Bianca Gardner on being a model

We asked six models to answer a few questions about who they are an how that shapes thier experiences at Charleston Fashion Week. Here are Bianca Gardner's thoughts. -- We'll be updating these throughout the week, so keep checking back.

My favorite fashion trend for summer 2009 and what I'm rocking now

Check out Bianca Gardner's profile.

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Summer is always a good time to get excited about new trends. This year I look forward to garden colors like bright oranges, yellows, vibrant greens, and fuchsia. Big gold jewelry and long summer dresses with a pair of cute gold sandals and shades make any appearance stand out for this summer. To make an outfit your own it is easy and cheap to find some of your mothers’ old jewelry or even make your own! In this budget crunch who wants to go out and spend more?? That is why I love finding old jewelry from family, make your own or even shopping at Goodwill, because they have that boho chic look and you know no body else will have it. If the economy weren’t down the drain I would be on a spending frenzy!! Buying over-sized dresses, scarves and loads of accessories to make all of my outfits shine.

My favorite pair of shoes are my Steve Madden cowgirl-ish boots. These boots look good with any outfit and have a nice heel. I rock these boots with jeans, loose dresses and skirts, but I think it looks cutest when accessorized with a scarf. I also love, love, love my elephant necklace. It is a big gold elephant charm on a piece of long black leather. I got my elephant from the a flea market in Spain and I have always heard that an elephant with the trunk going upwards is good luck, so I said why not! It looks cute with any outfit and brings me luck! Since I have bought the charm, I have won Miss Junior at my school pageant, 1st place in the DECA state competition, I have been elected Senior Class President, I won Miss South Carolina Perfect Teen, and I have been cast in a new independent film! See, it is my lucky elephant!

A favorite wardrobe inspiration

European fashion, especially in Spain, is my inspiration when it comes to my personal wardrobe, because I like to stand out. I always follow these trends, making me different from all other girls my age. European fashion is ahead of the game which makes me a trendsetter among my school and friends. Two of my favorite European stores are Zara and Bershka. Zara is a great store with cute clothes for every occasion. Bershka on the other hand has clothes full of color and life at an amazingly cheap price! My favorite store of all time everywhere is H&M! They always have the newest trends for great prices it is just unfortunate that we don’t have one close by!

When I think about fashion trends from the past, I think about looking ahead and finding new trends. What’s done is done, now let’s create something new! But… if I could pick some fashion trend from the past I would like to see some more bright clothes and long flowy dresses.

A favorite fashion experience from the past

My favorite modeling experience was my first year in Charleston Fashion Week. When I first stepped on that runway I realized my true passion for fashion and felt the sensation of true high fashion modeling. I knew this was where I was destined to be and it opened my eyes to so much more. Then I thought… wow this is only the beginning, wait till next year. And, of course, the 2nd annual CFW was so amazing. Charleston Magazine and everyone who has put it together have made me become addicted to Charleston Fashion Week! I have been in it since the beginning and I will be there till the end.

Some words of wisdom for aspiring CFW models

I have a little advice for aspiring models for CFW 2009. Do your homework. Study high fashion walks, posture and fierceness. Be confident and wear things that flatter your figure. I have been a Charleston Fashion Week model since it launched and the one word to LIVE by is be fierce! I love fashion week and to all you aspiring models, you will see me next year as well!

I have my hands in a few fashion-related events in 2009. I have done photo shoots for Tresses High End hair salon and Bob Marcrum Carodel Photography for senior portraits. Most recently, I was in a fashion pageant where I won the title of Miss Perfect Teen South Carolina. You are always hearing that pageants are fake and phony, but this one had a lot to do with individual style, sense of personality and fashion. These types of events can definitely help you with getting hired for modeling jobs. Now after competing and winning, I am on my way to Orlando in August to compete to win America’s Perfect Teen. I have already been called back for pageant/prom dress print work in magazines. I will probably stay in Charleston for a good while, unless I hit it big, which hopefully I do! I love it here in Charleston and we are starting to rise in the fashion industry, so I will be sticking around!

On designers, preparation, and getting amped

My favorite line by Valentino is Collezione Bianca, not only because it’s my name (lol) but because they are beautiful pieces of art and they never go out of style.

My favorite fashion designer is Garavani Valentino. In all of his collections, his clothes are so classy and chic; they make all women look powerful. My favorite line by Valentino is Collezione Bianca, not only because it’s my name (lol) but because they are beautiful pieces of art and they never go out of style. Valentino Red is also one of my new favorites because the pieces are very bold and original.

Outside of rehearsal I have been practicing in my house with a mirror at the end of the “runway.” I have read Vogue, and viewed CFW videos from previous years to improve and update my walk. What has helped me the most is watching European and top designer runway shows on My diet and exercise are the hardest things for me to keep up with, because I come from Spain where there is so much good food! I have just learned that you need to suffer for your dream and passion. Since I realized this was my dream career I have learned to love grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, salads and fruit. I exercise daily and always make all the painful stuff as fun as possible!!

About my experiences at model rehearsals and in-store fittings

They wanted to see more outrageous things that would really catch attention like pulling hair, picking fights, and anything else you could think of that was out-there and sporadic

One of the things that really helped me during the rehearsals were the critiques on walking. I felt that there was a little bit too much chatter and we all could have focused more on each others critiques more (but there is nothing wrong with bonding with the other models!). Also to prepare for fashion week and other modeling jobs I run every day and do plenty of sit-ups to keep my body in good shape.

At the store dress rehearsal every experience is different depending on what each store is trying to accomplish as far as their look. Biton has been wild, just at the audition we had to give them more than just our fierce walk. They wanted to see more outrageous things that would really catch attention like pulling hair, picking fights, and anything else you could think of that was out-there and sporadic. II Brunettes was, of course, such a fun dress rehearsal and fitting. Leslie Bohannon Lupisella and Sarah Leigh Moody are two wonderful store owners and always know how to have fun yet remain professional at the same time. These girls are always smiling and are concerned about how their models feel in the clothes and what ideas we have. These two don’t treat us models as hangers! Haha! They really like to get into our heads and see what ideas we have and what we would like to do on the runway.

I listen to all types of music in preparation for CFW. You never know what you’re going to hear on the runway so you need to be ready to strut it no matter what genre of music. I really think that on the runway the music playing doesn’t matter and it should really be about the clothes and line you are representing … however I do think it is very important to stay on beat with the music and not walk too fast to the rhythm.

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