Live... on set!

at Vervegirl

9:00 a.m. - Welcome to Modelresource's live coverage of the cover shoot for Vervegirl's Holiday Glamour Issue, and a special welcome to Vervegirl readers visiting this site for the first time.

We will be on set all day, updating and answering your questions.

Registration for our discussion board is simple, and you can pose questions to:
  • myself (industry-related questions),
  • Elite booker Matti Gidilevich (agency-related questions),
  • Vervegirl's Editor Sara Graham (magazine-related questions)
  • Editor-at-Large Charmaine Gooden (health & beauty related questions).

  • 9:30 a.m. - If you're new to Modelresource, let me introduce you to our models today, both of whom are represented by Elite Model Management in Toronto:

    19-year-old Michelle Valencourt has been involved in the industry for close to ten years, since she first met International Model Management's Michèle Miller.

    Modelresource interviewed Valencourt when we visited England a few months ago. You can learn a lot more about this incredible model by reading that story.

    Irina Funktikova hasn't been modelling nearly as long, but has been very successful since she started two years ago. Last year, in fact, Modelresource did a preview of many of the newer models in Toronto market and of the 50+ faces we featured, no page was more viewed than Funtikova's.

    She is a former rhythmic gymnast who competed for Canada internationally, and is entering her second year of commerce at the University of Toronto.

    Both models have offered to take time today to answer questions on the Modelresource Discussion Boards

    Lisa Aharon
    Lisa Aharon,
    picking her poison
    Lisa Ahahon is here doing the makeup & hair today.

    Modelresource just learned she has been booked for the Marc by Marc Jacobs show at New York's Olympus Fashion Week.

    Lisa has graciously also offered to answer questions from readers on the Modelresource Discussion Boards.

    9:45 a.m. - Along with stylist, MaHa the models are selecting their first outfits now.

    Violent Violet asked:
    I know both of these models have travelled a lot. Which cities have they enjoyed the most, and why?
    Michelle Valencourt replied:
    Hey Violet:
    I have traveled all over the world but I would have to say that my two favourite places to be would be London and Tokyo. London is an awesome place to be for work and also because the people there are way too funny. The people in Tokyo are very respectful and always honest. If you ever need help in the streets they never hesitate to take time out of their busy day to assist you in finding your way. Those are just some great aspects of both cities.

    Amebelle asked:
    ATTN: Matti Gidilevich (Elite booker) Hi,

    I've emailed Dan from modelresource this question but I wanted to hear another side. I am a 5'5" filipina who's been modeling independently for 3 years. I've been trying to find an agency that will take me in. I've gotten to know about the business and learn about the pros and cons of modeling. I am well aware of the restrictions of modeling. Recently, I've made the decision to transition from modeling to acting BUT modeling still remains a passion for me. Now, my dilemma is this:

    I've contacted several Hong Kong agencies, one of those I am a part of for direct booking only (so Im still freelance) and each agent had told me "My look is too strong for the Hong Kong market, but the height is not an issue. Perhaps try the European market?"

    I've also gotten in touch and dropped in on open calls with several European, New York and Toronto agencies and each agent had told me "My look is perfect for the high fashion industry but I am too short…You would do so well in the print/commercial department. Perhaps try the Asian markets?

    There is no in between in this modeling industry so WHERE do I fit in?

    My website is if you need to assess my physical features. I welcome all types of constructive criticism. Thank you for your time!


    Amabelle Singson
    Matti @ Elite replied:

    Thank you for you message. I took the liberty of checking out your website and you are very photogenic, and I can understand your frustrations. Unfortunately it is not we the agents that decide who can model… Our clients dictate to us who and what they require for shoots. Toronto being a very commercial market has set limitations on who can work. In my 10 years in the business, I have only seen a handful of girls (five) manage to keep a local career going in only print, as there just isn’t enough work for a petite model for a full time career. Now this is just my personal observation, but now-a-days a model needs to be as diverse as possible. I would still recommend perusing your dream, but keep your doors open. It is much easier for petite girls to do commercial print, and in some cases, print campaigns go hand in hand with television commercials. I hope I answered your question.


    Sweet Lulu asked:
    My question is for someone at vervegirl:

    How far in advance do you cast your models, and do you only contact the Toronto agencies for your casting calls?

    Sweet Lulu
    vervegirlsara replied:
    When we are preparing an issue - say September - we'll cast and shoot in July. We work closer to publication dates than your traditional fashion mags that you see on the newstand.

    Since we are based in Toronto, we call the local agencies. However, most have connections with models across the country.


    Michelle V in makeup
    AinsleyG asked:
    What is your best suggestion for landing a job in an agency? Following that, how do you work your way up to become an agent?
    Modelresource's Publisher replied:
    Hey Ainsley - I started to type a reply a while ago, but things got busy and I lost it.

    A lot of agents started by taking courses in things like Fashion and/or Communications, then interning with agencies.

    Others are former models or former artists (makeup, hair, wardrobe).

    Still others are just innocent bystanders that happened to get dragged into the frey.

    Like everything in this industry, it's all about making connections, then proving yourself as a people-person that's hardworking and creative.

    I hope that helps.

    Setting up for the first shot
    12:25 p.m. - So we've been here for more than three hours and still nary a shot has been taken. Such is the hurry-up-and-wait life of a model.

    Nothing could get started before everyone was on set to colloborate on the look and feel... from there it was choosing wardrobe, then each girl taking turns getting makeup and hair done.

    Now, close to 12:30, and we're just setting up for the first shot (and ordering lunch).

    MaHa... errr... Summer
    We've been talking a lot today about the scouting talents of Michelle Valencourt's mother agent.

    Among Michèle Miller's other discoveries are Jessica Stam, Andi Muise and Aryka Noble.

    Somehow we also got on the subject of Miller's new daughter Summer, and our stylist has now decided it's his name too.

    Irina Funtikova
    Irina left her e-mail open and I couldn't resist downloading this amazing new shot from New York... wow!

    A native of Moldova, Funtikova is off to Paris Wednesday, then to New York from there. She will stay in Manhattan for a couple of weeks, making rounds with all the other models that descend on the Big Apple for fashion week.

    By the middle of September, Funtikova will be back in Toronto to continue her studies.

    Photographer Alvaro Goveia (on the left) stands by while the models get poked and prodded

    Irina & Jordan, Jordan & Summer
    Modelresource always cautions against having boyfriends on set... but Jordan's different.

    He's Michelle Valencourt's beau, and the pair have been close for four years.

    Everyone in the Toronto industry seems to know him and he's universally liked.

    The Second Look
    1:25 p.m. - We're just starting our second look.

    New hair and wardrobe - slight alterations to the makeup.

    Random shots from the second look

    The interview
    2:35 p.m. - This is where we're at now.

    The girls, who are going to be guest-editing Vervegirl's Holiday Glamour issue, are offering their input and getting to know the magazine staff.

    The shoot has wrapped, and most of the crew recently departed.

    Aili asked:
    Hi, I was wondering how hard is it to be a model, and do you sometimes get tired of it? What are the downsides to the business and how do you play it off against the advantages Thanks in advance Aili
    Irina replied:
    It takes alot to be a model, more than I ever imagined when first getting into it although it is still not very dificult to do. As long as you are organized and energized about going to castings, about keeping up your looks and maintaining in good physical shape it will help you to feel optimistic about modeling. THe only challange I find in this industry is having to deal with so much emotionally, that being both the rejection and the admiration. Another difficulty is trying to always meet new people, to meet the right people, make sure you are known and seen by everyone.

    There are so many more advantages that play against the downsides. Some of the few is the pampering, the attentiion, the treatment that we get as models, both in the studio and outside. The traveling is another MAJOR plus. How many teenagers out there get a chance to travel the world, experience different cultures, exlpore the variety of traditions and just live a life that's out of ordinary? Basically, I do it as a hobby therefore do not feel like I have to ever work. p.s. nu kak , dostatochno?

    4:00 p.m. - We're wrapping it up. Michelle Valencourt is taking a break from the international circuit these days, and has to get to her day job in Barrie for 5:00.

    Thanks a lot for following along.

    Modelresource will keep you up-to-date with more about this special issue of Vervegirl in the months to follow.