Vauxhall Fashion Scout group model casting

Each season, designers showing at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout hold a group model casting at the Freemason’s Hall venue mere days before the start of London Fashion Week. The largest event of its kind in London, never has there been so many tall, gorgeous girls in one place.

Decked out in dangerous stiletto heels and sky high wedges, in outfits designed to show off their physiques, there is an air of anticipation throughout the hall. Queuing is 21 year-old Laragh McCann from Storm Models. Wearing her long brown hair tied into a ponytail, McCann clutches her portfolio and steals glances at the mass crowd inside. She arrived in London on Friday from Dublin, and has previously walked for John Rocha, Simone Rocha, GILES, and Topshop Unique. McCann has been to group castings before but never one with so many models; “This is huge,” she says laughing. “Lots of girls seem to know each other, so there’s a real community feel.”

Inside the room, the primary catwalk space at Freemason’s Hall, there is a sense of organised chaos. Hundreds of excited girls chirp to one another as they brandish their portfolios, waiting in clean queues at tables seating teams on behalf of the many respective designers searching for the right models for their shows. Staked out between Dans La Vie and Leutton Postle, the models ignore the distractions of photographers milling around taking scene shots of the event and continue to strut their stuff for each of the casting teams. Those who introduced themselves confidently – “Hi guys, how’re you?” – had an invariably stronger walk, oozing attitude as they swept up and down the carpet.

Gwen Lu, 24, says it’s only taken about an hour an a half from queuing to get in to walking for the teams of each designer in the room; “I’m very surprised that it’s so organised. Everybody lines up so it goes really fast; I still have the energy to keep going so it’s good!” she says. Signed with M&P Models as her London agency, Lu has been modelling for four years and flew to London from her native Malaysia a week prior to the casting. Having done shows in New York and Paris, she intends to stay in London for at least another month after fashion week to acquire editorial work.

Only the start of London Fashion Week will reveal who was successful.

Words and picture: Lily Niu

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