From a call centre in Leeds to the Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model house in London, Penelope, known as Penny, couldn’t have made a larger leap this year in her dream to pursue a career in modeling. She is the most recent contestant to be knocked out of the competition and became the next evictee to be sent home by the judges this week. After her makeover, it became clear that Penelope wasn’t pleased with the outcome and with her Northern grit and honesty, she made sure the judges knew it. She became known for her warm nature, her Brigitte Bardot smile and her never ending legs that trumped all others, especially in group photoshoots. I caught up with her to talk about her recent move to the Big Smoke, her Top Model experience and her personal interest in Fashion.
Penelope, how’s life since BINTM?
Life since BINTM has been good but hard! I’ve moved to London which sounds exciting but actually it just means I have no money and still have to work doing crap jobs! It is picking up though – it’s all about networking and pre-drinking to save money! There is always something to do in London and so many amazing shops and bars!
What do you miss about Northern life since your move to London?
I miss the cheap drinks, having the convenience of my car, having money to buy clothes and having my friends and family close by.
Back to BINTM, was it as tough as you thought it was going to be?
Yeah it was tougher. I thought I was mega confident until that first cat walk and I just fell apart and became a nervous giggly wreck! I think I began to realise that I had no clue about modelling! Naomi from 90210 started off as a model and if I can follow a career path like hers I’d be really happy.
Who influenced you the most to take up modelling?
I think my Mum was a massive influence. She’s gorgeous and so confident so that’s always rubbed off on me.
Noticed any differences between style in the North and South?
I think London style varies so much as North, East, South and West are different cities in themselves. There are still chavs but there are also rich Chelsea girls and crazy Camden kids and cool East London hipsters. It’s amazing how much individuality there is! I don’t think style is as varied up North as there are less ‘trendy’ scenes and there aren’t quite as many bonkers fashionistas walking around!
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is split into two things.
How I want to be: bohemium, cut off shorts, baggy dresses and tops with cool jackets like Gillian Zinser, Shenae Grimes and Kate Moss. All very sexy, cool and laid back and very much inspired by the blog http://girlswithstyle.tumblr.com/.
How I actually dress: much more casual – leggings and hoodies! I blame it on having no money and nowhere cool to get dressed up for!
What current trends are you loving right now?
I am lusting over an army jacket with leather sleeves from Topshop at the moment. Vintage levi shorts are always great, kimonos are a big fave of mine and black chunky ankle boots are a great way to show off long legs (when smooth and tanned).
Who are your style icons?
Gillian Zinser and Shenae Grimes – both gorgeous Californian babes. I love their style, it’s very hippy, grungy, and quirky. Kate Moss and Alexa Chung are the queens of English fashion in my opinion! Kate Moss does sexy rock and roll like no other and Alexa always looks ridiculously cool in her flats and beautiful hair. I think her legs may be longer than mine!
And finally, any clues as to where you’ll be in five years time?
I don’t even know where I’ll be in 2 months when my rent runs out in London! In a perfect world I will be modelling between Australia, London, California and NYC! Getting to play on the beach and party in the cities while getting my picture taken and getting PAID for it! That’s the dream…
Oh, and also, fingers crossed, I WILL have finally grown my hair out like Gillian Zinsers!
Follow Penelope on Twitter – @PenelopeLane8
Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model is on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Living.