Thursday, May 27, 2010

Casting clout: Kannon Rajah carves up the show circuit, from Karl to Ksubi

Frockwriter has mentioned Sydney expat Kannon Rajah on several previous occasions. During 2008’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – on which he has worked in casting and show production since 2006 – and last year’s VS show, which we profiled in a tv story on Today Tonight. We caught up with the casting dynamo yesterday down in Bondi. Rajah, who now lives in New York with his Australian wife and son, returned to work on Ksubi’s show which closed RAFW. It was a bit of a homecoming for Rajah who started his career working for the then Mercedes Australian Fashion Week from 2001-2005, initially as a runner and eventually designer relations director and show producer. Victoria’s Secret isn’t Rajah’s only coup – in February he became the casting director for Italian luxurygoods maker Fendi, the latest in an expanding roster of personal clients, which also includes Gareth Pugh, Pedro Lourenco and Willow.

Yes that’s right, Rajah is now Karl Lagerfeld’s right-hand man – at least when it comes to the casting of the Fendi show, on which Lagerfeld works as creative director (here's Rajah, above, in an in-house video). Rajah would no doubt love to get his hands on Lagerfeld's other shows: Karl Lagerfeld and the luxury motherlode, Chanel.

That’s after five years working for some of the fashion world’s biggest show production companies. Here is a list of the companies and shows with which Rajah has worked since leaving Sydney:

With KCD:
Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton

With Bureau Betak:
Christian Dior, Victoria's Secret

With Villa Eugenie:
Lanvin, Chanel, Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Herm├Ęs, Hugo Boss

With OBO:
Victoria's Secret, Fashion Rocks

With Without:
Burberry, Gucci, Prada

With John Pfeiffer:
Victoria's Secret, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Lacoste, Halston, Akris, Hussein Chalayan

Of course had things worked out differently, Rajah might have been working these days with elite athletes.

Instead, he dropped out of physiotherapy and Sports Science studies at Sydney University to join Australian Fashion Week - and now finds himself working with elite performers of a different kind.

Of all the models of RAFW, Rajah says he has his eye on seven new names: Chic Management’s Juliana Forge, Viviens’ Eliza Humble and Dempsey Stewart, Work Agency's Jessica McColl, Chadwicks' Victoria Lee and Priscillas’ Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Zippora Seven.

The latter two models are both petite compared with the regular runway amazons. But then, Kate Moss was 170cm and that didn’t stop her.

“Even though they [Northwood-Blyth and Seven] might not have the typical height of a runway model, they more than compensate for it with their stunning features and body proportions” Rajah told frockwriter. “Also, they are great characters with great personalities”.

(top to bottom: eliza humble/RTW 1 SS1011; bambi northwood blyth/michael lo sordo SS1011; juliana forge/dion lee SS1011; zippora seven/stolen girlfriends club AW10 and dempsey stewart/manning cartell SS1011 via isaaclikes)

Here is a feature that US modelling authority ran on Rajah in February, featuring 82 of his own Polaroids of his top model picks for the FW1011 season (including Australians Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Myf Shepherd - which is curious, given that Shepherd took the season off).

Here are a couple of frockwriter’s Posterous shots from backstage at Ksubi which went up on Twitter in real-time (each of which has been viewed over 1000 times).

Here is frockwriter's Posterous photo gallery of Ksubi backstage and the show.

And here is a mini wrap of the event that I wrote for News Ltd’s The Punch opinion site, which includes the Ksubi show.


Anonymous said...

Now that man has taste!All my favorites! Bambi, Zippora, Dempsey, Juliana, all very special!

Anonymous said...

And he seems so lovely and down-to-earth...

HotCaviar said...

agreed, he chose all the beautiful girls for the ksubi show... what a fabulous turnaround for him, much more interesting I'm sure... great wrap up of his work...

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