Marie Claire champions local women

Monica Walton is one of the Cayman models featured in the article.

A high school student, a celebrity stylist and a video journalist are among the nine Caymanians to make the final cut to appear in this month’s Marie Claire magazine.

Tigerlily Hill
Tigerlily Hill

Of the dozen or so women who had been invited to take part in the shoot, Natali Budihardjo, 32; Tigerlily Hill, 35; Nik Stewart, 27; Maria Zazzi, 31; Paris Broad, 17; Lauren Sonnen, 38; Erica Farrington, 23; Monica Walton, 27; and Schilo Scott, 22, are in May’s largely pictorial feature, “What I Love About Me.”

Several of those interviewed for the article are part-time models and have appeared in catwalk shows and fashion shoots locally and overseas. The two-page feature, shot at Rum Point on Jan. 14, was guest edited by local fashion designer turned celebrity clothes stylist, Tigerlily Hill.

Speaking of her Marie Claire experience, Tigerlily said, “One of my celebrity clients recommended me for the job as guest editor. She herself was doing a shoot for the magazine.”

The stylist added that the best part of the whole experience was been chosen to fill the post. “When I’m contacted by the media, it’s usually to talk about which stars I work with and which showrooms I use, so it made a nice change to talk about home [Cayman].”

For the youngest participant, Paris Broad, the experience was “a dream come true.” The Year 11 student is currently in the midst of IGCSE exams and plans to study “A” Level ICT, Art, Spanish and English Literature before attending college and pursuing a job as a fashion journalist. Once the issue hit the streets, Paris was happy to talk about what the feature involved.

Interview with Paris Broad

What was your reaction on being approached by the magazine?

[Marie Claire] approached me via Instagram in early January. At first I was very suspicious, so I shared it with my parents … my curiosity would not allow me to let it go though so I researched the name [of the person who contacted] me and it proved to be genuine, also someone on island contacted me about the project, so I knew it was not a hoax.

Why were you chosen?

I’d like to think I was chosen because it’s obvious from Instagram that I love fashion. My Instagram feed shows me in various locations in Grand Cayman and is very personable and has information that Marie Claire readers can identify with.

How long did the shoot take and what was the experience like?

The shoot took place early morning and I left Rum Point at about 3 p.m. I was also asked if I would like the assignment of being the production assistant for the shoot, and obviously jumped at the chance.

The job meant me working closely with the photographer and editor for the Marie Claire beauty roadshow shoot. I had to make sure the day was organized by keeping a record of the names and contact information of all the models chosen for the shoot. Forms needed filling out and any models running late had to be contacted to find out if they were still available. I also gave advice on accessories and posing suggestions to models who needed it. Generally, I had to help keep the day flowing smoothly.

There were just over a dozen models and no one, including myself, knew who would be chosen for the article. I was emailed a few weeks before the issue was published and given the good news.

Overall, l really enjoyed the experience. It was interesting to observe behind the scenes of how an article is brought to life. Getting to know the team, their ideas and vision for the storyline.

Who styled you?

I did my own makeup and provided my own clothes. However, I took a few other options just in case they were needed.

Have you worked for any other big names in fashion?

I was invited to take part in New York Fashion Week which was an incredible experience! And, last year, I was invited by designer Paulette Cleghorn to be part of Bridal Fashion Week celebrating the 50th year anniversary of Yumi Katsura Couture.

What are the main differences between magazine and runway work?

Magazine work differs from runway work because you have the luxury of preparation. However, if the shoot is outdoors, you have to be conscious of losing light, whereas with runway, it’s exhilarating and fast-paced, especially if you have wardrobe or clothing changes. The runway seems to be over quickly, whereas magazine work can involve long hours.

Tell us about the Marie Claire crew?

The crew from New York were photographer Joel Barhaman and the beauty editor, Claire Fontanetta. Joel was great to work with and gave me an insight into his job as a photographer. He had a good eye for detail and location. For example, for my shoot he asked me to stand in front of a green truck, which I would have never thought about using, but I was pleasantly surprised with the end result, it looked really cool. Despite the heat, he was enthusiastic all day with each and every model.

Claire was very inspiring, she shared her experiences of being a beauty editor and talked about the various countries she has visited and the many people she has met. For the shoot, she interviewed each model to find out about what we thought made us unique.

What’s your next assignment?

My next modeling assignment is for designer Isy B. (Isy Obi) and Sand Angels on June 2.