants with a shiny, sparkly jacket on top. I'm a big fan of the '80s. I'm a disco person at heart! (laughs)

Which designers do you enjoy working with?
The best thing about Lakme Fashion Week, which I absolutely love, is working with all the young, innovative designers. For example, this year's GenNext show was really fun to be a part of. All six of the designers were really creative and great to work with. Like Sabbha Sharma had me wear six-inch heels. And I'm already 6'1! Rahul Anand had me wearing that spinny,
helictopter-style hat. So it's fun to work with these young designers.

As for established designers, there are so many designers who are great to work with: Anuj Sharma, Arjun Saluja, Nachiket Barve, etc.

How is modelling as a career?
I'm modelling because I enjoy it. They make you look good, and you get paid! So it's a lot of fun. It's an enjoyable lifestyle, very glamourous and exciting, but it's not easy. That's a common misconception, that models do nothing. We finished last night after midnight, and had to be here this morning by 8 am. We only get like four or five hours of sleep.

Any advice for aspiring models?
Be yourself and find your own individual style. Don't try to ape anyone else.

Beauty tips, diet, exercise?
I'm sure you hear this a lot, but you must drink tonnes of water! It's really important to stay hydrated. Also, don't use too much make-up. Let your skin breathe. And get plenty of sleep! As for food, I recommend eating fruit.

For exercise, try to remember that everyone has a different body type. So for models, I'd say a little bit of cardio or weight-training, whatever you're comfortable with. But don't exercise too much or eat too little. Balance is key.

Image: Model Sanea Sheikh
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

'It feels good being around so many beautiful women'

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As one of India's top male models, 6'2 Freddy Daruwala has become a fixture in India's high fashion circuit. managed to catch up with the hunk on the sidelines of Day Two at Lakme Fashion Week. Excerpts from our conversation:

How have things been since we last spoke to you? 
Things have been going great. I've had a lot of opportunities and I'm just enjoying myself. This year I have about 10 shows, so you'll get a chance to see me some more this weekend.
What's your personal fashion style? 
Comfortable, but with a bit of attitude. When you wear clothing that reflects your personality, that's the essence of style. So that's what I go for.
What's modelling like as a career?  
I enjoy doing it. I enjoy wearing stylish clothes and being on the cutting edge of fashion. You get to meet a ton of interesting people and you're in a very 'cool' world.
But what's it like being a male in a female-dominated industry?
It feels good, being around so many beautiful women! (laughs)
Of course, the women get paid better, and the competition's tough. But there's still opportunities for talented male models. So I really love my line of work.
Do you think it's a stepping stone for your career? 
I wouldn't say stepping stone, because I really enjoy doing it. But it's true that it's a good way to meet people in the film and acting industry, which is something I look forward to doing in the future. So in two-three years, I'll probably not be doing Fashion Weeks any more, as I'll be acting or working in my own garage! I love bikes, so it'd be awesome to work with them for a living.
Have you ever thought about modelling internationally?
I have. I've even been to New York a few times to meet with some agencies. The thing is, things are going really well for me in India, so I'm hesitant to move right now. Plus, there are a lot of great opportunities to getting acting and film here. So at the moment it's not necessary for me to be working internationally.
Which designers do you like to work with?  
Honestly, all of them. They are fantastic and very professional to work with. One guy I really enjoy working with is Digvijay Singh.

Image: Model Freddy Daruwala
Photographs: Uday Kuckian
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'You get paid to travel, what could be better?'

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One of the great things about Lakme Fashion Week is that jaw-droppingly beautiful models routinely walk the halls, seemingly oblivious to the effect their luminance has on mere bystanders.

We were lucky enough to catch up with models Shruti Agarwal, a Kingfisher Calendar mainstay, and Simran Kaur Mundi, Miss India Universe 2008, doing just that -- wandering about, looking wonderful.

Thankfully the duo took the time to answer a few questions.

What's your personal style?
Shruti: I do like to dress chic. Everything I wear should have at least an element of femininity to it.

Simran: Comfort is really important. While I don't mind getting all dressed up from time to time, I can't do it every day. Casual is my main style.

Do you have any favourite designers?
Shruti: I can't say I have favourite designers, because I love so many. Some become friends, some become professional colleagues, and some are just incredibly talented. It's very tough to say.

Simran: Each designer has different strengths and weaknesses. And there's so much talent here that it's an honour to work with all of them. Plus, every collection is different, so I'm always really, really excited to work with designers and their latest creations!

Do you have any beauty tips?
Shruti: Sleep is so important. You must try to get eight hours a night. Even if you exercise and eat properly, but don't sleep, you'll have problems. Your face will break out and you won't look your best.

Simran: Water is so important, just to stay hydrated. And you should always try to eat a balanced, healthy diet. And make sure you get enough sleep!

How is modelling as a career?
Shruti: Of course I enjoy it. It gives you a serious high. If you love the fast-paced lifestyle, then it's a perfect career.

Simran: I'm very thankful for this career, because it makes you independent. Also, you get to travel for free! Actually, you get paid to travel, to places like Bombay, New York and London. What could be better?

Any advice for aspiring models?
Shruti: Stay focused, be cool and don't try too hard. Also, the most important thing to remember is that you must maintain a healthy body, healthy skin and healthy hair.

Simran: Focus is so important, as is receiving proper guidance. Don't think you can get a portfolio done and just burst into the industry. You have to find the right channel, which only comes with the right agent or agency backing you. Make sure, right when you're starting, that you have someone to guide you.

Image: Models Shruti Agrawal (R) and Simran Kaur Mundi
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
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