Friday, April 30, 2010

Who's live streaming at RAFW SS1011

Three days out from Australia's biggest runway event, some exciting news. Multiple parties will be live streaming the shows. Overnight, Australian online boutique The Grand Social announced it would be live streaming the Ellery show at 9.30pm on Tuesday 4th May. Fairfax's youth-skewed The Vine has also mentioned it will be live-streaming - Romance Was Born and Seventh Wonderland, according to a PR spokesperson for both labels. Fairfax Digital Media will live stream other shows on, for the third year in a row. According to FDM, the experience will be a lot "smoother" this year, with a continuous stream of coverage, into which pre-recorded packages and other recorded RAFW show videos will slot. Ex-Sun Herald and Grazia fashion scribe Glynis Traill-Nash will present a video package a day. Shows to be live streamed by FDM:

Monday: Lisa Ho, Seventh Wonderland, Zambesi
Tuesday: Zimmermann, Little Joe Woman
Wednesday: Kate Sylvester, Manning Cartel
Thursday: Kirrily Johnston, Kooey Australia
Friday: Arnsdorf, Swim Fashion Week

Friday night's closing Ksubi show will also be streamed live, on the Harpers Bazaar Australia website.

Just on the tech issue, here's a headsup from IMG re wifi for all those working on site.

There won't be wifi throughout the entire Overseas Passenger Terminal venue unfortunately, but there will be several wifi access points: the media centre, the Rosemount bar, the Emerge trade show and a Toshiba tech kiosk within Emerge, which will also be equipped with laptops.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Myf Shepherd and Rachel Rutt are MUTT

myf shepherd via

On Monday, frockwriter told you about a potentially explosive new Australian fashion blog called Heyweird: a series of interviews with anonymous fashion and creative insiders, conducted by two anonymous models. “High profile” models, promised Lorena Mercado, who has recruited the duo - whose joint byline is "MUTT" – to file behind-the-scenes dispatches for the new RAFW section of her Australian INFront site. Frockwriter had a chat to one of the models this afternoon. With her consent, we can now reveal both names. You may have heard of them. Myf Shepherd and Rachel Rutt. That’s right, the breakout runway stars of respectively, RAFW’s SS0809 and SS0910 seasons, with Shepherd instantly catapulted by the 2008 event into the beginnings of a stellar international career.

Rutt hit the ground running in the SS10 season in New York in September, but is currently hampered by visa issues.

Rutt will be walking next week’s runways. However, she reports that Shepherd will not be appearing in any shows, contrary to previous speculation.

Currently studying at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts, Shepherd will nevertheless be working closely with Rutt next week on the Australian INFront project.

Their interviewees will, however, most definitely remain anonymous says Rutt.

Rutt (below), who walked in today’s Carla Zampatti show, declined to do an interview, noting that the duo wants the blog to speak for itself.

Stay tuned for some interesting developments - especially if they start pumping their international insider network.

Carla's killer chic

Pit stop two this morning was the Carla Zampatti SS1011 collection launch at Zampatti's magnificent Eastern suburbs home. Missed the first part of the show sadly, but did take in the eveningwear: a dramatically-styled series of draped cocktail gowns in charcoal, ivory and lipstick red. The makeup brief according to MAC's Nicole Thompson was "bright colour-blocking, 70's YSL/sculpted face with a shine, bright popping lips". The styling was courtesy one Michelle Jank (who, frockwriter hears, is also styling Camilla's show next week). Not sure if Jank also consulted on the collection proper, but at first glance it appeared that may have been the case. Zampatti is an Australian fashion industry icon and she is to be commended for her longevity. But a collaboration with a hot talent such as Jank would represent a win-win situation for both designers: Jank gets to eschew the mundanities of manufacturing and concentrate on her key creative strengths and Zampatti's brand gets a shot in the arm.

Zanita Whittington books American Apparel

You know Zanita Whittington. The leggy blonde Priscillas model has been blogging for almost two years. Frockwriter first met her at last year's Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival. In the interim, Whittington has scored some advertising from US athleisure brand American Apparel and been busy blogging her own tests of other models, alongside her regular auto-portraits. And that's not all. At today's Garance Doré event at Westfield Bondi Junction, Whittington told frockwriter she is about to head to LA to shoot an American Apparel campaign. Whittington won't just be modelling, the campaign will, she reports, focus on her activities as a blogger. A great get for Whittington and one that follows hot on the heels of the Hudson Jeans campaign shoot that was just live blogged by Bryanboy. Given the history of American Apparel however, let's just hope founder/CEO Dov Charney isn't too hands-on with this particular campaign. Charney is noted for his sexually provocative advertising and has himself been the subject of several sexual harassment suits.

Garance Doré for Westfield

It's been a busy day in Sydney today, with three off-schedule Australian Fashion Week events on - five days before the main event kicks off down at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. First up this morning was an unveiling of eight illustrations done by French illustrator/photographer/blogger Garance Doré for Westfield's winter launch at its Bondi Junction mall. I was on deck earlier than most, because I had been asked to conduct a Q&A with Doré on a small podium*. Here is Westfield's short video recap, below. The event was staged in the atrium behind Kam Fook on level 6, with light streaming through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It was obviously a little hard for me to take notes at the same time, but Doré's interesting, and heartfelt, commentary about blogging included mention of the fact that representatives from brands whose shows she now attends have been known to call asking where their coverage is - to which she replies (words to the effect), that she'll put on the blog what she damn well likes. "I'm not their friend" noted Doré - which was interesting, following her earlier comment that "bloggers are not journalists".

Monday, April 26, 2010

When the going gets weird... the weird turn frow

martin margiela SS09/daily mail

Did you have any doubt that Rosemount Australian Fashion Week SS1011 risks turning into a blogocalypse? Representing a mere whisper of RAFW coverage back in 2006, when The Sydney Morning Herald's online arm published what frockwriter understands was the first RAFW blog (authored by yours truly - even if grassroots bloggers would most likely not consider it a blog), bloggers’ numbers have grown each year in the interim. Bryanboy generated coverage in 2008, his first OS fashion week outing. Last year, several high profile bloggers arrived, upping the indie reportage ante. Yet more blogstars are about to descend on Sydney for next week's event, from Tommy Ton to Susie Bubble, Scott Schuman and Garance Doré. Australian celebrity Lara Bingle isn't a blogger per se, but that hasn't stopped Harpers Bazaar Australia from announcing they will launch the scandal-magnet into blog orbit.

And of course a swag of local blog names are planning to attend. Some with official accreditations - others not.

Last week the buzz on Twitter about ticketing/accreditation triumphs or tragedies reached fever pitch, prompting the beginnings of a backlash, with bloggers accused by their social media peers of everything from having “a misguided sense of ticket-entitlement” to outright “lying”. One party sniffed “its not miss America”, warning all those currently high-fiving each other on Twitter, that “most will be standing”.

Oh the drama.

One group of players has thus far managed to slip under the radar.

Enter Australian INFront and its ragtag team of bloggers, some above-the-line - two of them planning to take anonymous potshots from backstage and behind-the-scenes.

The decade-old digital-specialist design website will trial a new events coverage system for RAFW. In fact the site goes live tonight - head to the home page and look for the "RAFW" button:

Team leader is Cairns retailer Lorena Mercado, who operates a boutique called We’re.

Mercado is married to digital-specialist graphic designer Damien Aistrope (who has built content management system sites for a plethora of Australia fashion names).

Now, Mercado will be attending RAFW as an accredited buyer. So will one member of her reporting team: jewellery designer and online retailer, Alicia Hannah Naomi from Melbourne (Sea of Ghosts).

According to Mercado, the duo did try to register as media delegates, but they were knocked back by IMG - and their enquiries about access to the media centre have thus far gone unanswered. (UPDATE 29/04: Surprise, surprise. The duo has just received media accreditation - two of numerous last-minute media accreditations that frockwriter has heard were cleared in the last 24 hours).

A third team member, Adelaide design student Selina Battersby has media accreditation under her own blog.

Mercado has already loaded 10 designer biographies on the INFront site, with five new bios to be added per day for the rest of this week and coverage added throughout each day of the event. A Twitter widget on the page will aggregate all the team’s #RAFW Australian INFront Tweets.

There are two other members of the reporting team and yes, they too are bloggers. They’re also models. Anonymous models.

Currently blogging under the hybrid name of "MUTT", which could be an amalgam of their names - or not - they have been quietly blogging away for the past couple of months on an “art project” called Heyweird. To add to the surreal nature of this new startup, it consists of interviews with anonymous subjects. Potentially among them, other Australian models. Frockwriter wonders, for example, if Catherine McNeil could be the subject of the latest post which discusses modelling and an upcoming marriage to another woman.

According to Mercado, both are “high profile” Australians with work experience in New York and London, which somewhat narrows down the field. If they really wanted to cover their tracks, they could be a little more discreet. Frockwriter has done more than her fair share of anonymous model blogger reportage, so we do look forward to this latest chapter.

How does Mercado plan on wrangling their backstage dispatches? Via the old school way apparently. Mercado told frockwriter:

“They’re going to be transcribing interviews on paper and handing to me....they will be interviewing designers, production assistants, stylists... anyone involved in the creative process”.

Let the games begin.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

RAFW SS1011 - The 15 year anniversary video

Park of the lineup at Wednesday night's Frock Stars launch was a retrospective video commemorating 15 years of Australia's biggest fashion kneesup - if not actually by size (with the title of Australia's biggest fashion event officially going to the biannual trade show Fashion Exposed) then certainly by media profile. The video has just gone online, courtesy of its author, Sydney filmmaker Melvin J. Montalban. Most of Australia's major runway faces are there, including the late, great Mark Keighery.

Carson Kressley talks Oz fashion, emus and tv conservatives

So Australian Fashion Week SS1011 is launched. Well, kind of. Wednesday's launch of the Frock Stars exhibition at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum served as a defacto kickoff, two weeks ahead of touchdown. Covered it briefly on Twitter. And frockwriter must admit, as we predicted, it was a little awkward. Case in point: amongst the speeches, not a peep from the event's founder Simon Lock, which seemed odd. The official schedule is now online. Frockwriter got pretty close to nailing it - here it is, superimposed over our original draft. Many thanks to all the tipsters who helped fill in the gaps. Celebrity stylist Carson Kressley was one of few celebs at Wednesday's launch. He was in town for a Westfield promotion and we had a quick chat - recorded on the BB using Qik.

The exhibition, which runs until the 29th August, features garments, sketches, photographs, videos and even press clippings (including one of my Sydney Morning Herald stories).

It was nice to see the following quote from Lock blown up at the exhibition's entrance and repeated on the Powerhouse website:
"Fashion week says to the world that Australia is able to compete in the most image-led, sophisticated, cultural market in the world, which is ready-to-wear fashion".

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Behemoth rocks

Coupla shots of the fans at last night's Behemoth concert in Sydney. Frockwriter has talked about Norwegian black metal and its influence on fashion. Well Behemoth hail from Poland and fit into a sub-sub metal genre called blackened death metal. They rocked the full corpse paint and came out for their encore in masks - made by Zenon Darski, the metalsmith dad of lead singer, Adam "Nergal" Darski - which was pretty impressive.

And while the band's Satanic stage antics might strike the fear of God into some, it's worth bearing in mind that off-stage, Darski is engaged to the Polish pop singer Dorota Rabczewska, whose oeuvre includes the albums Diamond Bitch and Bimbo. So he can't be all that scary.

That's Nergal in action in the last, fabulous Bluralist shot by Kent Vaughan (Mr Frockwriter) - which bears some resemblance to Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream.

New girl alert: Sarah Lorimer

We first saw Sarah Lorimer at Leona Edmiston's Spring/Summer 2010/2011 presentation in Sydney on Thursday. Well here she is again in a few more dresses from the collection, as booked by Edmiston for her SS1011 lookbook that will be dispatched next week. The fresh-faced 18 year-old, who is repped by Chadwicks in Sydney, has been modelling fulltime since the beginning of the year. She will be one of the agency's hot new faces at RAFW next month and in July will be heading off to try her luck in Europe. Frockwriter thinks she has a great look: a little Miranda Kerr, alotta Heather Graham.

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