Friday, May 21, 2010

The models of RAFW

Frockwriter profiled some of the designers and a few of the bloggers of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, but what about the models? Sadly we ran out of time in the leadup and our planned RAFW newbies post remained unfinished in story drafts. But we did photograph quite a few models as we went along, in our Twitter/Posterous feed and show photo galleries (which have also, conveniently, been archived on Facebook – thanks Posterous). But we also wanted to check with each of the major Sydney agencies to see which of their models were the busiest at the event. Some of their nominated newbies were included. Of course there were many, many other models who worked during the week and it’s not necessarily about who pulled the most shows. There was in fact an exceptionally strong cross-section of Australian model experience on RAFW's runways this season. As distinct from runway diversity, which Australian designers - like their New Zealand counterparts - have yet to fully embrace, with Asian and black models still fighting hard for visibility above the bevy of über-popular blondes and Europeans. "It's like they'll only use a black girl if there's a tribal theme to the collection" noted one observer.

Good to see, then, indigenous Australian Samantha Harris and Eurasian Rachel Rutt among the week's top catwalkers. Harris did 20 shows. Thanks to her first Vogue cover unveiled during the week, she was catapulted to a whole new level of visibility at the event.

Just before the FW1011 season kickoff in February, frockwriter asked is the world ready for the first indigenous Australian supermodel? Judging by the international coverage of her Sydney season, it seems the answer is a resounding yes. Let’s hope Harris has another crack at the OS circuit come September - or perhaps even earlier with resort and haute couture. Harris travelled to London in February, but was called home shortly afterwards. The official story was that she came home to shoot the Vogue cover, even though Abbey Lee Kershaw's cover was shot as late as the week before Christmas, for an early February release.

samantha harris/jayson brunsdon

Runway veterans who added some international polish to the event included Alexandra Agoston, who has become far more acclimatised to the runways of Paris over the past five years, ditto Stephanie Carta, Alyssa Sutherland, Amy Finlayson and also new mum Tiah Eckhardt, who walked in 10 shows according to Viviens.

lauren brown/ginger & smart (top); julia nobis/dion lee

Then there were two of our latest OS stars, Lauren Brown and Julia Nobis. For those who were not following the Twitter/Posterous coverage, here is the short video iv that I recorded with Nobis straight after the Dion Lee show:

Work Agency only had two models at the event – Cassi van den Dungen, who only did four shows (and who it was nice to finally meet after all this time). They were nevertheless key shows: Dion Lee, Ellery, Romance Was Born and Manning Cartel. Another Work model, Jessica McColl, did Ksubi.

It was a little difficult extracting information from Viviens, which did supply a top girls list, however declined to elaborate on exact show numbers other than those of Brisbane law student Eliza Humble (16) – one of frockwriter’s personal faves, who we photographed on a number of occasions backstage. If anyone can elaborate on the exact show numbers of the other Viviens’ girls, then please feel free to add in the comments.

(top to bottom) cassi van den dungen/romance was born and dion lee, eliza humble/ellery and georgia fowler/romance was born

The most popular model of RAFW appears to have been Chic Management’s Meg Lindsay (below). It was by no means Lindsay’s first RAFW. Here she is in Fully Chic’s RAFW newbie list just prior to the 2008 event. Lindsay also walked at RAFW last year. Did she stand out from the pack at either event? No, for some reason. But this year, Lindsay really hit her stride, booked for an astonishing 32 shows – or over half of the entire program of 60 shows. The OS circuit could be next.

(top to bottom) meg lindsay/dion lee, rachel rutt/camilla, juliana forge/dion lee and greta chesterman/dion lee

Rachel Rutt, the breakout star of last year’s RAFW, clocked up an impressive 26 shows, with Chic’s hot new star, Juliana Forge – who looks like a cross between Abbey Lee Kershaw and New Zealand’s Georgia Fowler (who, with 18 shows, outwalked every local Priscillas’ girl), doing 21 shows in her first Sydney season.

Frockwriter also really liked Louise van de Vorst (very top of this post, backstage at Gail Sorronda - and directly below, at Manning Cartel). After having only done a few RAFW shows here and there in the past, van de Vorst also seemed omnipresent at this event. Chadwicks’ Greta Chesterman was another model we noticed. Chesterman has a bit of a tomboy vibe – à la Julia Nobis.

Also of note, Courtney James from Scene and Priscillas’ newbies, 16 year-old Ruby-Jean Wilson from Terrigal and 19 year-old Sydneysider Bambi Northwood-Blyth. In her first RAFW, Wilson did 12 shows, including Romance Was Born, camilla + marc, Ellery, Zambesi, Manning Cartel, Sara Phillips, Fernando Frisoni and Lui Hon. Northwood-Blyth did 13.

(top to bottom) courtney james (via carly hunter), sarah chuot/kirrily johnston, ruby-jean wilson/manning cartel and bambi northwood-blyth/michael lo sordo.

As a result of RAFW, reports Chadwicks, Ashleigh Wesseling and Sarah Lorimer (who we profiled here) were both picked up by IMG Development worldwide – courtesy IMG Models’ New York-based David Cunningham and Jeni Rose, who were in Sydney all week scouting.

(top to bottom) ashleigh wesseling/alice mccall (getty via daylife) and sarah lorimer/karla spetic

Myf Shepherd, who springboarded from RAFW 2008 into an instant international career, but who has put her modelling career on ice for the moment to study art in Sydney and is blogging in tandem with Rachel Rutt, made a few appearances at parties throughout the week.

As already reported, Tallulah Morton is also taking off time from modelling to study art in Sydney. So it was interesting to see her on the runway at RAFW, in no less than 12 shows – and looking pretty damned good.

Here are the top show tallies from each agency:

Meg Lindsay - 32 shows
Rachel Rutt – 26 shows
Juliana Forge – 21 shows
Louise van de Vorst – 21 shows
Samantha Harris – 20 shows
Stephanie Cherry – 18 shows
Olivia Henderson – 13 shows

Georgia Fowler (NZ) – 18 shows
Julia Nobis – 13 shows
Bambi Northwood-Blyth – 13 shows
Lauren Brown – 12 shows
Ruby Jean Wilson - 12 shows

Victoria Lee – 15 shows
Greta Chesterman – 13 shows
Ashleigh Wesseling – 8 shows
Sarah Lorimer – 5 shows

Eliza Humble – 16 shows
Tiah Eckhardt – 10 shows
Dempsey Stewart – Shows including Zambesi, Bec & Bridge, Camilla & Marc, Ellery, Kate Sylvester, Kirrily Johnston.
Sarah Pauley – Shows including Aurelio Costarella, Sabatini
White, Ellery, Kirrily, Romance Was Born.
Sonya Kukainis – Shows including Lisa Ho, Nicola Finetti, Rachel Gilbert, Jayson Brunsdon, Ksubi.

Tallulah Morton – 12 shows
Adele McLennan-Gillings – 6 shows
Sarah Chuot – 5 shows
Courtney James – 2 shows

Cassi van den Dungen - 4 shows
Jessica McColl - 1 show


Katherine said...

Dempsey Stewart had booked 14 shows as of the Thursday so it's at least that many because I think she was in at the last minute for Ksubi.

liberate said...

Brisbane model Emma Power @ Chic Management booked 13

Anonymous said...

Melbourne based Emily Cattermole (also of Aboriginal descent) from Chadwick walked 11 shows at RAFW.

Alyx said...

This observer has no problem putting her name to that note. Great to see Rachel Rutt and Sam Harris doing so well though!

cassandclare said...

I adore your blog!
Keep up the great work...

HotCaviar said...

great to see so many of our Aussie mods clocking up their catwalk count. I hope to see more of the beautiful Nobis, I am very impressed with her presence on the video too, great to see an all rounder in a model.

Anonymous said...

Great thorough post patty. As you noted amount of shows walked isn't particularly meaningful ie somone like Julia nobis could have walked every show, Coming off a Calvin exclusive, but it is better that she keeps it quality. I thought there was a little bit of evolution( minor) in the castings in line with trends, especially in some of the more directional shows , where there was less emphasis on the cloned , generic sample size filler models (ie those seemingly interchangeable girls that patty mentioned, the euro blondes that don't upstage the clothes who are picked because of perfect fit) there were more girls who normally wouldn't be booked as they deviate from sample size in height or curves , but are loved for their personality, vibe , coolness or uniqueness who did well eg Sarah stephens, Bambi, zippora, tiah, .there was also a very cool looking platinum blonde Asian girl who walked a lot of the shows (sorry not sure of her name or agency) there was also less stress on extreme youth all really great signs for the industry!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, it is so fabulous! I like that you include loads of photographs and small paragraphs of interesting writing also!

JJ said...

Great thorough comment anonymous @6:22! Very insightful and very true!

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