>> At a screening of her documentary Picture Me last night, model Sara Ziff, who is a senior at Columbia University, shed a little light on her next project: she's looking into forming a professional organization for models, because as independent contractors as they are now, models have few workers' rights. “I’ve been talking with my adviser at school about how best to start something, whether it may be a labor union like SAG [is] for actors or a nonprofit organization," she explained. "That’s what I’m going to do after I graduate. I want to see it happen and to do it full force.” [Style File]
Former Vogue Italia Cover Model Amy Lemons Recalls Her Agent Suggesting a Rice Cake a Day, Fellow Models Ingesting Cotton Balls
>> For her final Spring 2011 New York Fashion Week video installment for The Cut, Sara Ziff — whose documentary, Picture Me, is out in New York theaters now, talked to Amy Lemons, who started modeling at 13 and was on the cover of Vogue Italia (left) at 14 — "I had just gotten my braces off." Lemons recalls of a few years later: "They told me I needed to only eat one rice cake a day, and if that didn't work, only eat half a rice cake a day. My agent told me that. I was 17, they were telling me to be anorexic, flat-out. At the shows there were girls eating cotton balls, these young girls, 16, would dip [a cotton ball] in juice, eat it, and you wouldn't eat for five days after it. The level of the money that you're making, you can't say no. It's like, 'Well maybe I might get really sick for a little bit from the cotton ball or whatever, but I'm going to be able to pay for my family.' I mean, some of these girls it's like, do or die." Another model, Vanessa Perron, pipes up in the video: "I got told to get liposuction by the owner of an agency." [The Cut]
>> Sara Ziff's Picture Me Documentary Gets a Public Release Date —Model Sara Ziff spent five years sneaking her ex-boyfriend Ole Schell into fashion shows, photoshoots, and parties so that he could capture video footage without anyone knowing; the product is Picture Me, which takes a look at the underbelly of the modeling world. The documentary made the film festival circuit last year, but it's finally premiering to the public at the Angelika Film Center in New York on Sept. 17. Ziff will also be doing video reporting at The Cut during New York Fashion Week. [The Cut]
>> Over the course of five years, Sara Ziff snuck her ex-boyfriend Ole Schell into fashion shows, shoots, and parties so that he could film "without other people realizing it." Sometimes he got thrown out, but they were able to collection hundreds of hours of footage along the way, which they edited down to produce Ziff's documentary, Picture Me, which exposes the dirty underbelly of modeling.
In it, the stories are hardly pretty. Ziff told the Guardian about a 16-year-old model who complained to her agency when a 45-year-old photographer made a pass at her: "Her agency said she should have slept with him." She captures another model talking about how weight is approached: "In castings, people have slapped my thigh, and I'm not in any sense overweight, I never have been. I've been the same weight for a long time, but they'll slap your butt and be like 'Oooh, fat' in Italian or in French. 'It's too big here.'"