What does it take to be an 'event model' at a VIP party?
Time Out Dubai Staff
Ever wondered why and how certain hostess are chosen as the ‘faces’ of Dubai’s most prestigious events? We have. What’s more, we want to know whose hair they tore out as they fought tooth and manicured nail for the gig. Cue an exchange of emails and phone calls with Bareface model and production agency (who, at peak times, can handle up to as many as 120 castings a week), a nod of approval from its event-throwing client, Dabo & Co, a respected Dubai-based public relations and events company, and we’re granted access to the casting session.
Energy company Vitol is celebrating its 45th birthday with a fire and ice-themed party at the Atlantis hotel for its employees, many of them based in Dubai, with a number flying in from Russia especially for the event. As the bash will begin with an ice-themed gala dinner, and is followed by a surprise fire-themed party, they are in need of an ice queen, two candy ladies and two dance floor girls to get the guests out of their seats. They will be choosing the lucky candidates from seven models and dancers on Bareface’s books. British costume designer, Tanya Somerset, founder of Bolli Darling – well known for its dessert-inspired outfits – has flown in to provide and fit the outfits for each of the girls.
1 There are plenty of awed gasps and squeaks of delight when Somerset reveals the headdress for the ice queen. Though certainly theatrical, it’s an intricately structured and detailed piece of work – with many of the costumes created by Bolli Darling. It can apparently take a team of up to five professionals to put together an entire outfit. We don’t doubt it! Though the other roles will require equally beautiful outfits, this is clearly the showpiece of the entire event.
2 It’s time to meet the models – though we’re three shy of the seven we’d been expecting. Nevertheless, the girls are talked through a presentation to give them an overview of the event – all the while being sized up by the designer and Beacon and Claire Green from Dabo.
3 Sensitive to local dress codes, Somerset has brought with her several options for tights, making sure the outfits aren’t too revealing yet still in keeping with the designer’s theme, layering pink fishnets over red stockings, and pulling out red and white-striped, candy cane-effect tights.
4 With the girls waiting outside, each is called in one by one for a quick chat, where height, shoe and dress size are double checked via a string of questions from the designer and organisers, as well as dancing ability (there are no routines, but the girls will need to encourage guests onto the dancefloor) and whether the girls have worn costume for a significant period of time before.
5 Once each of the girls has been seen, it’s time for the panel to discuss who will work best for the party. If Goldilocks were a real person, we’d wager she’d have a great career as a casting agent. Today, it turns out one of the girls is too small, another too broad, while there’s hesitance about another who it’s feared is too busty…
6 …Meanwhile, three of the models chat outside about who they think will land the starring role of Ice Queen – although there’s enough time to compliment each other on their outfits – while the fourth scarpers to get to a dance class in time. With five slots to fill, the odds are entirely in the models’ favour.
7 At the end of the day our Ice Queen is chosen: Brit 29-year-old, Katie Pattison Hart. Although originally her features were considered to be slightly too bold for the part, she’s finally selected thanks to her height, presence and constant smiling. Hail queen Kate!