Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Churchill to Cassi-Gate, insulting the French is "nothing new" - The Times of London

After last week's post about Cassi van den Dungen's ill-fated Paris Fashion Week trip, where hasn't the story appeared? First The Sunday Telegraph, then The Melbourne Herald Sun, The Brisbane Courier Mail and Yesterday, Seven Network's Morning Show devoted an entire panel discussion to the subject, with The Herald Sun's Luke Dennehy - who apparently "broke the story" - crossing live from Melbourne to anchors Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur and fashion commentator Melissa Hoyer, to discuss van den Dungen's Facebook rant against "frog eaters" and "snail slurpers" - as if it was an international incident (see below). Even the UK Telegraph picked it up.

Noone mentioned that van den Dungen herself was insulted on Facebook last year by Australia's Next Top Model co-hosts Alex Perry and Charlotte Dawson, both of whom are, unlike van den Dungen, old enough to know better. With Dawson charmingly telling this blog that "We don't give a shit" about the fallout.

Also overlooked, the facts that: the Facebook rant came at the beginning of the trip, not the end; that van den Dungen travelled to Paris under option (ie reserved) for one exclusive appearance; that the option had already been facilitated by her Sydney agency and that all IMG had to do was get her to the castings/meetings (which by all accounts it did not do very well); and that many, many models are optioned for show exclusives, with no guarantee of success.

In spite of all the tut-tutting from commentators, you have to wonder whether the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity rings true here. The incident has only served to further raise van den Dungen's profile. According to Hoyer, most people in the fashion business probably wouldn't care, "because she really is the perfect look for a successful model".

Now today comes word from the distinguished Times of London newspaper.

It uses the van den Dungen anecdote as a springboard into a laundry list of historic insults and snubs served to the French by the English - and vice versa - as documented in Stephen Clarke’s new book, 1,000 Years of Annoying the French, which is to be published by Bantam Press on March 18th.

The Times story begins:

"The insults aimed at 'frog-eaters and snail-slurpers' last week were nothing new. What the model Cassi van den Dungen typed on to her Facebook page last week — after the frustrated runner-up in Australia’s Next Top Model failed to find employment on the catwalks of Paris — is just the latest faux pas in a long history of diplomatic gaffes. Relations between the French and anyone impudent enough to speak English have always been enlivened by wars and name-calling. That we’re supposedly friends these days seems to have only exacerbated the problem.

Just in case you naively imagined that the entente might be getting more cordiale, here are the Top 20 foot-in-mouth moments . . ."

Some of frockwriter's faves include:

"- In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni declined a planned second night’s stay at Windsor and returned to Paris a day early. What rudeness!

- Édith Cresson, the French Prime Ministere, declares in 1991 that “one in four Englishmen is gay”.

- In 1990, The Sun, in full anti-EU rage, tells all “frog-haters” to face France and “tell the feelthy French to frog off”.

- Le Monde published a 48-page supplement about the Liberation of France in 2004. The first mention of non-French troops appears on page 18.

- Churchill on de Gaulle: 'He is like a female llama surprised in his bath.'"


Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that.....
Top modeling agencies have a boney model or five to pick with Givenchy. The French fashion house booked girls for "exclusives" during Paris Fashion Week only to turn around and cancel on them less than 24 hours before the show.
An agent vents "They booked these girls and told them they weren't allowed to walk for other designers. They don't even offer an 'exclusive' fee - just 1,500 euros and press."
The 5 canceled models received emails the night before saying they had "fit issues" with the girls.
Could Cassi be one of those girls??!!!

tara said...

Yes i also saw that. But isn't that more recent? I'm not too sure though. That was definitely bad form on Givenchy's behalf.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm not sure where you guys saw it but I saw the exact same thing on Perez Hilton, I wouldn't be suprised if Cassi was one of them. I'm soo sick of everyone coming down on her so hard, she is a model not a role model!

Patty Huntington said...

it was from page 6 in wednesday's new york post

"French fashion house Givenchy is in hot water with top modeling agencies after booking girls for "exclusives" for its Paris fashion week show Sunday night -- only to cancel on five of the models less than 24 hours before. "They booked these girls and told them they weren't allowed to walk for other designers," says one agent. "They don't even offer an 'exclusive' fee -- just 1,500 euros and press." The night before the show, Givenchy abruptly canceled five girls, claiming in an e-mail to bookers that the label had "fit issues" with them. "It was total B.S.," says our source. "We had one girl who flew to Paris all the way from Argentina. It was too late for them to get new gigs, and they had to pay for their own hotels. I've never seen something so unprofessional and arrogant." A rep for Givenchy didn't respond to requests for comment."

no, the show for which cassi was optioned was not givenchy. but just goes to show how common the practice is.

DARIAN ZAM said...


"Brad Saul, her boyfriend, a model who also failed to find work in Paris...""

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, sorry for the delayed reaction. Have to blame it on work.
Catching up on my goss from Oz made me laugh today.
What makes this little bogan think she has got it above all the other models who come here(Paris) from all around the world to do the shows, I don't know..

When you see all the amazing models lined up down the street for the castings, honestly who would want to book her when she opens her mouth?
What a nightmare, jesus and that walk? LOTSA class in that package and it comes with a brickie boyfriend (who looks like a dick from the suburbs of Nth Paris, which probably didn't help the cause)
Then to slam the French+Asians. ROOLLY classy.

Heard and seen it before too.. Everyone whinges about the French when they go back home to Oz with their tails between their legs. Gotta blame someone, right??

I have been in Paris for a year now, they can be a bit hard to the new kid on the block but I experienced this in the London and Sydney fashion scene.

Rude is not a French thing, it's worldwide.It also comes with living in a big city. Toughen up and brush it off.

And if you go to a country at least have the decency to learn a few words of the language.
I would be rude too, if I got yelled to in a foreign language and I was back in Sydney...

PS I've been told by Melbournians that Sydney-siders are rude too.. I don't believe them! ;)

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