PHOTO BY DEAN ROGERS
For Patrick Demarchelier’s “Top Gun” couture story in Interview‘s October issue, creative director Karl Templer needed tough, pretty girls with personality. Rising star Ehren Dorsey (Mother) fit the bill. Here the young model talks about the townie styles where she grew up, and practicing her walk by stalking people on the street.
Where did you grow up? Saint Charles, Missouri.
Was it very fashionable? Saint Charles involves only three types of fashion sense, which center around either Hollister, American Eagle, etc; goth and punk, or the new hipster trend. I fell into none of those categories.
Did you grow up reading magazines? My parents are very religious and discouraged any exposure to anything remotely secular or sexual—which is exactly what they consider fashion magazines and tabloids to be. Were you tall? I have always been tall, yes. I suffered from very severe growing pains when I was eight years old and have been about three inches taller than everyone around me ever since then. Both of my parents and all of my siblings are tall as well.
How were you discovered? I had gone to an open call for Mother about a year and a half ago. but the timing wasn’t right. A local photographer shot me later and said he thought they want to see me again. Jeff and Mary [Clarke] met me at Starbucks. They felt I could really do this, and they got the ball rolling immediately.
What has been your dream campaign? Alexander McQueen.
Whose runway have you always wanted to walk? Alexander Wang.
Whose look are you obsessed with right now? I don’t obsess over anyone really, but people who have influenced me include Katharine Hepburn, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Joan of Arc, and Alexander McQueen, to name a few. I am very inspired by strong individuals.
What is your favorite city? I haven’t been to many cities except New York. My family has never been able to afford to travel much in my life. We were taught as children to explore what was closest to us and find culture and appreciation in that. So Saint Louis, I suppose. The city with a culture that is being forgotten and lost.
What is your favorite food? Doughnut sticks. Or Cosmic Brownies.
Tell us about your first shoot. We shot in this man’s apartment, and he used an old Polaroid camera. I had to hold each pose for about 15 to 20 seconds while the film captured the image and processed. It was the only photo shoot that I ever did fully nude. It was an experience worth having. You don’t know your boundaries until you experiment and push them. That’s my philosophy. Everyone was extremely kind and the atmosphere was very light and fun. I learned a lot that day.
How do you prepare to walk? I walk around my house in my shoes. I walk up the street, and around the block. I practice different paces and push myself to walk faster and stronger than I feel comfortable doing. You learn best when you fall and screw up. I also have practiced different walks a lot. I made a habit while I was in New York of following people (men and women) around on the street and imitating their walks.