Behind the Scenes with model Amanda Bandsgrove
As a brand, we are passionate about being for women of all ages with the goal to make them all feel beautiful. Being fairly new to the Repertoire family, I had the honour and privilege to work with Amanda for the first time at our July photoshoot. Such an authentic and clever soul with a wealth of experience in all forms of the arts, teamed with an exceptionally superb sense of humour!
Amanda has featured in past Repertoire and Repertoire Lounge collections including Night Bloom, Dark Star and Alter Ego as well as our most recent collections Higher Perspective, Madame Butterfly and…well… we don't want to spoil next week’s launch but, WOW!
Amanda has been such a huge part of our recent Repertoire journey, and I wanted to share with all of you my short interview with this incredible woman/model/mother/artist/mentor.
Amanda Bransgrove was born in Cromwell, New Zealand. By the age of eighteen she had won several creative art competitions, packed two large suitcases and hitchhiked to Wellington to become a model. Within a few years she was doing makeup in the film industry, producing her own fashion shows and in her late twenties set off for NYC with a modelling contract with Ford Models. In her early thirties she returned to New Zealand and completed a Bachelor of Design in Photography, graduating with honours, and was awarded Young Photographer of the Year, 2004. Amanda has been a spokesperson and guest speaker for the modelling industry, a Mother Agent for IMG Global and mentor to young photographers, designers and creatives.
Q. You’ve had so many interesting jobs in so many different industry’s….give us a flavour of some of your career highlights and the industries you’ve experienced?
So many highlights really, a few that were game changers
Modelling in the televised Benson and Hedges & Smoke free fashion awards all throughout the 90s - two weeks of rehearsals and a bus ride to Wellington with 30 Maysie Bestal-Cohen models, was so exciting, we always had such a hilarious time the final two years I wore the supreme winning garment I was at the top of my game.
Got a call from my Maysie to tell me I had received contract to go to NYC and model for the prestigious FORD Models it was 1995 and I was 28 years old.
Worked on the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour, had to say NO to Mick Jagger not once not twice but three times, I will not go home with you. (Jerry Hall was my ultimate hero back then.) lol
Worked second unit Make-up on a Walt Disney Film ‘Shipwrecked’ shot in and around the Fiji Islands with an industry career spanning over 18 years.
Won Metro Magazine young photographer of the year 2003 for my old Hollywood portraits.
Photographed in the camera pit, back stage and after parties at NYFW for three seasons. Was nothing short of amazing. Could have written a book 2008-2009 I love NY.
Lots of great shows as creative director for over 28 years-one happy memory was up at the museum for the BMW Art Cars- I had dances body painted like the Andy Warhol and other art cars on stage, my models the dancers the music were all perfect I had free range to design the stage & lighting, music and intro to celebrate the Art Cars in town to the VIPS. I even had my daughter model in the show…mother like daughter.
Q. How were you ‘discovered’ or how did you get into modelling in the beginning?
It was a phone call at home when I was 17 and asked if I’d like to enter the Miss Central Otago in Alexandra. My older sister Janine and I did it together and I won! (and that’s a story in itself #metoo)
As soon as I turned 18 I packed two large suit cases and 4 boxes and hitchhiked to Wellington to become a model at CI One Ltd, Wellington’s top modelling agency which I had read about in the NZ Women’s Weekly.
Q. What is the hardest thing about modelling?
The hardest aspect was staying positive from all the turn downs. But for me I was always chasing the rent and being creative, so I wasn’t sitting home waiting for the phone to ring…the other real aspect was getting my body in shape….best body after my three children…go figure.
Q. We’ve been working together for sometime now, why do you love Repertoire?
The best part of this job is the drive down to Tauranga for two nights…the getting away! I love my own silence while driving, its meditative and grounding.
The cherry on top is working with these great gals, so much fun and laughter and I really feel we are all birds of a feather and supportive & encouraging with each other’s creative work. Plus, each outfit comes with an "OMG, amazing, fantastic"…so you know, I leave feeling very loved.
Q. You are so busy with your modelling and photography work, how do you manage to find a healthy balance between work and home life?
Neither modelling or photography is work. I’ve always loved modelling, maybe not the long hours of having to hurry up and wait but when its show time or I’m in front of the camera it’s a narcissist dream and never without a laugh.
My photography these days is very much about nature. I’m working on my exhibition coming up at the end of November which id love you all to come along to at Studio 541 in Mt Eden.
Q. What would you be doing for absolute relaxation? Tahiti? Taking photographs? Walking your dog?
Absolute relaxation is being out in nature with my dog Smilo,. We wonder off for hours around the coast line and deserted beaches and I talk to the birds, hug the ancient trees and whisper my dreams and promises to the wind.
Q. Who’s your fashion muse or who do you respect in the fashion world and why?
Sadly, my muses are almost all dead, I must be getting on too. They were and are Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, Alexandra McQueen artist/illustrator Antonio Lopez and Karl Largerfeld
Q. Any goals for 2019?
My husband and I have talked about some leisurely travel around Europe for a few months in 2019 - maybe….NZ just feels so much safer, also wanting to move back up on the beach in the far north.
I’m currently back at Art school in Auckland learning to draw and paint. With the fashion/film/show/industry behind me it’s time to reinvent myself for my next career.
But first I have to get through this week @ NZ Fashion Week as ‘Editorial Girl’…my Instagram undercover.