Sunday, November 30, 2008

If you build it: Vale Jørn Utzon

Much will no doubt be written in the coming days about the legacy of architect Jørn Utzon, who has died in his native Copenhagen at the age of 90. Just as a litany of analysis has already been dedicated to Utzon’s masterwork, the Sydney Opera House. Accorded World Heritage List status by UNESCO in 2007 - the youngest cultural work to have ever made the list - the building was described by the International Council on Monuments and Sites in UNESCO’s expert evaluation report, as “one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind". Which is incredible really, when you consider the controversy in which the project was mired. The original – and, some have suggested, critically underestimated – A$7million budget, eventually blew out to A$102million, with Utzon reportedly telling one colleague, "I don't care what it costs. I don't care how long it takes. I don't care what scandal it causes. That is what I want." In 1966, eventually politically sidelined from the project, Utzon pulled the plug, fled the country and vowed never to return. He kept that promise.

Although designed by Utzon, the building was completed without him and finally opened in 1973, with some of the original design details jettisoned.

It took until 1999 for the Sydney Opera House Trust to reengage Utzon as an architect, in a bid to restore the building to at least some of its original intended glory.

The refurbishment project was managed from a distance, with Utzon himself remaining in Europe.

On April 9 this year, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Utzon was serenaded inside the Concert Hall.

Apparently a day did not go by when Utzon did not think about the building.

As he told The Guardian in 2005:

"No, I will not see it now, which makes me sad. Every day I wake up and think of the Opera House. It gives me such pleasure that the building means so much to the people of Sydney and Australia - that makes me very happy."

A Sydney Opera House memorial service for Utzon seems inevitable.

And one hopes that Utzon’s passing might help ignite further discussion about the role, and appreciation, of the arts within Australia.

Disputes over artistic differences and budget blowouts, in a variety of sectors, are not uncommon. They occur all over the world.

However as a nation, we do seem to give far greater credence – not to mention funding - to sporting pursuits, as opposed to creative ventures.

At the first opportunity, it seems, we celebrate and promote mediocrity, overlooking genuine innovation in favour of middle-of-the-road. And on more than one occasion, an ambitious plan has been sabotaged by short-sighted investors in search of a speedy ROI.

Some have said that the Sydney Opera House would have never been passed by contemporary regulators. Certainly not in Sydney.

Indeed, it seems miraculous that it managed to be built in the first place. It was almost by accident that Utzon’s design was selected – having been fished from a reject pile at the last minute.

Vale Jørn Utzon. He never gave in.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Myf nabs Miu Miu - apparently alongside Katie Holmes

myf shepherd, miu miu SS09/

Well she missed out on Lanvin. That was the big European campaign for which Australia’s new modelling supernova Myf Shepherd was recently on hold - and to which frockwriter recently alluded, although without mentioning the name. As reported by via The Fashion Spot however – and as just confirmed by Shepherd’s Australian agent, Kathy Ward - Shepherd has just shot the Miu Miu campaign with photographic duo Mert & Marcus. That’s Prada’s high profile diffusion line. Just how prominent a role she plays in this multi-girl campaign remains to be seen. According to sources close to the Miu Miu shoot, months-long speculation that Katie Holmes was due to star in the campaign were on the money.

The complete Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2009 cast is reportedly:

Katie Holmes
Darya Kurovska
Elena Lomkova
Imogen Morris Clarke
Katie Fogarty
Myf Shepherd
Sophie Srej
Tilda Lindstam
Yulia Leontieva

According to Kathy Ward, Shepherd shot the Miu Miu campaign last week – and she has also just shot a Levi’s campaign, in addition to editorials for both Paris Vogue and German Vogue.

Not a bad get for a 17 year-old who has been modelling for less than 12 months – and who was famously overlooked by the producers of Australia’s Next Top Model for a role on the 2008 show.

Frockwriter has been tracking Shepherd’s career since she first popped up on our radar in April, in the leadup to Australian Fashion Week - to her first lowkey shows in New York, in July, for Resort 09. Not to mention, the 51 shows she walked in her very first international runway season, Spring/Summer 2009.

Shepherd's SS09 shows included some of the fashion industry’s biggest names, including Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Balenciaga.

And 17 year-old Shepherd did all that whilst reportedly also managing to score straight A's in her Year 12 exams in Brisbane.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Too Young': The Cobrasnake exposes 200 girls, Tallulah does a pants-free iv

screen grab/the seen

Tallulah-gate rocks on, with 16 year-old Oz module Tallulah Morton popping up overnight in a video interview with her great mate, and apparently defacto media advisor, Mark 'The Cobrasnake' Hunter, on NZ cable fashion show The Seen. Throughout the iv, Morton giggles like the schoolgirl that she would be - if she hadn’t quit highschool to model fulltime. According to sources, not only did Morton not have any local agency representation on the ground throughout the interview, she didn’t even have any pants on. Clutching a giant Jaeha faux fox stole as a modesty panel, Morton did the entire interview in a pair of knickers. Much to the chagrin of the tv crew – members of which valiantly tried to get Morton to put her jeans on, to no avail. Hunter, meanwhile, is having a little vernissage tonight at Ksubi’s Bondi store. The title of the exhibition? “Too Young”. Oh the irony.

In ksubi’s press material, the exhibition is described as a showcase of:

“200 photos of young girls from The Cobrasnake’s photo blog; shot in London, Paris, LA, New York, Tokyo and Sydney over the last four years”.

Here’s the video interview, done by Isaac Hindin Miller. In the iv, Hunter – who says he is 22, but seems older, although perhaps that’s due to all the partying – describes himself as “an expert photographer” and Morton as “the Next Big Thing” in New York.

Well, she once was - and let's hope that is still the case.

Incidentally, Morton recently severed ties with the world's biggest model agency, IMG, which previously repped her in New York.


Absence of Melise - but perhaps not for much longer

Meet Melise Williams. No, you have never heard of her, that’s right. Nor had frockwriter - until we spotted her at last week’s graduation show for Sydney Institute’s Fashion Design Studio. In fact, the doe-eyed beauty really stood out from the pack. We tracked her down to her Australian mother agency which, as it turned out, was just about to launch Williams into orbit.

Williams is 15 and has been modelling for three years.

Initially signed to Platform Models' Cute Kids childrens division, she quickly moved into the modelling division after becoming too tall.

Work to date has consisted of some very low profile fashion shows, including those of UTS, Rosie Hogan, Antonia Paris and the Fashion Design Studio – including the latter’s Australian Fashion Week show in May this year. And evidently in spite of the under-16 ban that had been imposed on the event.

A kind of Ivanka Trump/Olga Sherer hybrid, Williams boasts, perhaps not surprisingly, a Turkish/Bosnian heritage.

Just out of braces - and turning 16 next month - Williams will remain at school but hopes to continue to model in her school holidays.

Frockwriter has a hunch that she is going to do well.

two shots above/platform models

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tallulah Morton - apparently still partying with The Cobrasnake

the cobrasnake

Four months after controversial party photographs of 16 year-old Australian model Tallulah Morton first surfaced on the high profile website of US party snapper Mark ‘The Cobrasnake’ Hunter – and kept on surfacing – yet more classy Cobrasnake party snaps of La Morton have appeared. The latest were taken in Auckland over the weekend at a party for No Magazine.

There to celebrate the first anniversary of the quarterly indie Kiwi mag – whose fourth cover, of Peaches Geldof, was taken by Hunter – Morton and Hunter appear to have been the guests of honour.

Morton lived up to her reputation as a hard partying gal, snapped arm-in-arm with other partygoers, couch and podium dancing and even handing out poppers. That's poppers of the innocuous streamer variety, frockwriter trusts – as we trust that was mere orange juice being knocked back by Morton, who is of course still under the legal drinking age in Australia and New Zealand.

the cobrasnake

I did not mention it at the time, because frankly, I thought I'd give her a break, but the fact is, Morton was wandering around the party which followed Myer's Sydney show in August, with a glass of champagne in her hand.

At a big party, that was crawling with photographers, that’s really a great look for a 16 year-old who had made the news in Australia several weeks beforehand over a series of Paris party shots.

In the latter photographs, taken by Hunter, Morton had looked very much under the weather, whilst holding a magnum of Absolut vodka.

Morton's mother agency, Scene Models, laughed off the Paris party shots at the time.

Scene’s Nicolas Alexander told The Sydney Morning Herald:
"Tallulah is always such a responsible young lady, and this seems out of character. She always has someone in each country with her when away and is always with a chaperone, so it would appear the pictures are being made out to be more than what they actually are."

Although some assumed Morton might have consolidated her nascent international runway career in the Spring/Summer 2009 season, as revealed by frockwriter in late September, Morton was recalled to Australia after the season’s New York leg, after failing to shake a nagging flu.

The Troyt Coburn editorial that we mentioned was coming up in Australian Vogue’s December issue is now out. The spread is called, funnily enough, 'Indecent Exposure'. Speculation in Auckland suggests that Hunter may be shooting Morton for the next No Magazine cover today.

Pedestrian TV was evidently on the money when it asked, back in July, ‘Is Tallulah Morton the new Cory Kennedy?’.

Morton would appear to have definitely supplanted Kennedy as Hunter’s muse.

Although denied by Morton, there is much speculation that Morton and Hunter may even be romantically linked. Shots of Morton brushing her teeth in what one assumes is an Auckland hotel room, don't really help quell that speculation. But look, we're sure it's great for Hunter's image as a playboy.

As for Morton's image, it should be noted that Cory Kennedy was a teenage nobody before being snapped by Hunter and transformed into an overnight net celebrity.

Morton, on the other hand, is a professional model who was being paid for her image from the age of 13. Her career, or at least the kind of career to which one assumes Morton and her management aspire, hinges on the propensity for prestige international publications and luxury fashion and beauty brands to continue to pay her for it – because they think her look aligns with their brands.

Is she at risk of cheapening that image by continuing to give it away in this way?

Or is there no such thing as bad publicity?

Time will tell.


Allan Powell, fashionisto

karen walker via

Designers the world over love to spruik the names of celebs who wear their clothes. Just how much of that is the result of PR, paid product placement or of course ‘gifting - the means via which fashion companies get their products seen on opinion leaders via freebies – is frequently very hard to gauge. But here is one example of designer fandom that has nothing to do with any spin or graft. On Saturday night I attended a quite memorable birthday party in Melbourne for a very dear friend (Randal Marsh). Of the plethora of other architects and artistes in attendance, I was seated next to Allan Powell.

Powell is a distinguished Melbourne architect whose award-winning oeuvre includes Monash University’s Performing Arts Precinct, The TAFE School of Design at RMIT, The TarraWarra Museum of Art and a slew of high profile residential and restaurant projects, from Crigan House to The Prince of Wales Hotel, The Albert Park Hotel, Caffé Maximus, Café di Stasio and DiStasio Vineyard.

As it turns out, Powell is quite the fashionisto as well. And I don’t mean that he was wearing a Dior Homme suit (as was Melbourne galeriste, Murray White). Powell’s sartorial style - at least as observed by frockwriter on Saturday evening - could be described as old-school elegance. In other words he was wearing a classic, conservative men’s suit.

Imagine my surprise then, when, during our dinner chit-chat, Powell recounted with some enthusiasm how he had recently spotted an image of a particular pair of Karen Walker sunglasses - and became so enamoured with the product, he hunted down a stockist to snap up a pair for himself. I got the impression that this process had taken quite some time. The sunglasses boasted pink frames in what Powell described as a “Wayfarer” style.

Although Walker has made a few different styles of sunglasses with pink frames, frockwriter understands that only the Deep Freeze style, which does include a “milky pink” colourway, has a Wayfarer look (pictured above).

Sadly Powell’s Karen Walker love affair ended all too abruptly.

Shortly after the glasses were delivered, the sunglasses were snaffled up by Powell’s 20 year-old son Hugo - who is studying architecture.

“I just loved them” noted Powell, wistfully.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In Vogue (and soon, everywhere else): Emma Summerton

lily cole by emma summerton

Two weeks ago, in a post about Gemma Ward, frockwriter mentioned the name of photographer Emma Summerton. A Summerton shot of Ward appears in this month’s edition of Vogue Italia and Summerton also shot Ward, together with Lily Donaldson, for the February cover of i-D magazine. As it now emerges, Summerton is in fact Australian. And while she once worked for Australian Vogue – and lists the local edition on her client list - her lack of profile downunder could perhaps be explained by the fact that she has not lived here for 10 years. But Summerton is rapidly gaining momentum in the international fashion business via a slew of other major covers and editorial, with founder Wayne Sterling recently hinting that Summerton could be about to “eat” some SS09 campaigns - calling her “the fastest rising new photographer on the scene”.

emma summerton/british vogue via TFS

That’s Summerton’s image of Eden Clark, Jourdan Dunn and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the November cover of British Vogue and she also shot Lily Donaldson for the magazine’s August cover.

Summerton’s portfolio on the Maxim Fashion Agents website includes three other i-D covers over the past 12 months: Gemma Ward again for the cover of i-D’s September 2007 edition, Kate Moss for the magazine’s November 2007 edition and Raquel Zimmermann for i-D’s March 2008 cover.

As you can see by this list of recent work posted on, Summerton has also recently shot some other big modelling names, including Natasha Poly and Catherine McNeil, for British and Italian Vogue, as well as i-D.

emma summerton/vogue italia via

According to Maxim Fashion Agents, Summerton is a Fine Arts graduate from the National Art School in Sydney.

In this interview which has just gone up on The Ones To Watch, which tracks new talent in modelling and fashion creative, Summerton says she attended art school in 1988. This presumably places her in her late 30s.

Summerton worked as an assistant for five years before moving to London in 1998, where she worked as the assistant of artist Fiona Banner.

Summerton's client list also includes American and German Vogue, 10 magazine, Self Service, Dazed & Confused, Big Magazine and Nylon.

Her listed commercial clients include Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Strenesse, Topshop, Agent Provocateur, Selfridges, Sony Music and Heineken.

emma summerton/i-D/TFS via i-D

Getty Images also chose Summerton as part of its annual up-and-comer lineup for the photo agency’s New Photographers 2007 selection.

Another Australian, Simon Lekias, also got a lookin in Getty's 2007 new talent list.

Lekias' name, ironically, is much better known in Australia, where one assumes he remains based and where his biggest clients, as listed on his own website, include Harpers Bazaar, RUSSH, Grazia, Zimmermann and Sportsgirl.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Swim Fashion Week (eventually) launched in Sydney

Late Tuesday night frockwriter mentioned that IMG was about to announce a new swimwear dedicated showcase to run February 25-28 2009 at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast. IMG’s local division had in fact, as it later emerged, flown up to Sanctuary Cove on Tuesday to stage a full press conference. To which only the local press was alerted - a full two days before announcing the event to the rest of the Australian media. And notably, the fashion media. This is curious because once this event is up and running, IMG FASHION Asia Pacific md Simon Lock (pictured below) will presumably be hoping to generate national, and also international, coverage – and at a time when there’s plenty of competition for media space from the Fall/Winter 2009-2010 European collections, which will be underway. Today's press call was staged at Jackie’s Café in Paddington.

On deck were Nicky and Simone Zimmermann and two Chadwicks models in Zimmermann’s latest swim collection (pictured at the top of the post).

Great to chat to the Zimmermanns, as usual. For a recent story in WWD, Nicky Zimmermann told me that in spite of the tough economic climate, which has witnessed at least one local fashion chain on the brink of closure, her company has been doing “Christmas figures”.

We will talk more about this next Wednesday at the FGI panel discussion.

As for Swim Fashion Week, it sounds like a great idea, provided everyone is happy to trek to Sanctuary Cove to see the season’s swim collections.

February is when swimwear manufacturers present their main summer ranges, so the timing certainly makes sense. IMG is also hoping to tap into the burgeoning Asia Pacific resort market.

IMG and Sanctuary Cove will no doubt pull out all the stops to ensure maximum eye candy for the inaugural event.

Lock was talking about A$8million mansions and superyachts being thrown open for events and parties. Sanctuary Cove is a beautiful location and vis-a-vis Australian newsrooms, it’s hard to go wrong with a bunch of beautiful women in swimsuits.

Beyond shining a spotlight on swimwear, the event will also undoubtedly be a tremendous new opportunity for the local modelling industry.

chadwick's hope watson (L) and trine nielsen stop glenmore rd traffic

But let's just clarify one thing here which so far appears to have been overlooked in the face of IMG’s marketing muscle.

In a press release, IMG refers to the “heritage” of its Miami swimwear showcase, which is staged in July. The company hopes that the Gold Coast event might match the latter's success.

As reported by The Gold Coast News, Swim Fashion Week:
“would be a southern sister event to IMG Fashion's successful Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami, Florida, which has a huge following among fashion circles in the northern hemisphere”.

Yes, Miami is the world epicentre of swimwear.

Miami is the backdrop for a very well established event called the SwimShow which takes place each July.

SwimShow is the biggest swimwear trade show in the world and is operated not by IMG, but the 26 year-old Swimwear Association of Florida.

Staged at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the event claims to attract 350 exhibitors, 2000 swimwear lines, 2000 buyers from the US alone - and other buyers from an additional 46 markets. Many Australian swimwear designers/manufacturers have either participated in the show or attended it. Zimmermann has taken part for 12 years.

Concurrent to the SwimShow, IMG operates a much younger, smaller showcase of runway collections at Miami's Raleigh Hotel called Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.

This year there were 16 shows – including Zimmermann.

How would IMG’s Miami event stack up on its own without the juggernaut of the SwimShow taking place behind it? That's a hypothetical obviously.

Australia’s Swim Fashion Week is due to have a trade show component, however it’s worth remembering that IMG’s forte thus far in Australia has been with high-glamour runway showcases, as opposed to traditional trade shows. The Source trade show which is attached to Australian Fashion Week, is a very small component of the event.

According to Lock, the Swim Fashion Week runway shows – four a day – are most likely to take place at night, with the day reserved for showroom appointments.

On site, IMG will build a large showroom, boasting, according to the release:

“world-class state-of-the-art staging, lighting and audio-visual display, alongside a fully-equipped media pit and onsite media centre, delegate registration area, designer and sponsor exhibition spaces and VIP bar”.

But Zimmermann and co certainly seem very excited about it so that’s a good sign.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Akira, Zimmermann and Josh Goot @ FGI

john galliano SS09/sonny vandevelde

Did someone say FGI roadshow? Lordy, the spring/summer 2009 collections seem light years away now. Even though they only finished up in Paris six weeks ago. For anyone interested in a quick refresher course – not to mention the opportunity to hear the insights of some of Australia’s best-known fashion names – the Sydney chapter of Fashion Group International is staging its next Fashion Flash trends forecasting breakfast on Wednesday 26th November at 7.15am in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s Sofitel Wentworth Hotel. Right after FGI’s four-cities SS09 trends wrap video, I will be moderating the panel discussion once again – with, I have great pleasure in announcing, an extra stellar lineup of panellists.

On deck to offer their thoughts on the season, the buzz, the biz, the retail climate and the challenges inherent in showcasing a collection offshore, will be FGI panel newcomers Nicky Zimmermann, Akira Isogawa and Josh Goot, along with vet Arthur Galan.

At 5.45pm on Thursday 27th November, a smaller presentation will be staged at Melbourne’s RMIT Brunswick campus. Joining me on that panel once again will be Arthur Galan and Vicious Threads’ Ivan Gomez, along with Madonna Melrose from M Studio.

In between the two, on the evening of Wednesday 26th, I have been asked to MC the Ragtrader Fashion Retailer of the Year Awards at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

It’s going to be a busy week...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IMG's new waterbaby: Swim Fashion Week on the Gold Coast


Anyone who is wondering precisely what is the nature of the mystery pow-wow being convened by IMG FASHION Asia Pacific head honcho Simon Lock in Sydney on Thursday morning, frockwriter's sources say that IMG is about to announce the launch of an Australian swimwear showcase on Queensland’s Gold Coast for February. (Updated 19/11/08 @ 9.00am: now confirmed).


Although neither Lock’s nor IMG’s names are mentioned in this story that has just gone up in a Gold Coast newspaper, according to Geoff Grady, the ceo of Sanctuary Cove, the Gold Coast luxury resort will host an event called Swim Fashion Week from February 25-28 2009.

The actual venue will be the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove.

Sources have told frockwriter that this is one and the same event being planned by IMG.

Although staged, according to Grady, as part of the resort’s 21st birthday celebrations, reference is made to the event becoming “one of only two swimwear fashion weeks in the world” and “the southern hemisphere equivalent to Miami fashion week”.

IMG of course operates an annual swimwear showcase in Miami.

Frockwriter is curious just how the event will work on, at the very least, the publicity front, given that it is due to take place at exactly the same time as the northern hemisphere autumn/winter 09/10 ready-to-wear collections.

The February timing however synchs perfectly with the selling cycle of Australian swimwear manufacturers.

'Australia' world premiere - the red carpet


Frockwriter finds herself in the awkward situation of having intel to pass on, but no images (since fixed ^). Nicole Kidman has just arrived on the red carpet at tonight's world premiere of Australia and we have it straight from the clothes horse's mouth (well, mouthpiece) that she's wearing L'Wren Scott for the second time in four hours.

Here is the dress from Scott's SS09 collection as it appeared on the runway in New York in September:

l'wren scott/

It seems that there is not much left in the SS09 collection of Kidman's great mate Scott that Kidman has not already worn.

Beyond the two white dresses seen today, Kidman wore an embellished white gown from the same collection at the recent Glamour magazine 'Women of The Year' Awards in New York.

'Australia' world premiere - the presser

reuters via daylife

As I type, Sydney’s central business district is in gridlock. One section of the George Street main drag has been blocked off to traffic since 2.00pm, in preparation for tonight’s world premiere of Baz Lurhmann's latest film, Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. A press conference for 1000 has just wrapped down at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay. Kidman dazzled in what frockwriter can reveal was an elegant white silk L’Wren Scott bustier dress and jacket with Christian Louboutin stilettos.

The official red carpet starts in two hours.

'Australia' stars Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and David Gulpilil at the press conference/reuters via daylife

The frock intel comes directly from the Kidman camp.

FYI, here is what looks very much like the dress and jacket in question, from L'Wren Scott's Spring/Summer 2009 collection:

l'wren scott SS09/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Panty power

AFP/getty via daylife

Swarovski crystal-encrusted Christmas bows, giant angel wings, maribou feathers, lace, froufrou, highwaisted, '50s-look knickers, bloomers, boxer shorts and a hint of S&M. Yes Victoria's Secret rolled out all this, and more, for its 2008 fashion show. Recorded earlier today in Miami, the over-the-top lingerie extravaganza will be televised on CBS on December 3rd. In her third VS show, the now fully-fledged Angel, Miranda Kerr, had no trouble negotiating the runway in a pair of giant butterly wings. And by the look of things, it didn't take long for Australia's rookie VS runway stars, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Sarah Stephens, to forget everything that they have ever been told by a producer at a major fashion show and start vamping it up, blowing kisses and pretending they're the modern day equivalents of Betty Grable or a Playboy Bunny, take your pick. In a profession in which women already outearn men by a significant degree, their runway co-stars were some of the highest-paid models in the world.

Spared the fantasy outfits worn by the high-profilers, Kershaw and Stephens were kitted out in the type of relatively low-key garb that was donned by Kerr in the same show, before she graduated to a higher profile - and pay grade - within the company.

Stephens looked as sweet as the lollipop she was sucking, in a candy striped brassiere, fingerless knitted gloves, crystal-encrusted bustier and pink tutu:

Kershaw wore a sporty green and white striped bra, striped turban and a peculiar pair of knitted bloomers with "LOVE" motif intarsia:

Kershaw and Stephens were among a handful of new faces to hit the VS runway this year. It was quite a significant coup for both models.

all four images: getty




Angel touchdown

landov via tfs

First shots of the 2008 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. And many of them feature our supermod whisperer, Kannon Rajah, giving the Angels props as they exit the runway.

Here's Rajah with Heidi Klum:

landov via TFS

Don Draper's latest squeeze

mario testino/vogue via TFS

We're not sure that Jon Hamm is Catherine McNeil's type. As any Mad Men fan could tell you however, Don Draper, the lead character of the series, as played by Hamm, would be all over McNeil in a heartbeat. Here are some screen grabs of a 10-page feature in the December edition of US Vogue. Shot by Mario Testino, it features Hamm and McNeil dressed as if 'in character' for the cult series - which is based on the Madison Avenue advertising industry of the early 1960s. McNeil is now ranked the world #8 on And if you had always suspected that she oozed a smouldering, old-worlde Hollywood glamour, here's your evidence.

These shots are high quality screen grabs from a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot.

mario testino/vogue via TFS

A Rajah and his queens

afp/getty via daylife

Meet the Australian at the epicentre of the world's biggest, sexiest and yes, most outrageous, fashion show. His name is Kannon Rajah and the shot above was taken a short time ago at Miami's Fontainebleu Hotel, amidst preparations for the 2008 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which is underway. A former employee of Australian Fashion Week, Rajah has carved out an impressive career for himself over the past four years in international fashion show production and casting, working with some of the biggest names in the fashion business. Before the runway shots start rolling in here are a few backstage glimpses from the 2008 Victoria's Secret show - and last year's show.

Abbey Lee Kershaw in makeup a short time ago:

afp/getty via daylife

Cue card showing outfits that Sarah Stephens (#36), Kershaw (#37) and Miranda Kerr (#47), are due to wear on the runway:

afp/getty via daylife

Rajah backstage at the 2007 show:

all three images: kannon rajah



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beach blanket babelon

patrick mcmullan via TFS

Three days ago frockwriter hinted that, beyond contracted Victoria's Secret Angel Miranda Kerr, an additional two Australian models might have been booked for tonight's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Miami. We threw the names of Abbey Lee Kershaw, and yesterday, Sarah Stephens, into the ring as possibilities. Here is a just-snapped VS photocall on Miami Beach. Stephens is the second from the left on the first row and Kershaw, third from the left on the second row.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sarah Stephens: Earth Angel

next via

mentioned that two more Australians might be joining Miranda Kerr on the Victoria's Secret runway tomorrow night in Miami. Well, although it is certainly true that it's not over until they are in hair and makeup (and there are stories of girls at other shows being yanked even at that late stage), you'd figure if a model touched down in Miami on a Victoria's Secret flight, she would have a good chance of cracking the show. Eighteen year-old Sarah Stephens was on that flight so let's wish her all the best in the countdown to what could be the biggest night of her international career. Which, just to put things into perspective here, kicked off a couple of months ago.

It is also understood that Abbey Lee Kershaw will be in the show.

Kershaw could not make it to Miami with Stephens and the other VS girls, because she was shooting an editorial with W magazine in New York, according to her Australian agency.

Of course, Chic Management is going to talk up its talent. And with potentially three Victoria's Secret Fashion Show models on the company's books, that would be some talent.

Let's wait and see.


Grazia's "incredible" figures while other weeklies slide


Frockwriter hinted that Grazia might have a good Friday. Well congratulations are due to Alison Veness-McGourty and her Grazia team, who have apparently dumbfounded the critics – including frockwriter – by achieving the magazine’s target circulation of 70,000+ copies for its preliminary Audit Bureau of Circulations audit. That’s obviously an average of the first 10 weeks of sales, including what one assumes would have been blockbuster early issues. It's about the only good news for ACP on the weekly front, with the circulations of all other Australian weeklies falling from 0.7 to 18.4percent in the July-September period. Pacific’s Famous fell by 18.4percent.

In a press release Pat Ingram, Publishing Director, Women’s Lifestyle, ACP Magazines, noted:
“We are delighted to confirm that Grazia has hit our launch expectations. Readers and advertisers have embraced Grazia’s unique mix of fashion, entertainment, news, trends and beauty and these figures underscore how in just three months Grazia has already made its mark.”

There remains some confusion as to the exact nature of this first audit.

Media analyst Steve Allen told frockwriter on Tuesday that it was a “publisher’s statement” - and indicated that Grazia’s figures had been flagged with the letters “PR” on the Audit Bureau of Circulations November 30 audit report.

B&T also refers to it today as a “publisher’s statement”.

Crikey today refers to it as a “publisher’s estimate”.

Yesterday, the Audit Bureau of Circulations told this blog that it most definitely is not a publisher’s statement, but a "preliminary" independent audit, based on 10 weeks of sales, because the magazine had not been publishing for the complete 13 week cycle.

Pat Ingram also referred to the success of which has generated, she noted, “an incredible 9,830,512 million page impressions in just three months”, citing Nielsen Online data for the July 21-October 31 period.

Anyone who punches in the URL to web intel site might be nonplussed to find that does not even register on’s Top 100,000 list.

Punch in however and it certainly does register in the Top 100,000 – not as, but as This is for the simple reason that makes no differentiation between the two.

A Nielsen Online spokeswoman told frockwriter that Nielsen has definitely been tracking the right site. Well, that's good to know.

Citing Nielsen data once again, calls itself:

“Australia's leading online media company”, which is visited by "over 8.2 million people each month, representing 75 per cent of Australian Internet users".

Frockwriter understands the site would have generated “hundreds of millions” of page impressions over the July 21-October 31 period.

With link love from, and a A$7million marketing campaign, by all accounts it is not so incredible that could achieve those results.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gemma Ward - close, but no cigar


Gemma Ward missed out on the Best Actress gong at tonight's Inside Film (IF) Awards on Queensland's Gold Coast for her role in The Black Balloon. The award has just gone to Monic Hendrickx for Unfinished Sky. According to Ward's Australian agency, Shanahan Management, Ward did not attend the awards - she is in New York, studying acting. [UPDATE] Although nominated for 10 IF Awards, The Black Balloon walked away with one: the IF Award for Box Office Achievement (after earning A$2.2 million). Next up: the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards in Melbourne on December 6, for which the film has received 11 nominations.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finch takes flight

antipodium via refinery29

Congrats go to Geoffrey J Finch and his partners Ashe and Fenella Peacock, whose Antipodium brand has just - ie minutes ago - won the fashion category of the 2008 Qantas Spirit of Youth (SOYA) Awards.

Antipodium was originally opened by Ashe Peacock as an antipodian-specialist fashion boutique and PR showroom in London in 2003.

In 2006 Peacock, Antipodium director Finch and Peacock’s Perth-based sister Fenella launched the Antipodium label – and things went so spectacularly well, they swiftly dismantled the rest of the operation.

Debuting at Australian Fashion Week in May this year, the brand will add David Jones to its rapidly expanding stockists' list in February 2009.

Frontman/designer Finch, now 25, left his native Toowoombah for London in 2004.

He wins A$5,000 in cash, A$5,000 in flights – which he says he will use to build up Antipodium’s US business – and a mentorship with Peter Morrissey.

After collecting his Perspex trophy on stage, the self-taught Finch tells frockwriter that he was asked by the show’s host how he felt competing with more traditionally-trained designers. Two cases in point: the two other SOYA 2008 fashion finalists Dion Lee and Reiss Radvanyi.

His response was:
“I took the back door to fashion”.

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