Sunday, September 20, 2009
myf shepherd, 3.1 philip lim SS10/style.com
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/style.com
myf shepherd, luella SS09, september 2008/style.com
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