With an eye for raw talent and a wicked sense of humor, casting director Angus Munro is one of fashion’s true characters. Selecting the best beauties for top tier clients like Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester and Preen may seem like a glamorous task, but it takes dedication, sleepless nights and countless hours of preparation. Munro took MDC behind the scenes as he readied for Pringle of Scotland’s London fashion week show and opened up about what makes a model standout to him, along with how he got his start in the competitive casting arena.
Angus with the models backstage at the Pringle F/W 12 Show.
At a fitting with Alison Nix
Alison being prepped for Pringle
MDC: When did you begin in fashion / what made you want to get into casting?
Angus Munro: It was a bit of an accident actually, as I was just out of college and wondering what to do with myself. I was dating a model agent who thought that I had a good eye. A job came up and I started as director of new faces at Elite Premier in London, back in 1996. I eventually graduated to become the head booker. David Sims then gave me my chance to move into casting and I worked exclusively for him under a number of years. I started working on shows thanks to Katie Grand with whom I worked at Vuitton and Hugo Boss. The rest is history.
MDC: What makes a girl stand out to you?
Angus Munro: That’s a tough question as there is no secret formula. Although, I tend to be very traditional in my taste for models. That said; I love a modern beauty, a mixture of a strong bone structure and feline features being my current definition! However, contrived though it may sound, I just know when someone is special, quite often it is not the obvious girl that everyone is using. I am honestly somewhat baffled at the incredible girls that are overlooked by my peers in favour of what I see as really very ordinary and uninspiring faces. Over and above that, I try to put myself in the place of my client’s customer and edit the cabine accordingly.
MDC: Do you think there is a defining look this season?
Angus Munro: Not particularly, apart from an even greater propensity for height. Nearly all the designers that I work with have needed girls to be at least 5’10.5 to bring their collections to life. Apart from that, I do feel that the trend for a more aspirational beauty continues, which is satisfying for me as I feel that I have always championed this side of casting.
MDC: How has the business of casting changed since you started?
Angus Munro: The mechanics are the same obviously, but the importance of the casting director has grown exponentially. When looking at a show it is glaringly obvious to me who has really thought about a cohesive cast for that client. Just running out the same names for each designer is largely a thing of the past and that clearly demonstrates how my peers and I have become more integral to the process of showing (and therefore selling) a collection.
MDC: If there was one girl you could bring back to the runway, who would it be?
Angus Munro: Aww, such a difficult question! Bizarrely, probably my ex-wife, Trish Goff. She was incredibly versatile on the runway and had a really wonderfully unorthodox walk! Apart from that it’s got to be Christy Turlington or Amber Valetta.
MDC: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a casting director?
Angus Munro: Time for one! There are just not enough hours in the day during the shows. This constraint is exacerbated by the schedules and, dare I say it, some teams not having a clear vision of what they want to do. Secondly, I would say being true to one’s opinion whilst listening to that of others. We have a large team and every member has valuable and fresh ideas… I have to remind myself to not be dictatorial in order to stay fluid.
Special thanks to Dawn and Kay at Notice LTD