Ema Taylor is strutting catwalks for fashion week, is managed by one of Australia’s top agencies, and speaks with Focus about her soaring career in modeling.
Ema, you’re originally from Port Macquarie. How did you become a professional model?
I have only recently started modelling full time this year. The previous three years I had been doing it part time when I could fit it around school, work and also being able to get to the places that the work is at.
Living in Port Macquarie was hard, because most work is in Sydney or Brisbane. I moved to Sydney in January, and since then I have been modelling full time.
> You’re currently with the Chic Modelling agency in Sydney and have worked with the who’s who of Australia’s leading designers. Have you a favourite designer to work with?
I’ve worked with many amazing designers, all of whom are fun and interesting in their own way.
While working with Alex Perry you feel like a princess, because the dresses he puts you in are just incredible and over the top – something that I would never be able to wear in real life – so it’s amazing to be able to play dressups with these gowns.
‘Romance was Born’ designers, Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales were the most quirky and outrages designs I’ve had to model to date; it was my most media covered outfit throughout fashion week.
I’m sure if you’ve seen it you will know why. Painted rainbow with a dragon like figure on my head and hair tassels from head to toe is bound to draw attention. And the backdrop for the runway was breathtaking – it was like you were in a fantasy land.
> You recently strutted down the catwalk of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Any nerves?
They say if you’re not nervous you shouldn’t be doing it any more. I think the scariest part for me is the shoes you are made to walk in.
The majority of the time they are sky high – no support, and almost never the correct size! It amazes me how they still bring size 7 heels for 6 foot tall girls … ha ha.
> You’ve been featured on the front page of the Vogue and Marie Claire websites. How amazing is that as a model, to see yourself at the top level in your industry?
I don’t see myself at the top level at all. I have a long way to go before I would consider myself there, but it is extremely exciting and surreal to see myself on the websites that I personally go on to search the latest fashion and ogle over beautiful girls.
> How much work is involved with being a model? What does an average day involve?
There is an extreme amount of work that goes into being a model. For example, fashion week for us is more like fashion month.
Three weeks prior to the week, castings start – some days I had up to 6 castings, which are all over Sydney. This means racing around to each casting, lining up (which can be a line of 100 girls for the one show) and can take over an hour waiting, and then race off to the next.
Once you have been cast and the client likes you, you then have to go to a fitting. These involve being dressed in a number of outfits to see which best suits you, alterations on the garment to make it fit you and then photos are taken.
You can have up to three fittings for each designer – and sometimes you fit and you may still not get the job. When you have a job, your call time varies – normally it is 4-5 hours prior to shooting or the show, so you arrive and get hair and makeup done.
Shoots can be as long as 11 hours – which I have done, and then had to go to a casting afterward. It is very tough; it is like going for 6 job interviews a day and quite possibly not getting one of them.
Like all jobs, there is good and bad. It is incredibly rewarding when a client is happy with your work, or you see a shot and can tell that all the hard work has paid off … you have your good and bad days.
> What’s the biggest thing you have learned about yourself from your experiences so far?
That I can do whatever I want to do – anyone can. In my eyes, I have miles to go, but I am extremely proud of myself at even coming this far – not just with modelling, but at how independent and determined I have become because of the challenges I’m faced with each day.
I’m moving across the world in two months to live, and 6 months ago I would have cried even thinking about doing that, so I can quite happily say that if you dream it, you can do it.
> You’re moving to London in July to further you career. What are your plans for the future?
To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I’m jumping in the deep end; I don’t even know where I’m going when I get off the plane in London. I am taking it as it comes, so I could be back in 6 months or a year; it depends on if I can handle the colder months over there.
> What advice would you give for anyone looking to get into the modelling industry?
Don’t try and be anyone else – you are unique and wonderful and that is what is going to get you places.
Of course, you will not always be what the designer is looking for, but sooner or later you will be. You can do it 🙂
> Thank you Ema, and good luck.