Collette Miles is a woman of many talents. The blogger and former blogshop model was recently signed to Avenue, works for Abercrombie & Fitch, and somehow manages to sail through being a full-time undergraduate at the same time.
I first met with Collette over Skype in March 2012 when I was still in Perth. The animated and carefree interview has been one of my most memorable to date! Needless to say, I was exceptionally excited to meet our wonderwoman in person when I flew up (Up? I think. My geography fails me.) to Singapore this January. Collette booked us a lovely brunch date at Little Diner in Bukit Timah. What follows is a snippet and pastiche of my interviews with Collette.
Crys: Okay, the very beginning! How did you even become a blogger in the first place?
Col: I started on a Live Journal platform just like… for fun? During secondary school I was quite bored lah… so I just started a blog… because everyone is using Live Journal at that time… so I thought okay, I just set up and update it? So it’s a space for me to say whatever I want to a certain extent, and post pictures.
Crys: And, how did your blog become publicized and commercial as it is now?
Col: I don’t even know actually! During the Live Journal times I had quite a few followers already? Mainly from my secondary school? And then when I moved from Live Journal to Blogger, then from Blogger to On Sugar, then back to blogger… the stats just kept increasing… I don’t know how… Think it was just a lot of people who are interested to read about my very mundane life haha… for some reason…
Crys: Any idea at all where these people came from or who some of them were?
Col: I do modeling for some events… and also I joined like The New Paper New Face two years back… It was on the newspaper so [maybe] people started to Google my name or something..
Crys: You must have started modeling really young? When did you start?
Col: Um, quite yes. Let me think. When… maybe when I was… six
Crys: How did it all begin?
Col: My mom likes to send me for these deportment classes and competitions and stuff, that’s why…
Crys: That’s how you got it in your blood!
Col: Yah, haha
Crys: How does a typical day for a photo-shoot go like?
Col: A photo-shoot usually takes about two hours, on average… I report there on time, but I wake up earlier than usual to like, put on make-up and comb my hair haha… and then I go down… Twenty outfits will be about two hours…
Crys: But, what do you have to do exactly during the photo-shoots?
Col: It’s very fast paced… it’s usually an indoor shoot so there’s a changing room at the studio, and then after one outfit I’ll just run in and pick the other outfit to change… the owners arrange it in order, according to like tones or something… different people arrange it differently… it’s just very fast-paced cos usually the studio is [paid for by the hour], so they have to rush for time
Crys: Where do you learn to do all these? Where do you learn how to pose, how to make-up, how to feature their clothes properly?
Col: When I was younger I went for deportment classes and all… so that’s where I learnt [to pose]… Make-up… I am quite bad at make-up haha… but I try to watch YouTube tutorials though…
Crys: Do people recognize you in public?
Col: Yah! Some!
Crys: Do you feel weird when strangers recognize you in public?
Col: Um, quite… it’s quite scary but I try to be nice…
Crys: So how would you respond to them?
Col: I would say hi and thank you
Crys: Thank you?
Col: Yah! Because they like, read my blog… Thanks for like, their support.
Crys: So, what is your status then? You’re sort of well-known on the internet, people recognize you on the streets… what are you?
Col: I’m just a mere mortal! Haha… I don’t know… I’m not that famous… I’m not a public figure or anything…
PS: For everyone who has been wondering about Collette’s interesting heritage, the beauty clarifies:
Col: I have like Dutch, Indian, English, Irish, French blood… and my mom is Peranakan Chinese.