Last year model and yoga instructor Lou Kenny – now 59 – made headlines for ruling the runway for Vogue Australia at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Week and now, as New York Fashion Week draws to a close and London Fashion Week is underway, the blue-eyed, grey-haired bombshell is reliving what it was like, before, during and after that dream day.
“I was super excited, a little nervous and extremely stoked. On top of that I was also honoured.”
“Absolutely it really is madness, which I find quite unnecessary. I will say though that this one was under the direction of Mark Vassallo (who is now here in UK heading up Far Fetched) and he has such an air of calm and control that prevails so all was relatively smooth sailing backstage.
“My own personal motto is ‘less haste, more speed’ – we all have our own individual dressers, so I make sure we go carefully through the garments together checking for any tricky bits, shoe changes and all.”
“Shoes, it’s always the shoes. With any new shoe at home I’ll wear them with socks to break them in, but of course that’s not the case at shows. I’ve come away with blisters on blisters. Oh and the heels! I sometimes practice at home vacuuming in heels. Very seldom I might add, and definitely not when wine is in the mix!”
“It was on a grand scale, one of the largest audiences I’ve ever seen (in number that is). It was a very hot evening in Melbourne and the venue was The Royal Exhibition Buildings, which due to its heritage listing does not have air conditioning, so the whole audience, all 2000 + of them, were fanning themselves with the programs.
“There was no “catwalk” as such, not elevated anyway, instead we walked on the floor, a beautiful historic parquetry floor that felt so solid and rich underfoot which is empowering in itself.
“The width was about four meters or more and the audience seating was fanned low to high on each side, with a barrage of photographers at the end blinding us with their flashes (on cameras that is – haha).”
“As we lined up backstage ready to strut our stuff, there was a monitor of front of house for queueing purposes. I was watching that thinking ‘OH MY GOD! Yikes, gulp, here we go, head high, don’t give a – you know what!’ and off I went. I remember as I approached the runway the crowd began to applaud and this grew to a roar. I honestly didn’t know what was going on (maybe a celeb had come on behind me?) I might add I was the only older model in the show, and as it turned out the appreciation was for me. Wow, I was chuffed.”
“You get back what you’re given, I treat everyone how I wish to be treated. We work as a team. Some chose not to be part of the team. Yes, it happens but you find those folk don’t always get asked back. I aim to blend, I don’t need any concessions, my advantage is my experience and trusting in myself to deliver and deliver well, without raining on anyone else’s parade – pardon the pun.”
“Yes, I probably am more appreciative all round these days. I did take it for granted in my 20’s – I thought they were lucky to have me! oh dear what an attitude, I laugh about it now. However I do feel its a two way street, we (clients/myself) interact on a different level now, we are all just trying to make it look appealing and cool.”
If you enjoyed this interview with Lou Kenny find out what else she had to tell Lumity about self-confidence and cartwheeling at 59. The model swears by yoga to keep her healthy inside and out and she’s not the only one. Read Jules Mummery’s account of how yoga changed her life.