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Filed, Paraded

Casting director Eddy Martin runs us through his favourite boys of the AW13 season

Eddy Martin is a London-based casting director. Born in Paris, he studied fashion design before joining multi-brand press office Totem, where he worked on accounts including Raf Simons, Bernhard Willhelm and Walter van Beirendonck.

Moving to London to work for stylist and Another Man's Creative Director Alister Mackie, he spent three years assisting on a multitude of editorials and shows including Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Fendi and Marc by Marc Jacobs, before realising casting was his calling.

After establishing his casting company File and Parade in 2010, he has since cast for clients such as Fendi, Tod's, Topman, John Smedley, Lou Dalton and Shaun Samson. He has also worked on editorials for Matthew Stone, Venetia Scott, Cédric Buchet, Mel Bles, Gareth McConnell, for publications including Dazed & Confused, AnOther Man and Self Service. Here Martin fills us in on the art of casting and his favourite boys of the London AW13 collections.

"This season I cast the shows of Lou Dalton and Shaun Samson as well as the presentations of John Smedley and Baartmans and Siegel.

The recent introduction of London Collections: Men is a brilliant idea but the fact that it overlaps with Milan Fashion Week and that the models are generally paid less than in other big fashion capitals doesn't help to convince them to be around.

The challenge is then to put a casting together with great models and a clear sense of direction but with a lesser offering. It's not really about the big guns that you see in Milan (mainly) or Paris (although less commercial) but more about being creative and finding interesting new faces.

Lou Dalton and her stylist John McCarty like guys with strong features, there is always a slight oddness about the casting but we're always trying to keep it expensive.

Shaun Samson and his stylist Matthew Josephs have established a more urban look, we always especially bring in an amazing new face to open the show. Ethnic diversity is a major point and we usually like to do a bit of street casting.

My parents still don't quite understand what being a casting director is about and what 'special skills' might go into it. A lot of it is admin which isn't exactly the sexiest part of the job.

What really makes it worth it are these moments when everything – model, styling, light, hair, make-up – makes sense together, whether it's for an image or a fashion show. It doesn't happen all the time for a wide range of reasons but when it does, it is greatly satisfying.

The thrill of discovering an amazing new model, whether it is someone signed in an agency or someone I find myself on the street is also really addictive although this obsession we all have for the new, new, new might be a little ego driven. As we say in France, sometimes the best broths are made in the oldest pots.

Casting may feel subjective or esoteric or maybe just random for an outsider but somehow within the same circles, there is a taste and not that many solutions for one problem. That's why maybe the same 40 to 60 models do all the shows. There is always room for heated debates about particular models but there is a rather general consensus about what beauty is about.

I have my own taste, models I really believe in, and I try to stay true to it within my clients' requirements.

It is team work: you have to remind yourself that you can only be as good as your clients let you be. A casting director himself can't be responsible for setting trends and changing the face of modelling, you have to work with a designer/photographer/stylist who gives you a platform, share the same vision, pushes your own certainties and is influential enough to be heard."


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