Sunday, September 20, 2009

Myf Shepherd is thinking of taking a break

myf shepherd, 3.1 philip lim SS10/

Frockwriter already mentioned that Myf Shepherd booked eight New York Fashion Week shows last week. And while for a new model that would be wonderful news, considering how quickly Shepherd's star has risen in the modelling business over the past 18 months, walking for almost every major name and booking campaigns for Gucci and Sonia Rykiel, among others, her eight (mostly) low-profile SS10 NY shows surprised more than one. No response from Shepherd's mother agency Chic Management on speculation that Shepherd may have gained weight but in this journalist's experience, that's not unusual. In fact we recall that when we first learned of casting problems that Gemma Ward was experiencing three years ago, with sources indicating a weight gain was the problem, many laughed off the proposition. Including Ward's mother agency, Viviens. Twelve months later however, even the public criticised Ward's apparent weight gain. Ward's runway career virtually evaporated shortly thereafter. Shepherd has a showcard for Milan but are we likely to see her there? Time will tell. In the meantime, Shepherd has told sources in New York that she is thinking of taking a break.

If the issue is casting directors, many would find this news interesting, coming hot on the heels of the controversy surrounding Mark Fast's decision to cast three plus size models in his SS10 show in London overnight - with Fast's stylist (a high profile London fashion editor) reportedly either quitting, or else being fired, over her resistance to the idea.

However it needs to be remembered that neither Ward nor Shepherd are plus size models.

They are both mainstream high fashion models working in an intensely competitive business that dictates draconian terms. Just like the ballet.

It should also be remembered that although Shepherd was 17 when she entered the business - compared to Ward, who was just 15 - over the past 12 months Shepherd has worked flat out, at show times pushing an insane schedule and she has been the focus of intense publicity in Australia, including much speculation about her sexuality.

It's rather a lot to take in in your first year out of school.

Whatever the reason for Shepherd's low profile in New York, we wish her all the best. In the event that she does decide to take an extremely well-earned break, we hope to see her back on the runways soon. If indeed that's what she chooses to pursue.

She is a fantastic model and has achieved an extraordinary amount in 12 months.

The question perhaps remains, should she have been in New York at all? Models miss runway seasons all the time and for a variety of reasons, with few questions asked.

myf shepherd, jen kao SS10, september 2009/

myf shepherd, luella SS09, september 2008/


Style On Track said...

Its so sad but true that many designers and agencies will turn their head at a model when they put on a little bit of weight, even when they look underweight as it is

Mike said...

Many high school students decide to take a year off before seriously considering university studies so in her case, it would be good for her to take some time on vacation. She is still very young and no one wants to see a great model such as her to be burnt out. Irina has and she enjoyed it.

FauxGlamour said...

I'm not surprised and I must say I'd felt uneasy with all the attention she was receiving during the shows 12 months ago. I remember seeing a shot of her taken at the SS09 Chanel show and I thought I'd just logged in to a pro-ana website. Her look at that time was unhealthy and unsustainable.
The high fashion runway is a really sick industry to be involved in, it really is. Did you see last season's Prada show? - the one with the Auschwitz theme... and you should check out what's happening to a beautiful young model called Emily Didonato - she's only 18 and already worked for Maybelline and Victoria's Secret, but look how her look has changed just so she can be seen on a high fashion runway. It's sick!

Anonymous said...

Has the weight issue also halted Alice Burdeu's international career?

Patty Huntington said...

i don't know. at the myer show a few weeks ago she certainly looked as if she might have had issues with international casting directors.

not that you are likely to get anyone at an agency to talk about this on the record. which is not helpful.

Alyx said...

Looking at Myf now and how she looked one year ago, it just seems as if she has gone from having the body of a skinny kid, to the body of a grown woman, that this happens to a lot of models between the ages of 17 and 20, and the way their profiles suffer for it, makes me think that perhaps agencies shouldn't be booking girls who are still in the process of naturally changing shape.
This is especially true of girls who start at very young ages. If you saw a photograph of my body at 13 next to one of my body at 19, you probably wouldn't think it was the same girl, and this is true for most women. Perhaps people should start pushing for older models as hard as the push for larger ones.
Whatever the reason for Myf's catwalk absence, I really hope to see her back and doing well in the future, be it modeling or some other pursuit.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Alyx. A young girls body does change from teenager to woman and that agencies should indeed start using girls say from ages 19 onwards not any younger.Example Myf, she is not mature enough to handle the pressures of international fame and Cassie from ANTM is a very clever girl not jumping into international fame as pressured to do so. She in time will pursue this international attention when she is mature enough to deal with the bullshit that clouds this minute your in and next minute your OUT.I wish Myf all the best.

Alyx said...

I'm not saying that young models shouldn't work because they can't cope with the pressure (although for some young girls that would be a factor), I think it's just unreasonable to expect a person to maintain a figure that is ultimately entirely against their genetics, and working out what your genetics are is not possible a few short years after puberty when your body is still settling down.
I think, while it is important to look after young girls in the fashion industry, we perhaps do not give them all the credit they deserve. I think to some extent it is because young models possess so much ambition and agency that we have problems with eating disorders in fashion. When girls who have been modeling since they were 14 naturally change shape at 18 or 19, they fight against it in ways that are ultimately unhealthy (but good for their careers). If we just waited to see what shape girls grow into, and then cast the ones that fit the mould, rather than picking them young and using them up, I think the industry would be much better off.

Anonymous said...

i never heard that about gemma ward before, and dont think its true. all the top fashion houses were begging for her to model for them, and she just wasnt really into all the stress anymore.

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