Julia Nobis and Bambi Northwood Blyth – both repped by Premier in London. Photo: tfs
Are you up to date with Entourage, Californication and The Office? Me too. It sucks. Gossip Girl has wrapped for the summer with a melodramatic and ridiculous finale, and I'm still waiting on that second season of Freaks and Geeks. So yesterday I was flicking through the Watch Series website, trying to find something new to entertain me on a Sunday morning, when I came across a show named The Model Agency. I clicked on it, and immediately became obsessed. Filmed in the weeks leading up to fashion month in September last year, it's a fly-on-the-wall look at the real-life, everyday goings-on at one of London's top agencies, Premier. Recognise the name? Not only do they represent stars like Julia Nobis, Baptiste Giabiconi, Hannah Holman and Bambi Northwood Blyth, but founder Carole White was the woman who told a war crimes court last year that Naomi Campbell had lied about the nature in which she received blood diamonds from ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor.
The Model Agency is all about the dramas that take place behind the scenes. In the first episode, Premier attempts to launch the career of a 16 year old rising star at New York Fashion Week, who lands State-side then has a complete meltdown and thinks she wants to quit the business. The second episode examines the mounting tensions between the commercial booker who brings in all the money, and the editorial and show bookers who attract prestige – spoiler: it climaxes with the commercial booker storming out of the office, and Carole White screaming a lot of obscene words.
The third is filmed during London Fashion Week and follows Julia Nobis around backstage and in-between shows, arriving in London late at night after New York Fashion Week and having to run straight to castings and fittings until the early hours of the morning. The fourth shows the frustrations associated with booking male models, focussing on Nathan Sutherland, the English boy who ended up in New Zealand with Clyne for a few months earlier this year. And that's as far as I've gone thus far.
The show is unscripted, so the action literally unfolds before your eyes (with a little careful editing now and then). All drama comes from the diva bookers' loud personalities, long hours, huge workloads and testy friendships. It is brilliant, and none of the team or the models seem to notice that there's a camera recording their every move.
To whet your appetite, watch this one clip that follows one of the bookers giving a naughty young model a serious telling-off. Amazing.
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