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Last Monday, while the fashion world waited with bated breath for Raf Simons’ debut at Dior, Alex Yuryeva had a backstage sneak peak at one of the most highly anticipated couture collections in recent memory. “I was superexcited to see the clothes because we’ve all been waiting for over a year, thinking ‘Who’s it going to be?,’” Yuryeva (Silent Models) told WWD over the phone after the show. “He brings something entirely new. It’s a nice change for Dior.” We got the inside scoop from the Ukrainian stunner on everything from the packed casting to the Dior Red lip.
WWD: What do you like most about doing the couture shows?
Alex Yuryeva: Being in Paris in general and couture is a bit less busy than ready-to-wear so you can take your time, enjoy the city. Couture brings out all the designers’ pure creativity. You see these beautiful dresses up close that most people never get to see and you learn so much more about fashion and the craftsmanship, seeing the designers work on these pieces in front of your eyes.
What was the Dior fitting like?
A.Y.: With couture, the fittings are usually very last minute. And I was actually lucky because mine was early, four o’clock in the afternoon so I wasn’t there all night. If they don’t finish everything and if it’s not perfect on you, they don’t let you go. It needs to be amazing, then you can leave. It was actually great for Dior, though, because everything fit us all perfectly so they only needed to make little changes. Raf’s always nice to the models, always asking, ‘How are you?’ and talks to us a lot. He pays attention to our personalities. It makes us all feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed.
Tell me about the casting.
A.Y.: It was [over the course of] a few days, maybe three. I think almost all of the girls who were in Paris for couture came because it was a huge line. It was a really, really big casting and you see everyone, all your friends. I was there for two or three hours. But they really take care of the models; they always have water and food for us. So we were all waiting and all excited to go inside and see. When you went in, the casting director gave you this small dress to try on so they can see how your body is, then you gave them your book. They asked you to walk and if they liked you, they took your picture and asked you to try something on from the collection and asked you to walk again.
What did they have you try on?
A.Y.: They asked me to try on this dress but it wasn’t even close to finished yet, so I didn’t really see what it would end up looking like. I was thinking, ‘Wow, yes! Maybe I’m going to see an outfit here!’
But you didn’t wear a dress in the show?
A.Y.: I wore this really beautiful suit. It was really cool. It was really comfortable, too. The pants fit perfectly. The details made it so special.
Your hair and makeup were pretty amazing, too.
A.Y.: The lips were a beautiful shade. They put red, then added a little coral color, then a bit of purple. There were many layers. It was a mix of so many colors. But after they put it on, you’re done. You couldn’t eat or even drink, without a straw at least!