2014 COC Finalist – Eleseren Brianna
- Blog: http://eleseren.blogspot.co.uk/
- Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/105540839@N03/
- Country of Origin & Language Spoken: England (UK) & English
- Why have you entered Colour of Couture – Top Model Competition?
COC is both a challenging modeling competition and a celebration of Women of Colour in all their unique heritages and diversity. In this competition the only thing we need to ‘conform’ to is the expectation that we will work hard and stretch ourselves to be the best we can be as models and stylists. This competition is a chance to ‘strut our stuff’ and stand proud and equal and visible as women and Models of Colour. I don’t think Modeling in SL is as narrowly focused on being White/Caucasian as it once was perhaps, so maybe the need for ‘challenging’ the tyranny of the ‘norm’ is not as strong as it once was. Perhaps it is more now about celebrating the beauty and talent and skills of models who are proudly and openly Women of Colour.
Personally speaking, I cheerfully identify myself as a ‘London Mongrel’ (Mongrel is a mutt, a dog of mixed heritage), and I wear that label proudly because I value all the cultural heritages in me (English, Spanish, Irish and Highland Scottish). I entered this competition because I wanted to honour and celebrate my Spanish grandmother and the heritage I carry in me from her. She was a first generation Brit, her parents were immigrants to came to the UK at the end of the 19th Century. Such was the time they lived in that they needed to effectively destroy their own identity in order to ‘fit in’. They anglicised their surname from Perez to Perry, and all their children had English christian names. That has always seemed so sad to me. I make a point of celebrating my Spanish heritage because it is a proud and amazing one. In entering and taking part in this competition I am saying to her and my ancestors ‘I am proud of you and who you were, you are part of me, and I am part of you’.
- What particular qualities, personality & style should Miss Colour of Couture posess?
For me, it is important that Miss Colour of Couture should be proud of who she is as a woman, a model, and a Woman of Colour. This is not to be confused though with arrogance or a sense of superiority. She should be warm, friendly, helpful and supportive. She should strive to be the best she can be, as a model and as a human being, working hard to keep improving and never believing she has reached a place where she can stop learning. She should be generous in her help and support, of other models, and people in general. To her fellow models she should provide encouragement, inspiration, and help where she can. It is a privilege to be Miss Colour of Couture, but with that privilege comes a responsibility. Others may look to her as a role model and someone to aspire to be, so she should be the best she can be, inside and outside, in all ways, as her presentation, attitude and behaviour may be copied, and it will certainly be linked to the perception of Models of Colour in SL, and to the Colour of Couture Competition itself.
As to style, well, we all have our own individual style when free to express ourselves, and that is cool. As a model Miss Colour of Couture should be impeccably presented at all times, in whatever style she espouses, and creative and perfectly groomed in her styling, paying attention to all the little details so that she looks as perfect as she can be. As Miss Colour of Couture she should also bear in mind that she should think about wearing and styling Fashion that reflects and celebrates ethnic diversity and heritage at least at times in her personal styling and blogging/flickr. At the same time, as a model, she is in the service of the Designers who she works for, and the briefs she is given to fulfill as a model. In this situation she should be prepared to present the style *they* wish her too, with all the talent, grace and impeccable presentation she has at her disposal.
- What are your thoughts and feelings about fashion in Second Life?
What is your role as a Woman of Colour in SL Fashion?
I am both a Model and a Designer in SL, so inevitably my thoughts about SL Fashion are influenced by both the ‘hats’ I wear. SL Fashion is a hybrid of ‘real life’ Fashion and Fashion trends, and the creative potentials (and limits) of this virtual world and the coding behind it. I personally think fashion here works best when it takes the best from both worlds and works them into a synthesis. Of course it is important to follow real life Fashion as it develops, and to take inspiration from that, but (and this may be contentious) I personally think Fashion in SL shouldn’t feel the need to ‘conform’ completely to real life Fashion either.
After having spent some time largely away from SL, on a smaller grid, and having fully returned a year ago, i am simply blown away by the richness of fashion in SL, the products, the standard, the talent. For me personally, there are some designers here who rival in talent and vision many real life fashion designers. SL Fashion deserves to be celebrated in its own unique diversity and heritage, in the same way Models of Colour in SL should be. There is a real resonance for me between the two.
As a Woman and Model of Colour I should be championing SL Fashion, both in its unique character as mentioned above, but also in working to promote and celebrate Designers who work from their own heritage and culture, and add their flavour to the rich ‘stew’ of Fashion here.
- How will you promote the Miss Colour of Couture competition as a finalist?
How will you promote the title of Miss CoC should you win?
As a Finalist I am happy and proud to tell people about the competition I am involved with, and its aims. I give people the website link and the flickr group link too (and I have the website link on my blog). I have passed around the landmarks to the runway challenges. I have a specific Colour of Couture set on my flickr. I am a new blogger, and now blogging my challenges too (though I will sheepishly admit to time squeezes affecting the timeliness of this a bit at the moment). I have also created a Colour of Couture Pick in my Profile and I have put a sign with a web link giver, at the landing point in my shop.
If I was lucky enough to win, I would continue with all of the above. I would compete in MVW to the best of my ability, aiming to achieve the best I could, knowing I was ‘flying the flag’ for Colour of Couture and Models of Colour. Likewise I would put my best efforts into organising a Charity Event that would not only help my chosen charity, but also boost the visibility of Colour of Couture. I would take the fact I was an Ambassador for Colour of Couture very seriously, knowing that my conduct and professionalism and presentation reflected back on the title and that I would be watched and judged, and that if I did my job well I could be an inspiration to future models considering entering the competition, or even just being proud to be women and models of Colour.
- What sort of impression would you like people to have of you if win the title?
What impression would you like to leave with them if you do not win?
Much of the impression I would like people to have of me would be the same whether I won or not. I would like to leave people with the impression that I am open, friendly, sincere, helpful and supportive. I would hope people see me as a hard working and dedicated model who will never stop trying to learn and improve. I would like people to see that I always give 100%. Additional to the general points above, if I win I would like people to see I am passionate about representing models who are Women of Colour, and about the importance of being proud of all our individual heritage and ethnicity. I would like to leave people with the impression I am dedicated to my role as Miss Colour of Couture, and aware of all the responsibilities this implies. If I do not win I hope that people are left with the impression that I am a good and dedicated model and a decent human being, who participated in the competition for sincere and passionate reasons. I would hope they would see that I would treat taking part as a privilege and also as a learning and developing experience, and that I am someone who accepts disappointment with grace.
- What do you envision your activity in SL to be a year from now?
What goals and ambitions do you have?
I have been in SL now for over five years and fully expect to be finally evicted from it when Linden Labs pull the plug! I know I will still be modelling and designing, and working to keep improving my skills in both. I want to continue to be in shows, and to work for Style Kingdom Magazine and to cast for Fashion Teller publications. I hope that I would have been good enough to have taken part in Miss Virtual World 2015, and also eventually to be good enough to be invited to join Blvd Models and to take part in their shows. Styling is a passion and I will continue to style, for my blog, flickr and for the above. I hope eventually to be considered good enough to teach models about styling (and also prim editing etc in the service of styling). I hope to improve my photography skills (and find a tuition course that works with GIMP!). I might even find time to learn to make my own rigged mesh! SL is an endless source of creative potential, and like now I fully anticipate I will be busy, having fun, and working on developing my potential.
- Briefly summarize your professional career as a model in SL?
Certificated MBMA, MVWA, Catskillz
Agencies – L’Amour, AIM, Solo Evane (also Nexus Model)
Official Model – Style Kingdom Magazine, Fashion Teller
Styling wins – 4x Models Magazine, Models Workshop
- Do you have any additional comments you would wish to share?
I would like to mention two things. Firstly I am a fairly new model, having got my first certificate in June of last year, but I am working extremely hard to build a presence and reputation as a model. Secondly I would like to say how amazing I am finding the experience of being in the Competition. It is fantastic to find an opportunity that not only touches on my passion about the importance of celebrating the diversity and richness of this incredible species we happen to be a part of, but also pushes me and stretches me as a stylist (another passion of mine). Even when I mess up, its a chance to learn and hence a chance to improve. Its great to be doing this as part of a great bunch of women. I am learning so much from observing my fellow competitors, and making friendships at the same time. I truly am having a blast, and getting so much out of it, whatever happens in the long run.