Friday, September 3, 2010

Get shorty: The personality girls of Spring/Summer 2011

bambi northwood-blyth/aje AW2011 via sportsgirl

The Spring/Summer 2011 show season kicks off in New York next Thursday and it’s time to ask, once again, which antipodians will make their marks on the international runways? We mentioned FRM Model Management’s Ajak Deng yesterday. Chic Management’s Abbey Lee Kershaw is of course tipped to continue her climb to the top. Already at #5 on, could this show season help her make it to #1? Other veterans either already in New York or en route include Viviens’ Skye Stracke. Priscillas’ hot new girls Lauren Brown and of course, Julia Nobis, who first emerged on the radar in February with a Calvin Klein exclusive, will be there. Joining them will be some brand new Australasian faces. Interestingly, unlike Nobis, Kershaw, Deng and co, three are under the standard runway height requirement of 5’10”.

Yes of course, Kate Moss was 5’7” and that did not hold her back from a spectacular modelling career. Moss is the exception however. Twenty year-old Sydneysider Bambi Northwood-Blyth, also 5’7” according to Priscillas (even though Elite New York lists her as 5'9" on its website), is no doubt hoping she has enough of the same mysterious 'X' factor to carry her through to an international career.

So far so good according to her mother agency Priscillas, which reports that Northwood-Blyth hasn’t even left the country and already has some interesting New York Fashion Week show options.

bambi northwood-blyth/cue via TFS
This Sydney It girl has worked every day this year according to Priscillas, with her sultry pout and trademark caterpillar eyebrows seemingly everywhere at the moment in Australia. She has shot multiple times with Harpers Bazaar Australia and Grazia, been featured in Oyster and Love Want and has booked a myriad of local advertising campaigns and lookbooks, including Sportsgirl, Cue, Just Jeans, Myer, MANIAMANIA and Ksubi (whose co-founder, Dan Single, is Northwood-Blyth's boyfriend). Such is the extent of her campaign work, some have complained she is a little "overexposed".

In May, New York-based Australian casting director Kannon Rajah told frockwriter that he had his eye on Northwood-Blyth. And now leading international casting director Ashley Brokaw has told The New York Times that Northwood-Blyth (along with Nobis) are among the names at the top of her casting list. Brokaw casts for the biggest names in the fashion business, including Balenciaga, Prada and Calvin Klein.

Rajah talked about “personality” having the potential to outweigh other more traditional requirements in casting and it seems a new casting mood may have settled over New York, with Brokaw telling The New York Times:
“Things are steering away from the army casting we’ve seen in recent years.”

Rajah said he also has his eye on another Priscillas charge, New Zealander Zippora Seven, who Priscillas reports also already has some New York Fashion Week show options. Seven recently turned 18 and has grown to 5’8” the agency claims - which is still nevertheless short in international runway terms. Seven has also just shot a US advertising campaign with Nathaniel Goldberg.

zippora seven/stolen girlfriends club FW2010 backstage

Priscillas is really starting to gain some market share at the international shows which are an important talent showcase and can of course lead to lucrative ad campaigns for. Joining Brown, Nobis, veteran Stephanie Carta and newbies Northwood-Blyth and Seven this season will two other northern hemisphere show virgins: 16 year-old Ruby Jean Wilson and 19 year-old Sydney-based Kiwi Annabella Barber
who has been almost as busy as Northwood-Blyth this year in Australia.

Barber has just been shot for Russian Vogue, adding to a portfolio that includes editorials in Australian and Singapore Harpers Bazaar, Grazia, Summer Winter, Fallen magazine, a Myer campaign, a slew of designer lookbooks including Alice McCall, Fleur Wood, Akira, Anna + Boy and Ellery and three Australasian magazine covers: Oyster, KAREN and NO. Barber is 5’9” according to Elite New York.  Our industry sources say that's code for 5'8".

(top to bottom) annabella barber/oyster via trendhunter; julia nobis, calvin klein FW1011/daylife; ajak deng, david jones SS1011
Interestingly, Chic Management has really cut back on its runway models this season, in part due to the ongoing constraints of the GFC, the agency reports, with the strategy to focus on the top showgirls. Joining Kershaw in New York will be Catherine McNeil and Nicole Trunfio, who of course recently worked together at the David Jones show. Not one of Chic's big buzz new faces such as Meg Lindsay, Samantha Harris and Juliana Forge are heading over, which is curious.

(left to right) samantha harris, abbey lee kershaw, nicole trunfio, catherine mcneil, alexandra agoston/david jones SS1011 via daylife

Chadwicks will be represented by Georgie Wass, Jessica Hart, Andrej Pejic and newbies Ashleigh Wesseling, Annaleise Smith - who has already had a taste of the northern hemisphere runways, as she walked for Zac Posen at the recent Resort 2011 shows in New York - in addition to Grace Hollows from Auckland (repped locally by Red 11).

annaleise smith, zac posen resort 2011/

Beyond Skye Stracke, Viviens will be represented by Avril Alexander and Emma Ishta. Viviens may well be about to enjoy its best OS show season since the Gemma Ward days once Codie Young has finished highschool. Modelling for just a few months, the Vogue Australia September covergirl is expected to make her debut at the Paris haute couture shows in January.

Scene Management, now called EMG Models, is sending Aidin Taylor, Jordan Coulter, Amelia Brown and Tallulah Morton,. The latter is bound for the final Paris leg of the season and clearly isn’t having as much of a modelling break as she previously announced.

jessica clarke via clyne model
Other New Zealanders include Stella Maxwell and notably, Jessica Clarke, who frockwriter profiled back in December 2008, after she was cast by cK Calvin Klein creative director Kevin Carrigan in the brand’s big Sydney party that month. Repped by Clyne Management in Auckland, Clarke was 15 at the time and had been modelling for just one month, scoring the cover of Australia’s Frankie straight off the starting block. Like Carrigan, Ashley Brokaw is now also singing Clarke's praises, telling The New York Times:

“Just saw a girl Jessica Clarke @DNA. VERY excited about her. Classic supermodel material from New Zealand.”


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