Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Balenciaga bullet Myf Shepherd and her runway "zen"

myf shepherd, balenciaga SS09/style.it

Yes, she bagged Balenciaga as well. Is there anything that Australia's latest modelling sensation, 17 year-old BrisVegan Myf Shepherd, can't do? Modelling since February, famously snubbed by Australia's Next Top Model, Shepherd hit the ground running at Australian Fashion Week in April and basically has not stopped. Venturing into uncharted Australian modelling territory in her first international runway season, she has notched up a raft of blue chip brand name shows, from Marc Jacobs to Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Christian Dior and Balenciaga. I managed to grab a quick chat with Shepherd 20 minutes ago as she tore out of Balenciaga en route to a fitting for..........Chanel.

balenciaga SS09/style.it

Click here to see the complete Balenciaga collection on style.it.

What an amazing ride these past few weeks must have been. How the hell are you?
Myf Shepherd: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha [keeps laughing]. Ridiculous!

I don't know, it's just so crazy. And I feel like I'm out of my body at the moment.

Has there been a particular highlight so far, or has it all been a blur?
Well I just did Balenciaga, that was pretty amazing.

How was Balenciaga?
It was so cool. The clothes were really incredible. And we get trade for it. So I'm going to try and get some now.

What was the collection like?
It reminded me of Power Rangers in the 90s. It was really futuristic and very structured. Everything seems to be structured.

What kind of styling?
The hair was just a plain ponytail. They bleached our eyebrows. Natural makeup. It was very 'alien'.

Were you the only Australian girl?
No Stephie Carta was in it too.

How about Nick Cave's son Jethro? Reportedly he auditioned.
Jethro - yes I talked to him. He was cool.

There was a huge amount of hype about you in New York going into the season. Sometimes that can backfire. Did you feel there was a lot of pressure on you beforehand?

Well I didn't even realise. Then my booker said one day, 'Hey there are these websites which wrote articles about you'. And it was kind of weird. I feel like it was a different person, not me.

When did you suddenly twig - 'Oh, hang on, it's actually happening'?
I don't think it's really hit yet. Probably once I get home and go back to my normal life, and do my exams. I'll be like, 'Oh wow, I was just in fashion week'.

shepherd backstage @ fendi SS09/style.it

Fashion month you mean! But there are always a lot of shows every season. You have not only done a lot of shows, but a lot of very big names.
After the Marc Jacobs show I said to my mum, 'I don't care if I never walk another show again. I walked Marc Jacobs'.

Did you receive any advice from other models going in such as Catherine McNeil or Abbey Lee Kershaw?
No, not really. It's just kind of been thrown in there. I've got someone coming around with me who's been amazing, a big help.

So how does the reality of the international modelling scene compare to how you imagined it? What surprised you the most?
That everyone is actually quite nice most of the time.

You didn't expect that?
I just know about the fashion industry from the movies and stuff, where everyone is just a bitch.

And you haven't encountered any of that?
No, not at all. Certainly not the girls. The girls are so nice.

Were you disappointed at the time by the ANTM thing?
By the time I found out it was about a month after the auditions so I had kind of forgotten about it.

When did you audition?
I think it was in November last year.

shepherd backstage @ nina ricci SS09/style.it

I mean it's really kind of ludicrous to think that a/you were overlooked in the first place. And b/that had you not been overlooked, you might have been distracted by all that and missed out on this.
Yeah I know. I think it's funny that Alice, who won last season, was in the Marc Jacobs show with me.

How about the fatigue? Many people think modelling is an easy, glamorous job which just entails walking up and down a runway. They don't realise you guys are there until often the early hours doing castings and fittings, only to have to get up at 6am for hair & makeup calls.
I was at Balenciaga until 1am this morning and then had to be back there at 5am.

So how much sleep are you getting?
When I can, I get like 10 hours, but that's not very often.

How has your family reacted?
They're looking on the internet. They find out stuff before I do sometimes. They're like 'Oh did you know that you're doing Ferré?' And I'm like, 'Oh, OK - cool!' I talk to my parents every single day for like an hour.

Any funny anecdotes - particularly surreal scenes?
This was the second time today that I'd had my eyebrows bleached. They bleached them at Marc Jacobs, for an hour and they were still orange, so they had to cover them up with makeup. And then I was wearing a hat and sunglasses [on the runway]. And then one time on the street in New York, I was at some Pride Week festival. I was standing there and this guy comes over to me and says, 'Oh my gosh, Myf!'. And I was like, 'Hi!'. And he goes, 'I'm a really big fan!'. And this was at the stage when I'd really done nothing and I was like, 'Wow - what of? My two test shoots? Thank you!'.

Tell me about the shoes. They have emerged as quite a big story this season. Karlie Kloss was quoted somewhere saying she said a little prayer before Prada.
Well I think the Prada shoes were the worst. I think there were like four stacks in that show.

How scary are they to actually walk in?
They are... I don't know. My mind kind of goes very blank and zen when I'm on the runway. I don't even really think about them. I think if you do think about them then it starts to show on your face and you start pulling some weird ones.

What is the biggest thing that you have learned over the past month?
That everyone wants something different. So, just trying to fit into what they want as much as you can.

What did Balenciaga want?
They wanted very 'androgynous'.

How do you act androgynous?
Don't be too sexy.

You're coming back to Australia to finish your HSC aren't you? You're probably going to wake up one morning and think, 'Was that all just some mad dream?'
Yeah I think that's probably what's going to happen. But when I get back I've only got about three more weeks of school and it's just all exams, exams, exams. And I've been studying while I've been over here and have done some assignments. I'm still getting good marks.

Which other shows will you be doing this week beyond Chanel?
I don't find out until the second I get to the hair and makeup chair.

What's next? Presumably you'll be leaving Australia.
Once I finish my exams, I think so. But that's another thing. You can't really plan more than two weeks in advance. Or more than two hours in advance sometimes.

What's the first thing that you're going to do once the shows are over and you are back in Australia?
See my best friend. I'm going to go and have dinner with my booker and everything. But when I get back to Brisbane I'm going to go and see my friends, because I haven't seen them in way too long.

And how long will it be before you put on another pair of stilettos do you think?
Oh at least a month.

Fly-by shoot in the Highlands

Sonny Vandevelde and I have a double-page spread in the latest issue of WWD Scoop magazine, which came out yesterday. It's a feature on the NSW Southern Highlands, its iconic properties - which include Nicole Kidman's sprawling new Bunya Hill estate - and the region's newfound favour with the Sydney fashion crew. One veeeeeeery cold weekend in August, we whizzed around to a few hotspots.

We shot at Milton Park, Centennial Vineyards and also popped in to see Chic Management's Kathy Ward at her farm in Kangaloon.

Ward is one of a plethora of Sydney fashion/modelling peeps who have either moved down and commute to Sydney, or else have weekenders.

And as it emerges Ward, who reps Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Miranda Kerr and Myf Shepherd, among many others, is not only shuttling her children and horses between Sydney and Kangaloon on weekends.

As she told me:
"If any models are staying with me, part of the deal is they have to come down to the farm with me".

While down on the farm, Sonny discovered a hidden talent.

We know he's a model whisperer - but who knew he had such a knack with horses?

Up the front of the same issue Sonny's buddy (and Paris shows flatmate), model-turned-photographer Iekeliene Stange, has her own DPS of backstage shots that she took during New York Fashion Week.

So Sonneliene strike again, kind of.

Let's call it the Sonnepatteliene issue.

Venus of Willen-Dior

christian dior SS09/getty

Ah yes the podiatric peculiarities of SS09 continued with Monday’s just-wrapped Christian Dior show – the most interesting facets of which, at time of filing, appeared to have been its African-inspired hairpieces and shoes. The latter included one curious platform sandal with a sculpted skyscraper heel fashioned from what looked to be an African fertility symbol, complete with swollen belly and breasts. Considering that by all accounts it's not uncommon for runway models to boast such little body fat that they cease menstruating, the irony was possibly not lost on some.

christian dior SS09/getty

Over at Cacharel meanwhile, the half century old French brand’s new creative directors, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, dispatched a charming collection of highwaisted, wide-legged trouser suits, colour-blocked smocks and sweet printed sundresses.

The finale showcased two rare phenomena: a limited edition of 1970s era Liberty print dresses from the house’s archives - and smiling models (who included, if I’m not mistaken, Australian Sarah Stephens, who must be trying her luck in Paris after all).

You’d probably smile too if you could walk one of this season’s runways barefoot.

Click here to see the complete Christian Dior collection on wwd.com.
Click here to see the complete Cacharel collection on wwd.com.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tallulah tanks

velvet magazine october 08 via TFS

They’re dropping like flies. And I’m not talking about the stiletto stacks. Just a week after frockwriter revealed that Catherine McNeil will be missing Milan and Paris because she’s "unwell” (and didn’t that snippet get a whip around), comes word that Tallulah Morton is back in Sydney trying to shake a nasty flu.

Morton did do a number of shows in New York however according to her agent Vikki Graham, flew straight back to Sydney immediately afterwards - where, in spite of the bug, she managed to shoot a Troyt Coburn editorial for the December issue of Vogue Australia.

This is somewhat amusing, given separate accounts from London's Daily Mail and style.com’s Tim Blanks, that Morton walked in Vivienne Westwood’s Red label show at London Fashion Week.

Morton did not make the recent cover of Italian fashion glossy Velvet, as Graham had hoped, but Velvet has nevertheless just run two consecutive fashion shoots featuring Morton in its September and October editions.

There is also some upcoming editorial in Tush magazine. Just to clarify, that's an indie Danish fashion glossy.

In the interim, candid shots of Morton out and about in New York and Paris continue to saturate Marc 'The Cobrasnake' Hunter’s website. Whether that’s a good thing for her career remains to be seen.

the cobrasnake

There’s always next season – and she is still only 16.

And at least Morton does not have to contend with the season’s ongoing shoe drama – which raises at the very least Occupational Health and Safety concerns.

One modelling source tells frockwriter that at the recent Berlin Fashion Week, after spotting some dangerously high plastic platforms at one fashion brand’s casting, an agency rep point blank refused to allow its models to continue the casting or work in the show.

As the agent was walking out the door, a model from a slightly more laissez-faire agency fell in the shoes and snapped her ankle.

Home straight: Mythical Myf, Magna Carta and other Skye news

skye stracke at blugirl SS09/sonny vandevelde

Time for a little model update. We know how well Myf Shepherd and Abbey Lee Kershaw are doing – and Shepherd’s blockbuster freshman RTW season shows no sign of slowing down on the last Paris leg. On Sunday Shepherd walked in the prestigious Nina Ricci show (alongside the Anne Valerie Hash and Bruno Pieters shows). According to her agency moreover, she has also just snagged her latest biggie: today’s Christian Dior show. And Shepherd is not the only Australian cleaning up on the SS09 runways.

I posted shots of Skye Stracke three weeks ago at the Karen Walker and Willow shows in New York.

Stracke has walked in at least 20 shows so far across the four cities, including the blue chip brand names Missoni, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Moschino, Lacoste and Nina Ricci.

At Nina Ricci, Stracke's ethereal beauty was a perfect fit with the dream-like romanticism of creative director Olivier Theyskens' spring collection, which groaned with fairytale slip dresses and ballgowns:

skye stracke at nina ricci SS09/style.com

One might assume that Galliano muse Alexandra Agoston is also a good prospect for at least today's Christian Dior show, not to mention John Galliano later in the week.

Agoston flew straight to London, where she walked in at least seven shows, including Roksanda Ilincic, Jasper Conran, Paul Costelloe and the London Fashion Week debut of Josh Goot:

josh goot SS09/style.com

Stephanie Carta, meanwhile, scored at least seven Milan shows, including the prestige Jil Sander and Alberta Ferretti gigs.

stephanie carta at alberta ferretti SS09/style.com

Alice Burdeu appeared to be MIA on Milan’s runways – at least in the high-profile shows that appeared on big-hit sites such as style.com and wwd.com.

According to online buzz – and as confirmed by Burdeu’s agency Priscilla’s – Burdeu was in fact in Milan last week. Whatever did, or did not, go down there for Burdeu, she popped back up on the SS09 radar in Paris on Saturday night – in the Sirivannavari show.

Que? That would be the second consecutive Paris ready-to-wear show for Sirivannavari, which is designed by no less than Thailand’s Crown Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana. And heaven help anyone who asks any tricky questions of the designer – as Fully Chic discovered last October.

In addition to Burdeu and Carta, the Priscilla's agency has three other models in Paris this week: Emily Trimble-Thompson, Chelsea Scanlan and Christina Carey.

Veteran Emma Balfour followed up her runway reboot at Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang in New York, with the Giles Deacon show in London – and is currently shooting with POP magazine.

Viviens' Emma Ishta walked in Enrico Coveri and Laura Biagiotti in Milan – and is now also in Paris.

Chadwicks’ Mallory Jansen and Georgie Wass both did London shows and the agency currently has three girls waiting on confirms for shows in Paris: Megan Hind, Gemma Scott and Olivia Henderson.

After her great run in New York, Chadwicks' Fabienne Vanderhaeghen bowed out of the rest of the SS09 season.

The reason? Vanderhaeghen is, according to sources, considered "too short” for Europe.

That's showbiz, folks.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gareth Pugh: "We have to sell the dream before we can sell the clothes"

gareth pugh SS09/nicola formichetti

And so Gareth Pugh, the son of a Sunderland policeman, set sail from the Topshop-sponsored fashion hinterland of London Fashion Week - and stepped ashore in the City of Light.

The show was scheduled to take place at 5pm yesterday at the Palais de Tokyo. At time of filing few images have surfaced on even the complete Getty Images archive.

The only mainstream print story I can see so far is from the UK Telegraph. With two dedicated blogs covering SS09 – The Moment and On The Runway, which have not updated since Milan - frankly The New York Times is a disappointment.

gareth pugh SS09/rene habemacher via diane pernet

The blogosphere on the other hand is burning.

Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio has one shot and a brief collection outline.

Images, but no reviews, are also to be found on the blogs of Diane Pernet, backstage snapper Greg Kessler and Pugh’s stylist collaborator, Nicola Formichetti.

The Telegraph reports that the collection was inspired by Hamlet, Millais' Ophelia and Elizabeth I (with jewellery by Judy Blame and gloves by Simon Azoulay, according to a pre-show profile in WWD - the origin of the Pugh quote in this post's title ^).

I would have added Stormtroopers to the reference mix.

gareth pugh SS09/greg kessler

Elizabethan ruffs and articulated body armour are not new for Pugh, whose trademark sci-fi opera ensembles traditionally made for great editorial – and Kylie Minogue music clips – but rarely, the retail floor.

In the shots on Pernet's blog, you can see a hint of what SHOWstudio reports were some more commercially-nosed lightweight silk and wool dirndl-length coats, as well as ruffled silk chiffon blouses.

But the two-tone collection – whose garments were all, reportedly, white at the front and black from behind – did mark some new territory for Pugh.

For once, Pugh seemed to jettison the Gormenghastian grunge that so typified his brooding early collections – and step into the light.

As SHOWstudio reports:

“the fright-club make-up was gone, as were the jokey Tranny catwalk appearances, dodgy sex-shop shoes and occasional bodged seam. In their place was a coherent, cohesive and (dare we say it) commercial collection that still managed to make the hair on your neck stand to attention. Isn't that just what we come to Paris for?”

What prompted the Paris move?

A new business deal – and a cash windfall of almost a quarter of a million euros.

In June, Pugh won France’s 2008 ANDAM prize, which is supported by the French government and French luxury companies.

Earlier this week WWD reported that Pugh sells through 22 doors internationally, including Barneys New York and Colette in Paris and will be offering his first shoe for SS09 (presumably, the chunky white multi-strap platform seen in this show).

Most interesting of all – WWD also reported that in July, Pugh established the Hard and Shiny company, selling a 49percent stake to Michelle Lamy.

Lamy is the wife of Paris-based US designer Rick Owens, who has mentored Pugh for the past two years.

Hilary Alexander reports that the founder/director of ANDAM, Nathalie Dufour, described Pugh’s fashion arrival in Paris as “the most talked about since that of fellow-Brit, Alexander McQueen”.

Pugh is the latest 'avant-garde' Brit designer from blue collar origins to be welcomed into the bosom of the luxury goods mecca of Paris.

Pugh joins John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, the progeny of a plumber and a taxi driver respectively - both of whom have commercial connections with the world’s biggest luxury conglomerates, LVMH and Gucci Group.

Their collections, frockwriter wagers, would be dubbed 'unwearable' if they were to be shown in New York.

Click here
to see the complete SS09 collection on wwd.com.
My illicit backstage foray at Gareth Pugh's FW0708 show in London.
A chat with Rick Owens two weeks later in Paris.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Burning down the (Cavalli) house

blip tv

An amusing video shot backstage at the Roberto Cavalli show in Milan this week, during which ace Belgralian backstage snapper Sonny Vandevelde grooves to Yellow Magic Orchestra, alerts authorities before a show light sets the tent on fire - and, of course, gets the girls.

All in a day's work really.

blip tv/fashionlab

Moe better clues?

There are probably a gazillion reasons why Jenna Sauers would be photographed at a party in NYC with her arm around someone who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jezebel founding editor Moe Tkacik (R^). Being Jezebel’s model mole Tatiana could be one of them. UPDATE 22/07/09: CASE CLOSED - JENNA SAUERS IS TATIANA ANYMODEL.

I didn't go out of my way looking for this picture. It simply landed in my inbox this week, sent by someone who has been following the Tatiana story. It's no smoking gun - but interesting, nonetheless.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with this story, the fashion world continues to be intrigued by the anonymous model who has been dishing on the biz in the Modelslips column on the high profile, Gawker Media-owned womens blog Jezebel.

Discussion had been raging for months when I first touched on Modelslips in a post on July 16.

On July 19, I named Sauers as one of three Tatiana suspects – based on industry buzz and online speculation.

On August 1 I mentioned that a major international book publisher had been on frockwriter, looking specifically at the July 19 post – and speculated that there might be a book deal in the pipeline for the Modelslips author.

Sauers has repeatedly denied that she is Tatiana, on The Fashion Spot web forum, on her own blog, on frockwriter – and yet again in Auckland one week ago, in an interview that I did with Sauers at New Zealand Fashion Week, which coincidentally, we both attended.

In the interview, not only did Sauers categorically deny that she is Tatiana, she also cast aspersions on Tatiana's tangled web of deception.

Sauers told me:

"I’d be a bit worried if I were her....I don’t want to criticise her or anything but there’s a slight element of almost… It seems like it might be in, I don’t want to say poor taste but almost. You’re in this industry and you’re working with clients on an understanding and then to turn around and write about it in secret, I don’t know… I have respect for that but I also would be concerned."

Whoever Tatiana is, she does seem to have something of a conflict going on here.

Tatiana has two clients: fashion companies, whose remuneration she accepts.

And a media outlet. Which is paying her to dish dirt.

ali michael, fendi SS09/style.com

Ali Michael, meanwhile, was gobsmacked to find her previously 'secret' eating disorder and Paris show snubs intel outed by The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

Who tipped off the WSJ? Michael's mother, who reportedly complained about her daughter's lack of Paris runway work and health problems to a WSJ writer.

In web forum comments Michael's mother later described the WSJ coverage as "sensationalised". That's the term many use to describe negative media coverage - particularly those in the fashion business. Which of course, runs on spin and hype.

Michael went to ground, reemerging several months later to go public in Teen Vogue and on The Today Show, about her eating disorder and the pressures on models to be thin.

Many predicted that this might be the end of Michael's career.

Michael has however been omnipresent on the SS09 runways, including this week's big ticket Burberry and Fendi shows in Milan.

World wide web

lunch @ laduree, paris. march 07

World's Francis Hooper (^) DJs on Auckland's George FM every Saturday from 11am-1pm - there's another hour to go of the Feel Good Show. I'm listening in from Sydney - ditto Bryanboy from Manila.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Isn't Miuccia Prada supposed to be a feminist?

Have a look at the poor model in this video. Yes it’s from Prada, prompting one fashionwatcher (tks Bianca) to suggest, “This is worse than Yulia’s”. This refers of course to the spectacular Prada runway stack, on Tuesday, of up-and-coming Russian model, Yulia Kharlapanova - who has emerged from her sophomore runway season an inadvertent poster victim of fashion misogyny.

Kharlapanova was one of several girls who fell during Prada.

Unlike the others however - and indeed, Abbey Lee Kershaw at New York’s Rodarte show earlier in the month - Kharlapanova conveniently fell in full view of the photographers’ pit and the images went all around the world:


Rodarte and Prada are just two of many runway shows in which models have either stumbled, or fallen, this season.

Yesterday veteran Angela Lindvall, who has been modelling for 12 years, fell twice in the space of five minutes at Pucci.

Lindvall told The UK Telegraph:

"I feel so embarrassed. I've never fallen before and now I go and do it twice in the same show. I don't think the platform soles were balanced properly."

But while many continue to claim that a cabal of gay men rule the fashion world, both the Prada and Rodarte brands, curiously, are designed by women.

One of them – Miuccia Prada – is a political science graduate, a former member of Italy’s Communist Party and a self-avowed feminist, who told The Independent in 2004:

"You know, I had to have a lot of courage to do fashion, because in theory it was the least feminist work possible - and at that time, in the late Seventies, that was very complicated for me. Of course, I liked it a lot but I also wanted to do something more useful."

Like designing crippling shoes for women in which they risk breaking not only their ankles, but their necks?

If Prada’s femdar appears to be in need of a little calibration these days – then let’s hope that at least her public liability policy is up to date.

Abbey Lee's sterling last day effort

versace SS09/getty

It seems not even Abbey Lee Kershaw's Australian agency can keep up with her schedule. Two days ago Chic Management director Kathy Ward told me Kershaw had been booked for a Gucci exclusive in Milan - which would have made the second season in a row. Well that's a kind of exclusive. Literally the second Gucci wrapped, Kershaw walked in Wednesday night's Alessandro dell 'Acqua show, followed by four of Milan's biggest shows on Thursday: Max Mara, Pucci, Fendi and Versace. And something tells me she ain't doing it for 'trade'.

Of course last night's Versace show was not the end of Milan's show schedule. It was, however, most definitely the end of the big superbrand shows. Once again organisers crammed Milan's main events into a hectic four days.

The Milan shows continue on through Friday and Saturday with a number of smaller names, including several internationals. Three cases in point Spain's Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Australian Wool Innovation 'protégés', Jean Pierre Braganza from London (mentor Karl Lagerfeld) and Kristian Aadnevik from Norway (Donatella Versace).

The fashion caravan of buyers and media will be very keen to make tracks for Paris, which kicks off in unusually early high gear this season, with the Paris runway debut of Brit 'enfant terrible' Gareth Pugh due to take place at 5.00pm on Saturday at the Palais de Tokyo.

Noone is going to miss that - and presumably, not Kershaw, who features on the cover of Dazed & Confused's October edition wearing Pugh, as part of the magazine's special Nick Knight tribute to the designer.

As frockwriter reported earlier this month, a limited edition of the magazine will be distributed at the show.

Click here to see the complete Versace show on wwd.com.
Click here to see the complete Pucci show on wwd.com.
Click here to see the complete Fendi show on wwd.com.
Click here to see Alessandro dell'Acqua on wwd.com.
Click here to see the complete Max Mara show on wwd.com.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Live and luxe: Dolce e Gabbana

dolce e gabbana SS09

I don't know how many of you watched the show video live, but I imagine Dolce e Gabbana's site traffic exploded. That's one way of taking fashion to the masses.

Don't have any show notes in front of me, or the benefit of any other shots beyond my own blurry screen grabs, but the collection looked to be an opulent amalgam of richly embellished fabrics and embroideries offset by extravagant costume jewellery and behemoth platform wedges.

The rich fabrics were translated into voluminous silhouettes. There were pannier skirts and cocktail jackets and blouses featuring oversized puffed sleeves - a definite period reference there, which bore somewhat of a resemblance to the traditional butterfly sleeves of the national dress of the Philippines.

A second theme of pyjama chic featured loose silk wide-legged trousers, peignoir-style robe jackets and microshorts. [UPDATE 26/09 @ 8.30am AEST: According to WWD, which obviously did see the show notes, the collection was titled 'Pyjama Baroque'].

The finale, usually done in collaboration with venerated Parisian embroiderer François Lesage, showcased a spectacular series of off-white cocktail dresses and ballgowns that were heavily encrusted with silk flowers.

If there's a Recession on, evidently D&G didn't get the memo.

Click here to see the complete collection on wwd.com.

Dolce e Gabbana live

For anyone who's interested in watching the Dolce e Gabbana show as it happens in Milan - which as I type, is now 30 minutes past the due start time - here's the live streaming link. Any minute now.

Mythical Myf "storms Fendi"...before the show starts!

sonny vandevelde

Dang they're good over at News Limited. And that Myf. Talk about a catwalk prodigy. According to Rupe's troops, little Miss Myf Shepherd has the Fendi show done and dusted before any model has even plonked herself down in Lagerfeld's hair & makeup chair.

According to NEWS.com.au's just-posted story on Shepherd's ace OS freshman runway season, in the past 48 hours:

"Shepherd also stormed the runways of Missoni, Jil Sander, Gucci and Fendi".

Beyond talking to Shepherd's Sydney agent Kathy Ward, frockwriter has a hunch that News Ltd has been following this blog.

Yesterday frockwriter reported that, beyond snagging Prada and making the front page of style.com, Shepherd was also due to appear in both the Gucci and Fendi shows. That was according to Kathy Ward, and sourced appropriately. In the interim, Shepherd did turn up on Gucci's runway.

chic management

But guys, it might pay to do a bit of your own research for a change.

According to the Camera Moda's Milan show schedule, the first of Fendi's two shows starts at 4.00pm on Thursday 25th September.

That's in six hours time.

One could assume that the story posted is due to appear in one or more News Limited newspapers tomorrow. By which time, NL estimates, Shepherd will have already done the Fendi deed.

Judging by the fashion reportage high bar that's being set over at News Ltd rival The Sydney Morning Herald however, chances are that even if something came up which in fact precluded Shepherd's appearance in today's Fendi shows, News Ltd may well go ahead and report it anyway.

Upon receiving word from Willow's headquarters that the world number #9 ranked working model Catherine McNeil was due to give up high-paying, prestigious runway work in order to stand around for a couple of hours at Willow's very lowkey static presentation earlier this month in New York, the SMH reported that McNeil had appeared in the Willow show in not one, but two, stories over the following days.

While it was fabulous publicity for Willow, it would have been news to McNeil.

As frockwriter reported at the time, McNeil never set foot at Willow's presentation.

Oh hai

paris vogue via tfs

Bangalore beauty Lakshmi Menon shot by Mario Testino for October's Paris Vogue. Styling by Carine Roitfeld. Say no more.

I mean we all know that Roitfeld doesn't have to either a/walk the runway or b/walk at all in fact in between shows, thanks to a private driver and town car.

paris vogue via tfs

But look at least size XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL heels have taken the focus off size 0 models for a nanosecond.

Prada says jump - Sachi asks 'How high?'

From Rodarte to Prada to.............Sachi. While we're on the subject of killer heels, these are the culprits from el cheapo Australian shoe brand Sachi which prompted three models to crash and burn on the Auckland runway at last week's Annah Stretton show.

Given Sachi's current season Givenchy gladiator shoe boot knockoff, they were most likely modelled on a luxury brand.

Inside the media centre that afternoon, I did have to laugh when I overheard a publicist say Stretton was utterly mortified to learn that the model stacks dominated post-show dialogue.

Like, they were going to talk about the clothes?

annah stretton AW09/the dominion post

Gucci's green and gold girls

gucci SS09/wwd

Yesterday frockwriter told you that Myf Shepherd would be adding Gucci to her blockbuster freshman OS runway season. And add Gucci she did (below) - alongside fellow compatriot, and fellow Chic-ette, Abbey Lee Kershaw (^), who booked a Gucci runway exclusive for the second Milan season in a row.

gucci SS09/wwd

Called Gucci Exotica, the collection groaned with mannish, cropped trouser suits, ocean-toned print maxidresses and draped block colour goddess gowns with asymmetric necklines.

Also on offer, a series of shorter print kaftans and a sweet safari story with just an ounce of utility - the cutest exponent, a coffee-coloured playsuit teamed with with a silky tobacco anorak.

It seems the combat pant is never going away - nor indeed the gladiator sandal, which has been omnipresent on the SS09 runways.

gucci SS09/getty

According to The New York Times' blog The Moment, there was a 'model wipeout' at the end of the show - one must assume, courtesy of Gucci's sky-high sandals.

After the trip fracas over the previous evening's Prada show, which has dominated Prada's SS09 publicity, you'd figure designers might start having a bit of a rethink about the shoes.

gucci SS09/getty

Click here to see the complete collection on wwd.com.

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