BY STEFANIE BLANCH
“At Prada there was just this table full of pasta, there was meat, there was so much and I just watched all the models. Since it was my first time, I was quite stereotypical as well and thought maybe it was just me.”
At the age of 16, Dubbo-born Lara Carter was scouted by Priscilla’s model management and welcomed to the world of modelling with Prada and Louis Vuitton exclusives.
“I got scouted with Priscilla’s at my brother’s basketball party, one of Priscilla’s friends was there and took some photos,” she says. “I was at Priscilla’s house the next day. It was odd standing their and being scrutinised; is she a model, or no she’s not a model? Kind of scary.”
It was less than one year later when Lara Carter was told on a Monday morning to be ready by 2pm, “You are going to Paris and Milan,” she was told. “It was crazy, I was so nervous and I was just freaking out. My agent came and was backstage and helped me. But people are so stereotypical about the modelling world; it’s definitely not true. It’s not the crazy, stressful experience that people make it out to be.”
While she is personally “quite shy” when meeting new people, the industry is full of models who are “very loud and outgoing. Backstage at Prada for my first show, the designer was there, and she stood there just staring at all of us. But then with one minute to go girls were running around with only a top on trying to find their outfit.” While onlookers often classify the industry as outlandish and intense, Lara says indifferently, “I feel like a lot of stuff in the fashion industry is last minute.” She didn’t follow fashion much before, saying she doesn’t “really know any models or designers so it was strange trying to know what to say and not offending them in those situations.”
When talking about the modelling industry Lara shattered many of the glamorous preconceptions about the life of a model backstage. She says, “While modelling you have a lot of time to yourself because you wait a lot. You go six hours before a show and they do your hair and makeup and you just do whatever you want, so I would just be studying and doing assessments that were due the next week.”
And makeup, I asked, how do you feel about makeup?
“I hate it. They spend so long putting it on and I just hate it. I didn’t enjoy that process.” But when it came to experiencing Paris, “It was amazing, so much better than Milan. The food was really good. But after a long day you didn’t really want to explore. At Louis Vuitton you would be there, like, 10-11 hours a day and you were exclusive so you can’t walk any other show, you would just sit there. And if they want you for hair and makeup they would say, ‘Oh can you come for hair and makeup now’ and try on clothes but other than that you just sit there- there were days when I sat there for 11 hours and did nothing.”
And where is home for Lara?
“Dubbo, definitely. Dubbo is still home.”
Amidst the new look of the fashion industry, Lara is still focused on school and home. When asked about her typical day, the response was simple, “Basically just schoolwork. Life doesn’t seem that different to my friends. I only do work on the weekends and in school holidays. I’m more focused on school than doing jobs. I will definitely finish year 12. Might have a gap year and just try it out- see if I like it.” She is still grounded firmly in Australia, visiting her hometown often, admiring Australian-born Miranda Kerr and reading Vogue Australia and RUSSH.
So, how about her working for Australian designers?
“Yeah, I mean sure, I guess I would like to.”