She towers 5’9, has an alluring pout and her eyes need no touch up to make you go weak at the knees. Julia Datt, finalist of Kingfisher calendar 2012, for whom, beaches are her playground, is a perfect combo of Indo- Aussie glama-zone, that is enjoying her stint in the Indian fashion industry with panache for over a year now.
She likes sunbathe, Jet Ski, snorkel, surf, playing beach volleyball and for those who have worked with her – she is here to stay for long.
In a candid chat with Style Rug recently, Julia talked at length about her experience in India and life her life as a model/actor.
Here are the excerpts…
SR- Talk us through your experience of working for Kingfishers Calendar?
JD- The Kingfisher Calendar Hunt was one of the most intense yet rewarding experiences of my life. We were shooting around the clock daily, for anywhere between 23 to 26 hours in one go. We would sleep for two hours a night and were followed with cameras constantly. It taught me patience, stability and how to pose on top of a moving car!
We were mentored by Milind Soman and Ujjwala Raut and I definitely tried to hang onto their every word of advice. They are hilarious! There was a lot of laughing and horsing around in between takes. Ujjwala in particular was very supportive.
SR- How different is the Indian fashion market from that of Australia?
JD- Aussie fashion takes a lot of international inspiration and play highly with the beach elements. Almost all the designers do a requisite swimwear line. However people also enjoy taking pleasure in styling up for winter. Obviously the Asian elements that are prevalent in Indian fashion are absent unless the designer is doing a specific collection which incorporates these.
SR – Do you think Indian fashion market has become a little more approachable to models that are not originally from India?
JD-The Indian market appears to adore models who are originally not from India! Nowadays, I see more foreign models than native models in magazines. However, I have also noticed that height is not, such a big criteria here as it is overseas. Both my parents are Indian, but I was born and brought up in Australia with very little exposure to the Indian culture, so many people assume I’m half-Indian due to accent and manner. My strength is my versatility- I can be made to look very Indian or Western depending on makeup, choice of garb and whether or not a bindi is applied.
SR – There are not many bikini models in India who have created raves around; do you think that section has any potential in here?
JD- I would love to see more bikini modeling done here in an elegant, stylish, high-fashion way, the way Kingfisher does it and the way it is done overseas.
I grew up in a very outdoorsy, beach culture where the bikini served a functional purpose as a bathing suit, however, I feel here it is essential to display cultural sensitivity as the bikini is more sensationalized and seen as a taboo.
Of course, if you shoot a bikini in such a way that you are wearing a top two sizes too small and the poses are cheap then it’s going to create a different sense, which in turn cements unfavorable cultural perceptions regarding the bikini and those who wear it.
SR- It is often commented that modeling doesn’t have a shelf life. Are there any other career plans that you have?
JD- The great thing about modeling in India is you can do it for much longer, than the rest of the world! Established models are working well into their 30’s and 40’s. I am making the move into films because I’m finding it very difficult now to continue to contain the thespian in me.
I also have my experience as a journalist and my degree in International Business to fall back on. I’ve been lucky enough to secure every single job I’ve wanted since I was a child, due to a combination of willpower, luck and a positive attitude. The sky is the limit!
SR –You are a trained theatre actor too, is that the long term plan in India?
JD- I think I’ve done my fair share of theatre! I started acting when I was five and did theatre up until the age of 17. Now I am breaking into films, which is a different ballgame and a medium which appeals to my restless personality.
– Sandeep Verma