Model Slash: Painter Codie Young
With her dreamy gaze, swanlike neck, and flowing tresses, Codie Young looks like something out of a Renaissance painting, but her watercolors have an altogether different, almost grotesque beauty about them. The 19-year-old Aussie model had her breakthrough runway season just over a year ago, and has been busy ever since. In addition to appearing in Jil Sander Navy’s latest Fall ads, Young also landed the new Marc Jacobs Dot fragrance campaign, which is “the biggest success in my career so far,” she told Style.com. She’s proven herself to be a formidable force in editorials, too, with recent spreads in Vogue Japan, 10 Magazine, and Dazed & Confused, among others. Young particularly liked working with photographer Daniel Jackson on the conceptual Dazed one (left). “It was inspired by fashion illustrator Rene Gruau’s drawings, and as a painter myself, I really appreciated that,” she said. “I prefer editorials that have an interesting story or are kind of creepy.”
Young was crouching over canvases with a palette and brushes long before she ever set foot on a runway. “Painting is something I’ve always done since my childhood and studied in school,” she said. “At one point, I nearly failed my classes because I only painted what I wanted to, instead of meeting requirements.” She loves portrait painting even though, she says, “I’m actually not a people person at all. I’m kind of shy and socially awkward, so instead of talking, I’ll stare and observe faces. But I’m also fascinated with backbones, which we were given to stand strong and ribcages that protect our fragile hearts.” Earlier this month, Young completed a portrait of a Kayan Lahwi tribal woman that took her twelve hours over the course of three days. But generally, because she’s rushing around from one modeling job to another, she focuses on small-scale projects that she can knock off in two or three hours. “Even though I’m very busy, I always make the effort to keep putting out art because I think it’s important to have something aside from your job to be passionate about—otherwise it can get to your head,” Young says. “Art is my escape.” She recently moved to the East End of London but avoided Olympics mania by ducking out of town for a family vacation before the onslaught of fashion week in September. Here, one of Young’s works. To learn more about the model, follow her personal blog.