Thursday, October 30, 2008

Operator Please bass player makes modelling debut. Who knew?


minty meets munt AW09

You’ve got to love a world scoop – especially one you have zip idea that you’re sitting on. Yesterday Sydney fashion label Minty Meets Munt shot its autumn winter 2009 catalogue. The party reportage-style campaign features up-and-coming US model Hannah Holman surrounded by four non professional male models, in a simulated 'night out' scene. Unbeknownst until 2pm today to the label’s designer Tanya Curmi and even Curmi's creative director/publicist Matt Jordan, not only was one of the four male models Ashley McConnell, the 19 year-old bass player from the ARIA Award-winning Gold Coast band Operator Please – the “favourite rocking teens” of über gossip blogger Perez Hilton - McConnell has just been signed by Sydney’s Chadwicks agency and is about to embark on a modelling career.

A ringin organised by Curmi's store manager, after Curmi says she "put out put a call out for cute looking indie boys", McConnell did the Minty Meets Munt shoot as a favour.

McConnell's only recompense for the gig was "some beers", according to Jordan – who even blogged some outtakes from the shoot this morning on his Imelda blog, with still with no clue as to McConnell's real identity (Jordan declares his commercial relationship with Minty Meets Munt in this earlier post).

Because noone knew who he was at the time, McConnell appears, hilariously, as a mere accoutrement to the campaign's star, Holman - and many of the images of him are blurred.

“It’s like Dumb and Dumber!” quipped Jordan.

Given McConnell's somewhat dramatic transformation from a relatively wholesome, emo-coiffed Gold Coast teen (second from the right, below) to tat-covered Pete Doherty-lookalike muso, perhaps it's no surprise that Curmi and co did not recognise him.


operator please

Expect to see more McConnell fashion images over the coming months, once Chadwicks starts shopping him around.

McConnell will apparently be listed at the agency as "Ashley Scott", using his middle name.




minty meets munt AW09

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Black Balloon sweeps the AFI Awards nominations with 11 nods



As revealed earlier today by frockwriter - prior to the AFI nominations announcement - Australian feature The Black Balloon had been nominated in at least two categories of the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards. Frockwriter can now reveal that the film has in fact swept the 2008 AFI Awards nominations with 11 nods for, among other categories, Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Gemma Ward has been overlooked in the Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories - while her co-stars received four acting nominations between them. The 50th annual AFI Awards will take place at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on December 6th. Here is the complete list of nominees direct from the AFI's just-wrapped press conference in Sydney.


L’Oréal Paris 2008 AFI Awards Nominees

AFI International Award for Best Actor
• Eric Bana. The Other Boleyn Girl
• Russell Crowe. American Gangster
• Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight
• Jack Thompson. Leatherheads

AFI International Award for Best Actress
• Cate Blanchett. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
• Judy Davis. The Starter Wife. Network Ten
• Rachel Griffiths. Brothers & Sisters. Seven Network
• Nicole Kidman. The Golden Compass

L’Oréal Paris AFI Young Actor Award
• Danielle Catanzariti. Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger
• Tom Green. The Ground Beneath
• Saoirse Ronan. Death Defying Acts
• Clarence John Ryan. September

AFI Visual Effects Award
• Death Defying Acts. James Rogers
• Double The Fist (Series 2). Doug Bayne, Adam MacGowan, Michael Blake & Bill McGuire. ABC
• Gabriel. Matthew Graham & Steve Anderson
• H2O – Just Add Water (Series 2). Barry Lanfranchi. Network Ten

FEATURE FILM NOMINEES

L’Oréal Paris AFI Award for Best Film
• The Black Balloon. Tristram Miall
• The Jammed. Dee McLachlan, Andrea Buck & Sally Ayre-Smith
• The Square. Louise Smith
• Unfinished Sky. Cathy Overett & Anton Smit

AFI Award for Best Direction
• The Black Balloon. Elissa Down
• The Jammed. Dee McLachlan
• The Square. Nash Edgerton
• Unfinished Sky. Peter Duncan

Macquarie AFI Award for Best Original Screenplay
• The Black Balloon. Elissa Down & Jimmy The Exploder
• Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger. Cathy Randall
• The Jammed. Dee McLachlan
• The Square. Joel Edgerton & Matthew Dabner

Macquarie AFI Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
• All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane. Stephen Vagg
• Unfinished Sky. Peter Duncan

AFI Award for Best Cinematography
• The Black Balloon. Denson Baker ACS
• Death Defying Acts. Haris Zambarloukos BSC
• The Tender Hook. Geoffrey Simpson ACS
• Unfinished Sky. Robert Humphreys ACS

AFI Award for Best Editing
• The Black Balloon. Veronika Jenet ASE
• Black Water. Rodrigo Balart
• The Jammed. Dee McLachlan & Anne Carter
• Unfinished Sky. Suresh Ayyar ASE

AFI Award for Best Sound
• The Black Balloon. Ben Osmo & Paul Pirola
• Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger. Liam Egan, Tony Murtagh, Phil Judd MPSE & Des Kenneally
• The Tender Hook. Liam Egan, Tony Murtagh, Phil Judd MPSE & Gary Wilkins
• Unfinished Sky. Andrew Plain, Annie Breslin & Will Ward

AFI Award for Best Original Music Score
• The Black Balloon. Michael Yezerski
• The Square. François Tétaz & Ben Lee
• The Tender Hook. Chris Abrahams
• Unfinished Sky. Antony Partos

AFI Award for Best Production Design
• Children of the Silk Road. Steven Jones-Evans
• Death Defying Acts. Gemma Jackson
• The Tender Hook. Peter Baxter
• Unfinished Sky. Laurie Faen

AFI Award for Best Costume Design
• Children of the Silk Road. Wenyan Gao & Kym Barrett
• Death Defying Acts. Susannah Buxton
• Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger. Shareen Beringer
• The Tender Hook. Cappi Ireland

AFI Award for Best Lead Actor
• Rhys Wakefield. The Black Balloon
• Guy Pearce. Death Defying Acts
• David Roberts. The Square
• William McInnes. Unfinished Sky

AFI Award for Best Lead Actress
• Noni Hazlehurst. Bitter & Twisted
• Emma Lung. The Jammed
• Veronica Sywak. The Jammed
• Monic Hendrickx. Unfinished Sky

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor
• Luke Ford. The Black Balloon
• Erik Thomson. The Black Balloon
• Joel Edgerton. The Square
• Anthony Hayes. The Square

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress
• Leeanna Walsman. Bitter & Twisted
• Toni Collette. The Black Balloon
• Maeve Dermody. Black Water
• Saskia Burmeister. The Jammed

TELEVISION NOMINEES

AFI Award for Best Children’s Television Drama
• Animalia. Ewan Burnett & Murray Pope. Network Ten
• Blue Water High (Series 3). Noel Price & Dennis Kiely. ABC
• Double Trouble. Rachel Clements & Terry Jennings. Nine Network
• H2O - Just Add Water (Series 2). Jonathan M. Shiff & Joanna Werner. Network Ten

AFI Award for Best Television Comedy Series
• Chandon Pictures. Rob Carlton. Movie Network
• The Hollowmen. Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch. ABC
• The Librarians. Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler. ABC
• Summer Heights High. Chris Lilley & Laura Waters. ABC

AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series
• City Homicide (Series 2). MaryAnne Carroll. Seven Network
• Rush. John Edwards & Mimi Butler. Network Ten
• Satisfaction. Andrew Walker & Roger Simpson. Showcase
• Underbelly. Greg Haddrick & Brenda Pam. Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Light Entertainment Television Series
• ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton. Bernice Toni, Polly Connolly, Jon Casimir &
Megan Brownlow. ABC
• The Gruen Transfer. Jo Wathen & Jon Casimir. ABC
• RocKwiz. Ken Connor, Joe Connor, Peter Bain-Hogg & Brian Nankervis. SBS
• Spicks and Specks (Series 4). Anthony Watt. ABC

AFI Award for Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series
• Bed of Roses. Stephen Luby & Mark Ruse. ABC
• East West 101. Steve Knapman & Kris Wyld. SBS
• Rain Shadow. Gus Howard. ABC
• Valentines Day. Tony Wright. ABC

AFI Award for Best Direction in Television
• East West 101 (Episode 2, Death at the Station) Peter Andrikidis. SBS
• Satisfaction (Episode 5, Truth) Daina Reid. Showcase
• Summer Heights High (Episode 8) Stuart McDonald. ABC
• Underbelly (Episode 7, Wise Monkeys) Peter Andrikidis. Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Screenplay in Television
• Dogstar (Episode 26) Philip Dalkin. Nine Network
• East West 101 (Episode 2, Death at the Station) Kris Wyld. SBS
• The Hollowmen (Episode 1, Fat Chance) Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch. ABC
• Underbelly (Episode 2, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) Peter Gawler. Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama
• Don Hany. East West 101. SBS
• William McInnes. East West 101. SBS
• Callan Mulvey. Rush. Network Ten
• Gyton Grantley. Underbelly. Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama
• Phoebe Tonkin. H2O - Just Add Water (Series 2). Network Ten
• Diana Glenn. Satisfaction. Showcase
• Alison Whyte. Satisfaction. Showcase
• Kat Stewart. Underbelly. Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama
• Gary Files. Dogstar (Episode 26) Nine Network
• Taffy Hany. East West 101 (Episode 1, The Enemy Within) SBS
• Vince Colosimo. Underbelly (Episode 2, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) Nine Network
• Damian Walshe-Howling. Underbelly (Episode 7, Wise Monkeys) Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama
• Hanna Mangan-Lawrence. Bed of Roses (Episode 1, Not Worth a Cent) ABC
• Amanda Muggleton. City Homicide (Series 1: Episode 3, Lie Down With Dogs) Seven Network
• Brittany Byrnes. H2O - Just Add Water (Series 2: Episode 25, Sea Change) Network Ten
• Madeleine West. Underbelly (Episode 7, Wise Monkeys) Nine Network

AFI Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy
• Rob Carlton. Chandon Pictures. Movie Network
• Rob Sitch. The Hollowmen. ABC
• Robyn Butler. The Librarians. ABC
• Chris Lilley. Summer Heights High. ABC

NON-FEATURE NOMINEES

AFI Award for Best Documentary
• Beyond Our Ken. Luke Walker
• Not Quite Hollywood. Craig Griffin & Michael Lynch
• The Oasis. Ian Darling
• Rare Chicken Rescue. Vickie Gest

AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary
• Beyond Our Ken. Melissa Maclean & Luke Walker
• The Oasis. Ian Darling & Sascha Ettinger Epstein
• Rachel: A Perfect Life. Fiona Cochrane
• Rare Chicken Rescue. Randall Wood

AFI Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary
• A Northern Town. Andrew Commis & Rachel Landers
• Bomb Harvest. Kim Mordaunt
• NIGHT. Laurie McInnes
• Rare Chicken Rescue. Randall Wood

AFI Award for Best Editing in a Documentary
• Not Quite Hollywood. Jamie Blanks, Sara Edwards & Mark Hartley
• The Oasis. Sally Fryer
• Rare Chicken Rescue. Scott Walton
• The Siege. Stewart Young ASE

AFI Award for Best Sound in a Documentary
• Fairweather Man. Ben Crane, Michael Gissing, Guy Gross & Mike Jones
• The Oasis. Felicity Fox & Michael Gissing
• Rare Chicken Rescue. Brett Aplin, Greg Docwra & John Willsteed
• The Siege. Ian McLoughlin, Antony Partos & David White

AFI Award for Best Short Animation
• Chainsaw. Fiona Cochrane & Dennis Tupicoff
• Dog With Electric Collar. Steve Baker & Damon Escott
• Mutt. Beth Frey & Glen Hunwick
• Paper City Architects. Daniel Agdag

AFI Award for Best Short Fiction Film
• fOUR. Zyra McAuliffe & Erin White
• Jerrycan. Stuart Parkyn & Julius Avery
• The Ground Beneath. Kristina Ceyton & Rene Hernandez
• My Rabit Hoppy. Anthony Lucas

AFI Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film
• 296 Smith Street. John Evagora
• Chainsaw. Dennis Tupicoff
• fOUR. Erin White
• The Ground Beneath. Rene Hernandez

SOURCE: AFI

Gemma pipped by Emma, Toni and co – but The Black Balloon scores an AFI Best Film nom



Nominations for the 2008 AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards are about to be announced in Sydney and frockwriter can reveal that Gemma Ward's debut feature The Black Balloon has been nominated in at least two categories of Australia's most prestigious film awards: Best Film and Best Supporting Actress. Ward’s name does not appear amongst the Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress nominees - but her Black Balloon co-star Toni Collette, who was overlooked in the recent Australian IF Awards nominations for Best Actress in favour of Ward, has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Frockwriter can also reveal the full 2008 list of AFI Best Actress nominees:

Noni Hazelhurst
Emma Lung
Veronica Sywak
Monic Hendricks

More to come.

UPDATED: THE BLACK BALLOON SWEEPS THE 50TH ANNUAL AFI AWARDS NOMINATIONS FIELD WITH 11 NODS.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Myf did Next


numero/chic management

Myf Shepherd might have missed out on recounting her SS09 highlights to models.com - even though, at 51 shows, she surpassed Heloise Guerin’s 47 - but that hasn't stopped Australia's next top model from clocking up those belt notches.

According to Shepherd's Australian agency, Chic Management, Shepherd has just been photographed by Cedric Buchet for London's edgy 10 Magazine.

Even more interesting - she is currently on option for a very big Euro campaign for SS09.

The only hint we can provide is that it's one of the 51 SS09 shows Shepherd did not do - due solely to a prior runway commitment with an equally big name.

Marc Jacobs gives good massage - Karlie Kloss cites throwing up as a SS09 highlight


backstage LV SS08/frockwriter

On models.com’s just-posted “Model memorable moments SS/09”, Russian supermod Anna Gushina reveals that Marc Jacobs provided a 3 Minute Angel-type service for his models at fittings for the Louis Vuitton show earlier this month in Paris.

Gushina tells models.com:

“One of my most memorable moments was in Paris this year during the Louis Vuitton fitting. There were a couple of masseuses there to give quick shoulder rubs and provide a few minutes of complete relaxation! After three weeks of travel, fittings, casting and shows, a quick massage gave me a jolt of energy to finish up the shows!”

With three separate models talking about the payment-in-trade issue recently - and let's be fair to Jacobs here, the practice would appear to be fairly endemic across the fashion industry - nice to hear that Jacobs thought of pampering his LV girls. Most of whom would have been pretty whacked by that stage.

The Vuitton show is one of the very last shows of the season. At the end of the show, as the models walk backstage off the runway, you can usually hear a resounding cheer from those girls who are finishing up then and there.

Models.com's other model SS09 highlights include:

• A highway motorcycle race between east Euro moneygirls Kasia Struss, Vlada Roslyakova, Natasha Poly and Georgina Stojiljkovic, to get to the Galliano show on time (Stojiljkovic)
• Another mad get-to-show panic which induced a booker’s asthma attack (Ali Stephens)
• A bout of food poisoning following a dodgy Milanese risotto (Karlie Kloss)

The cynics would probably have a field day speculating why Kloss nominated a vomiting episode as a season highlight. To the anecdote, frockwriter notes, Kloss did in fact add:
"Give me a burger and fries any day!"

Frockwriter’s memory has nevertheless just been jogged on a couple of other gut-wrenching fashion episodes.

As we noted, in an earlier blog incarnation, at the FW0708 shows, upon coming down with what at the time we assumed may have been a gastric flu:

“An antiemitic should be de rigueur in the handbag of anyone contemplating covering a fashion season. But not solely due to the fact that an inevitable percentage of the clothes that they will see are bound to make them feel sick.”

Beyond the flu and adverse Stilnox reactions (we are still not 100% sure about the exact cause of the latter) frockwriter has only experienced food poisoning twice. From the same restaurant in Paris. Coincidentally, it was an Italian restaurant (which has since closed).

Burberry’s PR Erika Johnston told me that she was struck down with food poisoning after enjoying room service at one of the company’s Milanese hotels one particular season. Burberry has since changed hotels.

In between showings of her Sabatini collection at the Tranoi trade show in Paris, Margie Milich was once obliged to run to the bathroom following an entree of escargots at Le Grand Cafe.

And according to frockwriter’s usually tremendously reliable backstage sources, minutes prior to the commencement of Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary show in Paris earlier this month, one dresser projectile vomited over three models.

Some time was reportedly spent fishing particles out of the models' hair and clothes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lisa Seiffert one-ups Tiah Eckhardt in the European exposé stakes


S magazine/finn via TFS


The ‘S’ in the title of Danish art magazine S is starting to look like it might be code for “Strine”. Earlier today frockwriter told you about the blossoming nude pinup career of Perth fashion model Tiah Eckhardt, which includes at least five nude spreads in international magazines over the past 12 months – two of them in S. But who happens to be on the latest S cover? Lisa Seiffert. Remember her? My what a difference a decade makes. Exactly 10 years ago, reportedly at the age of 16, Seiffert was pretty in pink on the cover of Vogue Australia, alongside fellow Queenslander Alyssa Sutherland, and the cover line, “Return to elegance”. Warning: NSFW


Here is the Vogue Australia cover from September 2008:


vogue auustralia sep 1998/supermodels.nl

And here is the latest cover of ‘S’:


S magazine/finn via TFS

How does frockwriter know for sure that it is Seiffert?

While we can't vouch for the accuracy of the reportage of "Finn", who scanned these 'S' images, both the S cover and some other images from the same issue, by Andrew Yee, appear on the blog and main website of Seiffert’s New York agency, Muse Management.

There’s also a somewhat amusing video of Seiffert, which she prefaces in a sultry drawl with the words: “Hi I’m Lisa Seiffert and I’m Australian”.

The same site has some ELLE France and Italia covers of Seiffert – even though on closer inspection, these appear to be at least two years old, previously posted on the site of her former New York agency, IMG.

It’s interesting to clock the choices that Seiffert and/or her agencies have made since she first emerged on the Australian modelling scene back in the late 1990s, a favourite at Australian Fashion Week and the David Jones show, among others.

Seiffert has proven extremely popular, for example, as a sultry co-star in the music video clips of several male American artists.

Seiffert first appeared in the accompanying clip to Robbie Williams' 2001 hit The Road to Mandalay and Eternity, later popping up in that of Jay-Z & Pharrel´s 2004 Change Clothes.

Then there was the controversial tvc for Sean Combs’ Unforgivable men’s fragrance in 2006 – which was reportedly banned by US broadcasting authorities for television, with the print ads also reportedly banned by some US department stores.

In the clip, which is displayed on Combs' own website with the tagline "Too hot for tv", Seiffert cavorts scantily-clad, on a bed, alongside Combs and another female model. The inference appears to be that Combs has bedded both women.

Combs copped yet more flack last year over the release of an equally controversial clip for his Unforgivable womens fragrance, which starred yet another Australian model, Jessica Gomes.

Banned by US broadcasting authorities over its sexually implicit content, the ad was later broadcast in the UK - but only after 9pm.

Of Combs' most recent fragrance imbroglio, fellow US singer - and perfume spruiker - Mariah Carey told advertising industry website Brand Republic:
"M by Mariah Carey is about being unforgettable, not unforgivable. It's not about a menage a trois or a one night stand, it's for the woman who wants the man to fall in love with her immediately, stay in love, and treat her like royalty."

Of course we all know how US rappers love to treat women like royalty.

But Seiffert’s rapper connections have not provided the sole showcases for her sexy antics.

In 2003, Seiffert provided some nude, simulated girl-on-girl action for Italy’s famous Pirelli calendar, which has been dubbed “the world’s best-known girlie calendar", as well as a behind-the-scenes video:



Two other Australian models appear in the 2008 Pirelli calendar, Catherine McNeil and Gemma Ward, star as Pirelli pinups – although managing to do it with their clothes on.

Seiffert’s Pirelli co-star, “Sienna Rose Miller” would of course go on to bigger and better things as an actor, first arousing attention as one of Jude Law’s many love interests in the 2004 flick Alfie.

Seiffert's work in the interim has included several Italian advertisements, including a Spring/Summer 2007 Sisley campaign shot by Terry Richardson.

But look, a jugs out cover of S magazine is bound to garner attention.

So far it has not been added to Seiffert's profile on the website of her local agency, Viviens.

Tiah Eckhardt to bare it all (again) for French Playboy?


stab magazine

Three weeks after 20 year-old Brit supermod Lily Cole raised eyebrows in London posing nude for the cover of French Playboy, comes word that Australia’s own blood nut bombshell, twentysomething Tiah Eckhardt, may be destined to bear all for the same publication. But while Cole’s appearance in nought but a pair of white socks and clutching a teddy bear was something of a departure for the Marks & Spencer model – sparking controversy, with conservatives calling for a boycott of the M&S stores – Eckhardt’s mooted Playboy debut should come as no surprise. While most Australian modelling exports have been making names for themselves with their clothes on, as it emerges, Eckhardt has been busy building her image as a buxom pinup, posing nude for at least four internatonal publications over the past twelve months. And a warning, this is definitely NSFW.

It was another Australian model, Stephanie Carta, who claimed that Eckhardt had scored the Playboy gig on her Carta blog yesterday.

And funnily enough, so far this year Eckhardt has appeared nude on the January cover of London’s Trace magazine (the only caucasian in a group of five nude women), Denmark's S Magazine (below) – in either two separate nude S editorials, or else two separate editions - and also in the August edition of Australian surf title Stab (pictured above ^).

In several shots Eckhardt poses full frontal.


warwick saint, S magazine/finn's place

And it’s not just the images which are risque.

In a small feature which accompanies Eckhardt's Stab picture editorial, which is titled “The Joy of Sex According to Tiah Eckhardt”, the Perth native tells the magazine in no uncertain terms:
“You could be trained to give a girl what could possibly be the most technically flawless fucking of her life, but if you don’t know what to whisper in my ear when you’re behind or how to look at me when you’re inside, then it doesn’t really matter.”

Tom Ford would probably love it. But then, Tom Ford isn’t helming a luxury womenswear brand at the moment.

Some might well assume that Eckhardt’s November 2007 gig with the notoriously raunchy British luxury lingerie label Agent Provocateur may have set the ball rolling.

Noted for its erotic advertising campaigns, Agent Provocateur cast Eckhardt in its Fall/Winter 0708 “Lady of the Manor” campaign.

Scantily-clad in the brand’s lingerie, in addition to a French maid’s outfit, Eckhardt appeared in a series of images and videos on the website, alongside Catherine Bailey, wife of British photographer David Bailey and Daisy Lowe (the stepdaughter of Gwen Stefani). Here is a behind-the-scenes video:



Eckhardt’s Agent Provocateur gig certainly seems to have sealed her repute as Australia’s latest sex bomb.

In June, AskMen.com ranked her the site’s number 9 in its Top Ten Agent Provocateur models, describing Eckhardt as:

“an Aussie with a little fire in her panties. In other words, she’s a blazing redhead who’s hotter than Texas chili...a mix of classic 1940s movie star, 1950s Varga girl and today’s rock chic... a red-headed version of Jane Fonda playing Barbarella”.

A little higher up on the same list were Lily Cole (#5), Dita von Teese (#3), Kylie Minogue (#2) and Kate Moss (#1).

However in fact predating the Agent Provocateur campaign was yet another nude Eckhardt editorial shot by Liz Collins for the May 2007 edition of French men’s magazine Paradis.

And some nine months prior to that, here is what Eckhardt reportedly said in the August 2006 edition of Harpers Bazaar Australia when asked if she is a gym junkie:

"i'm not a fan of any physical activity that doesn't end in an orgasm, so you won't find me in a gym anytime soon."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Côte d'Aszur: Backstage @ Sid's Waltzing Masquerade



The world premier season of the Sydney Dance Company’s new work, Sid’s Waltzing Masquerade, wrapped last night in Sydney. The show, which was choreographed by Canadian Aszure Barton, with costumes by Australian fashion and jewellery designer Michelle Jank, will run next at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre from November 5-15. After that, the SDC hopes the show will tour internationally.

I had a ‘Fashion Scoop’ on the Barton/Jank collaboration in WWD on October 10th, which revealed that not only did Barton choose Jank out of a field of five costume/fashion names suggested to her – including Josh Goot – but that Barton and Jank hit it off so well they are now cooking up future collabs.

Given Barton’s connections, these projects could prove very interesting for Jank.

Barton's other works include a Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera starring Alan Cumming, Jim Dale and Cyndi Lauper and an excerpt of Salome, which starred Al Pacino, Kevin Anderson and Jessica Chastain.

Barton is currently artist-in-residence at New York’s Baryshnikov Performing Arts Center (a venue frockwriter knows well – having once in fact, in a different incarnation, blogged from it).


aszure barton (L) and michelle jank


Sid’s Waltzing Masquerade is short (60 minutes), sharp and very entertaining. It came as no surprise to hear Barton being thanked at the after-show speeches on opening night for having “brought humour back” to the company.

With artistic directors Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon departing the company last year after 30 years at its helm, and their incoming replacement Tania Liedtke tragically killed in a traffic accident just three months into her tenure, the company obviously needed a good laugh.

Among other amusing scenes, dancers occasionally give ‘the finger’, with one male dancer even making the universal, hand-shaking “wanker” gesture.

By all accounts this was quite unfamiliar territory for the SDC dancers, at least in the choreographic sense - Barton told me it took some time persuading them to drop the decorum.

The costumes are quite beautiful and frockwriter can’t help thinking their influence may spread further afield than the dance theatre.

There are over 60 costumes, with the female dancers each having numerous changes throughout the production.

Inspired by Russian folk dolls, Jank created a ‘layered’ look which was based on little sculpted Powernet bodysuits, over which elastic ‘harnesses’ were attached, some with silk georgette ruffles on the shoulders and hips, as well as diaphanous silk gazar skirts. The men wear simple black and white suits.

For the ballroom scene finale, Jank wanted to create a series of full-skirted ballgowns inspired by the great couturiers of the 1950s, notably Christian Dior.

After running out of funds, Sydney cashmere label To Sir With Love came up with $10,000.

Jank used her couture-specialist dressmaker from Perth, who once worked in fact at the Christian Dior haute couture atelier in Paris according to Jank.

The production represents Jank’s first dance collaboration – and in fact Barton’s first collaboration with a fashion designer. At the dress rehearsal Jank did express some surprise that, unlike the sponsor-drenched field of sport, and even fashion – in which it’s relatively easy for even up-and-coming designers to secure sponsorship money to blow on a once-off Australian Fashion Week show - Australia’s leading contemporary dance company doesn’t have much money.

“I like the relationship that you get with the dancers” Jank told me during one of the dress rehearsals. ”You’re working really one on one with them and it’s a beautiful process getting to know someone and then tailor-making it to make them feel nice. It’s like couture I suppose, making something that’s especially for their body. It’s been lovely working with Aszure, who’s uncannily like my sister in a way".

She added, “You can create some sort of a painting on stage which I find really interesting - creating the dynamic of fabric in movement, or fighting against movement. You are working in a palette that is like a painting and creating an extension of a feeling that she’s working on. She’s very inspiring to work with”.

Noted Barton, of Jank:

“Right away it was a connection, it was a sensibility. And I loved her heart. Since 2002 I’ve worked with different people (on costumes). But never with a fashion designer. And I love it. I’ve seen a lot of work with fashion designers that I’m not that fond of, so this is a really amazing connection”.

Here's the official trailer in which you can see the dancers – and costumes – in action (click here for the higher res option):























Thursday, October 23, 2008

Model-turned-star: Gemma Ward


marie claire spain/TFS via bellazon


Fashwatchers from one side of the blogosphere to the other are suddenly agog with the news that Gemma Ward has finally resurfaced on the cover of a fashion glossy: the October 2008 edition of Spain's marie claire. This is curious, given that the issue has been out for at least four weeks – with The Fashion Spot onto it a month ago. According to the poster who apparently broke the news, the issue is dedicated to the connection between fashion and film.

The original TFS news was greeted with mixed reactions ranging from mild excitement to total ennui, with “Helmut Newton” noting, with typical fashion snarkiness:

“Wow what a downgrade for Gemma. She went from Vogue Italia cover to Marie Claire Spain in one year!

It's sad but she doesn't have that thing like Daria who can step in and out of fashion. Gemma's look was very of the moment and now that moment is over”.

Much has been written about Gemma Ward, who, in the space of just over three years rose to the world number one position on models.com's Top 50 'working models' ranking.

Whatever that really means.

Earlier this year, Ward was moved off the Top 50 list, not to the site's Top 15 "Icons" list, as originally mooted, but to the Top 25 “Money Girls”. At number 24.

Models.com describes a "Money Girl" as:

"a former or current editorial girl who converted into a multi-million dollar proposition".

Ward's models.com shift coincided with her 2008 runway hiatus and, beyond two SS08 advertising campaigns which came out earlier this year, her lack of visibility in the fashion press.

Ward’s last runway season, Spring/Summer 2008 – one year ago – culminated in some unflattering commentary about her weight, after Ward appeared in a bikini at the Chanel show last October.

In the previous twelve months, Ward had initiated a segue into film. Ward was cast in two 2008 film releases: horror flick The Strangers but notably, the critically-acclaimed debut feature of Australian director Elissa Down, The Black Balloon.

The Black Balloon has already won a string of awards, including a Silver Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. Earlier this month the film also scooped the nominations pool for Australia’s upcoming IF Awards, earning 10 nominations - with veteran actor Toni Collette being overlooked in the Best Actress category for rookie Ward.

Ward's dream of attending the February 8th world premier of The Black Balloon at the Berlin Film Festival was shattered by the January 22nd death of her close friend Heath Ledger and the media circus which ensued.

Having missed the Berlin launch, Ward resurfaced in late February in Sydney for the film’s Australian premier, during interviews for which she revealed she had taken time off “living in the jungle, road tripping” in Australia.

In June Ward also trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

On August 18 Australian site Pedestrian.tv set tongues wagging by claiming that Ward would "officially retire from the catwalk to pursue the bright lights of Hollywood” – a claim which was rebutted by Ward herself on New York magazine’s The Cut blog on August 21.

Ward told The Cut:

"I was surprised to wake up this morning and read news of my own retirement. While I am taking some time off currently to rest and enjoy the company of friends and family, I am still very much a (excited and enthusiastic) working model and actress. I'm only 20, for God's sakes."

Overnight Fashionologie reported that Ward:

“recently picked up an Inside Film nomination for Best Actress in The Black Balloon — the Australian equivalent of an Oscar”

Frockwriter feels the need to point out that the IF Awards are not Australia’s equivalent to the Oscars.

Australia’s most prestigious film (and television) awards are in fact the Australian Film Institute or ‘AFI’ Awards.

Frockwriter
assumes that the confusion stems from WWD's October 1st “Fashion Scoop” which referred to Ward’s IF Best Actress nomination, announced that day. And which pointed out that:

“Success at November's IF Awards could place Ward in the running for the Australian equivalent of an Oscar come December at the Australian Film Institute Awards.”

The AFI Award nominations date had not yet been announced at that stage.

But start your engines Gemma watchers, before the IF Awards even see the light of day in mid November, the nominations for the AFI Awards will be announced on October 29th.

Find out next Wednesday if the former world number one model winds up her very surreal 2008 with two major Best Actress award nominations.

That would presumably be unchartered modelling territory.

And Ward's journey would make one hell of a tell-all book.

UPDATED: THE BLACK BALLOON SWEEPS THE 50TH ANNUAL AFI AWARDS NOMINATIONS FIELD WITH 11 NODS.

Blogged by Daulmonster - censored by Mom


iliketoforkmyself via ONTD_fashionfags


Ah those model blogs. They're getting more entertaining by the minute. First came revelations about payment in trade and the stories about model houses which sleep 12 - not counting the cockroaches. Then Korean supe Daul Kim claimed Japanese brand Undercover is "racist" and gave the finger to Barneys over her customer service experiences there. Now Kim has blogged a series of risque shots of herself and a mate using i-D magazine and a guitar as sexual accoutrements. Only to be censored, as it emerges, by her mother.

On October 12, 19 year-old Kim, who signs herself as "Daulmonster" on her I Like To Fork Myself blog, posted a series of images of herself and an unidentified, bare-chested male friend horsing around an apartment.

Of particularly amusing note were several images in which Kim feigned sexual congress with said mate, while he covered his face with the current cover of i-D magazine, whose current covergirl is Dutch supermod Lara Stone.

In another image Kim looked to be pleasuring her friend with the head of an electric guitar - while he bent forward over a toilet.

In an updated version of the post Kim reveals that the images prompted more than a few cranky emails from Korea, from people asking if she is on drugs.

Kim tells her readers:

"thank you but
i dont care

and i was not high or drunk
i dont even smoke cigarettes.
i go to bed early and i dont party. i rave at home.

but my mother emailed and told me that she is upset and
worries about my mental state so its censored.

i listen to my mother.

i am okay im just having fun with my french gay boys...."

It's interesting to see which images were culled and which remained - leading one to speculate which images Kim's poor Korean (one assumes) mother may have found the most offensive.

Apparently the shot of a supine Kim reclining backwards in a submissive pose was not one of them, because that's still up there.

Not so the more dominatrix-look shots of her lowering herself down over the face of "Lara" (pictured above) - or the shot in which Kim looks to be rogering her mate with the guitar:


iliketoforkmyself via ONTD_fashinfags


Unfortunately for South Korea the latter shots were immortalised on at least one forum before Kim had the chance to yank them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fashion redux: Emma Booth




It’s been a while since Oz model-turned-actor Emma Booth had a glossy cover to herself. One third of the March 2008 foldout cover of Australian Harpers Bazaar notwithstanding, Booth's old model agency, Chic Management, reckons that her last solo effort was black + white magazine at least seven years ago. As it happens Marian Simms styled that. And Booth has Simms to thank for what frockwriter can reveal is her latest cover coup: the summer edition of KAREN.

Due out in late October, Booth is the cover story of the latest issue of Simms’ four year-old, Auckland-based indie glossy.

Shot by Charles Howells for the cover, wearing Gucci, Booth also appears in a 10-page editorial story inside the magazine, photographed by Jordan Graham and Liz Ham.

There is an accompanying interview by the magazine’s new features editor Melinda Williams, ex-Pavement and Urbis.

In spite of her recent fashion resurgence – Booth is the new face of Australian accessories brand Oroton – she has been flat out filming back-to-back film projects.

Since her breakthrough role in 2007's Clubland, Booth has shot Joel Schumacher’s horror flick Town Creek, Hippie Hippie Shake (in which she plays Germaine Greer) - with The Boys Are Back in Town (starring Clive Owen) currently in production in Adelaide.

According to Booth’s IMDB listing, another film, Pelican Blood, in pre-production.

Booth reveals to KAREN that she will be in Paris next year shooting Almost French.

Frockwriter is guessing that Booth must be playing the title role in the Kate Dennis film adaptation of the best-selling book of the same title by Australian journalist Sarah Turnbull.

Also up in the new issue of KAREN are 10 pages of Sonny Vandevelde’s backstage photos of Australian Fashion Week, with other editorial featuring rising Kiwi model Katie Braatvedt shot by Charles Howells as well as Taylor Warren (Gavin Rea), Stephanie Carta (Duncan Robinson), Mila De Wit (Jonathan Bookallil), Emma Karlsson (Kate Skennar) and Pania Rose (Steve Baccon).

Win or lose, Karla Reid already has a two year modelling contract


karla reid/girlfriend via ninesmn.com.au

Yesterday frockwriter predicted that, given the babymodel brouhaha which erupted in Australia this year, Girlfriend magazine may have issues with its choice of a 12 year-old as state finalist in the 2008 Girlfriend Model Search. And so far two Australian media outlets have picked up the story. One point seems to have been overlooked. Both The Australian and ninemsn.com.au reported that Reid is in the running to win a two-year contract with the Chic Management model agency. As stated in the competition’s terms and conditions, reported by frockwriter yesterday – and as confirmed again today by Chic – Reid has already won a two-year modelling contract with the agency just by being a state finalist. The outright winner of the competition wins additional representation with Chic’s New York affiliate Next.

As Reid’s mother Karla Reid told ninemsn.com.au today, the Chic Management contract might not start "for a few years".

However she already has the contract.

And let's clarify something here, Chic Management is not a childrens' modelling agency.

According to frockwriter’s model industry sources moreover, sometimes it is in fact the parents who are pushing their kids into work, even if the agency wants to hold back.

There are highly reputable modelling agencies which do carefully monitor the type of work done by underage girls, as well as ensure that they are strictly chaperoned at all times.

Chic Management certainly appears to be one of them.

By the same token there are also disreputable agencies.

There are parents who allow underage girls to travel the world without chaperones.

And there are also apparently clients who either don’t know that the women who appear in the provocative images in their magazines/advertisements are underage – or who simply don’t care.

Not forgetting the creeps who leave comments (obviously unpublished) on blogs like this, saying precisely what they think about the girls in question.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Girlfriend, you better work


13 yr-old russian wannabe supermod katiusha/TO2W


Back in July – and by popular request (tks Voguettes) - frockwriter looked into the 2008 Girlfriend Model Search competition. Eyebrows were raised over this year’s state finalists, four of whom were already repped by model agencies - in direct contravention of the comp’s rules, which stipulate that entrants must not have either worked professionally or be agency-affiliated. An organiser told this blog that Girlfriend takes information provided by entrants in good faith and anyone found to be in breach of the guidelines would be disqualified. Well Girlfriend has just unveiled its six national finalists. And although none of the original quasi-pro four are among the names, frockwriter can’t help thinking that the magazine may have other issues with its final selection. One of the national finalists is 12.

Twelve year-old Karla Reid from Fitzgibbon, Queensland, is now in the running for the main title, the winner of which is to be announced in late November.

According to the Girlfriend website, each state finalist wins a 24-month contract with the Chic Management model agency.

In addition to other prizes, the overall 2008 winner of the Girlfriend Model Search competition wins an additional contract with Chic Management's New York affiliate agency Next.

As already reported by this blog, the Girlfriend Model Search entry criteria do stipulate a minimum age of 12.

According to Chic Models director Kathy Ward, previous winners have included a 13 year-old. The competition has springboarded the careers of a number of successful Australian models, including Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Sarah Stephenson and Alyssa Sutherland.

Tallulah Morton was of course just 13 when she opened Josh Goot’s Australian Fashion Week debut show in May 2005.

Following the April 2008 controversy over 14 year-old Polish model Monika Jagaciak, a 13 year-old would however of course no longer be able to take part in AFW, which now imposes a minimum age requirement of 16.

The latter controversy erupted over one specific, highly sexualised image of Jagaciak, taken when she was 13.

David Jones recently imposed an age minumim of 18 for its own shows.

“Babymodels” is not a new story.

In 1980, at the age of 14, Brooke Shields became the youngest model to appear on the cover of US Vogue, subsequently appearing in a controversial advertising campaign for Calvin Klein jeans.

However it does appear to be the case that that more young girls are now entering the business than ever before.

At least one model agent, Priscilla Leighton-Clarke, confirms this.

Modelling industry website The Ones 2 Watch recently showcased two extremely young girls: 13 year-old Katiusha from Russia and Noor from the Netherlands.

With a stated birth date of September 27 1995, Noor was most likely still 12 when her images appeared on TO2W website.

Some of the images of these girls are quite provocative. And precisely what is the point that is being communicated here by the girls' respective 'mother' agencies, which presumably supplied the images? To say, "Here's our latest sexy asset, she's ready to promote your products"?

In some images both Katiusha and Noor appear to be either wearing strapless tops – or perhaps no tops at all.

The latter certainly seems to be the intended inference:


noor/TO2W

Any parent who is considering actively encouraging their 12 year-old to enter the modelling profession would be well advised to consider the following.

The modelling industry experienced a dramatic shakeup in 1999 when the BBC's MacIntyre Undercover program alleged that models as young as 13 were being pressured into drugs and sex in Milan by people in positions of trust.

The scandal, which prompted stricter age regulations in some places (notably France), ensared two executives at the European division of Elite Models, then the world's biggest modelling agency - both tendering their resignations to Elite's board of directors.

One of them, Gerald Marie, is today back at the company - as the current president of Elite Paris.

Leaving Russian model mafia conspiracy theories out of the equation - for a moment - over the course of the past four months two models allegedly killed themselves by jumping out of multistorey apartment buildings.

One was Russian Ruslana Korshunova (20), in New York in June, the other Canadian Hayley Kohle (26) – who died last week in Milan. Coincidentally on the same night as 20 year-old American Randy Johnston, whose cause of death has yet to be confirmd.

That’s two suspected suicides out of a total four models who have died over the past four months.

Another Canadian, Diana O’Brien, was murdered in Shanghai in early July whilst on assignment.

Like many entertainment fields, modelling has always been a high pressure business.

But it seems the pressures have never been more intense.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Randy Johnston was not the only model who died last Saturday


fashion cult

As an entire week passes with no clarification of the circumstances of the death of 20 year-old American model Randy Johnston, it emerges that a second model died on exactly the same night in Europe. On 11th October, 26 year-old Canadian Hayley Marie Kohle fell seven storeys to her death in Milan. And although the case appears to have been dismissed as a suicide, some are still searching for answers.

According to Canadian press reports, Kohle jumped from the balcony of the seventh-floor apartment “suite” she had been sharing with five Russian models.

Kohle's roommates reportedly told both the local police and their Milanese model agency, Future Models, that Kohle jumped from the balcony after announcing she was going outside to smoke a cigarette.

One hour beforehand, she had sent an email to a friend.

There is some confusion over the accounts provided by Future Models president Ugo Besozzi.

On Friday, Besozzi told the Winnipeg Free Press that Kohle had “had some personal problems”.

Today however, Besozzi is quoted in the same media outlet saying that there were "no warning signs” which might have indicated Kohle was having problems.

In a separate Winnipeg Free Press reported dated 18th October, Kohle's sister Bridget Kohle said that Canada's Foreign Affairs department had not told the family the death had officially been ruled a suicide by Italian police.

According to Bridget Kohle, it took three days for the family to learn of Hayley's death.

On 14th October, by which time neither the family - nor even the Canadian Foreign Affairs department - had been contacted by Italian police, one of the model's concerned friends in Milan alerted her Canadian mother agency, Winnipeg's Panache Models.

At this point Canadian Foreign Affairs stepped in and informed the family.

According to a statement released by Panache Models, Kohle:

"was with very caring agencies and every one of them was in close contact with her on a regular basis. In her seven years as an international model she was a very experienced traveller, an educated model and well informed about the model industry."

The case bears a striking similarity to that of 20 year-old Kazakh model Ruslana Korshunova, who died on June 28 in New York after falling nine floors from her apartment building.

The case was eventually ruled a suicide.

An online petition has nevertheless since been initiated by parties who believe that there may be more to the story - and who want the New York Police Department to reopen the investigation.

To date the petition has collected almost 3000 signatures.

Including Canadian Diana O'Brien, who was murdered in Shanghai on July 7, four models have died over the course of the past four months.

Killer heels, it seems, are the least of anyone's problems.

UPDATE: RIVER PHOENIX LOOKALIKE MODEL DIES. EIGHT WEEKS LATER, NOW WE KNOW WHY.

Toon raiders


darkhorse via the cut/new york magazine

Was it something we said? Well, vis-à-vis McBeha, perhaps so (and tks to the SMH). Way back in July, when frockwriter was but a wee pup of a blog, we created a bit of digital mischief with a Karl Lagerfeld cartoon that had just appeared on an Urban Outfitters T. The latter's KL homage reminded frockwriter of one of the characters in the Powerpuff Girls all-gal cartoon trio. So we couldn’t resist creating our own homage: Blossom, Bubbles and Mittens (pictured below). Overnight comes word of a new KL T on which, as it happens, Lagerfeld is depicted as one third of a toon troika.

Due for release in March 2009 for US$45 via Andrew Randle’s Darkhorse label, the singlet/tank/muscle shirt features cartoon likenesses of Galliano, KL and Lee McQueen (^).

The three designers look to be involved in a heated exchange (debating whose SS09 shoes were the silliest?), with Galliano pointing the finger at a fan-dangling KL, while a kilt-clad McQueen looks on with his arms crossed.



Cartoon chic looks to be a hot trend.

Style.com pioneered the animated fashion character concept via CandyCast: a series of animated, and quite hilarious, accessories reports from the site’s executive fashion director Candy Pratts Price, who provides a voice-over to cover her lip-synching, power besuited, comic counterpart.

Oddcast powered the animation and audio, with illustrations courtesy Roger Vivier creative director Bruno Frisoni.

Style.com extended the concept for the SS09 season via its clever Virtual Front Row: a series of phoned-in dispatches from the SS09 trenches via the cartoon incarnations of some real life fashion front-rowers.

The latter included Dazed & Confused editor Jefferson Hack, Style.com VJ Tim Blanks, net-a-porter.com founder Natalie Massenet, The Guardian's Hadley Freeman and model Chanel Iman.


rockstar games via wwd


The Darkhorse T is the latest toy town incarnation for Lagerfeld - even if he presumably won't be getting any royalties out of it, à la two other recent initiatives.

A limited edition, US$1500 a pop, teddy bear version of Lagerfeld was due to be unveiled last month at Neiman Marcus, via German teddy manufacturer Stieff.

On April 29 2009, Lagerfeld is also due to make his debut as an animated DJ in the fourth installment of the Grand Theft Auto video game (pictured above).

Lagerfeld recently revealed that wouldn’t even mind upgrading to a real virtual streetfighter at some stage, telling WWD:

"I prefer to be in a video than to play with it.... I would love to be a very nasty, politically incorrect character."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Josh Goot and Jaeha up for the world's biggest fashion design prize


josh goot SS09/style.com

Big news for Josh Goot and Alex Kim (who designs the NZ label Jaeha). They have just been announced as two of the 10 finalists in the 2008 el Botón-MANGO Fashion Awards, with a prize purse of, wait for it, 300,000 euros (A$586,000).

Announced yesterday, the other finalists are:

Silvia Garcia Presas
Jean Pierre Braganza
Peter Pilotto & Christian de Vos
Lee Jin Youn
Christian Wijnants
Miriam Lehle
Jakub Polanka
Aleksandar Stanic & Fiona Sinha

Sponsored by Spanish fast fashion juggernaut MANGO, the awards are conducted in association with five leading international fashion colleges:

• Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design (London)
• Escola Superior de Disseny, ESDi (Barcelona)
• Institut Français de la Mode (Paris)
• Istituto Marangoni (Milan-Paris-London)
• Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp).

The schools shortlisted the 10 finalists out of 50 candidates that were previously selected by the MANGO Committee.

The finals will be staged in Barcelona in April 2009 – and to assist getting their collections there, at least according to Alex Kim, each finalist receives 15,000euros (A$29,000).

A new award that is in its second year – with the inaugural prize last year going to Belgian designer Sandrina Fazoli - the el Botón-MANGO Fashion Awards boasts three times the prize purse of the Swiss Textiles Federation’s Swiss Textiles Award.

The Swiss Textiles Award touts itself as the more prestigious competition by virtue of its past prizewinners who include Raf Simons, Haider Ackermann, Christian Wijnants, Bruno Pieters and Marios Schwab.

The 2008 Swiss Textiles Award will be handed out in Zurich on November 13th in front of an international jury.

Braganza is a finalist there as well, alongside Rodarte, Louise Goldin, Toga, Cathy Pill and yet another Australian, Richard Nicoll.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Randy Johnston: Life imitates art


screen grab from 'the septemberists'/anthony goicolea

Another twenty-four hours has passed since the news broke of last Saturday's death of 20 year-old American model Randy Johnston and still no official word on the exact circumstances. Frockwriter has contacted Ford Models, with as yet no reply. As Johnston's family gathers in his home town to pay their last respects, here is an excerpt from the short film that I mentioned yesterday, in which Johnston plays a morbid cameo role. In a coffin. Shot two years ago by Brooklyn-based artist Anthony Goicolea and presented in its original 30-minute version at Thom Browne's Spring/Summer 2007 presentation, the film has suddenly reemerged on high rotation as a disquieting eulogy to the tragic young fashion star.

UPDATE 10/12/08: RIVER PHOENIX LOOKALIKE MODEL DIES. EIGHT WEEKS LATER, NOW WE KNOW WHY.

Called The Septemberists, according to Goicolea's website, the film:

"chronicles the preparations and processes associated with traditional religious ceremonies. A group of boys harvests materials in a dream-like landscape in order to construct the clothing and elements necessary to enact a series of semi-sacrificial rites of passage. Taking inspiration from Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," the musical score becomes a substitute for dialogue.... In the final scenes, a first communion, wedding and funeral blend together and culminate as a make shift wooden coffin is rowed down stream and crosses paths with a baptismal ceremony."


Johnston was cast in the starring role of the funeral scene.

Here's the video.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vicious circle


randy johnston via ontd

Yes well if it wasn’t patently obvious that there was more to the story of the sudden, tragic death of 20 year-old model Randy Johnston than was reported by Ford Models on Tuesday New York time, it has not taken long for the chatter to surface.

UPDATE 10/12/08: RIVER PHOENIX LOOKALIKE MODEL DIES. EIGHT WEEKS LATER, NOW WE KNOW WHY.


According to several posters in one web forum who claim to be Johnston’s friends, Johnston died at a party on Saturday night.

Died from what exactly?

In the absence of any kind of official statement or comment from Johnston's agency Ford Models or from his parents, who will now have to contend with not only burying their son but press scrutiny, frockwriter is not going to repeat the claims.

We have sought comment from Ford and will keep you posted.

What we will say however is that although Johnstons’ poor grieving parents are not public figures, the very nature of the career which Johnston pursued in life dictates that even in death, he is.

And while model agencies crank up their models’ profiles in order to get buzz going - ultimately for commercial gain - it’s a little hard to just switch that interest off when it doesn’t suit them and the news is bad.

As reported by frockwriter earlier today, Johnston's obituary details in one local newspaper did seem ambiguous.

The obit reported that, following school, Johnston had “pursued a path unfamiliar to many he knew” and that he had worked hard “in a high pressure industry”.

Also as reported by frockwriter, Johnston admired Sid Vicious - telling models.com that the late Sex Pistols bass player was the person he would most like to meet.

Sid Vicious died from a heroin overdose in 1979 at the age of 21.

What a role model.

River Phoenix lookalike model dies. Four days later still no explanation


randy johnston/nicola formichetti

Sad to hear the news about the passing of 20 year-old American model Randy Johnston who, it emerges, died on October 11. Four days later, the circumstances of his death have yet to be clarified.
UPDATE 10/12/08: RIVER PHOENIX LOOKALIKE MODEL DIES. EIGHT WEEKS LATER, NOW WE KNOW WHY.

The news appears to have been broken by Johnston’s agency, Ford Models, which has a tribute on its website. And has since trickled through on the web via various forums, including Fashionologie, ONTD, COACD, The Fashion Spot and New York mag's The Cut blog.

The only hard details to surface so far are apparently the only ones that really count to the fashion industry: Johnston once worked for Dior Homme and is in the current edition of i-D magazine, with his hands down the knickers of Lara Stone. And that he once appeared in a video for the Thom Browne menswear label, lying in a coffin.

Given tomorrow’s viewing at the Lester Gee Funeral Home in New London, unfortunately the latter looks to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy.

[UPDATE 3.07PM Equally morbid (as Isaac Hindin Miller has just pointed out to me) is the fact that Johnston, who played in several bands, once told models.com that the person he would most like to meet is Sid Vicious - the Sex Pistols bass player who died of a heroin overdose in 1979].

An obituary in The Norwich Bulletin provides ambiguous details:

“After high school, Randy pursued a path unfamiliar to many he knew. He sought after, and achieved, success as a high fashion model with Ford Models Europe and New York City. Although his time was brief, he worked hard to promote his personal success in a high pressure industry”.

Although it goes without saying that 20 year-olds just don’t drop dead for no good reason - this has in fact gone without saying.

Leading frockwriter to speculate that the circumstances of Johnston’s death may have been neither tragically accidental – nor due to some hitherto undetected medical condition.

It's a sad story, whatever the circumstances.

And it's at least the third sad story this year involving a successful young entertainment/modelling industry figure.

RIP

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