Behind the Scenes – Vogue Italia “Curvy” Fashion Shoot

Having lived with one of the top plus size models during my days in New York, I have an affinity for the curvier side of the industry. The fuller figure girls often have something that their size two counterparts don’t always have…. For lack of a better word it’s chutzpa

In general these girls don’t get all the breaks that the traditional size models do mainly because the volume of clients is not as plentiful so I was really delighted to see Marquita Pring, Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley all premiere plus models featured in Vogue Italia’s June issue.

The Elizabeth Taylor inspired editorial was shot by Steven Meisel. Pring in fact kept a diary during the two-day shoot chronicling everything from her nerves to the amazing wardrobe to the makeup and how it felt undraping for Meisel. Pring said it was the most amazing experience of her career… but it was an adventure that almost didn’t happen.

Prings bookers at Ford NY had been working with Meisel’s studio on casting, polaroids video’s etc but informed them that Marquita was not available for the casting but would be back for the fitting. Meanwhile secretly Marquita was MIA in Africa on Safari and her agents were unable to contact her. Determined to get her home they booked a flight and tried every means necessary – email, phone calls, text and twitter…Thankfully Pring contacted them the same day that her flight home was to leave… it had to be fate!

Below and edited chronicle by Marquita herself.

5:45am–Wake up way too early. This always happens to me when I’m dying of excitement the night before, this time the feeling is heightened a thousand fold.

7:10am–Head to the train. As I pass a corner store, I see Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of a magazine. Sold!!

8am–We head into the Waldorf Towers and go upstairs. We’re definitely on the right floor because we’re immediately greeted by men with headsets running around with heavy equipment and beautiful props.

8:10am–Let the exploring begin! It seems like we have the entire floor to ourselves. The perimeter of our wardrobe room is surrounded by racks and racks of clothing we tried on at the fitting. Under each rack are rows and rows of the most impressive shoe collection–everything from vintage Blumarine boots to Manolo Blahnik kitten heels.
The next room over was the jewelry room. Never before had I seen such a site! There are at least 10 people stuffed in the tiny room guarding their jewelry.

8:30 I sit in Erin’s chair. She’s this adorable little blond with a pixie haircut, hat, and tattoos covering her arms. I get the sense I’m in good hands. Erin doesn’t waste any time getting started. She starts with my foundation. She uses the “Naomi Kit.” ” I ask Erin what the inspiration for the make up is. She tells me it’s classic–like an old Hollywood movie star.

Pat McGrath and Guido Palau walk into the room. They say hello to all of us and start making the rounds seeing that everything is going as planned.

Pat comes over to Erin and me. She kisses Erin and then me. She tells Erin that every one of the models today is stunning. In fact, her exact words are “You see love, this is what the real supermodels used to look like. Such natural beauty.” With a statement like that I had to take a minute to try and not scream with pleasure at the top of my lungs. It’s surreal to hear such a compliment from the makeup guru that is Pat McGrath.

9:30am–I switch chairs with Tara. Hair time now! I start getting my curls brushed out. They give me a big fluffy fro.

10am–Back in the hair chair. My hairs been soaked in water and Bumble and Bumble and the blowing out process begins. Three people attack my head with blow dryers and rollers. Next my rollers are replaced with pins. Done.
After lunch in the chill room we hang out for a while until someone is called. Me! It’s finally my turn, a wave excitement washes over me. My mind starts racing wondering what I’ll be doing.

12:30pm- Edward greets me. He has a purple dress and colorful striped heels waiting for me. Once I’m dressed he calls for trays of jewelry to be delivered. A vendor brings in a few of her trays. Stones in colors I didn’t even think were possible. He chooses a delicate necklace and bracelet combo with a fat purple ring. Stunning. Lastly, Edward throws a bright green fur over my shoulder. I’m ready.

I find Steven in the chill room. He greets me at the door and says he’d like to see me stand at the window. I walk over to the window and look out. It’s a beautiful day outside. I look back and Steven snaps a few shots. He ask me to sit on the couch comfortably. I do. A few more snaps.

Steven starts clicking. More than just a few shots. He must like this positioning, I start to move some more. After a few more shots he reviews the film. He looks at me and says “Marquita, you are so beautiful you don’t have to do anything.” I take a moment to pick up my jaw from the floor. My mind has officially been blown from this whole experience. He clicks a few more and says “thank you.” Time for the next outfit.
Back at the wardrobe room I get undressed and wait for my next outfit is. The whiteboard of options is an assortment of pictures taken from the fitting yesterday. Dozens of outfits were tried on. Dresses, furs, lingerie, skirts, bathing suits, vintage, and shoes like you wouldn’t believe. The biggest studio at Splashlight Studios was packed with hundreds of options for Edward to choose from. Quite an overwhelming experience after a 20 hour flight from Cape Town.

Stay tuned for part two of Marquita’s experiences in tomorrow’s post!

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