(ZIMMERMANN s/s’14 jumpsuit, Brixton beanie, APC coat, Matt Bernson heels, CHANEL bag from Belle Bag)
I’ve been up close and personal at the shows for Oxygen’s THE FACE, discovering new faces and looks. It’s fun for me, as a model, to be behind the scenes this season, lusting over collection after collection. ZIMMERMANN being my absolute favorite, hands down! The lace, the extra gothic chokers. So much texture and beauty. The models, with a clean face and pulled back hair, did give the collection a bit of innocence..but POW, the black lipstick just tied everything back together. I made it to the 9a.m. show right on time in of course a ZIMMERMANN striped jumpsuit from the S/S ’14 collection…yet made it winter friendly with tights, beanie, and heavy coat. I’m a total boots girl, especially when I’m headed out to castings and work, so it was fun to spend this fashion week switiching it up with heels! My feet can thank me tomorrow when I’m back in flats.
But this season was extra exhausting. With the blowing wind, falling snow, and FREEZING temps, all of us girls tried our hardest to keep in tip-top shape. Loads of water, and COFFEE cups were seen front row and backstage. I always seem to have some snack stuck in my bag…either an apple or fruit bar. As a model, it’s important to stay hydrated and energized…you never know what the next show will do to you! People pulling at your hair this way and that, wiping off your lipstick. It can be hard on your skin and your body! Nigel could tell you that! Just going from show to show in the winter weather got me woozy!
Anyways, I have been gearing up for the new season of OXYGEN’s THE FACE beginning this Wednesday, March 5th!! (10/9c) And I sat down with the beautiful and sweet, Lydia Hearst, mentor on this season’s THE FACE. See our interview about her life as a model, her blog, an inside scoop into the show, and all the funny things that happen OFF CAMERA. 

Interview with The Face’s LYDIA HEARST:
Lydia Heart’s first cover shoot for VOGUE ITALIA April 2004 photographed Steven Meisel
VOGUE GERMANY April 2005// VOGUE LatinoAmerica November 2009 (all images via pinterest)
NATALIE: What was the first thing that came to your head when you first saw yourself in a magazine? 
LYDIA: I was taken aback by it. It was so surreal. It didn’t even feel real the first moment when I was shooting on set with Steven Miesel. When I first found out what might be the cover, we were shooting in film, in 2003, just before Christmas, (the cover came out in April 2004) and he showed me a polaroid of what could the cover. He put a mock-up cover slip over it with a title on top. I was speechless and breathless. I was hoping it was true and just wondering how it happened, and that it did. 
NATALIE: There are so many models out there. What makes a model not just a “FACE” but the whole entire package? Personality? Style?
LYDIA: There are a lot of various factors. What people need to know is that there are a lot of beautiful women out there and it’s true that a few of us make it. Its important you trust yourself and that you can take criticism and know that it isn’t personal. If it’s truly what you want, then it’s something you need to fight for…you need to always be inspired and excited. Once you lose that, you lose that inner light. And that’s what people are looking for. It depends on the individual and the “It” factor. At the same time, you can grow within yourself and become more confident. What Naomi and I tried to instill in all with the girls was you want to trust your instict, trust yourself, do your best, and push for everything (whether it be a portrait shoot, editorial, or cover shoot) and be passionate. The lens will see that. As your career grows you will grow as an individual and a model. 
It’s part of having this thick skin. It’s easy to get discouraged…especially in an industry based on beauty. You have to be willing to take criticism and be up for any challenge. If you’re not, somebody else will be. 

NATALIE: How would you describe your style? Did your style evolve as a model through the years?
LYDIA: My own personal style is very eclectic. Mixing new and vintage. My style has evolved throughout the years. I’m a big believer that there is no such thing as fast-fashion. It’s all a form of self expression. It’s like if i could wear a brand new outfit everyday I probably would. But thats not realistic. On set, you get to play with a costume. Even if it’s not your own style, you have to adapt and make it your own. It’s about finding what fits. It’s not about yourself, its about bringing the vision to life with what the photographer, the producer, and magazine editor have in mind.  It’s not just about you, its about the fashion and the story. 
If you could turn into any style icon from any era, who would it be?
LYDIA:  Me right now. I love that question. There are so many eras that I like. Like Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris! It’s so easy to love the different generations, genres and trends. But we are fortunate today to live in a time where anything goes. Make it your own. As long as you’re comfortable, it really works.

Lydia for Harpers Bazaar UK December 2010 photographed by Jonas Bresnan

NATALIE: Tell me a little bit about the mentors on the show…and their characters: Nigel Barker, Naomi Campbell, Anne V? You all seem so different. 
LYDIA: We are all very different. But it works because we are all friends, so it made it so much more fun. I absolutely love Naomi and adore Anne. I’ve known both of them with them for years. And there’s not one person that doesn’t love Nigel. Everyday if fun and exciting. We all really take our mentorships to heart. You sort of fall in love with the girls. We all want to see them succeed. We do all have a different way of mentoring, but we are not just there for our own girls…but all of them on the show. 
NATALIE: As a mentor to the models on the show, what would be your words of advice for them…or to an aspiring model in general?
LYDIA: You have to love what you do, and you have to be passionate about it. Like I said earlier, it is a very fickle industry. You have to work hard and endure the challenge. If you’re not, somebody else will be. But you still have to have fun with. It is fun, you get to dress up, work with some of the world’s best photographers. The luxury of travel and seeing the world. It opens a lot of doors and opportunies. At the end of the day, modeling is a job and you have to take it very seriously. 
NATALIE: Now you’re a TV personality…is this a whole new world for you as a model? 
LYDIA: As a model? Yes. Though this past year, I have also begun working in film. I just like to have fun working and staying motiavted. The show was a unique and exciting experience for me…to come on board and show these girls what I have learned through the years working in fashion. It gave me an insight to myself. I’m still growing everyday. I love to say I know it all, but I am still learning myself. Fashion is living and it’s changing. It’s always different. It’s been a really incredible experience to show these girls and teach them what I know. But I’ve learned a lot about myself and had a chance to grow as well. 
NATALIE: If you had the chance to be on a reality show about modeling at the beginning of your career…would you have? Not as a mentor, but as a model?
LYDIA: Back in the day, when I started, these shows didn’t exist. It was a very different time. We were still shooting on film cameras. There was no twitter. I don’t think Facebook was even around. (I’ve been modeling for 11 years now). 
NATALIE: And you have such a great blog! lovelydiahearst.com Now what got you into blogging?
LYDIA: I love working, I love staying busy. As far as I’m concerned, there are literally 24 full hours in every day. I like to expand my reach. I like to say I wear a lot of different hats in a sense. I’m inspired by trends: cooking, fashion, and lifestyle. And for me, I started the blog by sharing some of my experiences with the world and showing the tricks of the trade…a lot of what i got to teach the girls on the show. But the blog is a different outlet for me. 
 NATALIE: How did you keep a strong backbone and high self confidence through the industry? It’s a tough business. 
LYDIA: It’s important to stay grounded. You really do have to get out of your head and trust your gut and instincts. I’m lucky to have extremely supportive parents. They aren’t like my friends, they were my parents! And you have to be passionate and you have to understand it is a job and stay focused and dedicated. It’s all glitz and glammer on the pages of a magazine, but it’s hard work at the end of the day. 
NATALIE: You’ve stated in other interviews that you’re 5’6″…but you have a name that’s so recognizable to the industry, a lot of people look up to you….did any of these things scare you?
LYDIA: When I first entered the modeling world, I still went to castings. I was essentially last, because I was much more petite and I do have large breasts (I hide them, but I do have them) so its not the standard. But when I photograph I have little bones and little feet. It’s an optical allusion. I look 5’11 or 6 feet tall in photos. The puzzles fell into place and I do feel very fortunate. 
NATALIE: You’re a redhead now, which I love…why the change? 
LYDIA: Honestly, the show! But it’s one of those things I love about fashion. I can wake up in the morning and have a bob and black hair. I am a natural blonde. I love the idea that you can constantly transform yourself. Having that chameleon quality is essentail. 
ELLE February 2011 cover shoot

NATALIE: What was your dream as a little girl? Was it to grow up as a model? 
LYDIA: It’s funny. I’ve always wanted to be exactly what I’m doing now: modeling, acting, and writing. It’s hard when you’re little and you want to do so much. And very few get to accomplish their dreams. I am very grateful every day and i count my blessings. I’m so happy. 
NATALIE: Favorite way to unwind? 
LYDIA: I’m a huge fan of horror movies. It may be strange, but I love to lounge on my couch and put on any horror movie that I can find. Anything on demand, itunes, netflix. I’m a horror buff.

NATALIE: Must have beauty product? 
LYDIA: Creme de la Mer. I think its extremely important to hydrate and moisturize. 

NATALIE: The song you have on repeat? 
LYDIA: new Lucy Hale song.”You Sound Good to Me.” 

NATALIE: Next destination? 
LYDIA: New York!
NATALIE: Craziest casting you’ve ever been on? 
LYDIA: I actually have 2! One from modeling and one from acting.
I went to a runway show casting…this was years ago. All the other girls were probably 6’2″ and I clearly am not, especially surrounded by all these very tall women. The people spoke a different language, dressed me up in an outfit, and I looked like a little girl trying on all of these clothes. They took out a ruler to measure how short i was!
For acting, I went to a casting and I was very very prepared for the part. I knew my lines inside and out. I went in, delivered the whole speech, and after i was done, I thought I nailed it! The whole room was sitting in silence. They said “That was good. Let’s have you do it one more time, but um, the character is blind so lets take it from there!” Somehow in my prep,  I skipped over that part! 
We all have our moments and you just have to laugh at them, shake it off, and move on.
NATALIE: So give us the inside scoop…what’s one of the wildest challenges we can look forward to with the model contestants on the show? 
LYDIA: I wonder what I can or cannot say. I know for me as a mentor, the greatest challenge was having to choose someone up for elimination. You do care about these girls and love them, and you become so passionate for them to succeed. But you know that there is only one winner at the end.  They were all so talented and beautiful and wonderful. That for me, was the greatest challenge.
Their challenge may have been finding their own strengths about themselves or accepting the unique things about themselves. Everybody has to learn to love themselves and that can be the greatest challenge of all. 
NATALIE: Funniest thing to happen off camera? 
 LYDIA: I feel we are always laughing off camera. That’s the great thing about going to work with your friends. Everything is fun, and exciting, and an adventure. I can’t give too much away now!
NATALIE: Where will you be night of THE FACE premiere? 
LYDIA: I will be in New York actually, with my fellow supermodel mentors!

Tune in this Wednesday night, March 5th, (10/9c) for Oxygen’s THE FACE premiere!

 Join the #ELLExTHEFACE Google+ Hangout with Naomi Campbell and Joe Zee! Make sure to RSVP HERE

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  1. morethanlabels says:

    First, your jumpsuit is really good and looks amazing on you.

    Then, the interview it’s very well conducted. Guess you asked all the question your readers would like to have asked. Very thorough, very focused, well done!

    thanks for sharing, xx

  2. Panty Buns says:

    I love the babydoll top shown being worn as part of the outfit in the fourth photo. The sheer fabric with floral lace overlay, ruffles and sheer black hem looks exquisite. All of the fashions are pretty. I’ll have to try to watch Oxygen’s “The Face” tomorrow at 10 somehow even though I don’t have TV at the moment. Congrats on your success in the fashion world and with your modeling career.


  3. Ivana Split says:

    What a perfect outfit you have on! I love stripes so to me it looks like a very stylish dream.

    The photographs from the runway are fantastic.

    I really enjoyed reading this interview, she seems like such an intelligent and sweet person.


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