Thursday, September 11, 2008

Willow's pyramid scheme

willow resort 0809

Kit Willow Michelmore might be ditching New York’s official schedule this season, not to mention a traditional runway show, but according to a press release sent out this morning, she has managed to secure an Oz mod lineup to rival even Marc Jacobs for her static presentation which is due to take place at 3.30am Friday AEST: Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Alice Burdeu and Stephanie Carta.

McNeil and co are due to provide the very glamorous live component of Willow’s installation inside Chelsea's Altman Building.

According to the Willow HQ the high profile Australians, along with 16 other models, will show 25 looks as they are “swathed over a 4 metre high pyramid”.

It does sound very intriguing - especially given the fact that Chic Management's New York affiliate agency Next, which reps McNeil and Kershaw, told frockwriter that "nothing is confirmed until the day".

Inspired by the Ballets Russes, the collection is called 'Sacred Trace'.

Sydney expat Kannon Rajah is the casting director/producer and GHD's Sophie Roberts will weave antique gold bead 'extensions' into the models' hair (MAC's Gordon Espinet is doing the makeup).

The static presentation show option is not as Claytons as it sounds.

Yes of course it’s less expensive than doing a full-scale runway show. However not only does it provide the opportunity for an audience to see garments at close range, in a frantic, overloaded event like New York Fashion Week, it can also provide a refreshing point of difference.

Donna Karan has used it for her DKNY diffusion label and last week I posted some shots from an installation that was done this time last year at the Chelsea Art Museum by US eveningwear brand Marchesa in lieu of a traditional SS08 runway show.

Marchesa is a Hollywood red carpet fave and the quirky walk-through presentation managed to pull in Naomi Watts (who I iv'd quickly).

Marchesa also used top girls - and draped them around plinths scattered throughout the space. They included Siri Tollerod, Olga Sherer, Amanda Laine and Masha Tyelna.

Willow does not, of course, have Marchesa’s budget and the calibre of model that she says she has confirmed is interesting. In the case of McNeil and Kershaw, both of whom are earning big runway money these days, they may be missing other lucrative work by availing themselves for Willow.

All would undoubtedly be doing this as a favour to Willow - not to mention of course Rajah, who would hold quite some casting clout. Rajah has worked on some of the world's biggest fashion shows in the past couple of years, from Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Viktor & Rolf and Victoria's Secret.

As I mentioned last week, Willow will be competing with up to seven other fashion shows in her time slot. Including one of the week’s biggest buzz new names: Julian Louie, the protégé of Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa.

So, will Willow do it?

Meanwhile, here are some shots from the designer’s new Resort 0809 collection.

I recall seeing another Oz supe, Miranda Kerr, recently walk the runway in the embellished saffron maxidress pictured above. But then David Jones picked up the tab for that one...

willow resort 0809


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