She is a striking beauty, has killer style and uses this all to promote her positive outlook on body image and size diversity. We sat down with Louise O’Reilly-a model who leads by example- to find out how she got her start in the industry, when she wore her first pair of heels and what she still dreams of.
How did you first started working as a model?
“I was approached by an international agency when I was about sixteen to model, but I was told I would have to loose weight. A few years later I heard about plus-size modelling and I thought I would give it a try. My friend had entered me into a curvy modelling competition, which gave me a taste of what it would be like, and I just loved it. A week later I signed to my first agency and from there on I started working around the globe with various clients.”
Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood?
Where did you grow up and did fashion play a role in your childhood?“I grew up in a small but beautiful town called Malahide, which is in Dublin. I was quite a tomboy growing up as I have two older brothers, so I rarely wore dresses, which my mother laughs about because I am very involved with fashion now and I would live in dresses if I could!”
Were there people in your environment that influenced your style? Or do you have any other early style influences?
“My family always had an interest in fashion in some form. Both my grandmothers were extremely glamorous with a real Hollywood style about themselves. My father travelled regularly for work. One of his main clients were in Italy, as a result he spent a lot of time between Milan, Rome and Frosinone, which meant he really took an interest in Italian fashion and their effortless style. Something that he always speaks about even now that he is retired. Growing up my mum had the most incredible wardrobe, with beautiful pieces she had collected over the years and could never give away. Unfortunately, we are not the same shoe size and I can’t steal her shoes! Looking at it, overall, I think together everyone has brushed off on me in some way.”
You are now based between Dublin and London. How would you describe the fashion culture in both cities and how do they differ?
“They are quite similar in many ways as both countries share a number of fashion stores that would be specifically in the UK and Ireland. However, I do find the fashion culture in London has a greater sense of individualism that you wouldn’t see that often in Dublin. I find this quite admirable, because Londoners are so carefree and very expressive of their own unique style. Dublin is slowly getting there too; in particular we have an incredible amount of talented fashion designers who are making their mark on the fashion industry around the world. We have phenomenal talent in Ireland and more designers are appearing every day.”
Does the style culture in these cities affect the way you dress? Or your attitude towards dressing?
“I have been lucky enough to travel a lot the last few years and I have picked up a number of style influences from Germany, Milan, London and New York too. Some days I prefer tailored minimalism, others I indulge in bold prints and accessories because for model castings we have to keep our look basic, such as jeans and a plain top.”
How would you describe your personal style?
“My style would be girly, but with an edge of some kind. I am quite fond of biker looks, so I tend to have this kind of twist to my outfits for the daytime. For evenings out I like more feminine pieces.
What is it about style/fashion that intrigues you?
“The fact that fashion is ever changing and how various cultures shape a kind of identity and expression through their own style, I love this. It gives me constant fashion inspiration for my Style Me Curvy, particularly on my model travels.”
First time you wore high heels?
“It was for my sixteenth birthday, they were a pair of kitten heels, which at the time felt like skyscrapers.”
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned about style and body image since working as a model?
“Working in this industry I soon realised that regardless of size, everyone has something about themselves that they don’t like, even the most beautiful supermodels in the world. We are human, not perfect. Modelling taught me to accept and embrace my body and what I have. It has helped me so much, particularly when speaking to my readers. When it comes to style, I feel regardless of a trend at that moment in time, it is always important to have your own unique stamp on a look to show your individuality.”
“Spend time looking at what styles work best for you and your body type. There is a myth that buying items a size bigger will look more flattering, which is untrue for any size. If street style inspiration is your issue, research fashion blogs that you feel you can identify with, who’s style you admire.”
Most memorable fashion moment?
“It would have to be about two years ago. I was approached by a top agency in Europe while I was working on set for a big catalogue company. At the time they didn’t have any plus size models, I that event I was one of the first girls to be a part of their new division. It was a very big moment for me.”
What item in your wardrobe do you love most and why?
“My biker jacket – it goes with so much, whether you want to be dressed down for a casting or you want to give an edge to a party look. It was a gift from my boyfriend and it has been the best item I have ever owned.”
Never out if fashion?
“A little black dress, it’s a must have. I probably have about five different kinds from the more casual to the glamorous. It is always appropriate and the easiest item you will ever purchase for accessorising.”
“I have many fashion dreams, when I first began modelling I wrote a list of goals of what I wanted to achieve. Shooting an editorial for VOGUE or another prestigious magazine is still my number one on that list. Since starting Style Me Curvy my fashion dreams have expanded all the more. Promoting fashion diversity and body image is extremely important for me and I will explore that to the best of my ability. I am also hoping to one day to be able to collaborate with a top brand to design a collection that caters for every kind of curve and body type".
Published: 12/01/2014 - 06:30
Source : http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-curvy/glam-and-curvy/2014/12/intervista-a-louise-o-reilly