So what happened on the big day (and night!) of the finals of Fresh Faces 2010? Blogger Tina Antarakis went behind the scenes to bring you all the highlights!
“Unforgettable!” “Fun!” “Amazing!” “Beautiful people, a big success, and a great night!!”
These were just some of the words used to describe the Spain finals of Fresh Faces 2010 in Barcelona, as I went about asking models, party guests, and industry professionals alike how it felt to be there and a part of the much-anticipated event.
The day was certainly packed with as much anticipation as fatigue for the 10 young budding models chosen as the finalists for Spain. They had all been working hard for this day since being hand-picked from the hundreds of young hopefuls that had eagerly entered the prestigious contest.
And no matter what their level of experience, the one thing they all told me was how thrilled they were just to be there, to be given this important opportunity to work with industry professionals on an international level – and, excitingly, the potential to go far as models from here.
When I arrived behind the scenes at the Hotel ME in the afternoon of the big day, The modelmanagement.com team had been working hard with the models since early in the morning (the girls had already had catwalk training and been whisked off to Gracia for a photo shoot), and the afternoon photo shoots with top fashion photographers, José Aragón, Ansgar and David Ruiz, were now well underway.
The mood was one of intense concentration and mounting excitement. I spoke with Marie Christine Pollett, founder of Group Models and president of the Fresh Faces 2010 contest, who had been with the models throughout the day, coaching and preparing them.
“I am very excited to be here, I am really enjoying the day. And I have to say that no one person will be the winner tonight. As I told the models today, just having made it this far means they have already won, because they all now have the same opportunity to make it from here.”
“So in the end it’s not just about who is selected to be the two Fresh Faces of modelmanagement.com for 2010, it’s about just having made it here as part of the final ten.”
The highlight of the day of the finals for Marie Christine was seeing all the finalists go from relatively inexperienced young people “off the street, basically”, to models in just one day. She was especially impressed by how eager they all were to learn and how quickly they absorbed everything they had been shown in the past day.
“It has been a great experience to see how quickly they have picked it up. This morning they were just starting, but by the time they hit the catwalk they will be models.”
The lucky ten finalists were chosen from an initial cull of 50, narrowed down from the hundreds of contest entries received. Marie Christine travelled around Spain herself to personally meet all 50 hopefuls as they were photographed and considered for the final group of ten.
And how were the models themselves feeling? I caught up with Dani Cano Montes and Adriana as they sat outside the makeup room – dressed in colourful, fun and suitably preppy outfits by B by Basi – waiting to be called for their shoot with David Ruiz.
For Dani, who until the contest had done no modelling whatsoever, the whole experience was an amazing opportunity for him. “It’s like nothing I have ever done before, so much concentration involved and lots to learn. It’s amazing to be part of the event.”
Fonsi, from Valencia and another finalist, agreed. “I have done local work back home, but this is a wonderful opportunity to work with international people and have the chance to take my career to the next level.”
Tired but happy and excited to be there, all the models were in good spirits as they completed their three photo shoots for the afternoon. They were all looking forward to their big moment, when they would finally walk out in front of the jury by the rooftop pool on the famous terrace of the Hotel ME.
Across at the Jose Aragon shoot, Jose had chosen to shoot the models – dressed in elegant Escada Sport – inside and against a plain white backdrop. Of my favourite outfits chosen for the girls, one was a fabulous purple trench coat, a multicoloured shirred jumpsuit teamed with brown platform sandals, and a turquoise blue playsuit – all young and fun but at the same time with that classic Escada look.
His assistant, Javier, said the pair had had a great day shooting the finalists, with his word for the overall upbeat vibe of the day being “Happiness!”
Back in the hair and makeup room, Rut from Compagnia della Bellezza’s and her five stylists were working non-stop with Ivan Gomez and his makeup team (using product from Dior, Nars, and Pelo & co) to create the perfect look to go with each shoot’s different theme.
Rut told me she loves to get out of the salon and work on events such as these. “The styling for each shoot depends on the clothes and the makeup. For example, Salsa is quite rocker-style so we went for big hair and drama to go with the dark eye makeup. For Escada, being more elegant, I wanted the hair to have less volume but still be loose and with lots of movement.”
With models dressed in the cheeky, modern streetwear style typical of Salsa Jeans), the final shoot by Angsar Werrelman took place on the rooftop terrace of the ME, as the sun was dropping in the sky. Angsar, snapping away calmly in a stylish white linen suit, is known for creating cinematic, even slightly ‘surreal’ shots. No wonder then that the models were shot standing on top of one of the lounges, surrounded by billowing white curtains.
Later in the evening when I chatted with him at the After Party, Angsar said he was very happy with the results. “I love the drama of the movies, and to work with light. That’s why I chose to work outdoors late in the afternoon. My inspiration for the shoot was a rock-star theme to work in with Salsa’s style.
“It’s been great to be here tonight and to participate in the contest. I am always very happy to come from Germany to work with modelmanagement.com. They are a very professional, international platform that brings agencies and models together, and they always consider the needs of the models. They also all love their job, which I think is so important! It makes it easy to work with them and to create something great that we can all be happy with.”
7.30pm, and the red carpet is laid and ready for the VIP arrivals for the cocktail party, which is now getting underway in the open air of the 6th floor terrace. Guests mingle to the cool, laid-back tunes of the resident DJ, and cava, wine, and beer flows. Finger food – amongst them tasty morsels of chipirones, guacamole, grilled meat, and bocconcini and cherry tomatoes on mini skewers – are handed around.
Whilst we are waiting for the jurors to be called to take their seats, I catch up over a glass of wine with Yvan, “The Facehunter”, Rodic.
Dressed in a groovy red and white gingham check jacket, he had flown in from Paris this morning especially to be a juror at the event. Because his work doesn’t usually involve working with models, he said yes as he was excited to do something different. He also likes the fact that modelmanagement.com is doing something new with their model search, other than the traditional talent scouting.
“I think internet search is the way of the future for finding models – one person travelling around can only physically go so far – and this company is doing that, so I think it’s great!”
Before we know it, it’s catwalk time! Everyone crowds around behind the judging area in order to catch a glimpse of the first of the poolside catwalk presentations. The models come out in colourful swimwear by Dolores Cortes, and do a lap of the pool in front of the jurors. They then have their photos snapped by paparazzo Cristian Di Stefano, before coming back a short while later for a final walk in modelmanagement.com tees and denim jeans and shorts. Fashion TV, who have been in attendance since the afternoon getting behind-the-scenes footage and chatting to the models, also take the opportunity to get some more exclusive close ups at this point.
Whilst the jurors take their time to score, discuss the finalists, and decide who will be the lucky winners, we head downstairs for the big After Party, where the winners of the contest will be announced in a little over an hour’s time.
The first floor is packed with partygoers and celebs alike, with a steady stream of people arriving via both Hotel ME entrances. The paparazzi crowd around the red carpet to get shots of actors and local celebrities Ana Fernandez, Patricia Cancio, Ruben Ochandiano and Luis Fernandez as they walk by and head into the throng.
Everyone is enjoying the drinks, the great music, and of course the mounting excitement in the crowd. Ex-model Marta Canalda is our MC for the evening, and she lets us all know the moment to announce the winners of Fresh Faces 2010 has almost arrived.
But first, she introduces Peyman Amin, a partner with modelmanagement.com Germany, juror at the contest, and an ex-juror for German’s Next Top Model. Before the big announcement he takes a moment to say a few words. “I am very excited to be part of modelmanagement.com, connecting models to agencies internationally, and to be here tonight to announce the winners. It’s great to be able to present something new, a new vision for discovering talent and the opportunity to continue this new way of finding newcomers.”
A video presentation of the models and the work they have done over the past two days is shown, and then, finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for – Marta announces the two winners: Dani Perez – the youngest of the boys at 19, from Granada – and Sara San Martin, 17, from Canarias!
Amidst the applause and constant flashing of cameras, the winners are congratulated and the party continues. As I see the other finalists later on in the evening, I am happy to see their spirits have not been dampened in the least by not having being chosen. On the contrary, they are just as excited as ever.
“It doesn’t matter, I am a finalist!” one of the boys laughs, a big smile lighting up his face. “And what a great night, ‘una noche fantastica!!”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.