Despatch: Jemma Baines from Paris Haute Couture

Jemma Baines for
South Australian model Jemma Baines reveals what goes on during the Paris couture shows.
Following a stellar week in Paris walking for Chanel, Giambattista Valli and Valentino couture, Jemma Baines is on the fast track to fashion fame. Here, the 18- year-old South Australian model and daughter of artist Andrew Baines shares her experience of working with Karl Lagerfeld, her ready-to-wear hopes of walking for Mrs Miuccia Prada, and the creature comforts she’ll be missing this Australia Day …
What do you love about haute couture?
I love the personalisation and the extra detail that is put into the garments. The houses source the highest quality materials for these beautiful dresses. It’s nice to be a part of the creative process as they fit, and often design the pieces for certain models to wear, particularly if it’s with Chanel or Valentino.
How was the experience of walking for Chanel?
Working with Chanel for my third time is no less special than the first. I have a closer relationship with the house and it’s amazing when a particular couture dress comes and it fits you perfectly and Karl gives a nod of approval. The shows are always fashion forward and I love being a part of creating fashion history.
Can you tell us more about your blog, Cheddar’s Cruel World?
I began my blog at the beginning of the year with a lot of pressure from my mum. Originally, it was for her to keep up with my adventures but lately I have gathered a following of interested fashion people and friends. I just write, from my perspective, what happens during my travels. The name of my blog comes from my nickname, Cheddar.
You’ve been travelling a lot in the past year. What has been your highlight? 
My favourite place I have travelled so far for modelling is London. I love the cool vibe and the culture. I can never feel homesick when I am there; it just has everything. However, I have the essentials that I need with me, like Hamilton Everyday Face Sunscreen, my computer, camera and my Oreos.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen on a plane recently?
Pitch Perfect. I love Rebel Wilson!
What are you looking forward to about the upcoming ready-to-wear shows?
I am excited to be going back for my third season but I am not looking forward to the cold weather. I love the heat of the Australian sun so it’s unbearable. My ultimate goal this season is to book Prada or Miu Miu, so it will be all worth it.
What creature comforts do you miss most about home?
Being able to talk to my mum, her all-year-round fruitcake and holding my Italian greyhounds.
Have you made any major fashion purchases lately? 
I haven’t made any major purchases yet but I do have my eye on those Prada spring collection platforms.
Where are you headed next?
I am heading to New York for the ready-to-wear shows.

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 How long have you been modelling? 
For about 2 years while at school on the Sunshine Coast. 
How were you scouted? 
Initially through the Girlfriend Model Search. 
What’s the best thing about modelling? 
Travelling and meeting such creative people and taking on a character through my hairstyles, make-up and clothes. 
What’s the worst thing about modelling? 
Being away from home and facing rejection, of course. 
Best place you’ve seen or discovered so far? 
I’m yet to go overseas, but visiting Sydney really opened my eyes. It’s a far cry from my hometown! 
What would you never be caught wearing? 
I prefer not to wear fur and on a superficial level I can’t stand tiny, ripped, short-shorts! 
Dream shoot location? 
Outback Australia seems incredible and the Scottish Highlands too. Paris has been on my mind as well. 
What’s the most random thing in your bag right now? 
A lovely little flower I found on my way home from the beach. I forgot about it, so it’s looking a bit sad now. 
What was the last thing you bought? 
Two comfy shirts from Tree of Life in Bondi and some yoga pants. 
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 
I say “that’s ridiculous” quite a bit, I think. 
Who is your celebrity crush? 
Matt Preston. I like a man who can cook! 
Strangest place you’ve ever shot? 
My own backyard. I could tell that the neighbours were watching through the fence … 
Which talent would you most like to have? 
I would love to be able to write songs and poetry, and learn French or Japanese.