Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Models Apartment EVER!!

I have waxed and wanted poetic in the past about how bad the conditions of models' apartments usually are....but once in a while you hit the jackpot and Names in Milan gave me my pot of gold. Names had several apartment suites reserved in pensiones around Milan. Mine happened to be in the Pension Garden.

Whereas most models' apartments lacked in square footage and furnishings, this one had a really nice lounge area, that led to the bathroom (with a proper shower!!) and then the bedroom. The kitchen was in what I assumed was a closet in the living room, but it proved to be adequate enough for the two of us. After all, in Milan the food is aplenty and a trip across the street to the Bar Cafe was always perfect to satiate our hunger. We also were privy to free lunches at different spots around town...a model perk in Milan. :) The apartment also had large windows that sung open over a pleasant courtyard and the building had a concierge and secured entry. I was in model heaven.

Being that this was an apartment-suite we also had all of the amenities that we could want...a washer and DRYER....and the dryer part is exciting because those are not de rigeur in Europe or Asia. We had a great assortment of pots, pans, plates, and matching silverware! It may not have been sterling silver flatware and the plates were plastic rather than Pfaltzgraff dinner sets but they matched, were unbroken and abundant. Up until that point I was used to using chipped bowls for every meal and plastic utensils...or rusted and bent ones. I guess the agencies assumed that models wouldn't be eating anyways! lol!

The few times we stayed home and cooked with our actual pans and tableware...(my favorite was pasta with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella)...our meals looked like something worthy of a Food Television close-up. Life was good....and this would be just the start of an amazing, amazing, amazing season in Milan.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zit Explosions

I have to make a slight detour and talk a little about models and their complexions while traveling. There are a select few who suffer from nothing more than a slight case of chapped lips or an oily forehead...but the rest of us do go through some skin trauma every time we travel.

Due to pollution, water conditions, changes in diet, lack of sleep, dehydration from long plane trips, most models will end up with a random explosion of zits during the first few weeks in a new city with nary an English speaking Dermatologist to be found. This, of course, is horrible because you want to make a great first impression on your agents and the new clients and photographers you'll be meeting. Walking around with a few prime goiters on your face is not exactly worthy of great self-esteemage.

I was mostly lucky in that I would get some minor break-outs that I could cover with some concealer and that would clear up in a day or two, but once in a while I would develop a nice crop of cystic acne somewhere painfully obvious like my chin that would make me cringe at the thought of leaving my apartment to face the hypercritical world I worked in. Hell, I probably would've cringed to go work at a burger joint when my breakouts were that bad. Luckily, the more I traveled and worked, the more I found out that models having skin issues while traveling was as common as finding out that people get boob jobs and laser hair removal in Los Angeles. Also, the more I traveled, the less my skin would was starting to get used to the "abuse". ;)

I had make-up artists sympathize and tell me that they are always working with girls who get bad skin...especially in the bigger, dirtier cities like Milan, Athens, Paris and Taipei. They would suggest washing my face with bottled water, but the cost and pain in the assness of doing that was always daunting and eventually my zits would leave of their own accord and not return so it was all good. I also finally discovered tea tree oil soaps and astringents and that, to this day, has kept my pores clear.

Having had a Smartphone or real internet access during those times of skin crisis would've been nice. When I was traveling for work we all still pretty much depended on obscure internet cafes that charged up the wazoo for an hour of slooooow internet connections. I know that being able to hit up a site like Celibre or even WebMd would have helped me figure out how to prevent skin scares in the first place.

I remember out of sheer desperation, I ended up burning a little patch on my left cheek. Not burning as in "with fire", but a week before I was to be in Asia for a contract, I developed a stress zit smack dab on the middle of my cheek that had its own heartbeat and looked like Vesuvius. Painful and I knew I couldn't hide that thing. So I kept dabbing it day and night with Benzoyl Peroxide and rubbing alchohol and lo and behold a few days later the bump was gone but my skin was black in that spot. BLACK AND CRISPY. The burnt skin finally peeled off the day I was supposed to fly out, thank God. But still...gross.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Crazy in Milan

Ok, where was I...this Swine Flu fried my brain.....ah yes....Milan.

So, there I was living in an overloaded models apartment, not being able to shower or sleep or keep food in the kitchen. I had made my agency a lot of money the season before and felt that I deserved better living conditions. Why not, right? I mean, I know that models apartments are pretty much crap no matter where you go, but this was ridiculous.

After a few days I decided to go in to talk to the owner of my agency about moving me to another apartment. I knew that there was room for one more girl at the apartment that I had lived in the season before and I wanted to move over there. The owner, Patti, freaked out on me and told me that I couldn't live at the apartment on Paolo Sarpi because I had let an Italian man move in there after I had left and gone back to the States. WTF?!?!?!?! She said that a month after I had left, the cleaning lady had walked into the apartment and there was a guy living there who threw the keys at her when confronted and told her that I had sublet the apartment to him. Ummmm...WHAT?

The thing is, when I left, there was a Swedish model moving in...she was in the apartment for a few days before my departure and during that time she had another female model move in as well who had been kicked out of her agency and was therefore pretty much homeless. The Swede was a BITCH. She was an older catalog model and patronized me to no end for the few days she was there. I hated her and I'm sure the energy was apparent. I'll always believe that she was the one who handed my apartment keys (which I had left on the coffee table and asked her to return to the which the bitchnazz agreed) to one of her Italian friends with an aside that it was me who gave him the keys should he get caught in there. Aaaah...just thinking about it makes me so mad still!!

So, there I am trying to relate the story to Patti about Swedish C**nt and her key trickery, but she would have none of it. I didn't even have any male Italian friends the entire time I was there.....we models hung out together and didn't have much to do with the locals. Just how it was. So, Patti insisted that I stay at the apartment I was in and that was that.

I decided to take things into my own hands....I moved out and in with my make-up artist friend, Derek, from Miami who was in Milan for the season. I stayed there for a few days, and then when my friend, Marcus, from Taipei found out that I had nowhere to stay he booked me a room in a nice hotel for a week so that I could get my bearings and figure out what I wanted to do. I've since lost touch with him, but that was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.....I'll never forget it.

After moving into the hotel, I found out that my booker from last season had moved on to Names Agency so I gave her a call and went in to meet with the bookers. Names signed me right away and found me a gorgeous...and I mean NICE apartment with a sweet Bolivian roommate....yes, just ONE move into right away. They faxed Patti at Eye for I and told her I was moving on....Patti got mad...oops....but that was that.

Names ended up being an even more top notch agency and they really housed the models in the best apartments of any I've seen. You cannot imagine how happy I was! The caliber of my castings went up too and I was seeing Armani, Conde Nast, Byblos (for whom I booked showroom for a month), Diesel, RePlay and was great. My roomie was amazing, we got to speak in Spanish all the time, and so my new season in Milan began.....

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I got the Swine Flu. H1N1...whatever you want to call it. Let me get back to feeling human and less undead and I'll resume my posting.

Thanks and stay healthy!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Need My Fashion TV!!!

And now I have to rant a little...random...and I promise to get back to my adventures in Milan...but...

I had a friend on Facebook post that he wondered why Fashion TV is not readily available in the United States, yet you can watch it pretty much anywhere and everywhere else in the world. His post made realize that, not only was he right, but also that I too missed watching FTV. I wanted to make sure I hadn't just "missed" it on my TV listings and that my cable service was indeed pumping this goodness into my house...but nope. No Fashion TV channel to be seen...

If you haven't watched Fashion TV in the past, it is a channel dedicated to airing fashion shows from around the globe 24/7. With great music pumping, you are exposed to all of the hottest trends, models and education in fashion akin to sitting and reading a pile of Italian Vogues. For models, the channel is great as a tool for learning what walks are expected on the runway for the season. What can I say...I heart FTV. And now that I'm thinking about it, I'm getting even more uber nostalgic about my traveling days than I normally am! Would my cable company know what I was talking about if I called and asked for my fashion show channel to be hooked up? And why, pray God, is this channel not offered as a normal part of any package? Fashion is good!! I want to watch runway shows, not porn or fishing. I get the fishing channel on my TV....but no fashion. Hmmm. This could be one reason why Europeans think we are so ass backwards when it comes to couture.

Or maybe it's just a coastal thing....I do remember that in Miami all of the condos I lived in had FTV....and NY too....Do we need to demand Comcast and TWC on the West Coast to give us runways, trance music, gorgeous people and f a s h i o n 24 hours a day?? I think yes. Give me that hedonistic pleasure, please. All the flannels and Birkenstocks around me are making me a sad girl.

Euros, Gold Coins and Scoliosis

I have to clarify....when I was working in Europe the Euro was still kind of trying to make its way into the banking I would get paid in whatever the currency of the country I was in was at the time. And while traveling around for pleasure or direct bookings, I would have to change over my money at Forex stations. At the time, it was fine...I didn't know better, but I would have killed to have just used the Euro! One currency no matter where I about simplifying things. Also, I'm sure I would have had a happier bank account had I been paid in Euros as opposed to, say, lira. Euros would have been as welcome a form of payment to me as a nice pile of gold.

The economy was a bit better when I was traveling for work...not GREAT, but better....I still managed to make a nice living for taking pictures and wandering the earth. I didn't need to be paid my weight in gold coins (cue the model/waif jokes) to ensure that my bills at home were being paid as well as my stomach was being filled and I could shop if I so wanted...and yes of course, I wanted.

The thought of looking into alternate currency or investments never crossed my mind then, like they do now. I find myself listening to CNN's financial advisors and wondering if I need to convert all of my dollars into gold bullion or talk to my bookers in town about which client will be willing to pay me out in a big fat gold coin rather than the customary payroll check. It's crazy. I miss my carefree money days...even if I did have to carry a bag full of foreign coins heavy enough to give me the scoliosis I am pretty sure I have now.

And if you have no idea what all this talk of gold is about, there are plenty of websites that can inform you about what a great investment gold is. Sites like are great for keeping you updated on the value of gold, the trading trends, as well as can tell you what exactly bullion is....which is a good thing. You don't want to walk around telling people you are making an awesome crockpot creation using bullion.....yeah....

All this talk of gold coins, Euros and money in general is reminding me that I need to start getting all of my receipts and tax schtuff in order....almost that time of year. I am a Qualified Performing Artist after all! ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

No, I Don't Get Free Clothes (aka I Heart Diesel)

The economy being what it is, I've decided to accept some offers to write about websites that I love on Peacocks. Mind you, I'm being very picky and only accepting clients that I already know, use and trust. I just wanted to give you all the heads up in case you find yourselves wondering how I went from whining about my craptastic models' apartment to couture underwear. To be honest, I love couture underwear and I do not love living like a sardine. I also love a little cash in hand...and who doesn't? ;) So...consider yourself warned and don't love me any less (or more, depending on who you are...).

As a model, people have asked me ad nauseum if I ever get free clothes, shoes, etc. from my shoots or fashion shows. The answer is a resounding "NO!". Actually, if I really think back....I got a free pair of socks from Adidas for a commercial I did for them once, and a track suit from a NIKE shoot...the art director was amazing. I have worked for trade and gotten sweet items from Portland designer, Sofada , but that's about it. So, like the rest of y'all, I have to SHOP for my duds.

One of my all time favorite websites for great deals on shoes and even greater customer service is Zappos. They not only carry insanely great, to the minute hot shoes, but also clothes and now...yes...even underwear. Diesel underwear. I heart Diesel be honest, I heart anything by Diesel. I used to spend countless hours and dollars ahem...Lire) at the Diesel store at Piazza San Babila in Milan. Had I had a boyfriend at the time I would have had to insist he wear the Diesel boxers too....have mercy. Why didn't I get a pair for myself?? Anyways, back to what I was don't have to live in a cosmopolitan center of fashion to buy the latest from has your Diesel wish list ready to mail out....and you know that Diesel underwear is on the top of that list. Admit it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Moving My Model Self Back to Milan

After my last stint in Taipei I hightailed it back to Milan. All of my friends and roomies had left Taiwan so I was ready to head back to Europe and re-surround myself with my crew. Returning to Milan was nothing short of a homecoming. I was going to be represented by my old agency, they had bookings already lined up for me and one of my besties from Miami was going to be there for the first time, the bellisimma Marissa Juliette! This was bound to be an amazing trip!

The minute I got off of the plane, boarded the express to Cadorna and disembarked in the city center with all of my luggage I felt fit to burst with excitement and anticipation of another amazing season in one of my favorite cities. I got my cell phone charged (Omnitel baby!) and headed for the agency. Everything seemed the same once I walked in except for my favorite booker, Giorgia, was missing....and no one would say why. Then I was told that the apartments were all overbooked and that I would be living with 7 other girls and to please take a cab to the apartment right away to wash up and get ready for castings.

That was the first red flag...a taxi? My previous season I had been driven by the agency driver in the agency car (yes, emblazoned with Eye for I on the side) and graciously helped with my luggage up the three flights of marble stairs to my apartment. Hmmmm. The second red flag was that I would be living with 7 girls rather than the 1 or 2 from the season before. SEVEN girls in a tiny Milanese apartment.

Ok, I'm not a picky girl....I could handle it. I took the cab and got to the apartment. Once there, I Quasimodo'd my suitcases up the stairs (the lift was broken) and met my roomates. The first one I met was a drop dead gorgeous redhead named, Judith Bedard. We bonded as she was another half Cuban like me. I liked her right away, she had a no nonsense thing about her that was refreshing. She then showed me the only open bed in the was a little bed in the living room of the apartment that had a sagging mattress because it was missing 4 slats right in the middle of the bed. Nice. Then I saw the kitchen, where every shelf and countertop was covered with food, and lastly the bathroom...the single bathroom for SEVEN models. SEVEN. And to make it all the better the shower only ran a piss warm, shoelace sized stream of water. Luxury.

After washing up and meeting a few photographers, I was dead tired. I grabbed a panino and a bottle of water from the paninoteca downstairs and made a beeline for my cot. It must have been around 9pm and after eating I was ready to pass out...jet lag from Asia to Europe is a bitch. But, since my bed was in the living room, the idea of privacy or getting any sleep at all was going to prove less realistic than a two headed unicorn showing up in the foyer. As I was getting comfortable in my saggy bed, a sweet little girl from Alabama came in with her Canadian boytoy and after two seconds of introductions, they started making out and then watched a movie on the TV. I started to feel a little homicidal at that point.

This was NOT starting off how I had imagined or expected it to.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Go to the START!!

LOL! For all of you new visitors....I just want to make sure you start this story from the top....

Just go into my archives and find my very first post and go from there...makes much more sense that way! :)


I found my journal and another box of modeling pictures. This week I'll be indulging you, ok, myself...with the rest of my adventures in modelhood.....

and on that note, I want to welcome my cousin, Christine Perez, to my world! She has been offered a contract by a top Miami agency. Her career is about to take off and you better believe I'll be living vicariously through her when she's on the road!!

Ciao tutti! Be back on Tuesday!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back from the Dead

Good's almost Halloween and I just realized that Peacocks on Leashes has been pretty much left to rot. In time for the ghoulish holiday, I am bringing this blog BACK TO LIFE. Muahahahahahaa!! It's been too long, and I still have stories to tell....I want to get all of my adventures onto this page and bring you all up to date on what my life has morphed into...still modeling, but somehow juggling two kids, a husband and the real world. See you SOON! :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

FINALLY!!!!!!! The Taiwanese Tearsheets!!!

I should be ashamed of myself, I know...for making everyone wait so long to see these beauts. I am also beyond ashamed that I cannot find the catalogs tears of me posing in various, divine polyester blend outfits on inflatable furniture....the stuff Versace could have only dreamed of, may he rest in peace.

To make up for some of this (and I will be self flagellating a la old school religion, if that helps any) here are some of the tearsheets I scrounged up from my last season in Taipei....lots of work but I dug it. Workaholic that I am. ;)

Yes, this was a wig, and YES I LOVED IT!


Taiwan was great for my magazine cover repertoire....I was the Teen Cheese Smile Champ on the Isle of Formosa:


(I may have posted this one before...I can't remember which season I got this cover in...but it fits in with the afore mentioned title...)


And from the teen queen look I would go directly to the Ladies Fashion genre....




And throw in some ad campaigns with the super HOT bowl cut:


As well as some more ad campainage in which I stare adoringly at a pair of miniscule mules....


I have to say that one thing I adored about working in Taipei is that I never knew what I was going to end up looking like at the end of a job. Sometimes I looked 15 and sometimes 35, sometimes I would look like Anime, and other times I would look like an starstruck Liz Hurley....but it was all good. I played dress up a lot as a little I guess I had a lot of practice when it came time to start W O R K I N!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Oh, my good lord....I just realized that I have all but abandoned this blog. TWO MONTHS since my last post? Now that is just scandalous. I must admit that life has been insane, busy, immune system impairing....but I was just digging through box of old modeling pics for a career day presentation at my son's preschool and then remembered that I left you all hanging with a promise of pics from my last stint in Taipei. Well....wait no longer. Tomorrow will deliver those hot as hell shots to ya!