Tali Lennox’ bedroom is on the top floor of a townhouse in Holland Park. It’s on one of those pretty, tree-lined streets you see in movies, with white column doorsteps and burgundy rose bushes. It’s a quiet neighborhood. So quiet I can hear the front door click when I walk towards the house. With her head peeking out the door, Tali waves at me and ushers me inside. I’m just happy I made it. It took me almost an hour from East London to Portobello – I will never get used to this city..
The house is warm and welcoming. The wooden floors and stairs are carpeted and there’s a cozy commotion buzzing throughout the maze of rooms. Turns out we are not the only ones shooting today. Her sister Lola has been recruited by a friend to model in her student photography project. It’s a serious fashion shoot with wardrobe changes, make-up, hair and a lot of posing. While they wrap up Tali and I climb the stairs to the top floor to look at what she wants to wear. She has laid out all her favorite vintage pieces on the floor, and works out what hats, shoes or accessories to match with each. You can tell she thought about it intently and she’s excited. “I’ve never worn any of these dresses!” she confesses. “I haven’t found the right occasion to wear them so I’ve just been lending them to my girlfriends. I used to be more of a tom boy but as time goes by I think I will dress with a bit more quirk and glamour.”
Tali started modeling when she was 17, a little over a year ago and has risen to the top of the model echelon from the moment she walked her first runway show in London. Maybe it’s because of her milky-white skin, or noble English features, her full lips or her tiny, proportioned frame. Or maybe it’s just because of her personality. She’s a smart girl with both feet on the ground and a brainy head that sits straight on her shoulders. And even though modeling is what keeps her going now, she knows that with hard work and effort she’ll be able to fulfill all her dreams, however undecided she may still be. “I have many passions and many things I’m interested in,” she says. “I’d like to have the freedom to be able to try different things such as perhaps art, film making, charity work or journalism. I’m not afraid of branching out and exploring once I put modeling aside. But for now I want experiences and adventures which is what I love about modeling. You never know what each week brings.”
Tali bought her first second hand t-shirts, old shorts and sports skirts when she was about 14-years old. Back then it wasn’t real vintage and it was quite cheap but it woke up a profound love for vintage she shares with her mom and sister. Pre-fame, pre-diva Annie Lennox “has been buying vintage and second hand clothes since she was a teenager and ran a stall in Camden Market when she moved to London.” Tali’s style is quite girlie and colorful and she thanks the heavens her days of wearing “hideously tacky pastel velours all-in-one tracksuits” are over. Now she’s more into floral dresses, and rich colors and clothes with a “little bit of nostalgia”, like the long yellow hibiscus print gown. “The woman who sold it to me said she got it from an elderley woman who said she wore this dress in Paris in the 1930’s when she fell in love for the first time.” Who knows, maybe Tali will have a story like this of her own one day. And I hope Tales will still be there to document it.