April 18, 2019 3 min read 1 Comment

Dear Fashion Friend:

Catherine DiSpigno, who modeled for www.aleyacollections.com earlier this April, is an artistic and gifted young lady. She enjoys the wondrous outdoors of the Pacific Northwest, and is “passionate about the environment, sea turtles and everything that has life.” Her modeling career includes stints with www.wearfringe.com and www.kristinabozanich.com. Catherine, who I follow on Instagram, was kind enough to exchange emails with me about fashion and her modeling career. Her emails were heartfelt and insightful. I want to thank her for taking the time to respond to my questions. Thank you, Catherine.

When Catherine was a high school junior, she did a fashion assignment with the photographer Andrea Beilner (andreamichelle-photo.com) for www.wearfringe.com (2017). “After my first shoot with Andrea,” Catherine writes, “I was thinking to myself that maybe this is something I can do.” She notes how she “really appreciated working with the other models. I was able to watch them, and they made me feel comfortable in front of the camera and gave me advice.” Andrea “made me feel beautiful and comfortable.” Andrea also shares some laudable words about Catherine. In an email conversation, Andrea told me how “she was one of my ambassadors and” how “she’s super fun and willing to do whatever it takes for an image. She’s super sweet and carefree. I love her.”

Catherine, who lives in Bellingham, Washington, loves animals and is active with Happy Tails, a haven for abandoned dogs hoping to be adopted. She admires models like Claudia Schiffer and Charlize Theron, and fashion designers like Alexander McQueen. Her fashion resume includes working for some of Seattle’s finest designers. Catherine has a knack for boho fashion as can be seen in her Fairhaven, Washington photoshoot with www.aleyacollections.com. “I love the carefree look,” she told me an email. “Somehow I feel the most comfortable in it. It's the vibe. I think that I am a free spirit.” On a more personal note, Catherine applauds the great people she met at www.aleyacollections.com. “I can't say enough,” she commented, “about Aleya. She believes in me, gives me advice and yes, critiques me. She is my motivation, and hopefully one day I get to meet her.” Catherine finds Aleya’s fashion collection “diverse in style and color.”

Our email conversation turned to fashion photography. A few years ago, the model Stephanie Seymour made this captivating point about the making of “an iconic” photo:

“It’s when something is memorable, but in a searing way—an image that becomes burned instantly into a person’s memory and brings back all kinds of personal memories for them at the same time. It’s something that has that kind of effect on a large number of people.”

Catherine concurs with Stephanie’s observation. “I think that you can be a beautiful model,” she notes, “but that does not mean that when someone looks at your images that they will remember you next month, maybe not even next week. The image needs to be creative; the model needs to be able to tell a story with her body and her expressions” Catherine concludes with this lovely reflection: “The eyes are the window to the soul. It is that raw moment that gets you.”

Finally, I asked Catherine how she prepares for a photo shoot. She starts with plenty of sleep followed by breakfast in the morning. This approach seems to work. Kristina Bozanich (who is a photographer and owner of www.kristinabozanich.com.) and Daniel Keane (who is a hairstylist and owner of www.serenzasalon.com.) came up with the “Sunset” look for Catherine. The photos found at www.kristinabozanich.com/makeup/catherine-dispigno-sunset are breathtaking. While the results are quite beautiful, I cannot help but wonder how arduous the photoshoot must have been. On her website, Kristina described quite well how they dyed Catherine’s hair with “sunset colors” and how they spent a considerable amount of time applying – and then later removing – her makeup for this Midsummer Night's Dream-like photo assignment. Kristina concludes by noting that Catherine “was such a trooper; … she is a smiley, young girl who is ready to take on the world.”

Again, I want to thank Catherine for taking the time to answer my questions. She has my best wishes in all her endeavors. And as for you, dear Fashion Friend, I hope your visit to www.aleyacollections.com was an enchanting one.


Gabe xoxo

P.S. I draw a passage from my blog post “Fashion and Summer on Mackinac Island” (February 23, 2019) for today’s blog post.

Gabriel Kikas
Gabriel Kikas

1 Response

Jeff Arendt
Jeff Arendt

August 29, 2020

Gabe: I enjoyed your new blog about Catherine. It was interesting to learn of her background and her intro into modeling and all that she has learned and accomplished. It was awesome you mentioned the collaboration between model, hair stylist, make-up, and the photographer. Truly is a team effort to make beautiful photos. I really agreed with Catherine and Stephanie Seymour’s comment about " The eyes….the window to the soul…." making photographs memorable. Reminds me of a certain SI Super Model, we both follow, known for her beautiful eyes ! Another great article…..Thanks, Jeff

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