MORE THAN 70 wannabe models turned up for a fashion show casting at the Huddersfield campus of Kirklees College this week.
Sam Hudson, curriculum manager for fashion, said she was “astonished’’ by the response from students and members of the public.
The aim of the casting was to find a pool of amateur models to showcase the creations of fashion students from Batley School of Art and Design at their annual show, Owt Couture, this summer.
“We’re trying something new this year,’’ said Sam, who invited me to join the casting selectors in an X-Factor style event. The third judge was Kirklees College marketing director Jane Roper.
Sam said: “In the past we have used professional models. This year we’re using some models from Boss Models in Manchester as well as ‘ordinary’ people – perhaps those who have considered going into modelling.’’
The open casting in Huddersfield, followed by a second session in Batley, attracted students of all ages from 16 to 45.
Sam added: “The models have to meet certain criteria because the fashion students make their garments in standard sizes and we have to find people who won’t look tiny on the catwalk alongside the professional models.
“But we’re primarily looking for people who can move well, have a strong look and appear confident.’’
As well as discovering new models for the catwalk, Sam also earmarked a number of candidates for future photographic work in the college.
“We’ve really found some hidden talent,’’ she said.
Interestingly, it was the boys who seemed most eager for a chance to model and they outnumbered the girls.
“I think that may be because they’re more prepared to go for it and less worried about being rejected,’’ said Sam.
“However, I think they’re all really brave for coming forward.’’
A total of 12 catwalk models will be needed for the final collection graduate and diploma show at the Frontier Club, Batley, on June 17 – the successful candidates, who each win £50, will find out tomorrow.
This year’s show is costing £18,000 to stage and is, says Sam, “Amazingly important.
“We have people from industry coming along to see the show, as well as our sponsors and students from schools.’’
Deputy marketing manager Martin Deans said: “It is an opportunity for us to showcase the college.’’
Information Technology student Shyar Khalaf, 17, from Lockwood was one of the first to step up and impress the judges.
“I really would like to be a model,’’ he said.
Eighteen-year-old Faisal Akram – a business student from Kirkheaton – said he’d only decided to join the casting on the spur of the moment.
Performing arts student Arran Cawthra, 17, from Low Moor near Bradford also wants to be a model and had the confidence of someone who has been on stage before.
Only two candidates had previous modelling experience. Liz Silvester, 22, was one of them.
“I did a modelling course when I was 16,’’ she said.
The youngest budding model was Sumera Hussain, a Year 11 pupil at Batley Girls High School.
“I would really like to get into modelling,’’ she explained.