For many young models, fashion month takes the place of a typical college spring break. Instead of Bud Light cans and wet t-shirt contests, there’s Moet and Miu Miu-sponsored parties. Instead of a walk of shame, there’s the walk down a runway.
For 21-year-old Celine Delaugere, it’s not much of a break at all—she takes her newfound work as a model as seriously as she approaches studying math at Paris-Dauphine University. “Of course, I love the experience of wearing amazing clothes – but that’s not all that modeling is about,” she said, shortly after London Fashion Week wrapped.
For the past few years, Delaugere has been obsessed with the Japanese conceptual artist Yayoi Kusama and her concept of self-obliteration. "When I’m modeling, I can feel the self-obliteration: I have to become part of the concept of the photography or the show and in a way, forget myself," Delaugere said. "I love how Kusama describes this process: ‘Become part of your environment. Take off your clothes. Forget yourself.’”
Delaugere’s chameleon-like quality served her well at Christopher Kane's fall show in London, where she made her runway debut. “I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but my mind and heart was definitely racing with excitement,” she recalled. “In my eyes, the collection expressed the nature and beauty of feminine strength.” She is the latest of Kane's brainy models - the designer cast in his spring campaign Alice Buckingham, who initially wanted to study neuroscience.
Growing up in Paris as the daughter of an Apostolic Pastor, modeling wasn’t exactly at the forefront of Delaugere's plans. “Having to go to church services several times a week until I was a teenager definitely turned me into a bit of a rule breaker as I got older,” she said. “After years of being told I should get into modeling, I didn’t feel like I was ready – but when I was 21 I decided to contact IMG Models and was signed to them worldwide on the spot.”
Delaugere plans to continue her inaugural fashion month in Paris, but afterwards, it’s back to the library for Delaugere—not that she’s disappointed to be returning to her studies. “Math is a beautiful human vision of a perfect logic. It is a world apart and it has been building our world for centuries and it will continue building it,” she said. “I like that I’m one of the only model mathematicians out there too!”
Hair by Stephen Beaver for Kérastase at Jed Root; makeup by Lucy Bridge for Tom Ford Beauty at Streeters. Model: Céline Delaugère at IMG Models. Produced by Biel Parklee. Photography Assistant: Andrew Moores. Production Assistant: Harriet Raper. Fashion Assistant: Emma Simmonds. Makeup Assistant: Rachel Shram. Special thanks to Shed Studios.