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Which girl has the star quality?; INSIDE OUT.

HAVE you ever looked at a picture of supermodel Kate Moss in a magazine and thought - I've seen prettier girls on the high street?

But can they can really compare with catwalk divas such as Naomi Campbell or Cindy Crawford?

We gave four Daily Post talent spotters the task of scouring the streets and picking out "ordinary" females who they believe can make it as models.

Our panel includes fashion stylist Lorraine McCulloch, DJ Joe Ferguson, West End singer Emma Dears and bar manager Rob Preston.

As part of their working lives, these four are used to being surrounded by glamorous people on a regular basis. Lorraine, 40, arranges fashion shoots for glossy magazines like OK, as well as being marketing executive for Liverpool designer clothes store Wade Smith. Whiston-born Emma, 28, has starred in a host of West End musicals, including Les Miserables and Boogie Nights with Shane Richie.

In his role as a DJ for Radio City Joe gets to meet some of the industry's sexiest singers and Rob is the manager of one of Liverpool's trendiest venues - The Living Room on Victoria Street - the haunt of Hollyoaks celebrities, footballers and a bevvy of beauties.

On a Monday night the bar of the Living Room is full of customers that could easily grace the cover of a fashion journal. But statistics show that only an estimated one in a thousand women will have what it takes to be a model.

"It's not enough just to be tall, thin and pretty, " explains Stephanie Willis, principal of Faces Model Agency in Liverpool. "They've got to be committed, punctual and confident too. Being a model is not a privilege, it is a job. Naomi Campbell didn't just one day jump out of bed and get on to the cover of Vogue.

It takes effort."

Vicki Mooney, who is sitting with a friend in a corner of the Living Room, is blessed with flawless skin, dark bohemian hair and almond shaped eyes - a look that catches the attention of our panel of judges, especially Joe.

He says he likes dark, pretty girls and cites Andrea Corr as his aesthetic ideal.

"I like Vicki but I also think one of the waitresses, a girl called Danielle, is attractive."

But Emma reckons that Vicki's companion Lucy Nkansah could go far too.

"She has an interesting face, " says the singing star. "Although she's not conventionally pretty, she's has feline eyes and a beautiful bone structure.

'EYES are important because they reflect an individual's character.

The most beautiful woman I've ever seen is an actress in her 50s. She isn't famous but she has a real presence about her."

Lorraine agrees with Emma, saying beauty isn't necessarily a physical attribute. It can be an attitude.

"One of the girls I use for fashion work is a model called Erica because she's more striking than pretty.

Top models, especially Naomi Campbell, have an incredible aura and as soon as she walks into a room everyone looks."

Lyna Mourcou, who is out with a group of male friends, seems to have the same ability in making people stare at her. Our panel's eyes are drawn to the linguist as she sips a glass of wine and flings her head back with a laugh.

"She is certainly attractive, " says Lorraine. "But I suspect that she's too short for the catwalk."

Student Emma Blackmore and restaurant manager Karen Halpin, who are taller and have the same aura of selfassurance, are singled out by Rob. "I find confidence more impressive than physical beauty, " he says.

These girls may all stand out in a crowd but is it enough to get a modelling contract? While our panel of judges believe they have star qualities, Stephanie, an expert in the industry, says that Karen is the most photogenic of the group of potential models.

"There are many pretty girls around but looks aren't enough in this business, " explains Stephanie, who has been selecting and training models for more than 20 years.

"A lot of attractive girls think they are going to be models overnight but it takes time. If they've never done the work before, the majority will need lessons in deportment, confidence building and how to look good. The criteria for this job is professionalism."

Stephanie says different types of modelling work require different types of models.

"For photographic work a model doesn't have to be tall, she just has to be relaxed in front of the camera and be able to do a series of poses.

"To walk down a catwalk, presence and posture is more important. As such, they are usually 5copyright8-5copyright10 tall.

'OUTSIDE London, models come in all shapes and sizes according to the client's dictate. So, for instance, a high-street store like Marks & Spencer will want an assortment of models between a size 10 and 16, while TopShop may ask for a younger girl who is a size 10."

So if you have all of the above qualities, what are the chances that you'll be stopped in the high street by a modelling scout?

"Personally, I don't scout because it suggests to the girls that modelling is an easy career, " explains Stephanie.

"They must show initiative by coming into the agency and be professional. I want to see women who are punctual and well-presented. There is no need to spend money on a picture portfolio if they haven't got what it takes."

Faces Model Agency can be contacted on 0151 - 709 5859.

LYNA MOURCOU, 26 A linguist for an IT company Height: 5copyright4 Size: 6/8 AGENCY'S VERDICT:

"She has an aura of style, " says Stephanie. "But she also comes across as someone who is intelligent and comfortable with herself. "

EMMA BLACKMORE, 23 Doing a masters degree in marketing.

Height: 5't8 Size: 8/10 AGENCY'S VERDICT: "Again, she's attractive but her slightness would limit her in relation to getting work around here."

VICKI MOONEY, 19 Secretary.Height: 5'9 1/ 2Size: 12 AGENCY'S VERDICT: "Pretty and being a size 12 wouldn't bar her from the catwalk. Many high street shops like size 12 models because it's a more realistic shape."

LUCY NKANSAH, 21 A management student Height: 5'7 1 2Size: 6/8 AGENCY'S VERDICT: "She has a good look and an acceptable height to work outside London. But she's slight at a size six and may find it difficult to get work."

DANIELLE RICHARDS, 22 A waitress Height: 5'6 Size: 8 AGENCY'S VERDICT: "She's cute and has lovely hair, but she's not exceptional in modelling terms, " says Stephanie. Also, at 5'6 tall she's too short for catwalk work."

STEPHANIE'S CHOICE KAREN HALPIN, 24 A manager from West Derby Village, Liverpool.Height: 5'7 1/ 2Size: 10 AGENCY'S VERDICT: "She's attractive and her vibrant personality comes across well in the picture. Her height and size is acceptable for photographic work.But to be on the catwalk it would be better if she was a bit taller."


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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 23, 2002
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