Estelle Digridi caught our eye at London Fashion Week this time last year as she walked for Pam Hogg’s AW16 collection. The Prowlster caught up with the French model for the first of a series of interviews – ‘Girls on Film’ – which ran through 2016.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Estelle Digridi and I’m a full time model.
You are originally from France but living in London – how did you find the move?
I originally came to London on a summer holiday to my auntie’s place and I decided to stay. It wasn’t a huge decision to make as I love London, the English language, and I always wanted to be fluent. People are so open minded and welcoming here and I’ve never met so many people from so many different nationalities.
You walked for Pam Hogg, Yana Chervinska and FAD during London Fashion Week, how was it?
It was so exciting but also the most tiring week of the season. So many castings to go to which makes you run a marathon across the city to try to attend them all. The euphoria when you’re being told you’ve been booked for a show! All the stress that comes with the preparation of a show, when it’s your time to shine on the runway and also the fashion parties. You’re going through a roller coaster of emotions and you’re lacking sleep which is why I got sick mid week. But above all, it was a very exciting experience to get to know people and enjoy the adrenaline rush before going on the runway.
What were your highlights?
The show that made my fashion week was Pam Hogg’s. I’ve always wanted to work with her and despite her being very well known in the fashion industry she’s such a lovely person. I love her clothes because they are very rock’n’roll and colourful which reflects the way I dress everyday. She doesn’t conform to all the society and beauty standards and her shows are always full of surprises.
Describe a typical #LFW day?
On showday I will often wake up at 7am. I don’t have time for breakfast so I grab some fruits, nuts and a bottle of water or a smoothie to take with me. Getting to the show venue is always a rush and when it’s winter, my oversized green faux fur coat is the wild card to keep me very warm. I’m so happy when I arrive in the prep room and I see so many familiar faces. We like joking around and gossiping to pass the long waiting time. After a quick fitting I head straight to hair and make up then on to rehearsals.
Time for some selfies with the girls, backstage pics and interviews before going on the runway. “It’s about to go down!!” To de-stress before it’s our turn, we usually end up dancing to the catwalk theme music. Everyone claps at the end backstage because we worked as a team and all that hard work paid off. We go back into the prep room and you’re always gonna either be invited to an afterparty, or someone will suggest that we go to this or that fashion party to network. I usually get home at 3-5am. If I have another shoot or show the next day the cycle goes on or otherwise I would be resting the next day.
Did you catch many other shows?
I didn’t really have time to go to a lot of shows this season however i was invited to attend the Tata Naka presentation in which, one of my model friends took part. I really enjoyed the inspiration of the 1970s-1980s era with bright colourful outfits and how they paid tribute to iconic personalities such as Grace Jones and Diana Ross.
I ended up being one of the videographers for the ‘Live Fashion XI’ street show. We had models catwalking down the middle of Oxford street, climbing the scaffolding in Wardour street with a grand finale street catwalk in Brewer street, right in front of the new LFW venue, mixed in with the cars, the BFC security staff going crazy and finally the mounted police showed up to disperse the crowd. The whole show was insane. You can actually find it on Youtube by searching ‘Live Fashion XI’.
I would love to model for top designers, Dior, Channel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dsquared and many more. My dream would be to catwalk in big shows in the other three major fashion weeks: New York, Milan and Paris and travel around the world doing what I love the most.
Top models like Jourdan Dunn and also models that are not afraid to have their natural hair out such as Lineisy Montero both motivate me to step my game up in this industry.
How would you describe your style?
When it comes to my clothing style, bright colours, quirky, edgy and unique looks attract me. I always like wearing clothes that not a lot of people would dare to wear.
Where can we see more of your work?
You can follow me on instagram and you can see my full portfolio of stills and videos here.
Words by Annique van Niekerk