…Funnily enough, modelling hadn’t quite fallen out of love with me, not yet anyway and one Saturday whilst out with my friends in Covent Garden, I was approached by a model scout, this time from Storm Models, Elite’s rival agency. They asked me to come in for a meeting because they were interested in signing me. I had my mouth full of jacket potato at the time, so it was quite the surprise, a very flattering one at that. My friends all thought it was all v. exciting and that this clearly meant I would star in a L’Oreal ad by at least the end of the week, cockily rotating in a swivel chair whilst slathering myself in cream and declaring I was, ‘worth it’. However, I was by now pretty pragmatic (aka ‘totally fucking jaded’) about the business and knew that even if Storm did sign me up, it didn’t guarantee me work — there would still be a long long road ahead of me of go-sees, rejections, the occasional job, but then more go-sees, more rejections. Was I really willing to go through it all again? Was I strong enough? Not with skin this thin — that’s for sure.

I did meet with Storm though and Sarah Doukas, the owner, was so sweet, with a very supportive attitude to her models. Straight away, she arranged an appointment for me to see Corinne Day, an up-and-coming photographer and I thought why not, let’s give this a chance — maybe I’ve just been waiting to meet that one photographer who will inspire me and bring out my inner model and then I will get my model mojo back. So, after a long day of pretending to listen to what was going on in class (I was way too excited and needed to daydream about catwalks), mum and I got on the train to meet Corinne. A pretty young model opened the door. I recognised her immediately. It was Kate Moss. ‘Come in, come in. Do you want a cuppa tea?’ She asked. Now this I have to say yes to. Kate Moss, making me and my mum a cup of tea! Supermodel tea, no less! I followed Kate into what was basically a teeny tiny residential flat. Corinne was sat on the sofa and the room was full of smoke and incense; at least I think it was incense…

‘Hi, I’m Kate’, Kate Moss said to my mum, polite as a lamb, ‘I know who you are, you’re Kate Moss — you’re amazing!’ I said, ‘And you must be Alexis?’ asked Kate, I love your pictures’. Wow! I did a little dance in my head, stunned that someone like Kate would know who I was and think I had potential (even if my hips were now fast approaching 37 inches in circumference). Corinne waded in, ‘Alexis. I really like your look. I’d love to photograph you. Here’s my book, have a look and tell me if you’re up for it.’ Of course, I didn’t even need to look at it! Of course, I would say yes on the spot! Why wouldn’t I?!! Corinne was wonderful, Kate — her friend and muse, was wonderful. Everything was wonderful…

And that’s when I opened Corinne’s book and on the first page spotted a totally nude model. ‘Boobs out, foof out’ nude, I mean. On the second page, another nude. Then some pictures of Kate, tastefully topless but still with her boobs out. I began to detect a pattern, I began to spot a high genital headcount. I heard a sharp intake of breath, not sure if it was mine or my mother’s, or both. Suddenly we were like two prudes in a ‘70’s sitcom. ‘What do you think?’ Corinne asked me. Now, I was well aware that fashion modelling wasn’t opposed to the occasional tit, often a little bit of pubis, but I wasn’t ready for this, however high fashion and artistic the images were. My face grew hot with embarrassment. I desperately wanted to be cool enough to say yes and I desperately wanted to be as cool as Kate. Of course I was well aware that any pictures Corinne took of me would have looked amazing and been something to show off to the grandkids after a few glasses of port at Chrimbo, but at 15, I just knew I couldn’t face getting my kit off. It wasn’t wrong but it wasn’t for me and I suddenly felt anything but special or super and I wanted to get out of there fast, aware of my own failure to step up to the mark. I wished I could have been freer with my body but I would never have lived it down in Double Maths and it would have made Dad look at me funny (or not look at me at all), so I said ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

A few months later, Corinne ‘blew up’ (figuratively, not literally) as THE photographer of the zeitgeist, the proponent of ‘heroin chic’, earning her place in the annals of fashion history. I totally could have been a part of that alongside her. I do wonder what would have happened if I’d said yes — I replay it in my head, like that film, ‘Sliding Doors’, only with my foof and tits in the starring roles…



  1. Alexis this made me laugh out loud! And reminded me of me, as I turned down a lucrative tv commercial for baby oil as it would have had me being filmed in the shower ( it’s ok – nothing will show on screen – only the film crew and ad men will see your naked body!). Ummm actually not ok. I’m not a prude either, but just couldn’t face it. My reddened cheeks (face and bum) would have given my embarrassment away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *