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Lizzy’s Model Behaviour

Lizzy Burden modelling for Topshop Unique at London Fashion Week, February 2010Alumna Lizzy Burden (2009 leaver) wrote to School recently with news of her exciting year spent as a fashion model, during which she has travelled the world and appeared on catwalks and in advertisements for a variety of designers. Read on for Lizzy's fascinating account of her year spent as an international model:

"I had never considered myself a 'gap year person' but the past twelve months have ended up a very happy accident. After my final A-Level exams I moved to London where I signed with Elite Models. In January a shoot took me to the not-so-glamorous but very fun Lanzarote; February brought the fashion weeks of London, Copenhagen, Paris and Milan; I then threw in a month-long holiday to the Philippines, my birthplace, for just enough quadbiking and seafood markets to qualify the title 'gap yah'.

"The highest box on my checklist was to work in New York, so I spent June constantly beaming (except when delivering the 'blue steel' face), wandering around Manhattan go-sees, shoots and shows with the odd trip to the Guggenheim, Central Park and the Hamptons. It has been amazing to meet and work with designers such as Giles Deacon, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabanna, and I'm proud to have made close friendships with models from all over the world – it turns out there is a real Model United Nations!

"More than anything, I'm endlessly grateful for the encouragement to 'take the risk', especially from Ms Maher (a notorious America's Next Top Model fan and the culprit behind my love affair with New York) and Mrs Pickering, whose excitement to see my portfolio every time I came into school has got me wondering if the real reason for her retirement is to pursue a career as a modelling agent. They were both wise enough to recognise long before I did that a year of modelling would be full of unforgettable experiences, not just free shoes. But now, with just a few months and five fashion weeks to go, I'm looking forward to starting university – at last my handbag will be rid of a portfolio and heels!"

Lizzy will be taking up her place at Cambridge in October, having deferred it for a year, and intends to continue with her modelling career during her university vacations.