Arianne Unity Hargrave has a lot on her to-do list. “I love to travel. I love discovering new places”. It’s therefore no surprise that Petra is on her bucket list with the expectation that she can go and “avoid the crowds and handle the heat”. She also wants to move to a more central location in the city. “I’ve aways felt at home in London. I’m definitely a city person”. Paris is on the cards for her birthday, despite the slight aversion she has to the day, whilst she’s also striving to finish the short stories she’s been working on for almost a year.
Things are moving quickly for this 20-year-old model and student who has only recently entered the industry, and there’s no sign of her slowing down just yet.
Arianne began to get into modelling at 18, propelling herself onto a path somewhat unfrequented by aspiring models. “In early 2016, I went to the Disney princess open auditions, but they measured my height and said I was too tall.” Undeterred, she persevered. Later that year, she was scouted by a modelling agency who soon turned her away. “It didn’t work out because I was too old to enter the industry as a new face.” Her story started to sound reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Arianne went freelance after that, starting a solo expedition through an ever-pressing profession whilst studying Business Economics at university. This is when we first met.
I had come across Arianne’s profile as I was scouting models for my first editorial photo-story. In contrast to the the models that I had already selected, Arianne was the missing piece of the puzzle. Fair-skin, radiant-eyed, epitomising the mien of a young gentlewoman.
It was a Saturday morning in the summer of 2016. I was perched over a large suitcase in an industrial estate made up of bleak streets, warehouses, and not much else. Arianne turned up to the deserted North London building in black jeans and a pink and white ribbed Bretton falling off her slender shoulders. She reminded me of a young Jane Birkin, perhaps more in essence than physicality. Soft pink lips. Trading Birkin’s blue eyes for brown and her iconic straight hair replaced by blond faint curls.
Only 19 at the time, she had me more at ease than the camomile tea I had been steadily sipping had done. Nails freshly painted, hair pulled andbackcombed and saturated with product. Safety-pins entangled in her clothes, occasionally pinching at her skin. One cup of coffee inescapably consumed as she proclaims to have a “strong affinity with coffee”. She was soon holding centre-stage, drenched in vintage mens shirts and the jacket that I had come to set in. It suited her.
“For as long as I can remember, Wallis Simpson has been my style icon. I love the fashion of the Edwardian Era so I try to resemble the classic style of the twenties and thirties with the outfits I wear.” Fashioned in admiration of the American socialite and Duchess of Windsor, her style is easily comparable. Tailored. Sartorially Parisienne. Mixed in with high-street, many of her clothes are from Etsy. “I really love vintage clothes”, whilst when it comes to couture, it’s always Christian Dior and Chanel.
It’s a year on from when I first worked with her. At 20, she’s sprightly, unpredictable and self-effacing.
Arianne doesn’t follow the crowd, they follow her. Her vintage-like, pink-toned Instagram and Tumblr alike drips with champagne cocktails, fresh bouquets of flowers, clothing racks and inevitably, copious amounts of coffee to go with cakes and desserts in abundance. “I could give Marie Antoinette a run for her money.” Perhaps the secret to her 12k-and-growing of followers are her slightly grainy unpretentious shots of hotel bars and bubble-baths alike.
University is a big part of her life. “It’s pretty interesting. I’ve also been reading a lot of Nancy Mitford and Oscar Wilde and that’s been wonderful.” But when it comes to taking a break, she insists on “going to cocktail bars with friends. I find them so much more enjoyable than nightclubs. I adore Jazz and so I try and see live performances when I get the chance.”
Whether down to her professionalism, determination, appearance or a combination of them all, Arianne has been securing herself work. Spats Boots, the ‘Women Can Too’ Charity Fashion Show as well as for student designers and photographers. She’s recently modelled for Central Saint Martins Fashion Design with Knitwear student Anna Gigante’s Volkswagen collaboration project- enveloped in knitted shards of dyed textiles. “I definitely want to keep doing it [modelling] for as long as I can.
This interview was conducted in March 2017. Since then, Arianne has embarked on a number of other projects and took part in the 2017 Miss London pageant at London’s Hippodrome and left as being Miss Hippodrome Popularity 2017