She made a name for herself on hit reality show Made in Chelsea, but since leaving to pursue her own projects, Caggie Dunlop is proving she’s much more than a one trick pony. With her own clothing line, ISWAI and an EP on the way, this West London resident is here to stay…
How did you get involved in Made in Chelsea?
I’d been studying at Drama school in New York and when I got back I’d heard about the show. A few of my friends were involved but I thought the whole thing sounded a bit stupid! Then Millie called me and was like, “they really want to take you for a drink” So I agreed, and they were really convincing.
They asked me what I was interested in, and I told them I liked to sing, but I’d never really done it in front of anyone, not even my mum! They were like “how would you feel about singing in the first episode?” That was probably the main thing that got me involved, I thought it could be a good opportunity- or disaster, they hadn’t even heard me sing! Five days later, we were filming at The Troubadour and I had 5 cameras on me.
How difficult was it being yourself on camera?
I think I had a bit of a head start, because I had been at drama school, and we’d had TV and film casts in filming us, so we’d learnt to be natural in front of the camera. But obviously, when it was an uncomfortable situation it was a bit more difficult.
You left the show quite early on, why was that?
The reason I left was because I thought I’d leave when things were still going well, and the nature of the show was getting a bit too aggressive for my liking. You have to up the ante, and that wasn’t why I took part. I’m still friends with them all and I live with Proudlock, but I don’t have anything to do with the show.
Do you feel that was the right decision?
Yes. Of course sometimes I miss the community vibe of it, but there were loads of days where you’re sitting around for hours and hours doing nothing, and I didn’t see much longevity in it.
You’ve had a few projects on the go since the show. Tell me about those?
The American singer Ron Pope got in touch after I sang one of his songs on the show, and asked if I wanted to go on tour with him. So I travelled around the UK opening for him, which was really fun, I learnt a lot from him. I also launched a clothing line ISWAI, which is quite a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and money to start, but it’s great. My main focus though is recording and writing music.
How much do you think the show helped you achieve your future goals?
It’s definitely been a huge help, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do these things, because it’s the following that’s the main thing. The music industry is such a difficult place for anybody, if you can say you come with this following, people are more likely to give you the time of day.
How active is your social media presence?
I still get people contacting me about the show, even though I only appeared twice in the last series and I have nothing to do with this one, but a lot of people have tweeted me being like “Can’t wait to see you back on the screen” They’ll work it out soon enough!
It’s important that I capitalise on the show in terms of getting something out there soon, because people have quite a short memory, and everything’s changing so much. I’m hoping to get my EP out by the end of November.
Do you think the show has had an effect on your style?
I don’t think it’s changed really, they always wanted me to be a bit more ‘together’ if you like, and a bit more ‘Chelsea’, whatever that is, but that’s not really me. I like to mx it, I’m a believer in dressing how you feel that morning.
We did our own make-up and hair on the show, and dressed ourselves, but often PR companies would lend us bits which helped, because obviously we couldn’t wear the same things twice.
What can we look forward to from you over the next few months?
I’ve got a fair amount on my plate, which is quite scary! But hopefully it will all work out. The shows going to America soon, and it’s showing from the very beginning, so that should be interesting. I’d like to move to LA at some point, see what it’s like over there. At the moment though, I’m just loving being in London.