Part model, actor, photographer and blogger, Dorothea Barth Jorgensen landed firmly on her feet after winning Elite’s Model Look award at the tender age of 16. Three years on, she proudly calls Williamsburg, Brooklyn home after leaving her Stockholm roots, and is regularly headhunted by leading designers and photographers around the world (Jorgensen’s resume scans nearly as enticingly as her illustrious scorched-blonde locks). Wonderland sits down with the much sought-after beauty to talk projects past, present and future, ahead of her 20th birthday on Saturday.
You weren’t particularly interested in becoming a model as a child – how and when did his change?
Acting has always been my big passion in life, but modeling came along when I was 16 and got scouted for Elite’s Model Look project in Sweden. From there, I was lucky to work with some very talented people. I found out what modeling is actually about: expressions and moods and collaborations in imaginary circumstances – it’s like acting, minus the talking.
How did your life change after winning the Swedish Elite Model Look award?
It was great exposure, and opened up lots of new possibilities for me. I soon-after got a request to move to New York City to be represented by one of the leading agencies in the world – Women NYC, where my international career began.
How would you describe your day-to-day style?
In autumn/winter, I tend to get more mellow with my style: cozy sweaters, oversized blazers, leather pants. In terms of colours, I like maroon, cobalt blue, beige colors and black, of course. If heading out, I tend to opt for simple boots and my Givenchy bag.
You once said that personal style has become emblematic of your life story. Is this still true? What brands have you been working with recently?
Yes, I think it does unconsciously reflect how you’d like the world to see you; how you want to represent yourself to the world. Your look and your eyes are the first layers of connection to the outside world, and offer first impressions. I’ve been doing a campaign for J. Lindeberg for two seasons now – a very classy Swedish brand that I respect. I always have great fun shooting with them.
Why do you like living in New York?
I moved here at 18 when I finished school, and it felt like home immediately. I have great, inspiring, supportive friends here, and I feel like you can be whoever you want to be in this city – it’s a place for any kind of character.
You’ve claimed one of your interests is designing – is this something you’re looking to explore further in the future? What kind of items do you enjoy making?
There was a period recently where I was sewing a lot, making simple garments like straight dresses and pants. At the moment my photography, writing and acting is a lot more important to me than this, though.
What items excited you in the autumn/winter ’11 collections you wore?
For personal reasons, I only did a couple of shows for autumn/winter, but I very much enjoyed the Chanel collection, inspired by Iceland and volcanoes. Chanel pushed kind of dark , silver-grey and black overalls. There was a great attitude throughout the show – the music, the set, the models, the makeup.
Your first international show was at a New York Fashion week for CK and Marc Jacobs. What was your favourite fashion week this year? Why?
I wasn’t able to do shows this year because I was busy working on a film. It’s very exiting to focus a little more on acting. I still love modeling, but I feel like I challenge myself more with film.
What’s the plan for Christmas?
I’m very excited about my trip to South Africa in December, where I’ll hunt and take images for a photo series. My best friend lives there and we’re going to explore South Africa by car and on the horseback.
Follow Dorothea’s inspiring, regularly-updated blog, Displaced Bones
Words: Jack Mills