Tourist Boards teams with Vincent Mc Doom

Vincent Mc Doom is back and ready to put local  models to work!

Vincent Mc Doom is back and ready to put local
models to work!

There’s something about Vincent Mc Doom that leaves you fascinated after spending just a few moments in his company. Two years short of fifty and looking as though he’s got the secret recipe for age defiance, Vincent left St Lucia when he was 22 years old. He now resides in Paris, where he’s an actor and a television presenter. Two months ago he wrapped up work with Jay Alexander and Russian model Irina Shayk (girlfriend of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo) for Russia’s Next Top Model, a project he’d been working on for over three months.
“When the show ended I started filming right away,” he told the STAR this week. “It’s a new movie called Kick Back and in that movie I have the lead role. I play a St Lucian woman who’s obsessed with getting pregnant and having a child. She’s a battered prostitute who becomes a secretary . . . the movie just ended. I don’t think the St Lucian public is aware of the magnitude of my celebrity in Europe.”
Vincent had been set to rush off to Poland to work with Poland’s Next Top Model when he was invited to get involved with ‘Hot Couture’. The month of May brings the revamped St Lucia Jazz Festival, and with that comes the ‘Hot Couture’ Jazz Fashion extravaganza. The event is expected to see the participation of local and regional fashion designers as well as international models with St Lucian roots and up and coming models from St Lucia. A major revelation this week was that fashion icon Vincent Mc Doom would not only be directing the Fashion Show and hand picking models at a Casting Call to be held at the Bay Gardens Inn today (Saturday), he will also be responsible for training selected models in an intensive three week training regimen.
If the sheer determination and passion in his voice are any indication of things to come, ‘Hot Couture’ will be nothing short of magnificent.
“As the artistic director I’m supposed to oversee and ensure everything is coordinated and in tune,” Vincent expressed. “I want to create a mood, I want to create an ambiance. It’s not just about having clothes on parade, I want that wow factor. I want to bring Europe to St Lucia and I want it to grow. I want this to happen every year. The way I dreamed it, I would like to see it come to life, that for me is very important.
“I felt it was a time in my life where I had to give back,” he added. “Looking at what’s going on in the practically non-existent fashion industry in St Lucia and what some people are trying to do with fashion, I am a little bit appalled with what’s going on with the hopeful models, the way they’re being exploited by so-called agencies, that are not agencies, rather hostess agencies because the work being done with these models to make them believe they can become future models, nothing is really being done. I think the people that are really profiting from models in St Lucia are the so-called agencies and not the models themselves. We do not know of any St Lucian model who’s come from an agency who’s gone onto a higher arena to become a supermodel, when I see every day walking down the street a lot of potential and talent.”
When asked what he was looking for out of Saturday’s casting Vincent responded:
“I’m looking for a fresh face. I’m looking for people with talent. I’m looking for raw talent that I feel cannot only make it on a St Lucian level, but also in the international arena. I’m looking for a model where I can go ‘wow’ that’s the next Alek Wek or Naomi Campbell, that is very important. I think we have it here and I’m sure with the casting we can get it.”
During the training period Vincent is hoping to teach models “how to respect themselves, how to respect what they have, which is necessary to work with.”
“I’m talking about respecting their hair, skin, teeth . . . all of that is very important,” he expressed. “I’ve seen too many models in St Lucia with very bad skin. Respecting what you put into your body, learning how to pose, how to learn to use the lights, learning to use the runway, learning to smile. Too often St Lucian models mistake BET with fashion. There’s a big difference with glamour and porn. They have not understood what it is.
“I don’t want to see Beyonce on a runway if its fashion,” he continued. “Beyonce is good doing ‘Beyonce’ on the stage because she has to get the maximum people interested in her, with her sexual vitality and so on, that is not fashion. She is a role model to many but she is not a fashion model; there’s a big difference. I do not want the kids to misinterpret or be misled to think that looking like Beyonce means you’re a model. I want to show them and for them to understand it takes dedication, discipline and a lot of hard work.”
When it came to modeling in St Lucia, Vincent felt the lines were often blurred, with too many people not really knowing or understanding what being a model entailed.
“A model’s job is to be a model,” he said. “You cannot be anything but a model. What I’ve realized in St Lucia, a model is a beauty queen, she’s a host, hostess—all of these are different jobs and that again is the problem with the agencies, sending these girls to make a quick buck as a host at some kind of event and she’s just there, badly dressed. A model is required to respect her image, not only in the fashion circle but publicly because she is a role model. You would not see Canadian model Linda Evangelista walking down the street with half her clitoris hanging out and with slippers on her feet and at night she’d be on the runway looking glamorous, that’s not what it’s all about. You have to look the role and act the role while you’re in public, you have to keep the role and that for me is very important.”
Simply put: “I am not looking for beauty queens at the casting,” Vincent said. “For me a beauty queen is a beauty queen, that’s a job on it’s own. I think one of the very good models we have in St Lucia, or potential model is Tara. I think she made a huge mistake going up as a beauty queen. I think it was an experience for her, yes, but it was a huge mistake and bad career move. I think she’s a very good model and she should remain a good model. She’s one of the girls who does not even need to come to the casting, I want her in the show. I want her in the show because I think she’s good and she has the makings of an Alek Wek. I think now models are supposed to be paid for their work because it’s a job so the models are going to be paid for the first time in model life in St Lucia, that they will do a runway and get paid that amount.”
Despite having given up judging another Top Model Show Vincent is determined to use this opportunity as a means of giving back to St Lucia.
“I’m giving back to society and I’m very proud,” he said. “I look at this as a good opportunity to give back and teach these models what it’s really like in the business and also to show them what it’s like to really have a show, and what it entails to put on a fashion show. Being a model is a lot of work and fashion is not a hobby, it’s a multi million dollar making business and its high time we started treating it that way.”
As if the perks that come with the show for aspiring models aren’t enough, Vincent disclosed what just might be the ultimate lure.
“We will invite model scouts from the Caribbean and the United States and they will be looking, so if some model happens to stand out, they may get other opportunities as well. If I see someone I like I can even contact the agencies in Europe and get them in touch. SHE Caribbean Magazine is involved with the fashion show and Mae Wayne is a proffesional as am I, so we’ve got a good team. I think it’s important to create that cultural bridge and to give incentives to young St Lucians who’re wishing. We’re here to create an industry that is practically non existent, but we do have the talent to create this industry and I think that is the aim of the Hot Couture Fashion Show.”

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