AS A woman who regularly flicks through the trashy magazines on a Sunday, I, like nearly every other female, often wonder just how some of the girls who flaunt themselves provocatively on the glossy pages came to be there.
Wearing the most desired designer jackets seductively off one shoulder and peering over the top of top-of-the-range specs with legs until Tuesday, you wonder at which moment in time did that glimmering image of beauty come to be?
And for one very lucky Winchester girl that moment came at the Birmingham Clothes Show seven years ago.
For the then 15-year-old Alex Rose March, the Perins School girl living on Pound Hill, the day was like any other. Living with her mum, Lesley and two older sisters, Georgie and Charlie, Alex didn’t think much of tagging along on the textiles day trip with her friend even though she wasn’t interested in fashion.
“I wasn’t even doing textiles at the time but my friend went and asked me to go,” she said. “I’d never thought anything of it before. There was another girl at the school who was with Storm and everyone understood she was the model. I was a massive tom boy; I wore Doc Martins and fishnet tights and didn’t brush my hair! Then it was like someone had come up to me on the street and asked for my picture.”
Things quickly changed for Alex when she was spotted by an employee from Select Model Management before she went onto study her A levels. Soon she was juggling her time between Peter Symonds College and posing for top photo shoots as well as coming face-to-face with one of the biggest icons in the industry.
“I think my favourite moment was when I met Stella McCartney in Selfridges,” she said. “I mean it’s Stella McCartney! She was so lovely; it throws you off when you meet someone of that stature.
“My favourite shoot was with Griffin, the menswear brand. They own Loveland Farm in Devon and it was so old fashioned and they were so self-efficient and it was just having a laugh really, proper country bumpkin!”
And despite working with such famous people day in day out, she still has silly-girl crushes just like the rest of us.
“I’m completely in awe of Matt Smith; I’m a massive Doctor Whovian!” she said. “I’m a bit sad he’s leaving. He’s the dream, I just want him to take me away in his Tardis!”
And the buck doesn’t stop there. Being 5ft7, with auburn hair and piercing blue eyes and a professional model, you’d think she’d need no help with her wardrobe.
“The people I most look up to are my family and my sisters. If I’m about to head out the door and they say that my outfit’s crap then I’ll change. They’re my best friends as well as my sisters.”
Her favourite designer? “Zadig & Voltaire. Without a doubt. If only I could afford it!”
And what about her home town? “There’s a wonderful song by Frank Turner called Wessex Boy which is all about that feeling you get when you go home and it’s so fitting. Wherever you go you’ll meet someone from Winchester. It’s one of the most safe and homely places you’ll ever go; it’s a different world.”
And what about the industry? While girls might look pretty and have a bone structure to die for it’s not always accomplished healthily.
“This is something that is extremely close to my heart,” she said. “Women should love themselves and never feel that they have to conform to something, I’ve been too skinny for some jobs and in fact I’ve been encouraged to put on weight. There is this undercurrent that you need to be thin but to look good you need to look after yourself.”
Any advice? “Some girls are quite young when they start and don’t know their bodies yet but if you know your own mind and you have the right support you can be skinny and healthy at the same time. Hold your own; I think you should be as true to yourself as possible and know what you’re comfortable doing.”