Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nicole Trunfio is "stepping in" for Miranda Kerr

david jones AW10/getty via daylife
On Wednesday frockwriter asked, Is Nicole Trunfio Miranda Kerr’s understudy at David Jones? Trunfio had arrived in Sydney a full week ahead of DJs' August 3rd Spring/Summer 2010/2011 runway show – while her high profile runway colleagues Catherine McNeil and Abbey Lee Kershaw only arrived over the last 24-48 hours. Sources also reported Trunfio has been booked for in-store signings, she Tweeted that she was excited to be “part of the David Jones family” and she features heavily in DJs SS1011 catalogue. Well lo and behold, if the headline on a page one splash of the first edition of tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper doesn't read, “Nicole Trunfio – The next Miranda Kerr”. While inside, a story entitled "DJs next supermodel" reports “Nicole Trunfio is the heir apparent. David Jones has recruited the Aussie supermodel to lead its spring/summer fashion parade on Tuesday, stepping in for newly married Miranda Kerr”.

In 2007, Gemma Ward was the world number one model. Three years later, three Australians are in the Top 15. What are the odds?

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Some don’t much care for the ranking system deployed by New York-based modelling industry website On more than one occasion on this blog, critics have called out MDC's 1,2,2,3 system (or "dense" ranking, as distinct from 1,2,2,4 or "standard competition" ranking) saying it just isn’t cricket. But it is MDC's opinion and that opinion tends to be highly valued in the industry. And it's worth noting that as of 24 hours ago, in the site's hotly contested Top 50 working models section - which calculates a model's 'authority' rank via their latest blue chip ad campaigns, magazine covers, major runway bookings and editorials, as distinct from pure earnings, which is how Forbes ranks models - there are now three Australians in the world Top 15. Abbey Lee Kershaw is #5, Catherine McNeil is #12 and in the space of a fortnight Miranda Kerr has jumped forward to #15, thanks to recent alliances with high fashion names such as Balenciaga, Prada and Jil Sander (as distinct from her more lucrative commercial work with Victoria's Secret, which has earned Kerr the ninth spot on Forbes' Highest Earning Models 2010 list).  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Catherine McNeil to get her own issue of Vogue Australia

David Jones will not be the only Australian fashion institution to showcase Catherine McNeil next week. Frockwriter's sources report that McNeil is the cover star of the September 2010 edition of Vogue Australia which is due out August 5. Not only that, McNeil also appears in approximately three (large) editorial spreads within the issue. It's the first time since the Gemma Ward issue of December 2005, our well-placed sources claim, that Vogue Australia has dedicated so much space in one issue - roughly 80percent of the fashion pages - to a single model (with newcomer Codie Young also featuring). One might also recall the Lara Stone-dedicated issue of Paris Vogue in February last year. McNeil of course cracked the cover of Paris Vogue very early on in her career: September 2007. And she is no stranger to Vogue Australia, having previously graced the covers of three other editions. Not only will this be her fourth Vogue Australia cover, it will be her second this year, after the January 2010 edition. UPDATE: Here is the cover, leaked overnight by McNeil's US agency Next on Twitter. And here is a behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot.

Now even Palazzo Versace's pool boy can wear Versace

Palazzo Versace opened in 2000 on Queensland’s Gold Coast, reportedly the world’s first first completely fashion-branded hotel (the second edition of which will soon roll out in Dubai). Where else would it open? The Gold Coast is the native habitat of Meter Maids – those permatanned and mostly blonde, gold lamé bikini-clad, tiara-rocking parking samaritans who were first introduced in 1965 in a bid to raise the region’s profile (and put coins in expired meters). Donatella Versace would be right at home there in other words. Anyhow, 10 years down the track Donatella has designed some new clobber for her staff. This is the first time, a Palazzo Versace spokeswoman insists, that Versace has focused her design attention on all 28 staff categories, from the front desk right down to housekeeping (whose uniforms apparently incorporate the same lilac deployed in Versace’s SS10 season) to the pool boy and girl. Front office uniforms feature structured, gathered shoulders and narrow patent leather belts. All uniforms boast the Versace Medusa logo on buttons and all womens’ uniforms will be adorned with the satin “Vanitas” bows that featured in Versace’s Fall Winter 0910 main women’s collection. Behold a first look at what we are told are Donatella's own sketches and photos of the various uniforms. Frockwriter loves the Olga Sherer legs on the illustrated figure with the pantsuit. The big question now is: when will Donatella turn her attention to the Meter Maids?

There's no other store for maternity wear like David Jones?

The KerrBloom camp can run, but it seems it can’t hide, from those pesky pregnancy rumours. This morning, Miranda Kerr’s publicist Carlii Lyon was still adopting a no comment position on the now deafening chorus of claims that the real reason behind Kerr’s and Bloom’s elopement – and her withdrawal from next Tuesday’s David Jones Spring/Summer 2010 runway show in Sydney – is because she is three months pregnant. The US press is now running hot with the story, after US Weekly yesterday quoted an unnamed friend  confirming the pregnancy, while OK! Magazine quoted a Victoria’s Secret colleague, Jessica White, proclaiming, so discreetly, “She’s preggos!”. With The Sun quoting hotel staff. Today’s mail delivery of the David Jones Summer 2010 “Brand Book” unfortunately did not really do much to help quell speculation. Not surprisingly, it features Kerr on the cover. But inside, Kerr shares quite a lot of space with Nicole Trunfio and Viviens’ Allegra Carpenter. And while Kerr often does share the catalogues with other faces, notably when it comes to showcasing the junior fashion lines, Trunfio seems to be unusually prominently placed here, which may suggest she is poised to assume a greater DJs role.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Did the then "almost unemployed" Lara Stone neglect to stitch up a nude Greg Lotus photoshoot in 2008?

celebrity69  via fashionising

Last week frockwriter revealed that the spectacular onyx and crystal corset and cuff worn by Lara Stone in the June edition of Playboy France were originally designed by Australian jeweller Jenny Mercian for the 2008 Victoria's Secret show. We also noted that some mystery surrounded the origin of the photos. Although some images had already been widely circulated online in late 2009, with only the website of photographer Greg Lotus cited as a source, it appeared to be the first time the shots had made it to print. Now comes news that Stone is is taking legal action against both Playboy France and Lotus, in order to "protect" her "reputation", claiming the publication of the shots was unauthorised and that she would never have posed for Playboy. Given the volume of nude work that Stone has pumped into the public domain in recent years, the claim that her reputation has been sullied by a nude Playboy spread seems a little frivolous. The far bigger issues, surely, are did Stone not have the right to consultation before the photos were sold to Playboy and is she entitled to remuneration?  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is Nicole Trunfio Miranda Kerr's understudy?

getty via daylife

Speculation continues to mount regarding the August 3rd David Jones Spring/Summer 2010/2011 launch. With Miranda Kerr indisposed after tying the knot with Orlando Bloom, David Jones is attempting to fill the runway gap, as frockwriter reported on Friday, with some high profile alternatives: Abbey Lee Kershaw, Catherine McNeil, Nicole Trunfio and Alexandra Agoston - even if the latter were both in last season’s show. But the runway shows are one thing. If Kerr is three months pregnant, as many believe - with Victoria's Secret colleague Jessica White so discreetly telling OK! magazine overnight, "She's preggos!"- it's unlikely she would be available for the winter 2011 catalogue and early February runway show. Who would fill in for her? Frockwriter’s money is on Trunfio, who arrived in Sydney yesterday (above), a week ahead of the show. Our sources also report that she has been booked by DJs for a series of “in-store signings” - certainly something that would appear to go above and beyond the call of mere runway duties. Earlier today Trunfio Tweeted: “Finished my fitting for David Jones collection launch, I'm really excited, will be amazing! Ecstatic to be a part of the David Jones family!” Just walking in the show would not automatically make Trunfio, or any other model, ‘part of the David Jones family’. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and others reportedly to offer plus size clothing at Saks Fifth Avenue, while France launches a plus size manifesto

karl lagerfeld for V via

It’s been interesting tracking the story of plus sized designer clothing over the past two years. In March 2008, at Fully Chic, we incurred the wrath of some plus-sized consumers after reporting that although Target Australia made up to a size 16 in its Stella McCartney collection in 2007, so much size 16 merch was left on the sales racks Target stopped at a 14 when it came to producing its next collab with Zac Posen. Several weeks later we reported that Australian designer Leona Edmiston was doubling her size range to a 24 – but only in her online boutique. The story triggered a heated debate amongst those who lauded Edmiston's pioneering efforts - and those who claimed the move was “normalising obesity". Last year, Today Tonight took size 16 Melbourne blogger Hayley Hughes undercover into Melbourne’s Chapel Street. She found virtually no merchandise over size 12. Eighteen designers and retailers refused to discuss with the program why fashion's high end actively discriminates against larger consumers by ignoring them, with insiders citing concerns the issue was "bad for their image". So it was with some surprise that we spotted what could be the best-kept secret in the fashion business: a report that Saks Fifth Avenue is about to trial plus sizes from luxury brands including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce e Gabbana and Fendi on its New York designer womenswear floor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The thorn bird

Oh the Good Lord giveth – and sometimes he giveth again. At least in the news sense. Just as the dust is settling on the news that Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom have secretly married, comes news of her latest edgy editorial. Following on from Kerr's naughty nun masterpiece in edition 114 of French mag Numéro, comes a consecutive Numéro editorial with a religious theme – this time, crucifixion. In two images authored by Sebastian Kim that even her fans are calling "blasphemous" (orginals, below - with Kerr's identity confirmed by her publicist), Kerr wears what looks very much like a crown of thorns. In another, she lies prostrate on a grassy knoll, apparently in ecstasy, while a third shot (also below) shows Kerr totally nude - save for a sinister black hood. Kerr isn't the first celebrity to don a crown of thorns this year. In February, Lindsay Lohan - who is currently serving a custodial sentence - sported a crown of thorns on the cover of another French magazine, Purple

Abbey Lee Kershaw and Catherine McNeil to replace new bride Miranda Kerr for the David Jones Spring/Summer 2010/2011 runway show

David Jones might have lost its ceo Mark McInnes and now even its new face Miranda Kerr, at least just for one season - with Kerr announcing on the Nine Network's Today Show this morning that she and Orlando Bloom have married and she will be skipping the department store's August 3 Spring/Summer runway showcase (with insiders reporting she is three months pregnant). But DJs has gained a fabulous replacement for the show: Abbey Lee Kershaw. Sources close to Kershaw confirm she will be replacing Kerr in the show (which is an in-season show designed to launch DJs new designer collections to consumers). Once a DJs Youth Ambassador, Kershaw is now ranked the world number six five runway/editorial/advertising model by US-based modelling authority (moving up one place in the space of a fortnight). It's a fantastic get for DJs. UPDATE: Frockwriter's sources confirm that world number 12 Catherine McNeil is also doing the show, which is even better news for DJs. Other models on DJs' runway will include Nicole Trunfio, who did last season's show alongside Kerr and DJs regular Alexandra Agoston. All since confirmed in Kerr's statement that was released at 8.00am this morning (to which frockwriter did not have access), but which no mainstream media outlet considered sufficiently interesting to report at the time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blue rondo à la Turks & Caicos: Behind-the-scenes at Zimmermann's high summer shoot

So the world’s biggest bikini fest has just wrapped in Miami. No, not IMG’s runway event, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim at the Raleigh Hotel, but that’s certainly part of the action that revolves around the Miami SwimShow, the premier swimwear showcase staged each July by the Florida Swimwear Association. Zimmermann was front and centre at the latter event, as they have been for over a decade (only appearing on IMG’s runway a couple of times). After checking out the summer popup store in New York and continuing to scout for a more permanent NY location, most of the Zimmermann camp then headed to the West Indies’ Turks and Caicos Islands last week to shoot a campaign for the brand's new high summer collection, which bows in October. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots of New York-based photographer David Roemer, model Jessica Marie and the Oz hair, makeup and styling team of Louisa Gent, Jodie Boland and Tamila Purvis shooting in and around the islands' turquoise waters. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

Jenny Mercian dresses Lara Stone for French Playboy

celebrity69 via fashionising

Jenny Mercian has made a career out of bejewelling bombshells. Since she first set foot on the fashion stage in May 2005, displaying her spectacular crystal body jewellery at a trade show stand at Australian Fashion Week, the Sydney-based jeweller has been a principal supplier to five Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, outfitting the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Alessandra Ambrosio in increasingly elaborate showpieces (and on Friday, winning the Catwalk Jewels of the Year Award at the UK Jewellery Awards for her runway efforts). Well now Mercian can add Lara Stone to that list. In the June/July issue of Playboy France, the world number one wears Mercian’s dramatic onyx/crystal corset and cuff – and not much else (NSFW). Here is a clearer image of the cuff, below, although it must be said, it’s not one of Stone’s better shots.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model channels Stirling Cooper

So the first episode of Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 6 has bitten the dust. What did you think? At last week's launch party, Alex Perry told frockwriter that the shooting style was going to be a little more "reportage" style than in previous years and you could see what he meant. It seemed a little grittier, almost a hand-held effect in parts. Influenced, we reckon, by the first blockbuster season of US reality series Jersey Shore. Interesting challenge to make the girls walk a runway show on their first day at the office. With zero experience, they did pretty well from what we could see. Inspired by another cult US series, Mad Men, the Jez Smith photoshoot produced some quite beautiful images. Here is a selection of frockwriter's faves. Sadly, three of our picks were eliminated in the first episode: Alison (top), Valeria (second) and Sally (fourth). New model mentor Josh Flinn made a great entrance. For anyone unfamiliar with Flinn's CV, FYI he used to work for IMG Fashion Asia Pacific and his night job is playing B2, in the Bananas in Pyjamas travelling roadshows. Here is an interview I did with him back in 2006 at RAFW.

Dempsey Stewart and Ella Verberne charm the pants off Kate Sylvester

Frockwriter shot backstage and front-of-house at Kate Sylvester’s Spring/Summer 2010/2011 show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. And now here is a preview of the new SS1011 campaign for her curiously titled “This Charming Man” collection, which is rocking Viviens face Dempsey Stewart (right, above) and Ella Verberne from New Zealand's Clyne Models and includes this fetching little caramel leather microshorts, bustier and bomber combo of which Lady GaGa would no doubt wholly approve. Stewart might be Australian, but she has been romantically linked to a Kiwi – model (and brother of Zippora) Jasper Seven. Verberne, meanwhile, was recently the subject of a profile on, apparently just two days after arriving on Clyne’s website. Verberne joins other recent antipodian MDC inductees Andrej Pejic and Codie Young.

Sarah Lorimer anchors Leona Edmiston's Spring Summer 2010/2011 campaign

Frockwriter shot backstage at Leona Edmiston’s Spring/Summer 2010/2011 fashion show in April, presented on the eve of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week at Quay restaurant within the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney’s luxury cruise liner terminus. The show was also the backdrop for this ABC Art Nation story on fashion bloggers. Here is a preview of Edmiston’s SS1011 campaign, which was shot by Ujin Lee and will be unveiled in August in Edmiston’s 21 stores across Australia, as well as London and LA. It stars Sarah Lorimer, who is obviously an Edmiston fave, since she not only featured in the show but also the brand's SS1011 lookbook. Click the image above to see the full-size landscape image.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Girls (and boys) on film

OK so as already mentioned, the Cycle 6 launch of Australia’s Next Top Model is tonight at 7.30pm on Fox 8. In what is shaping up to be a jam-packed model doco/film fortnight, 7.00pm tonight also sees a Sydney screening of the 2009 film Tiger, from the Sydney Beaufort collective that is (also as previously reported) headed up by Sydney actor/producer/comedian James McFay. Check the Facebook page for details - or watch this live stream, above. The film, a love story about two models in Tokyo, has had a number of screenings already, including one in LA, with a DVD launch in Sydney in March. This time it's being presented in collaboration with Anina Trepte’s 360 Fashion network. Then on the 23rd and 28th of July, the Melbourne International Film Festival will present two screenings of Picture Me (trailer below), made by model Sara Ziff and her partner Ole Schell.

Givenchy's gender bender

mert + marcus via givenchy

With all the buzz about androgynous Oz model Andrej Pejic at the recent Fall Winter 2010/2011 menswear collections in Europe, it's been easy to overlook Givenchy's intriguing FW1011 womenswear campaign. It's not news - WWD reported it back in May - but alongside several high profile women, including Australia's Catherine McNeil (below), Givenchy creative director Tisci also cast his longtime muse, assistant and fit model, transsexual Lea T, nee Leo (second on the R, above). “She’s always been very feminine: superfragile, very aristocratic” Tisci told WWD. That was until Vogue Paris just published the following shot of Lea in its August edition. (warning NSFW).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nicole Kidman's burning ring of fire

We know about the Great Wall of Sutton Forest – a 250m long, 2.5m high dirt wall erected by Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, to shield their 100 acre Bunya Hill property in the NSW Southern Highlands from the prying lenses of Sydney’s notoriously aggressive paparazzi. Not to mention their fourth line of paparazzi defence: a line of conifers they subsequently planted between the dirt wall and two fences (to which another barrier of green shadecloth has since been added). You have to wonder what the "Kurbans" would make of what frockwriter can reveal is the latest installation to be made adjacent their property: a monster, 4m high, 6m wide bonfire, erected on the grounds of their next-door neighbour, the Sutton Forest Inn and looking their hillside mansion straight up the barrel.

From the shop floor to page one

Long time, no Southern Highlands update. That’s the picturesque countryside located just over one hour by car from Sydney, to which a bunch of Sydney fashion (among other) folk have migrated for weekends - or else, for good. Last October, frockwriter revealed Australian politician and former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward channeling Mad Men in a fashion spread for the second edition of new Highlands mag SoHi, which attracted further coverage (and demands by Goward FYI to remove our post). Nothing too controversial for the third edition which came out on the weekend, with Sydney deliveries due this week (or buy from the website). Just convos with three treechangers (James Roberts, Dave Penn and Sal Farrow), a craft collab with Tamara Maynes and a story about gardening as schizophrenia therapy. “You know, the usual country concerns presented in a twisted way” says Exeter-based founder/editor Rebecca Wolkenstein. But there's a great untold story in the edition's cover star, Sofia Olson, who also appears in a fashion editorial inside the magazine (below), shot by John Laurie and inspired by the work of another SH local, artist John Olsen. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tiah Eckhardt, the new face of Eres lingerie

Back in January, frockwriter first mentioned that our well-placed sources had Australian model Tiah Eckhardt replacing Lara Stone as the new face of French luxury lingerie brand Eres. Last week we confirmed it. It's big news for Eckhardt because Eres is a high profile brand and, well, the incumbent is currently ranked the world number one on Below is the complete Fall/Winter 2010 2011 Eres lingerie campaign, shot by David Bellemere, which has just gone up on the Eres website (hat tip to Isaac for the headsup). Eckhardt shot the campaign in January, three months after giving birth to Finley Victoria, her daughter with model Patrick Delaney. Just three weeks after giving birth, she shot this Alex Goddard music clip.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Australia's next top Photoshop job?

foxtel via sassi sam

As frockwriter’s Twitter flock may have spotted, last night we headed to the Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 launch at the heritage-listed Inglis Stables in Randwick. The season begins on Tuesday 20th July at 7.30pm on Fox 8. Although we weren't exactly invited (we tagged along with a friend), co-hosts Alex Perry and Charlotte Dawson don't appear to hold a grudge over this blog's coverage of last year's Cassi van den Dungen fracas - which was ignited by incendiary Facebook comments made by Perry and Dawson and resulted in quite some publicity, not to mention the threat of a defamation suit against Foxtel by van den Dungen’s agent. The duo ran over to crash one model shot we were setting up, mugging for frockwriter's camera, with Dawson noting, “We thought you’d like to include us as well!”.

Young blood

Last week frockwriter mentioned new Sunshine Coast face Codie Young. Modelling for a few months, flown to Rosemount Australian Fashion Week for the Ellery show, signed to DNA in New York and booked for three Vogue Australia editorials – with VA editor Kirstie Clements reportedly “obsessed” with her - things are moving pretty quickly for the 17 year-old. We are not likely to see further images of Young in any magazines other than Vogue Australia for the immediate short term because, frockwriter understands, the latter has her locked down on an exclusive. But we can reveal this unpublished test, shot with Australian photographer Thom Kerr in Brisbane on Monday.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bluralism, apparently now also a legit advertising medium

etro via TFS

Each time frockwriter has brought this subject up over the past 15 months, it appears to have rattled the cages of the flat earthers, who like their photography crystal clear. The deluge of blurry images taken on cellphones at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in April 2009 - christened "Bluralism" - was denounced as "a demonstration of the failure of new media". Three months later, when we reported that New York’s Stephen Weiss studio had staged an exhibition of artists' cellphone images, one commenter noted “New media is an interesting, rapidly expanding force... but how does this compare to that of other entities that actually create imagery that has a lasting impact culturally”. What to make, then, of the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 advertising campaign from Italian fashion brand Etro, which bears a distinct resemblance to blurry, amateur, backstage cellphone photography? Irrespective of whether or not a cellphone was actually used for the job, or the effect was achieved in post-production, that's precisely the look Etro appears to have been trying to achieve. Those crazy Italians. Further details on the campaign, ie names of the relevant creatives, have yet to emerge.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First look: Julia Nobis and Broed Dillewaard for Marcs Spring Summer 2010/2011

In 1979, the late Marc Keighery founded Australian sportswear brand and retailer Marcs. Almost exactly two years to the day since Keighery lost his battle with cancer, frockwriter can reveal a new Marcs campaign for SS1011 - one of the best campaigns the brand has produced, if not the best. Shot by New York-based Australian photographer Beau Grealy in and around Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and the historic Rocks precinct, it stars two of Australia's hottest new modelling stars, Julia Nobis and Broed Dillewaard.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Leos don’t start celebrating their birthdays until later this month, so what’s with all the lions? After last week’s eight tonne, 40-foot golden lion presiding over the Chanel haute couture show in Paris – closed by Karl Lagerfeld muse Baptiste Giabiconi in a stuffed lion’s head – comes the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 campaign for Italian luxurygoods brand Bulgari. We’ve already seen American actor Julianne Moore nude in Bulgari’s Spring/Summer 2010 campaign, paired with a couple of Australian sulphur-crested cockatoos. For the winter campaign, which was also shot by renowned fashion snapper duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and is due to break in September issues, Moore teams up with a couple of adorable lion cubs. No idea what PETA has to say about it but if the cubs could speak, the expressions on their faces seem to be saying "MEH".

Yes, Emma Balfour did shoot Céline's Fall/Winter 2010/2011 advertising campaign

212 @ via the fashion spot

On June 1, frockwriter mentioned that our well-placed sources had spotted veteran Australian model Emma Balfour shooting the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 campaign for French luxury brand Céline in New York alongside at least one other model. The first images of the Juergen Teller-lensed campaign have just surfaced and voilà Balfour, together with Martiniquais/French model Sigrid Agren (below). This is a huge coup for Balfour, who popped back up on the modelling radar in September 2008 during New York Fashion Week in the Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang shows. Pushing 40, she was old enough to be the mother of her teen runway colleagues. By the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 season in February/March this year, which boasted Stella Tennant, Kristen McMenamy and Elle Macpherson, among others, Nineties modelling faces had made a small, yet significant, return to the runways - not to mention the ad pages. Here is 39 year-old Tennant in Balenciaga's FW1011 campaign.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A breast man: Tom Ford on "becoming post-human" and "hard" beauty

steven klein for w/tfs

On Tuesday, Tom Ford’s directorial debut, A Single Man, was released on DVD. Although critically-acclaimed, the film made just US$9million at the domestic box office – and, seemed virtually impossible to find on download at the time of release, due to an apparent lack of geek interest. Miramax hopes it will now find its audience. To celebrate the DVD launch, yesterday NPR radio re-broadcast an interview Ford did with NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross back on December 14 last year. Perhaps the original became subsumed by the deluge of publicity Ford did at the time of the film's theatrical release, because this iv does not appear to have travelled far afield. Below is an MP3 of the full 20 minute interview.

Another empowering image courtesy of the fashion industry

 dario salamone/the ones 2 watch

This one is by photographer Dario Salamone, from an editorial story published in The Ones To Watch. That's the emerging talent website operated by, but which was founded and continues to be edited by Australian Rosie Daly (MDC's New Faces editor). The model is Russian Alonya Zubakina and according to the accompanying notes, the shoot – titled “Unholy Wood” - is “A story shot on film about the darkness of the sacred and the sublime of nature, inspired by the power of natural light, relics, votives and Alena’s [sic] beauty". Coincidentally, its publication comes at a time when the practice of stoning women once again finds itself under the western spotlight

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier's Perla

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Turbans were piled high, shoulder pads took on lives of their own – right down to the elbow - and Dita von Teese stripped down to a black beaded corset, thong and suspenders on the runway – all to promote, presumably, a new collaboration between Jean Paul Gaultier and Italian luxury lingerie brand La Perla. Call it Marlene Dietrich with multiple personality disorder, Gaultier’s haute couture offerings, just off the runway in Paris, were a mixed bag of Forties Hollywood glamour, Lido showgirl and Mortitia Addams. As with Dior’s floral extravaganza on Monday, colours were intense, from poison green to chartreuse, cobalt blue and orchid. It now remains to be seen which contemporary Hollywood icons have the chutzpah to pull these looks off on the red carpet. Head to Now Fashion to see the complete collection.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Seven years after it had three photographers jailed for posting runway images online, the Fédération Française de la couture has joined Twitter

In 1868, Paris-based, British-born couturier Charles Frederick Worth (above) established the world's oldest fashion week organising body, the Chambre syndicale de la confection et de la couture pour des dames et fillettes. It was the precursor to today's Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture Parisienne, the governing body of the haute couture industry. In 1973, with the advent of the ready to wear collections, the latter was integrated under a new peak fashion body: the Fédération Française de la couture, du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode. Well stop the press, the Fédération is now on Twitter. Although its Twitter feed appears to have been active since January (it boasts a mere 170 followers) with a Facebook page added around the same time (2000 friends), over the past 24 hours Twitter and Faceboook buttons have been added to the schedule section of the body's website. Fascinating to see this august body move into the 21st century.

Abbey Lee Kershaw walks Chanel (again), makes world number 6

chanel haute couture FW1011/getty via daylife

The haute couture shows roll on and overnight, to the best of frockwriter’s knowledge, Abbey Lee Kershaw was the first Australian model to pop up therein – at Chanel. This is no surprise, as Kershaw has spent the past eight months forging a powerful alliance with the iconic French couture house and its German creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. Kershaw closed Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2010 haute couture show in January, opened its Fall/Winter 2010/2011 ready to wear show in March and appears in both the Spring/Summer 2010 ad campaigns for Lagerfeld’s own collection and the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 Chanel campaign. Back in December, during an interview for Australian current affairs program Today Tonight (only a fraction of which made it to air) Kershaw told me that she was moving on from Italian luxury goods house Gucci, with which she had booked four campaigns – although in everything other than the Flora by Gucci campaign, as part of a group of bigger name models. But Kershaw’s star is definitely on the rise. Since December, beyond her Chanel coups, she has appeared on ten magazine covers. Today Tonight asked, could she make it to number 1? Well she's getting closer - just upgraded her ranking to world number 6.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The shock of the nude at Armani Privé

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There was no sign of Lady GaGa, either in the flesh or spirit, at Giorgio Armani's Fall/Winter 2010/2011 haute couture presentation, which concluded a little over an hour ago. GaGa has become something of a walking endorsement for Armani's haute couture line, decked out in Armani Privé for various appearances (and undoubtedly paid a handsome fee to do so). But there were no one-shouldered unitards or globe dresses in Paris today. Instead, a suite of softly-draped, ladylike - and a little Versace-esque - suits and shifts in biscuit colours, sculptural duchess satin sack dresses and signature embellished sheaths. The latter, sure to turn up on another Armani acolyte, Cate Blanchett. Once again, as the highres shots roll in, here are a few of the real-time runway images captured by Now Fashion. Head to the website to see the rest of the collection.

Tiah Eckhardt ties the knot, confirms Eres, auditions for X Men

tim bret-day for agent provocateur

Frockwriter must admit that we did a double take when we saw the shots rolling in of last night's Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2009/2010 haute couture show in Paris, which was staged in the grounds of the Rodin Museum. One model appeared to be a dead ringer for Australia's Tiah Eckhardt. The model in question was, in fact, Sweden's Frida Gustavsson (number 24 in this pic gallery of the show). As it turns out, Eckhardt was otherwise occupied yesterday, and coincidentally in her own garden of earthly delights: marrying her babydaddy Patrick Delaney in front of a small group of friends in the Rose Garden at Centennial Park. The bride wore? Not Dior haute couture, but a vintage strapless white leather minidress. The happy couple may soon be about to celebrate some other very exciting news. No, not another baby - Eckhardt revealed to frockwriter that she has just auditioned for one of (numerous) upcoming instalments of the X Men film franchise.

Christian Dior's little shop of haute couture

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Highres images have yet to go up on the main sites and the real-time images via Twitter were few and far between. But behold the Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2010/2011 haute couture collection which has just walked off the runway in Paris, via Now Fashion, a website which publishes runway images in real-time. Glorious colours, theatrical styling, the show was literally set in a garden in Paris (visible in some shots through a plastic tent structure behind the rows of seating) and appears to have been inspired by exotic hothouse flowers. For images of the complete collection head to Now Fashion.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Forever Young

 nicole bentley for vogue australia/viviens

Queensland continues to springboard stellar modelling talent. After Catherine McNeil, Alyssa Sutherland, Samantha Harris and Jordan Coulter, comes 17 year-old Sunshine Coast schoolgirl Codie Young. Modelling for just a few months and flown in as an exclusive for the Ellery show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in May, on Wednesday the first of three Vogue Australia editorials reportedly due to feature Young will be published. She appears in an only-girl story shot by Nicole Bentley in the August edition - part of a larger, 36-page fashion spread in the issue starring six Australian models, each with their own five-page section (Nicole Trunfio, Lauren Brown, Julia Nobis, Rosemary Smith and Samantha Harris). Young's Gold Coast mother agency, Busy Models, reports she has been signed to DNA in New York, Viva in Paris and London and will finish her HSC before embarking on her first international show season in February.  

Frockwriter turns two (and maybe, one day, pro)

rachel kara

Yesterday was American Independence Day, which means it was also frockwriter’s birthday – our second birthday. Just a quick word to say thanks, once again, for your interest, feedback, comments, links, slagoffs... Whatever your connection to this blog, thanks for noticing it. It's enormously appreciated, really. Because it's not like you don't have enough distractions out there competing for your attention. This time last year I mentioned that visitors had reached 200,000 and page impressions, 400,000. In twelve months, those figures have tripled, with frockwriter hitting the one millionth page impression mark on May 14. And this is in spite of the fact that half of the year, October through April, was almost spent on hiatus, while I was preoccupied with a freelance work stint which required a fulltime commitment. Much bigger blogs, of course, easily do one million page impressions a month. But at least it’s a gauge that this blog has managed to establish an audience. And that's motivating. If there wasn’t any interest, I wouldn't keep blogging.

Just on content, since I don’t (yet) have the functionality to show you which posts generate the most interest, I thought I would compile a snapshot of the most popular posts from the past two years.

Number one, by a long shot, is the last post I did on American teenage fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson. Quite ironically, the post was a year old when Gevinson hit the mainstream press at New York Fashion Week last September. It was the last of a series of posts I had done on her in 2008, but must have had a very high search engine rank under Gevinson's name. Once the world's media started writing about her, that's where a lot of people seemed to look for more information, helping generate record traffic that month (close to 100,000 page impressions).

That post proved almost twice as popular as the next most popular post: Abbey Lee Kershaw’s revelation, in December last year, that she, Natasha Poly and Sasha Pivovarova refused to walk in Alexander McQueen’s 'Armadillo' shoes for the Spring/Summer 2010 show in Paris. That story went around the world.

Here is the rest of frockwriter’s top ten most popular posts since launch, in order.

- Where's Abbey Lee? Full frontal and dogging for Terry
- Tiah Eckhardt to bare it all (again) for French Playboy?
- Carry on Pirelli: Kerr, Kershaw and McNeil rubber up for Terry Richardson
- Randy Johnston was not the only model who died last Saturday
- Where's Abbey Lee? Apparently in need of some TLC
- Out of Vogue: Nipple jewellery
- In Vogue: McBeha
- Tallulah Morton - apparently still partying with the Cobrasnake

Yes, four posts in the top ten focus on nudity and that's probably hardly surprising given the nature of the net. There is however a huge gap between the PIs of those posts and the two top posts mentioned above, which have got nothing to do with nudity. If I wanted higher traffic, I would deliberately aim to include more nudity. But that is not the reason it's there. Nudity is a part of the fashion business and it’s up for discussion and debate.

Just in terms of the past 12 months, I wanted to run through some of my favourite posts.

- The neverending adventures of Cassi van den Dungen, since she was crowned runnerup of Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5. There was the Facebook fracas with Alex Perry and Charlotte Dawson - in which even Dawson stopped by to comment. In February, van den Dungen found herself in yet another Facebook flap over comments made during a work trip to Paris. That story also whipped around.

- After twelve months of speculation – fuelled by numerous posts on this blogJenna Sauers finally outed herself as Tatiana, the anonymous model blogger of US womens superblog Jezebel.

- A bunch of Australian-born, New York-based fashion media heavyweights got together in the Big Apple to launch the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation and mentor young Australians. To mark the occasion, frockwriter picked the brains of a half dozen of them and ran a mini series of profiles.

- In September, Mark Fast hired some plus size models for his Spring/Summer 2010 runway show and his stylist quit. Broken on Twitter, then developed by frockwriter, the story travelled widely.

- Last week's Andrej Pejic series also seemed to generate quite some interest.

Lots of blogs and media outlets have picked stories up. I would just like to single out for special thanks a couple of the larger outlets that do so on a regular basis: various posters on The Fashion Spot (with a special shoutout to Bianca), Fashionologie, The Cut,, Pedestrian, The Sunday Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Thanks are of course due to my partner Kent, who has been incredibly supportive over the past two years as I invested time and energy into establishing the blog.

I liaise with many different bloggers, journos and new media peeps both on- and off-line. Perhaps it’s no surprise that after blogging for four years, some of my best mates are now bloggers. Special thanks to Bryan, Sonny, Matt, Sam and Isaac.

Thanks again to all of frockwriter’s readers, who now include over 1000 RSS subscribers. I really do appreciate your interest and hope to continue bringing you more of whatever it is that keeps you coming back each day in a crowded media marketplace.

Feel free to either comment or drop me a line re suggestions for material you would like to see more of, or something that I haven’t covered at all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tamila Purvis blessed by Madonna and child

AP via daylife

And you thought Kim Kardashian’s Twitter shoutout to Sylvie Markovina was a PR legup? Overnight, another Australian jewellery brand mentioned in last week's jewellery post, ManiaMania, just got a backpat from Lourdes Leon. Well, kind of. Madonna’s 13 year old daughter is the creative director of Madonna’s new Material Girl junior fashion line for Macy’s which launched a few days ago. Leon is also supposedly blogging for the Material Girl website. But even if she isn’t, the Madonna star factor alone is enough of a spotlight for anyone featured therein. According to bloggers who attempted to log on on the first day, the site crashed due to popularity, with Leon’s first blog post attracting 800 comments and the Material Girl Facebook fan page clocking up 4,900 fans. In a post entitled Rings! Rings! Rings!, accompanying two images - both unsourced - of rings from the year-old Sydney jewellery line, Leon noted:

"How amazing are these rings!?! They are almost like hand armor. They are all by Tamila Purvis form the Rosemount Fashion Week in Australia. The way she mixes up different rings is to die for.

We are seeing great rings everywhere! They are taking over the necklace trend".

It's a safe bet to assume that Leon and/or the Material Girl office spotted ManiaMania's work via British blogger Susie Bubble - who happens to be included on the Material Girl blogroll, was recently in Sydney for RAFW and blogged about ManiaMania on June 21st.

That Style Bubble post does not, however, mention the ManiaMania designers’ names. The brand is designed by Purvis, a well-known Sydney stylist (who works with Zimmermann, among many others) and art director Melanie Kamsler. Nor does the Style Bubble post use the same images that have been featured on Material Girl.

Kamsler does not get a lookin on Material Girl, and nor does the ManiaMania brand name or website, with Material Girl linking specifically to the separate Tamila Purvis website - which has no links to the jewellery site.

Consumers can (eventually) find ManiaMania if they look for it, however, with Google searches on "Tamila Purvis jewellery" quickly bring up references to ManiaMania.

Further down in the post, Material Girl tells you where you can buy some great rings immediately. You guessed it, Material Girl:
"We love these from Material Girl. Three totally different styles. The silver stackable rings have a romantic feel ($18.00), the gold tiger is just right for the daring girl ($16.00), and the large crystal ring is perfect for the vintage type ($16.00)!"

Update 04/07: Mystery solved. The shots are from a May 2 post on Purvis by French superblogger/photographer Garance Doré (who does not feature on the Material Girl blogroll). That post does not mention Kamsler either and nor does it mention the ManiaMania brand, however it does link through to the ManiaMania website, so it's curious that Madonna's outfit did not. Late yesterday, frockwriter managed to track Purvis down - the Material Girl cameo was news to her. But many thanks to Sacha Strebe and Leeyong Soo for the additional headsups this morning.

Purvis isn’t the only Australasian to be blessed by Material Girl Junior. New York-based, NZ-born Gala Darling also features on her blogroll.

Friday, July 2, 2010

In Vogue (Italia): Gail Sorronda

The last time we caught up with Gail Reid – the designer behind the Gail Sorronda label – was at the launch of the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival in March. She told us her agent had scored her a freelance gig with the Roberto Cavalli design studio in Florence. Four months later that’s yet to transpire, but Reid is at least en route to Rome on Monday for her first Italian fashion show and Cavalli is, she claims, on her guest list. On July 10, Reid will take part in the sixth edition of Who Is On Next, an emerging talent competition organised by Alta Roma and Vogue Italia. Reid is one of seven finalists in the running for the prize booty: 5,000 euros, a solo show at Milan Fashion Week and a standalone feature in Vogue Italia. All finalists get to show 13 outfits in the event's group show and take part in a special WION supplement in Vogue Italia’s September edition, so it’s pretty good exposure either way.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The (lady) boys of Spring Summer 2011


Andrej Pejic may have only done four shows during the just-wrapped Paris menswear season, but he proved the talk of the town. Since frockwriter caught up with his news on Friday and Saturday, where hasn't he been? A spot in WWD (above), complete with the headline "Gender bender", Fairfax's WA Today and The New Zealand Herald (and The Sydney Morning Herald on July 3), while influential modelling website asked on Facebook, "Andrej Pejic is getting a lot of buzz lately, do you like his look?". Profiles popped up on Pages Digital and Tokyo Dandy, with the Beauty Hunter blog asking “Is Andrej Pejic the most androgynous male model on the planet?”. On Twitter, MusaKL reported "Everyone in Paris last week kept talking about this one model from Down Under: Andrej Pejic", while Homotography noted "i keep getting asked who's the blond in these shows" and “Even professional fashion databases are mistaking Andrej Pejic for a girl!” According to photographer Antonio Barros, "he was the icon of this season".

The big question - will all this buzz translate into bigger bookings for Pejic?

Beyond the Facebook mention, the chatter did not appear to cut any mustard with, which curiously left Pejic out of both its top walkers and Top 10 Newcomers lists for the SS11 menswear season.

According to his Australian mother agency Chadwicks, Pejic was already booked for one advertising campaign in Milan next week. There is as yet no update on other bookings. But frockwriter predicts we may well see him in some capacity at next week's haute couture shows in Paris. Yes, they are women's shows but men make the occasional appearance.

The New York Times' fashion critic Cathy Horyn, meanwhile, made no mention of Pejic in her review of the week, but she did seem a little perturbed by the feminisation of the collections, which featured skirt-like shorts - and even dresses at Comme des Garçons.

Noted Horyn:
"men are having a hard time, as Hanna Rosin observed in an article in the current issue of The Atlantic, its tag line, “How women are taking control — of everything.” Men are wimping out, in the example of Judd Apatow’s chronic adolescent characters, or being mowed down by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga....You sensed a little of this problem at the shows, and it was not a pretty sight".

At least two other Australian men walked the Spring/Summer 2011 runways. Priscillas has yet to confirm exact show numbers, but they report their very cool-looking Jakub Vasak walked in at least Alexander McQueen, while Broed Dillewaard nabbed Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gazzarrini.

jakub vasak at alexander mcqueen SS11/

broed dillewaard at louis vuitton SS11/

Below is a great little video on the boys of Paris Fashion Week just-posted by Paris-based photographer Justin Wu.

Pejic makes a very brief cameo at 1.57.

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