All of 19, Rachel Varghese won Season Four of Channel V's 'Get Gorgeous' model hunt earlier this year, has bagged a contract with world-famous modelling agency Elite and is becoming something of a fixture on the catwalks of Mumbai. In a telephonic interview with rediff.com's Sanaya Dalal, this young catwalk queen discusses winning the reality series, her career and what she's learned about the fashion industry in such a short while.
Tell us a little bit about your background -- how did you get into the fashion industry?
Well, I'm a Bombay girl and I come from an average, middle-class family. At present I'm a student of St Xavier's college and in my final year.
As for my career, I've always been interested not so much in fashion, but in clothing. I guess many young girls dream of being a model and it was always at the back of my head -- you know, one of the things I'd like to do in my life. Since my 11th I have been dabbling in a few assignments here and there -- I wasn't into modelling in a full-fledged way, but I did a few assignments. And when 'Get Gorgeous' came along, I was told by friends to audition. So I did, I got through as one of the 10 finalists and I ended up winning the competition. It's been a turning point in my life and I'm very glad I took part in it!
Which was the first successful assignment that got you thinking you could make modelling your full-time career?
My first major successful assignment was a Satya Paul print shoot -- you know, for the catalogue. But it didn't really get me thinking I could make modelling my career. Since the beginning I was always told that height is a major issue when it comes to fashion. I'm 5'7" Ė- I fall one inch short of the required height. But I wanted to prove everyone wrong because you know, you donít have to necessarily be absolutely tall to make a garment look beautiful! My height definitely didn't work against me in the GG competition because to some extent even the people from the fashion fraternity agreed that I could pull off a garment or do well as a model, so that wasn't a problem.
What is your average workday like? After all, you're still in college and in the process of getting an education alongside your modelling career.
For most of my work I request people at auditions and castings to accommodate me after 1:30 in the afternoon, once college is done. I head off to work after my lectures for the day are over and since I also sing in a band (Zephyr), I sometimes head off to band practice after college.
I get up early for lectures -- but there are days when I can't get out of bed. I think that happens to all students sometimes! But life has definitely become more hectic after winning the competition, specially because I now have a lot of commitments I have to honour, being the face of GG. I have even been told that it should be my main priority and it's true, because I'm not going to win again. So along with my studies, which of course I have to complete, my career is a large responsibility -- I'm in my final year and sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do! Still, I'm keeping myself in the loop and hoping everything goes off well!
Photographs courtesy Channel V
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