Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Booked: FASHION by Mitchell Oakley Smith

Books on Australian fashion are few and far between. In fact Alexandra Joel’s Parade and Elina Mackay's The Great Aussie Fashion, both published in 1984 (with Parade reprinted in 1998) and David Meagher's 2008 Fashion Speak (in which Australasians account for half of Meagher's 14 designer profiles) are the sum total to date if frockwriter is not mistaken. Well now we can add Mitchell Oakley Smith’s first literary effort to this very slim list: FASHION, a 352-page book on Australian – and New Zealand – designers, published by no less than Thames & Hudson Australia, the local arm of one of the world’s most prestigious fashion and art publishers (to be sold internationally as well). Here is an exclusive preview of the cover: a Georges Antoni shot of Anthea Page in Toni Maticevski’s silk cotton voile and triacetate ballgown. According to the notes, the dress is from the Autumn/Winter 2006 collection and according to Oakley Smith, the shot was first published in Oyster.

The dress bears a strong resemblance to the "doona" dresses that were later presented by Maticevski in New York in February 2007 for the Fall/Winter 0708 season. And no, apparently that's no Photoshop job - the model is actually carrying an eski bag emblazoned with an Australian flag.

Sydney-based Oakley Smith is associate editor of GQ Australia and has been writing about fashion for four years, for publications including BELLE, Myer Emporium and The Australian.

Accompanying a fantastic selection of imagery (see below) are 50,000 words profiling 70 designers, including Akira Isogawa, Josh Goot, Zimmermann, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Nom*D, World, Birthday Suit, Romance Was Born and Arnsdorf.

The book took Oakley Smith two years and he approached five different publishers before hooking up with T&H.

Available from August 1 ($79.95).

All images supplied by Thames & Hudson
(Top to bottom)
Toni Maticevski by Georges Antoni.
RM Williams
Fernando Frisoni
Chronicles of Never
Marnie Skillings

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sylvie Markovina gets a hand from Kim Kardashian


Yes we know about the potential power of celebrity when it comes to shifting product and how proactive many publicists are in getting product to celebs. That's no guarantee they will wear it - especially if the only inducement is free product. We also know Australia is producing some stellar jewellers, led by Jenny ‘Victoria’s Secret’ Mercian, Michelle Jank and Sarina Suriano. Well supremely talented, but little-known Australian jeweller Sylvie Markovina (who frockwriter first met in 2005 at the Mercedes Benz Startup competition) just received a massive PR shot in the arm courtesy Kim Kardashian. On June 6, Kardashian Tweeted two images of herself in Markovina's Art Deco-look, fluted brass 'Laneway' rings, together with the captions “What do u guys think about my rings? U like? Dope right” and “A close up! Kind of Edward Scissor hands [sic] style!”. The photos have been viewed almost 300,000 times on Twitter.

Markovina’s New York-based publicist/showroom, Melt Management, then got the story into US Weekly, which conducted an online poll “Would you wear Kim Kardashian’s wacky jewellery?”.


Melt Management's Courtney Porkolab tells frockwriter that high profile fashion stylist Karl Templar recently borrowed some of Markovina’s jewellery for a Vogue Italia shoot with Steven Meisel. Not everything that gets called in for photoshoots makes it into magazines of course, so let’s wait and see what comes of that. Melt also claims UK retailer Kabiri recently placed a US$13,000 order of Markovina's jewellery.

How did Kardashian get the merch in the first place? Via Rosemount Australian Fashion Week.

A Melt Management team travelled to last month’s event, spotted Markovina’s jewellery in Sydney, signed her and then, she reports, later forwarded a lookbook to Kardashian’s stylist.

The stylist requested some jewellery, so Melt gifted six pieces to Kardashian.

It should be noted that RAFW was also the launchpad for Jank, Suriano and Mercian. So evidently, it's not just the frocks that benefit from the publicity.

Two newer, equally bold jewellery brands to emerge at the event are Maniamania, which was first showcased in last year's Zimmermann show and Alexandra Blak, whose spectacular Lucite earrings were the key accessory featured in last month's Spring/Summer 2010/2011 Manning Cartel show.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


john galliano SS11 backstage/sonny vandevelde

Frockwriter mentioned that upwardly mobile Australian model Andrej Pejic made his international catwalk debut on Thursday in Paris in the Jean Paul Gaultier show. Well he had his second Paris runway outing yesterday courtesy of another equally high profile designer: John Galliano. There are two days left of the mens shows, where might he pop up next? Update 27/6: The answer is Raf Simons and, according to backstage snapper Sonny Vandevelde, today's Paul Smith show. The Paris runways are a long way from the east European refugee camps via which Pejic and his Serbo-Croatian family fled war-torn Bosnia in the 1990s before settling in Melbourne, where he attended University High School (whose other alumni include playwright David Williamson, entertainer Olivia Newton-John and MTV VJ Ruby Rose). Modelling for two years, full-time for one, Pejic's first modelling job was a cover - for Oyster magazine. Head to Sonny's blog to see more of Pejic and his runway colleagues backstage before and during Galliano's Charlie Chaplin-inspired show and the rest of the mens shows, including Gaultier, Issey Miyake and Dries van Noten.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gemma Ward, action star?

mario sorrenti/vogue italia via dusty burrito

Well after last week's news that Gemma Ward has signed to play a small role as a mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, comes word that she may have been in Sydney this week auditioning for another action quadrilogy: Mad Max 4: Fury Road, which is due to be filmed in Australia. Ward’s Sydney model agency, Viviens, confirmed to frockwriter that Ward did indeed fly to Sydney this week to do a Mad Max “workshop” for two days at Fox Studios. Has she already been cast? Viviens was not sure and Ward's other agents were unreachable. The film’s cast already includes Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and Zoe Kravitz. Ward was of course an actress before she became the world’s number one ranked model on, just 14 when she appeared in Elissa Down’s 2001 feature Pink Pyjamas. Ward then co-starred in Down’s critically-acclaimed 2008 feature, The Black Balloon, before moving on to the small role of ‘Dollface’ in Bryan Bertino’s 2008 thriller The Strangers.

Coincidentally, Ward lookalike Amanda Seyfried, now 25, was also 14 when she made her acting debut: playing Lucy Montgomery in the tv soap As The World Turns.

Seyfriend now has a ten year body of work behind her, including Mean Girls, Mama Mia!, Jennifer's Body and the tv series Big Love.

Ward hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs in the profile stakes – just not in Hollywood.

And a breakthrough role might well be just one casting call away.

Andrej Pejic mixes it up at Jean Paul Gaultier

jean paul gaultier SS11/

Who was the intriguing, androgynous blonde at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring/Summer 2011 menswear show in Paris overnight? Melbourne’s Andrej Pejic, that’s who. Frockwriter knew it would not be long before Pejic appeared on a major runway and there he is in three outfits at JPG. Update: Pejic reports that he will also be doing John Galliano's show today. Since first popping up on our radar at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week last year, as reported by frockwriter, Pejic shot a 14 page editorial for Australia’s RUSSH magazine and headed to London, where the 18 year-old was snapped up by Storm Management. Pejic, whose mother agency in Australia is Chadwicks, is now repped by New Madison in Paris and I Love Models Management in Milan and has shot for Dazed + Confused Japan (see below), London-based magazines Libertine and Wonderland and Martyn Bal. Stand by for what could be his biggest career break to date: editorial (including a cover try) just shot by a major international photographic duo for the September edition of a major international fashion title.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2011 menswear show streaming live

The Spring/Summer 2011 menswear season kicks off today in Milan. Several companies are live streaming shows, Burberry among them. As with last season, select merchandise will be available for preorder straight off the runway from the website from June 19-26th. In the case of this collection, 27 pieces of apparel (sizes 44-56) and nine styles of bag, with delivery promised within 4-6 weeks. The show is due to commence at 3.00pm Milan time (11.00pm AEST). Enjoy.

Meet Australia's next top male model Jordan Coulter - and his ass

mert & marcus/dsquared2 via fashion gone rogue

Jordan Coulter is Australia’s latest male modelling star. And here he is in all his glory modelling in the new Fall/Winter 2010/2011 ad campaign for Canadian fashion brand Dsquared2. His on-camera colleagues are Thomas Hoefnagels, Tyler Kenyon, Chanel Iman, Alla Kostromicheva and Iris Strubegger. All over 20. Scouted at the age of 14 by Gold Coast-based Kirk Blake, Coulter has been modelling for the past year. He turns 18 in December and is still at school. No, the photo is not full frontal and there is nothing sexually explicit about the pose. Nor is there is any suggestion whatsoever that anything untoward happened on the shoot. Nevertheless, it's a pervy shot and Coulter is a 17 year-old minor, who can’t vote or legally drink alcohol in either Australia or the US, and who is below the age of sexual consent in California, where the shoot took place.

The images are currently appearing in the pages of fashion magazines across the world and on numerous websites.

Coulter’s other gigs reportedly include Just Jeans, American Eagle, a Calvin Klein lookbook and the Dolce e Gabbana anniversary book (presumably to be unveiled at their show today, which celebrates 20 years of Dolce e Gabbana menswear).

In April, when Coulter was “rushed” to LA for the Dsquared2 shoot, Blake told The Gold Coast Bulletin:

“Mert and Marcus [photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot], are pretty much the Gods of this industry so pretty much as soon as this campaign comes out, he will be known around the world or people will want to know who he is..... We now have to be very careful which jobs he will take, as his value becomes even greater with this new campaign under his belt.''

Frockwriter did make some effort to seek comment from both Kirk Blake and Scene Models.

Scene washed its hands of the matter in an email stating that it only manages Coulter's work in Australia and had nothing to do with the international booking. Blake declined to comment.

Model industry sources tell frockwriter that permission would have been sought from Coulter’s agent and, most likely, also his parents, to photograph him naked and that in fact he would have been paid a premium for doing so.

“It could be his big break” said one industry source.

“We just wouldn’t take the risk” said another; “if he’s that good, why not wait until he turned 18?”

mert & marcus/dsquared via fashion gone rogue

There are many reasons why fashion companies might want to exercise due diligence when it comes to photographing underage models.

In 2008, after questions were asked about a wet swimsuit image of then 13 year old Polish model Monika Jagaciak, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific banned under-16 models from Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Ironically of course, Jagaciak is repped by IMG Models outside of Poland. Presumably, noone at IMG had a problem with her posing for that shot – or other provocative images while she was still under 16.

Also in 2008, following claims the company had published sexualized images of children in its marketing material, Australian department store David Jones went to the draconian length of banning all under-18 models from even its runway shows - and they don't include nudity.

Insisting on an 18+ workforce won't however guarantee immunity from scandal.

Yesterday, the David Jones board distanced itself from its own former ceo Mark McInnes, after one sexual advance too many prompted legal action from a 25 year-old David Jones employee and McInnes resigned in disgrace.

In March, several models over the age of 18 came forward to call out photographer Terry Richardson for inappropriate behaviour. Will Richardson perhaps one day find himself the target of a class action lawsuit?

What of male models?

In March 2003, Abercrombie & Fitch art director Sam Shahid was found guilty of sexual harassment and ordered to pay US$70,000 to 23 year-old former Abercrombie & Fitch employee Mladen Djankovich. Djankovich accused Shahid of touching him inappropriately and withholding advancement opportunities after he protested.

In December that year, Abercrombie & Fitch made the decision to discontinue its controversial quarterly publication, whose intensely homoerotic imagery – engineered by Shahid and photographed by Bruce Weber – had attracted considerable criticism. At the time one former model told WWD that Weber and Shahid sacked models who weren’t willing to pose nude and that Shahid was constantly pressuring models to “act sexier” on the set.

Just to clarify, to frockwriter's knowledge, none of the allegations revolve around anyone connected to the recent Dsquared2 shoot on which Jordan Coulter worked, but it's worth noting that there are plenty of new rumours flying about alleged sexual activity on fashion shoots involving male models.

In communications sighted by frockwriter, these include claims that young men have been pressured to masturbate themselves in front of parties present on photographic shoots, in order to get themselves 'in the mood' for jobs.

There has also been reference to something colloquially referred to as a "rape shed”, to which male models are said to have been lured.

At least one male model is said to have been emotionally disturbed by similar events.

Meanwhile, overnight came the sad news of yet another model death.

Top French male model Tom Nicon fell to his death from his Milanese apartment building, on the eve of the mens Spring/Summer 2010 show season, which starts today.

There are as yet no other details. Given the score of model deaths over the past two years - including multiple suicides – speculation has inevitably focussed on suicide.

Who knows what may have been troubling Nicon. One thing is for sure, however, the pressures in the modelling industry have never been greater.

All those involved in the supply line would be well advised to take stock of the situation. As noted by’s Wayne Sterling last November, “We're dealing with human beings here, not inanimate mannequins”.

Or pieces of meat.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Charlotte Rampling, cover girl - at 64

crush via the imagist

We have been talking about older women creeping into high fashion runway shows and advertising campaigns. But as far as frockwriter can recall, fashion magazines are not as yet lining up to put anyone north of 50 on a cover. In fact we can't recall many (if any) that have. Try 64. Not that quarterly US fanzine Crush is a major, or even fashion-dedicated, but interesting nonetheless to see veteran British actor Charlotte Rampling on its latest cover. Below is a short video taken during the shoot. She may no longer be playing the ingénue, but judging by her IMDB page, Rampling is almost as busy now as during her heyday, when she shot to prominence in Georgy Girl, later cementing her position as a major star in The Damned and The Night Porter. The Paris-based grandmother is of course no stranger to the fashion world. Dubbed "the world’s sexiest woman” by British Vogue in 1974, accompanied by a nude Helmut Newton portrait, in September last year Rampling bravely posed nude again opposite’s then world number one Raquel Zimmermann for Juergen Teller and Paradis magazine - and this time full frontal.

crush via the imagist

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vale Richard Bailey

Very sad news about Richard Bailey, who passed away yesterday at the age of 52 from cancer. By all accounts he was working right until the end. Bailey was one of the giants of Australian fashion photography, working with every major local magazine and retailer. Based in New York for 10 years, he also worked with GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue Italia, Glamour, Grazia and Mademoiselle and his portfolio of advertising work spans The Gap, Victoria's Secret, Anne Klein, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Anne Taylor, Nautica, L'Oréal and Mercedes Benz. But Bailey's biggest showcase was by far Vogue Australia, with which he worked for 31 years. You only have to check his website, to see that the local edition accounts for over half the content of his magazine covers section.

It wasn't all safe, commercial work. Tsubi's controversial 2004 'Death Machine' calendar featured Bailey's colour-saturated images of semi-clad models, including Miranda Kerr and Michelle Leslie, posing provocatively against cars and motorbikes.

The previous year, for a book called 1/1, he shot a series of edgy, black and white images of Chic Management models, to prove the critics wrong that "There are no girls [read: decent models] in Australia".

Bailey of course lived to see Australian models take the world by storm. Many of them will be toasting him tonight.

He is survived by his wife Gillian and children Billie and Jasper.


all images/richard

Zippora Seven gets Romantic with Gen Kay

Gen Kay is one of Australia’s most exciting emerging talents in fashion photography. Sydney-born, Melbourne-raised and -based, for the past seven years she has been commuting between Bleak City and Tokyo - where she spent one year full-time and has clocked up quite an impressive client list. It includes Vogue Nippon, Harper's BAZAAR Japan, Nylon Japan, Vogue Girl Japan, Elle Japan and Madame Figaro Japan, in addition to Lula (UK) and Vogue Australia. Portraiture includes Stella McCartney, Daniel Radcliffe, Paris Hilton and Marianne Faithfull (check her blog for Polaroids and work outtakes). And frockwriter is sure that it won’t be long before some of the savvier fashion marketers start taking advantage of Kay's filmmaking talents, with her site also showcasing a number of moody, personal films shot on Super 8. They feature, you guessed it, models, including Australia’s Jethro Cave. Below is an exclusive preview of Kay’s latest short, starring the upwardly mobile Auckland-based Zippora Seven. She is reading Love's Philosophy from the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

all photos: outtakes from 'zippora' by gen kay

Tallulah Morton crams White Sands, Harpers Bazaar and Escada into her art school holidays

russh magazine via tfs

Did we say Tallulah Morton had nixed modelling for art? Yes we did. That didn’t stop her from walking 12 shows at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week last month. And today, comes word from Sasha Strebe that White Sands designer Leah Madden has been photographing a mystery "supermodel" who looks very much like Morton on the Gold Coast. Frockwriter checked with Morton’s mother agency Scene Models, which confirmed that she has indeed booked an ad campaign with the Gold Coast-based swimwear label - its first ever, according to Scene - although that's just a lookbook being photographed today. The main campaign won't be shot for another month, reports Scene. In the interim, Morton won’t be twiddling her thumbs. Next week she will shoot the second of two new Harpers Bazaar Australia editorials, this one on Lord Howe Island. Morton will virtually step off that plane and board another on the 27th bound for Munich, where she has been booked to walk in an Escada runway show. She may also do Berlin Fashion Week, which runs July 7-10. Morton is currently on holidays from TAFE and while in Germany, also plans do an internship with a yet-to-be-named Berlin artist.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The extreme cheek of Italian Vogue

screen cap vogue italia

Frockwriter loves the fact that the late Alexander McQueen finally did what more than one scifi makeup artist must have dreamed of doing for his Spring/Summer 2010 ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ show last October: use prosthetics in runway makeup. But we really didn’t anticipate that the alien-esque look would be adopted quite so literally by the fash pack. Imagine our surprise, then, to check into Vogue Italia’s website and spot the headline, The Now Idea - Focus on cheekbones, accompanied by a gallery of backstage images from the show, a video and the following instructions, which naturally squeeze in as many plugs for Vogue advertisers as possible:

A rebuilt face, yes, but just for one night. Implants become toys you put on your cheeks to change your features and live a special night as if you were a creature from outer space or a nymph who escaped from the forest. In a soft version they are more structured types of foundation that create a smoothing and reconstructive effect, while soins help features to get lifted.

Cheekbones Volumizer by Pupa acts with a lipo-filling cosmetic action which increases volume thanks to Volufiline and Kio Pulp Complex V10. You will already see the effect after a few applications.

For the treatment of the whole face, there's the Recompacting High Definition Foundation SPF10 with anti-wrinkle action by Collistar. The special formula extends your features and strengthens the facial contours, while the marine collagen acts in the tissues giving you a long compacting action”

alexander mcqueen SS10/

Hilariously, the story sits directly opposite a second beauty story entitled Beauty Victim, which warns about the dangers of too much plastic surgery:

“Cosmetic surgery can dramatically improve our physical appearance. But be careful not to go in for too many operations in an attempt to achieve an impossible model of aesthetic perfection. Don't become a beauty victim.

This is what happened to American socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, also known as Catwoman, who spent four million dollars on plastic surgery. The outcome? Her face was radically altered, giving her a grotesque, unnatural look”.

Miranda Kerr definitely hooked up with Balenciaga last week - and that's definitely not her Twitter account

The Balenciaga plot thickens. This morning frockwriter mentioned the mystery surrounding a new photo of Miranda Kerr. According to the @MirandaMayKerr Twitter account, it was just taken during a Balenciaga Resort collection shoot. Well Kerr's personal publicist, Carlii Lyon, who just spoke with Kerr in New York, tells frockwriter that the shot was definitely taken during a Balenciaga "event" in New York last week. What was Kerr doing there and why is the makeup she's wearing identical to that seen on Balenciaga's models in these photographs of the collection which were published on and on June 9? Lyon said she was unable to elaborate on the nature of Kerr's involvement with the brand, other than to say she was definitely working with it in some capacity. Nor does Lyon - or indeed Kerr, she claims - know who took the photo. One thing Lyon could confirm was that @MirandaMayKerr is a fake account. Lyon said that she and Kerr are attempting to have it shut down - as they have done with several others. Lyon confirmed that @MirandaKerr is the only bona fide Miranda Kerr Twitter account. Unfortunately, it's not particularly active at the moment. Nor has it been verified with Twitter, which doesn't help. They're working on it, says Lyon.

Miranda's Balenciaga hat trick?


Well that new "cardinal rule for models" (ie do not leak information from jobs on social media) might not apply to Miranda Kerr. In what is either an elaborate fake Twitter account ruse - or the real deal - "@MirandaMKerr" left several Twitter clues from the set of a "Balenciaga Resort" shoot yesterday. "Back from Balenciaga Resort, It was awesome moment. Always fun to work with talented people" they noted, before posting an autoportrait showing an interesting winged pink smokey eye beauty look - identical to that sported by Balenciaga's models in these images of the same collection that were published last week on But is this in fact Miranda Kerr? The account has not yet been verified by Twitter and there have been fake Miranda Kerr accounts before. Frockwriter is checking with her agents in Sydney and New York. If it is a ruse, then at least one bona fide supermodel Twitterer has been sucked in by it - fellow Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks - whose Twitter account has been verified by Twitter - is following @MirandaMayKerr. See updated post: It's a fake Twitter account, but that's definitely Kerr at Balenciaga last week.

It seems like a lot of trouble and expense to go to for a lookbook. Campaign? If the photos do emerge, then they would represent the third consecutive Balenciaga gig for Kerr, who walked in the French brand's Spring/Summer 2010 and Fall/Winter 2010/2011 runway shows.

It would also be the latest coup in Kerr's quest to refashion herself from a purely "commercial" star of Victoria's Secret lingerie fame, to high fashion ice queen, a trajectory that has also seen her book campaigns for Prada and Jil Sander, walk for Prada and model for edgier publications such as French Numéro and Britain's i-D.

Frockwriter can't help thinking that this is definitely a two-way street, with some of those far less accessible high fashion brands hoping for some commercial ruboff in the prevailing challenging economic climate.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gemma Ward proves her moment is far from "over" by snagging a role in Pirates of the Caribbean 4

steven meisel via trendnista

Yesterday's lead story in The Sunday Telegraph's gossip pages reported that Gemma Ward is about to embark on her fourth film role, having scored a small speaking role as a mermaid in Pirates of The Caribbean 4. No source was cited beyond a “friend” – who was not actually quoted confirming the role, just stating that "Gemma's focus is definitely on acting. She's spent the past year studying the craft full time in New York." In spite of the fact that neither IMDB’s Pirates of the Caribbean 4 nor Gemma Ward pages had any reference, the story whipped across the net. Not that frockwriter would presume to cast aspersions on The Sunday Telegraph's sources (well, apart from perhaps those involved in the Pauline Hanson photo debacle), but we did want to make an effort to check things out before putting digit to keyboard. And an extremely well-placed business associate (who we can’t name either unfortunately) confirmed it's true - Ward has definitely signed on for a role in the film.

The Pirates of the Caribbean news follows four months after a source at Ward’s US model agency IMG told The New York Post "Her moment's over. She's not coming back".

The comments were made in A Supermodel Betrayed , an extensive feature which recounted the story of Ward’s rise and fall in the fashion business, following weight gain (the latter of course being prominently documented by The Sunday Telegraph in a front page story last year).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boots and all: Kirsten Carriol plans to bring back lanolin, one lipgloss at a time

Australia might not be a world leader in the beauty business (yet) but it is the globe's largest wool producer. Now Kirsten Carriol is aiming to harness both industries, with her line of lanolin-based beauty products. The following story ran as a full page feature in last Saturday's Daily Telegraph newspaper here in Sydney. Although Lanolips is a year old this month, the new news peg was Carriol's UK distribution deal, which will see this by all accounts hugely successful beauty startup take its first international steps in September. The shot of Carriol, above, was taken in May last year during her last visit to her family's Corryton Park property in South Australia. The shot below shows her mother and uncles as children on the property, with her grandmother and a wool harvest. Head to the Lanolips website to learn more about the products.

A young Polish immigrant by the name of Helena Rubinstein founded a cosmetics empire in Melbourne with a lanolin-based moisturiser. A century on, Sydney mother of two Kirsten Carriol aims to be the next Australian beauty entrepreneur to find fortune off the sheep’s back.

Carriol did not launch her company with face creams but rather, a small line of tinted lip balms called Lanolips.

The products are made using a top-of-the-line medical grade lanolin and Carriol refers to the products as “lip ointments”.

But while her key ingredient might be expensive, Carriol made her price points deliberately accessible – $13.95 each for five tinted balms up to $17.95 for the plain, ultra medical grade multi-purpose 101 ointment that she uses on her children’s faces and rashes.

“My plan was to bring lanolin back as an ingredient - to be the person to do it and to show everybody in the entire world…because noone in the whole world has a good quality lanolin brand that’s kind of a little bit cool to use” says Carriol. “Also I’m really proud to be bringing an Australian and New Zealand ingredient to the world market and to be flying that flag”.

Lanolips currently sells through 900 Australian retail outlets, ranging from pharmacies up to department stores David Jones and Myer. Priceline is her biggest customer, where Lanolips sells through 300 doors.

And selling it has been. Carriol has just secured distribution through UK pharmacy giant Boots, which has over 1400 outlets in the UK. Boots will trial the brand in its 22 top stores from late September and also offer it online. If sales in Australia are anything to go by, Carriol could be in for windfall.

Launched in June 2009, Lanolips rucked up $1million in sales in Australia within eight months reports Carriol, which is almost unheard of in this market.

“I haven’t seen that sort of figure before with of the clients I’ve worked with in the cosmetic sector – it’s phenomenal growth” says Austrade senior export advisor Denise Eaton.

She adds, “The overseas cosmetics sector is incredibly competitive, but every week there seems to be a new brand coming to me saying that they’re looking at exporting. I’m always surprised at a point of difference that these brands are continually coming up with. Their innovation is amazing”.

Carriol is part of a rapidly expanding contingent of export-focussed Australian beauty entrepreneurs that has emerged over the past 15 years and whose products generated $363million in export sales in 2009 according to Austrade – up 3.39percent on 2008. Lest you wonder what percentage of that figure could be comprised of raw ingredients such as essential oils, according to Austrade branded products account for 97percent.

Among those taking their beauty products to the world are skincare specialists such as Aesop and Jurlique and makeup brands including Napoleon, Bloom and ModelCo.

Carriol’s idea was, however, a little riskier than most.

A natural, greasy substance found in wool, the first use of which is believed to date back to 1,600 BC, lanolin began being widely adopted by the cosmetics industry in the 1880s. Older Australians would remember a time when every household had a tube of Fauldings lanolin cream.

Lanolin fell out of favour, however, as a mainstream cosmetic ingredient after a 1953 European study claimed it caused allergies.

The latter findings have since been refuted by other studies, but still lanolin has remained a no-no in the mainstream beauty industry – in spite of the fact that medical grade lanolin is widely used in hospital burns units and maternity wards in nursing creams.

“It’s safe for the mouths of newborn babies - you can’t even say that about water” says Carriol. “It’s so safe and yet the cosmetic world has promoted this myth that lanolin is an allergen, therefore stay away. Their loss is my gain.

“We don’t actually make a lot of money from this product because my view is, for anyone to buy lanolin again it has to be at an affordable price - I knew people wouldn’t pay a premium for lanolin, it had such a bad name” says Carriol, who knows a thing or two about sheep.

The Adelaide native spent all her school holidays on a sprawling 800 hectare sheep and cattle property called Corryton Park located in Lucindale, near Mount Gambier in South Australia. The property was sold last year just before the Lanolips launch. Sadly, Carriol’s grandfather passed away on the day that Corryton Park moved out of the family’s hands.

In addition to her farming background, Carriol also hails from a family of scientists.

Her father is Professor Leigh Burgoyne, a molecular biologist with Adelaide’s Flinders University – who praised the virtues of lanolin for years.

“Dad always says to me the molecular structure of lanolin most closely resembles your skin lipids” says Burgoyne, whose mother Judy Burgoyne was a scientist with the CSIRO for 30 years.

Sister Laura is an anaesthetist and her brother Mark, a chemical engineer.

“I always felt like the dumb one” quipped Carriol, who studied communications and marketing before launching her own successful beauty-specialist PR agency in Sydney called Buzz Consulting, where she employs four fulltime staff and two casuals.

Carriol’s in-laws haven’t harmed her chances of success either.

Carriol is married to Jean Marc Carriol, the son of Michel-Henri Carriol, who moved to Australia from France in 1966 as a trade attaché at the French embassy. In 1973, in Sydney, he founded Trimex, now one of Australia’s biggest cosmetic distributors, which controls some of the world’s best-known cosmetic and fragrance brands in this market, including Clarins, Versace, Prada, Thierry Mugler and Nina Ricci.

Not only is Lanolips now part of the Trimex portfolio in Australia, Jean Marc, who is a director of Trimex, has also consulted on the brand’s international distribution.

In what sounds like a scene from an upcoming instalment of Sex And The City, the beautiful, blonde Sydney PR girl and her French beau married in 2004 in a French chateau. They live in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with their two young sons, Casper and Dalphin.

In spite of having access to some of the best advice in the business, it nevertheless took six years to bring Lanolips to market, with Carriol in negotiations with six factories in Australia and also Italy. Many were reluctant to take the product on.

“They wanted to substitute it all with chemicals and recommended using five percent lanolin so I could say it had lanolin in it. I wanted to use 70 percent” says Carriol, who considered giving up the project at one point. “There were many tears”.

Now that Lanolips is a roaring success, Carriol’s biggest hurdle right now is juggling motherhood and running two businesses – her PR agency and Lanolips, which is growing rapidly. Body and hand/nail creams were added to the range this month. Later in the year Carriol will also launch a new organic lemon oil-based lip ointment and body range.

“Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. Being a working mother is even harder. Having your own business and being a mother at the same time is incomprehensibly hard - 10 times harder than working for someone else” says Carriol, who does the school run every morning and afternoon.

She adds, “I always say to the girls in my office, beware if you want it all because you have to do it all.”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nutbush City Limits: Romance Was Born's "granular" film collab with Kris Moyes

Last night in Sydney, Romance Was Born's Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales unveiled City Limits, a short film directed by Kris Moyes. Shot over one day in Sydney and starring local model Tanja Gacic, it's a fantastic - and hilariously camp - little collaboration that was designed to showcase RWB's Autumn/Winter 2010 Nightmare on Wall Street collection (but which will now be shopped to the film festival circuit by production company Revolver Films). A little less Freddy Krueger than you might anticipate - and a little more Blade Runner-meets-Kill Bill-meets-The Rocky Horror Picture Show - City Limits portrays Gacic as a DayGlo Spandex-clad corporate assassin who goes postal at a cocktail party. Best moment: Gacic clubbing Guy Pearce-lookalike Matthew Charleston with a decapitated head. The impressive crew includes cinematographer Danny Ruhlmann (Little Fish) and 1st AD Deb Antoniou (Where The Wind Things Are). Below are a few screen caps. But click here to see frockwriter's Posterous pic gallery of location shots (images courtesy Kris Moyes/Revolver). And click here to watch the film itself.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Social (fashion) workers


A quick update on the Myer spring catalogue shoot, which rolled on today in Melbourne. Frockwriter mentioned yesterday that there was some confusion over the social media aspect of the campaign, with representatives of at least one model booked for the campaign, Cassi van den Dungen, surprised at the extent of the coverage. This morning frockwriter received an email from Myer rep Tim Evans, from the DT Digital agency, which is handling the campaign. Evans revealed that this was the first time that Myer had covered a campaign shoot in real time. He also wanted to clear up any “misunderstanding” over yesterday's post and insisted that all permissions were indeed sought from all the agencies – and duly granted. According to the van den Dungen camp, this is "absolutely not" correct. Confusing, it is. Update 11/06/10 @ 1.30pm. Van den Dungen's Melbourne agency, Cameron's, which negotiated the deal, claims that it did know about the social media coverage and did not have a problem with it. Work Agency, van den Dungen's mother agency in Sydney, which manages her career, has a different position.

Woollahra Council agrees it should lighten up, but issues dotwa on subversive Kiwi paintjob

On May 19 frockwriter mentioned the trials and tribulations of Kiwi fashion brand World over a recent polka dot paintjob of its Paddington, Sydney boutique. The company is being pressured by Woollahra Council to take the dots down. Well it seems the story has travelled a little further afield. On June 2nd, it made the local rag The Wentworth Courier. And last night it was picked up by Channel Ten prime time news (above), which reports it will cost $1000 to remove the dots - and that the Council moved on the matter after a complaint by just one person. Talk about customer service. Most amusing: comments by a local galériste who says the store should be applauded for being part of a new, post-Howard, rage-against-beige World order. And Woollahra Mayor Andrew Petrie, who is on record agreeing that the Council needs to lighten up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Every move she makes: Cassi van den Dungen stalked by client paparazzi

stylestalker's Facebook via TFS

You don’t need to wait to see Myer’s spring catalogue starring Cassi van den Dungen and Bambi Northwood-Blythe. Today’s shoot was Tweeted throughout by at least two parties Melbourne blogger Kat George, guest blogging for Myer on the company’s Twitter feed and her personal Twitter feed. Van den Dungen seemed to be a particular focus, with seemingly every nanosecond of her time on set accounted for in a Tweet. From “Cassi in braids” to “Cassi and the amazing legs that go on until forever…” to “Cassi does a balancing act backstage as she has a Cinderella moment with the stylist slipping shoes on her feet!” Beyond actually photographing the catalogue - the principle purpose of the job - Myer’s social media approach to the session apparently was, to use the parlance of Australian television industry, to “shoot the s**t out of it”. Terrific publicity for Myer of course. It’s just a shame they didn’t think to run this by van den Dungen’s agent beforehand - whose express wish, we understand, was for a closed set. Van den Dungen's Melbourne agent, Camerons, which negotiated the deal, claims that it was fully apprised of the social media aspect of the shoot. This information appears not to have been clarified with van den Dungen's mother agent in Sydney. See updated post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flake's Alexander McQueen fake

Interesting new tv spot by iconic British chocolate bar maker Cadbury Flake, which airs tonight in the UK. Produced by an outfit called Fallon, according to Creative Review the clip was directed by Baillie Walsh and features Russian model Yulia Lobova, who is suspended mid-air dressed in a flowing yellow dress that was fashioned from 200 metres of fabric. The dress was designed by British couturier Antony Price, who just told that "The idea came from looking at the edges of the Flake bar and the look of a Portuguese man of war jelly fish... It took a while playing around with the frills of the dress to make it look like Flake bar edges. I do think this form of pleating is very directional - it may well creep into my next collection." Frockwriter can't help thinking that there may have been another source of inspiration for the concept - one a little closer to home for Flake and Price than Portugal.

Below is a video of the finale of the Widows of Culloden Fall/Winter 2006/2007 show of the late, great British designer Alexander McQueen, who took his own life in February.

Staged in Paris in March 2006, the show concluded with a spectacular, ghostly illusion of Kate Moss that was projected inside a giant glass pyramid in the centre of the stage. Wearing a diaphanous ballgown - that is not too dissimilar to the Price/Flake version - Moss appeared to float in the air inside the structure.

Although dubbed a life-sized "hologram" by many, McQueen's longtime show producer Simon Kenny later told me that it was in fact a Victorian era parlour trick called Pepper’s Ghost.

UPDATE 09/06/10 at 3.25pm: Creative Review updated its story overnight to point out that the Flake ad director Baillie Walsh in fact also directed the clip of Kate Moss for McQueen's show in 2006. "I'm not sure how Walsh can be 'stealing' his own work" notes CR editor Patrick Burgoyne, responding to comments that the Flake clip is a ripoff of McQueen's 2006 catwalk stunt (comments that were posted after frockwriter's post FYI). On closer inspection, however, the McQueen illusion was created with the assistance of several production houses, including not only Simon Kenny's Souvenir Scenic Studios, but also Glassworks and Gainsbury and Whiting. But who actually came up with the idea?

UPDATE 14/06: Evidently McQueen's company believes he did. The company is now considering legal action against Cadbury.

Eye of the Tiger: Melise Williams rocks Nicola Finetti's lookbook

Melise Williams is definitely on frockwriter’s Ones 2 Watch list. We first spotted her in November 2008 in a student fashion show in Sydney when she was just 15. Clocked her February 2010 cover of NZ’s Metro magazine. And bumped into her at last month's Rosemount Australian Fashion Week – noting that she recently jumped ship from the Platform agency to Chic Management. Sadly Williams only did three RAFW shows - Gary Bigeni, Camilla and Therese Rawsthorne. Nicola Finetti was not one of them, however she did just score Finetti’s Spring/Summer 2010/2011 lookbook. Click here to see frockwriter’s preview of the lookbook on Posterous. Sixteen year-old Williams was also included in a series of promotional video interviews that were recently shot in Sydney to coincide with the launch of a new film called Tiger, a fictional story about models working in Tokyo.

Here's the trailer:

The film was produced by the Beaufort collective – which is fronted by the enigmatic, multitasking Sydney actor/producer/comedian and erstwhile model James McFay.

Also known as James Maclurcan, he is apparently best-known for playing Mackenzie 'Mack' Hartford, the Red Ranger, in Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive and was once part of a comedy group called The Nice Guys.

What does Williams have to do with Tiger or McFay/Maclurcan?

Absolutely no idea. But here she is:

Monday, June 7, 2010

World number #1 Lara Stone lands triple Calvin Klein exclusive (just don't call her fat)


Well Lara Stone is certainly having a moment. Womens Wear Daily reports today that Stone has booked a triple exclusive with Calvin Klein, as the advertising and runway face of Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Jeans for the upcoming Fall 2010/2011 season. The Dutch native isn’t the only model in the campaigns (Australia’s Abbey Lee Kershaw is one of several others who feature, in Kershaw’s case, in cK Calvin Klein). But according to WWD it’s the first time “in years” that the company has used one model across three brands – and the newspaper suggests this could propel Stone’s career “into the stratosphere”, given that Calvin Klein contracts were pivotal in launching the careers of several other models, including Christy Turlington and Kate Moss. But Stone is already the world number 1 on, having just dethroned Brazil’s Raquel Zimmermann from the top spot. Her success and in particular, the Calvin Klein coup, are interesting for several reasons.

In March (although not screened until early April), in talking about his decision to cast several 30 and 40 plus models in his Fall/Winter 2010/2011 show, Calvin Klein Collection creative director Francisco Costa told Australian current affairs television program Today Tonight that “the 16 year olds are fantastic, they’re fresh...” but that older women “represent some kind of truth”.

Later that month, a New York modelling agent hinted that “Calvin Klein has discontinued their use of the Size 0-2 Models and trade them in for a 2-4 … a sign of the times indeed”.

This must presumably have been around the same time that busty, size 4 Stone was being earmarked for the campaigns.

Where does that leave 16 year old Monika Jagaciak, who had previously booked two back-to-back Calvin Klein campaigns? Without a Calvin Klein campaign this season, that's where. Although Jagaciak did in fact open the FW1011 Calvin Klein womens runway show, which featured plenty of other teenagers, notably Australia’s Julia Nobis, who was booked as a runway exclusive.

So is it a victory for the "older, curvier" woman?

Forty year-old Emma Balfour, who recently returned to modelling after a long break, is tipped as a new face of Céline.

Stone is still just 27. But she has hit the top of her game after being in the business for at least 12 years - perhaps longer. Stone was reportedly scouted at the age of 12.

And her curves do look to have proven problematic in the past.

In the January edition of US Vogue, she spoke of her battles with her weight, which saw her resort at one point to popping pills, which made her "heart race". Stone also talked about a 2009 stint in rehab for alcoholism, but apparently places no blame on the fashion industry.

Stone told the magazine:
“What they say is ‘curvy,’ but you know they mean fat...It’s depressing when the clothes don’t fit and you are always the odd one out....I was on a shoot just last week and the stylist took out this tight corset dress and said, ‘Here, put it on,’ and I was like, ‘Who are you kidding?’ There was no way, so that was very rude of her. It’s like, come on, she’s a woman; whether you’re buying jeans at the mall or wearing couture, you know what it’s like for clothes not to fit. It’s not an easy kind of rejection, because it’s very personal. It’s you, your body. You take it to heart.”

With lucrative advertising contracts piling up and recently wed to Little Britain star David Walliams, who’s having the last laugh now?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Adidas, Beckham, Daft Punk and co do the Star Wars cantina scene

Two weeks ago, Nike broke its own viral record for the most views of an online video in a single week (7.8million) with its Write The Future video, produced in the leadup to the World Cup. Adidas has just returned fire with this epic homage to the famous Star Wars cantina scene starring a raft of music and sports stars, including David Beckham, Snoop Dog, Daft Punk and Noel Gallagher. At a mere 100K views at time of writing, watch this go viral...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thurley's butterfly effect

Deadlines kept me away from Thurley's Spring/Summer 2010/2011 runway show last night at a gracious old home in Sydney's Woollahra. But a few backstage shots were slipped frockwriter's way. The four year-old cocktail and eveningwear line is designed by Helen O'Connor, who has earned comparisons with Collette Dinnigan - much to the latter's chagrin. The new collection is called 'The Butterfly Effect' and the show featured all Chic Management girls, including Samantha Harris, Meg Lindsay, Hannah Saul and Emma Norris. Styling was by Jolyon Mason, with Jon Pulitano for Redken on hair, makeup by Amanda Reardon and shoes by Camilla Skovgaard - the real Camilla Skovgaard, that is and not one of numerous Australian mid market manufacturers who are knocking her off.

all photos: courtesy golightly pr

Blog Archive