Saturday, October 30, 2010

James Varley: Chadwick's latest glamour boy

mariah jelena kordzadz, fashion journal via chadwick
Andrej Pejic is in Tokyo, having just wrapped Japan Fashion Week and waiting to find out whether he flies to Paris or New York for a couple of very interesting job options. Meanwhile, he just scored a mention in W's November issue, in the "She's a (fabulous) he" story about fashion's androgynous moment. The story was penned by Hintmag founder Lee Carter, who describes Pejic as "a slender Kate Moss look-alike". But while Pejic's Australian mother agency, Chadwick, waits to see just how prominently the Melburnite features in the November edition of another equally prominent international fashion title, which is days away from release, the agency has just signed another new male model with a similarly androgynous look: 21 year-old James Varley. Modelling for just a few months, this science student's slim CV so far boasts a lookbook for Melbourne label In Mind's Eye, editorial in Fashion Journal 100, Melbourne Street Fashion and indie Melbourne magazine Spook and a few test shots. Frockwriter has little doubt it will soon be expanding. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Black Cat

Yesterday frockwriter mentioned that Australian supermod Catherine McNeil had just undergone a rather dramatic change of hair and is now sporting a short black bob. Well here are the first images of said do, courtesy McNeil's New York agency Next Model Management. This is all Next would release, ditto the only other info: that it was cut/coloured by "a friend". Which may be code for McNeil's hair having been done on a recent job that has yet to be unveiled. Just as fellow Aussie and Chic/Next stablemate Abbey Lee Kershaw recently had her hair cut by Chanel during the shooting of the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 campaign. It's an interesting look for McNeil. Almost a little Beatle-esque. Or should that be... Bieber-esque?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Illionaire's Ben Woodcock busted on drugs charges, skips the country?

illionaire SS0910. stefan gosatti/getty via zimbio
He called his label Illionaire but it seems co-founder Ben Woodcock may have been too impatient to wait to turn seven figures via a legitimate fashion business. According to The West Australian, on August 19 Woodock was charged with possession of methylamphetamines with intent to sell or supply after being pulled over while driving his mum’s BMW with A$780,000 worth of drugs allegedly stashed in his underpants. And it gets worse. Woodcock failed to appear in court yesterday, is alleged to have fled the country and now has Interpol on his back. Way to go. Needless to say if Woodcock were to be busted with drugs in any number of countries surrounding Australia he could be facing a far worse prospect than a little jail time downunder. Woodcock launched Illionaire in Perth in 2006 with Kat Grace.

Bob's your uncle: Catherine McNeil also gets the chop

nicole bentley, vogue australia september 2010 via TFS

Yes that’s a wig that Catherine McNeil is sporting in this Vogue Australia September 2010 editorial, above. But apparently the world #12 liked the look so much, she’s gone and had it replicated. Well, kind of. By all accounts, McNeil's new do is not a "long, choppy" Abbey Lee Kershaw bob, aka a "Kob", but a bob nonetheless and black to boot. There is as yet no hard photographic evidence beyond a bunch of Facebook photos and the shot, below, published on October 21st on the blog of McNeil’s model mate Stephanie Carta, together with the caption, “Yesterday kitty cut her locks off, Sorry, died them black! Meow”. UPDATED 29/10: HERE ARE SOME FIRST SHOTS. Not even McNeil’s Sydney-based mother agency was up with her hair news when we enquired earlier this week. But after days of buzz on model forums, Stephen Lee at McNeil’s New York agency Next finally confirmed the earth-shattering news to frockwriter overnight: yes, McNeil has definitely cut her hair. Lee added that McNeil has been enjoying a month’s break of “total normality” from the modelling business. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gail Sorronda gets the Dolce e Gabbana treatment

Who needs Roberto Cavalli when you’re being mentored by Dolce e Gabbana? Overnight, Brisbane native Gail Reid popped up in this video interview on Dolce e Gabbana’s Swide website. Reid's five year-old Gail Sorronda label is one of 21 labels that were hand-picked by the Italian luxury titans for their brand new fashion incubator retail concept in Milan, Spiga2. “I love Gail Sorronda. It’s my taste” Stefano Gabbana told The Wall Street Journal last month. It has been a very big year for Reid. In March, she told frockwriter that she was being considered for a freelance consulting gig at Roberto Cavalli’s studio. By July, that had yet to transpire, but that month Reid was one of seven finalists in the 2010 edition of Who Is On Next, an emerging talent showcase in Italy that is jointly organised by Alta Roma and Vogue Italia. Great to see major fashion names supporting newbies although that said, it’s a little odd to see included in the Spiga2 lineup Paris-based Australian expat Martin Grant, who has been showing on schedule in Paris for a number of years. Grant established his label in Melbourne in 1982, when he was just 15.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Was Marion Hume fired from Vogue Australia for putting a black woman on the cover?

Naomi Campbell is never far from the headlines. On Sunday she managed to inadvertently embroil an Australian publisher in one. In a story headlined 'Editor sacked in racism row', Campbell told the UK Telegraph, "One time, I went to Australia. The editor-in-chief of a magazine there told me that she got fired for putting me on the cover. I do remember going there and saying, 'Where's the Aboriginal model? There should be one. They're beautiful women.'" No names are mentioned. But coincidentally, another Brit by the name of Marion Hume edited Vogue Australia for 18 months in the late 1990s, during which time she commissioned Peter Lindbergh to shoot Campbell for the June 1997 cover, above. In 1998 Hume was fired, following a controversial tenure, during which, it should be noted, she did not manage to stem the erosion of circulation and advertising that had begun prior to her appointment with the arrival of marie claire in 1995 and continued with the 1998 rebirth of Harpers Bazaar Australia. From 1995-1999 Vogue lost almost a quarter of its readers and two-thirds of its ad share. In 2002, Conde Nast withdrew from Australian publishing, selling the Vogue license to FPC Magazines, which in turn was acquired by News Limited in November 2006

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Someone call security: How [frockwriter] got blacklisted by Google

Welcome to the blog that you have when you're not having a blog [NB This post was published simultaneously on frockwriter's Posterous, to circumvent security issues]. Just a quick headsup about the security ballsup that has gone down today on the frockwriter main blog. As anyone other than RSS and email subscribers may have noticed, since approximately 1144 AEST today, visitors to the site have been greeted by a great big red alert sign with the noticification: “Reported Attack Page! This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences”. Together with a nifty little security guard icon holding a stop sign. Having been Google spoofed in April, I immediately assumed that a one-on-one hack job was not beyond the realm of possibilities. On closer inspection, however, it emerged that the issue was affecting several other Australian sites: Pages Digital and at least three other sites, the city-centric digi hipster guides, Two Thousand, Three Thousand and Five Thousand. What’s the common link? UPDATED: NOW OBVIOUSLY BACK ON THE AIR. SEE EXPLANATION AT THE END OF POST. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stolen Girlfriends Club has ordered 1000 jam jars for its Sydney party, but there won't be any Stolen Generation T-shirts

stolen girlfriends club AW11/kent vaughan
Next Thursday, Auckland hipster collective Stolen Girlfriends Club will stage its second Sydney shindig in five months, this time to unveil a new short film shot by renowned Kiwi snapper Derek Henderson, to promote SGC’s new Heavy Metal jewellery line. The film stars photogenic Kiwi lovebirds Dempsey Stewart and Jasper Seven modelling the inaugural collection, We Are Ugly But We Have The Music (below). Frockwriter has previously documented SCG’s predilection towards serving alcohol in jam jars at events and next week will be no different with, we are told, 1000 jam jars ordered for the occasion. One thing we won’t be seeing at the event, however, is an “I belong to the Stolen Generation” T-shirt, as appeared on SGC's runway in Auckland last month. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sydney and Auckland street style in WWD

Street style photography is an enormous component of the fashion blogosphere, which has in fact launched blogging empires (The Sartorialist and Jak + Jil to name but a few). This photoreportage genre however definitely predates the net. Bill Cunningham’s first street style shots were published in The New York Times in 1978, but he first began documenting the fashion choices of ordinary people on the street during WWII. British style magazine i-D has a 30 year archive of its signature street style shots - aka “Straight-Ups” - on its website. And WWD, where Cunningham worked briefly, has had its own longstanding series of street style shots called They Are Wearing. As the paper's Australasian correspondent since 1996, I have shot quite a few “TAWs” in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Seoul and Taipei for WWD FAST and (Fairchild News Service's now defunct menswear paper) DNR. During the Spring/Summer 2011 show season WWD kicked off a series of global TAW galleries in the 'Eye Scoop' section and yesterday two of mine went up, both shot last month. Here is the Sydney gallery and here is the Auckland one, which was shot around Vulcan Lane during New Zealand Fashion Week. Not including this random shot, above, which was taken for WWD FAST at Sydney's Glenmore Road, Paddington intersection in May this year. Perhaps you might recognise some of your mates. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The lovely bones: Julia Saner

elite paris via
Have been toying with the idea of starting a couple of photo series. Thin models is one of them. And yes, this is quite possibly one of those lose-lose scenarios in which you can't please anyone, with body image zealots accusing you of providing thinspiration for those with mental health problems and model fanatics accusing you of “sensationalism” and hating on their favourites. But here goes. Frockwriter is well aware that pretty much everyone outside the fashion business thinks that everyone in it has an eating disorder. That is not the case. Being thin is however most definitely a job requirement for most models, it always has been and particularly at the top end of the industry. Just as it is for ballet dancers and elite athletes - that's what world number 5 Abbey Lee Kershaw claims in this interview. Incidentally Kershaw, who happens to be the daughter of a retired elite athlete, footballer Kim Kershaw, looked like this in 2005. There is a fine line however, pardon the pun, between thin and painfully thin. In spite of navel-gazing and industry initiatives over the past three years, including the best efforts of French MP Valérie Boyer to outlaw websites and fashion advertising that promote anorexia and to provide health warnings on Photoshopped images, images continue to pop up which make you do a double take. Case in point, this shot of 18 year-old Swiss newcomer Julia Saner. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The real McCall: Alice McCall hangs out her first shingle

Exciting news for Alice McCall fans. Six years after the MTV stylist turned Buddhist Punk womenswear designer and sass & bide staffer launched her now cult eponymous label, which is stocked by over 160 stores in 10 countries, McCall is two weeks away from opening her first bricks-and-mortar store. Frockwriter can reveal that the first Alice McCall flagship will open on November 1st on South Dowling Street in Sydney's Darlinghurst, with a launch party slated for December 8th. 'The Accordion Girls' Spring/Summer 2010/2011 collection will be on the racks. But here is a preview of McCall's '70s-inspired  'Birds of a Feather' Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, that will be showcased in-store via this new branding campaign starring Tallulah Morton, that was produced by Little Hero, shot by Jordan Graham and styled by Jolyon Mason, with innovative graphics courtesy artist Sydney artist Techa Noble (of The Birthday Suit). Earlier today we caught up with McCall by phone from her Bali home, that she shares with partner, designer Nicholas Morley, and their three year old daughter Wilde Rose Morley McCall.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cassi van den Dungen and Olivia Thornton haunt Ellery's Spring/Summer 2010/2011 'Horreurscope' campaign

All’s been quiet on the Cassi van den Dungen front for months. At least on the publicity side, which is probably the way van den Dungen’s managament likes it, given how many dramas there have been since she was crowned runnerup of Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 in July 2009. Of course there was this Daily Telegraph story on August 6th – which frockwriter has on good authority came about after the paper was knocked back for an interview with the 18 year-old and then just simply did what’s known in the tabloid world as a “doorstop”: turned up regardless at her front door, camera in tow. On the work front, however, van den Dungen has been head down, booked almost every day of the week according to her mother agency Work Agency (which is now van den Dungen’s only Australian representation, having recently left Camerons in Melbourne). 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cash for comments: The fashion blogosphere's liquid bonanza

stella mccartney for target australia launch, sydney, october 1st/little black book
They are literally throwing money at bloggers at the moment in Australia. Not in the traditional advertising sense, whereby a marketer pays to take out clearly-delineated advertising space in your publication. In fact it’s almost impossible to find many, if any, bloggers who are earning a living out of legitimate display advertising. No, affiliate marketing (pay per click or pay per buy) and sponsored, advertorial posts are the way of the world right now (although not on frockwriter, just to clarify once again). Westfield is currently recruiting a blogger for a 12-month, $100,000 contract. One of the finalists is 19 years old. That’s an extraordinary salary for a teenager. We mentioned the recent Target Stella McCartney launch for which six bloggers (pictured above, details below) were flown to Sydney and paid to write approved copy. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inception via Twitter? Black nail polish-wearing ABC anchor dreams of Freddie Mercury duet

As the anchor of ABC’s prestigious late-night current affairs bulletin Lateline and the network’s former Washington and National Security correspondent, Walkley Award-winning Australian journalist and author Leigh Sales has covered some big stories. What’s her dream job? Noted Sales on Twitter this morning, “I had the coolest dream last night that I was playing a grand piano with Freddie Mercury. Real life seems a bit greyer today”. Now it's unclear if Sales has always been a Freddie Mercury fangurl - or just how well she was previously versed in Mercury’s pioneering efforts vis-à-vis the black nail polish beauty trend. Coincidentally, however, on August 23rd, two days after Sales played a key on air role during the ABC’s federal election coverage – wearing black nail polish - we Tweeted the following (tongue in cheek) observation: “top marks BTW go to abc #ausvotes anchor @leighsales for doing more for the visibility of black nail polish than freddie mercury on sat”. We know Sales spotted it, because she immediately replied via Twitter:  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Village of the glammed

x-cape fw1011/fashion served via tfs
Frockwriter's favourite male model was conspicuous by his absence during the Spring/Summer 2011 womens show season, turning up on just one runway: London's KTZ show. Since he first emerged on the world stage at the Paris menswear shows in July and our last post on Pejic in August, regarding his starring role in a 12-page Mert + Marcus editorial for Vogue Paris, he has nevertheless continued to co-define fashion's androgynous moment (alongside Brazilian Lea T). Cases in point, editorials in Vogue Hommes Japan and the second issue of Candy, both shot by Karim Sadli (the latter calling itself "the first Transversal Style Magazine... dedicated to celebrating transvestism, transsexuality, cross dressing and androgyny"). Not to mention this intriguing Fall/Winter 2010/2011 campaign for Italian streetwear brand X-Cape shot by Erminando Aliaj (above, below), in which Pejic models both menswear and womenswear - in the latter shots managing to look like a dead ringer for Ukrainian supermod Snejana Onopka.

Inside Sabatini

Frockwriter had always wanted to visit the head office of New Zealand knitwear brand Sabatini, which showed in a group show during New Zealand Fashion Week a fortnight ago. On this NZ trip we did finally made it out to the Mt Roskill factory, about 20 minutes outside of Auckland’s CBD. Founded 57 years ago by Croatian refugees Zarko and Sonja Milich as Sonny Elegant Knitwear Ltd, this third generation family-run knitwear business is unique in Australasia. From 1967, it was also one of the original partner’s of the International Wool Secretariat’s Woolmark program (and yes, they use Australian wool - most of New Zealand's clip goes into high quality carpets and rugs). Operated today by Zarko's and Sonja’s son and daughter Tony Milich and Margie Evans-Milich and granddaughters Anja Milich and Danielle Evans-Milich, Sabatini has been likened to Italy’s Missoni clan. It’s fascinating to see the beautiful jacquards being woven on equipment that includes some quite spectacular postwar machinery. The company’s stable of brands includes Sabatini and the highend Sabatini White, which is sold around the world. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Full frontal nude images of 18 year old Miranda Kerr to be released because her publicist "failed to make payment" - Tito Media

miranda kerr, 2002/screen cap

And Nicole Kidman thought she had problems with the Australian paparazzi pack. On Saturday, frockwriter revealed the name of the photographer whose eight year-old topless images of a then 18 year-old Miranda Kerr had been shopped around by Sydney photo agency Tito Media: Jasper Glavanics. Our sources reported that the highest bidder was London’s News of the World tabloid, after Tito Media asked the Kerr camp to match the NOTW’s price to get the shots off the market and they declined. Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper (which, like NOTW, is also owned by News Ltd) paid what it described as a “nominal fee” to reproduce two of Glavanics’ shots in a story yesterday entitled “Miranda Kerr’s naked fury”. Well if Australian gossip blog, OMFG! Is to be believed, the shots are not only soon be published, they are in fact full frontal. Why should OMFG! know what it’s talking about? Because in case you had any doubt about the snarky tone of the post, a couple of quick net searches reveal that OMFG! is operated by Tito Media.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Miranda Kerr's "naked fury", Jasper Glavanics' pounds of flesh

miranda kerr, 2002/screen cap
Fascinating insight into the grubby world of celebrity tabloids in Sydney's Sunday Telegraph newspaper tomorrow. The first edition is now on select newsagent shelves and inside the back cover, in The Insiders double page gossip column, is a half page story on Miranda Kerr. No, not a pregnancy update, but a (censored) topless image of an 18 year-old Kerr taken in 2002, together with the headline "Kerr's naked fury". The story goes on to feign outrage and outline how "an old friend" of Kerr's has "taken advantage" of her new-found celebrity to sell what are believed to be the first topless images of Kerr to a British tabloid for a "hefty" fee. The photographer is quoted as saying he previously refrained from selling the shots to a mens magazine because "they were too nice". So a Fleet Street tabloid is a far more tasteful alternative then? But while the photographer has got no problem with flogging eight year old topless images of teenage Kerr, he asked not to be named. Couple of points here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

On with the shoe: Kathryn Wilson's showgirls put their best feet forward at New Zealand Fashion Week

kathryn wilson AW11 backstage/kent vaughan
A runway show dedicated exclusively to footwear is always going to be a tough call. Terry Biviano did it in 2003 and 2004 at Australian Fashion Week by teaming up with show producer extraordinaire Tony Assness, who created some of the most memorable shows that the event had ever witnessed. But while Biviano put the focus on her shoes by initially teaming the footwear with nude-coloured corsets and silk parachutes (later going over the top with horses, contortionists and bird suits, as you do), NZ's Kathryn Wilson kept her debut show dead simple by putting her girls in black leotards and dispatching them onto a raised catwalk. Precariously navigating back down the stairs in their skyscraper heels and booties - as so well documented by Kent throughout the show – there seemed to be more than a little Broadway musical going on backstage. I really couldn’t resist putting a selection of shots to some music to create this slideshow below. 

New Zealand Fashion Week (the rest)

jimmy D AW11 backstage/kent vaughan
Apologies for the delay in posting the remainder of the New Zealand Fashion Week coverage. Returned to Australia and have been otherwise occupied. So here is a series of last posts with a few bits and pieces. Just a reminder once again that frockwriter attended the event as the guest of New Zealand Fashion Week. An enormous thank-you to my partner Kent Vaughan – who provided brilliant photo backup this year, both at the shows I attended and notably, those I could not, while attending to all the backend management (and who nailed some absolute cracker shots). Thank-you also to New Zealand Fashion Week, for the very kind invitation once again, PR Anna Jobsz and our minder Tim Holmberg, lovely guy. I did a brief wrapup post of the event for Pages Digital, which you can read here. To see frockwriter’s complete coverage of the event, click on the “New Zealand Fashion Week” tag below or use the search box to the right-hand side (the new NZFW splash will also hyperlink through). There are shows covered on frockwriter's Posterous which were not reviewed on the blog. It was just too difficult to get to everything and on occasions, eg Huffer, which we did attend – a great little show and a fab way to end the week – we simply ran out of time unfortunately. Along with all the main shows already covered, new to Posterous are galleries for Huffer, Jimmy D, the NZFW retrospective show, Miramoda, Blak Luxe, Annah Stretton, Sabatini White, Kathryn Wilson and Michelle Yvette.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rio tinto: Martha Streck covers Oyster 89

Oyster’s 89th issue is out tomorrow and here is an exclusive preview. Moving on from their last cover girl Julia Nobis (who just walked 43 shows in her second international show season) is Brazilian native Martha Streck, who stars in the Windy Apple cover story, below, shot by Jolijn Snijders and styled by Imogene Barron. Also in the issue: Zippora Seven in Sam Crawford's NZ, NY story, Tiah Eckhardt in Rene Vaile’s Concrete Jungle, LA porn star and American Apparel model (there's a difference?) Faye Raegan shot by Darren Ankenman and the additional styling talents of Zara Mirkin and TJ Gustave. Interviews include Nick Cave, Vincent Kartheiser, illustrator Hajime Sorayama and Anna Trevelyan, first assistant to Nicola Formichetti  - who was presumably too busy sourcing steak for Lady Gaga and plotting his new creative direction of Thierry Mugler to chat. But Trevelyan no doubt has some interesting beans to spill about the styling supremo.  

Summer blockbusters: Australians on the runways for SS11

gif animator

Another international show season has wrapped. And as has been the case over the past seven years - since the arrival of Gemma Ward - Australian models continue to grab an increasingly large share of that runway real estate. Below is a list of all Australians on the Spring/Summer 2011 runways - updated from frockwriter's post three weeks ago, at the end of the season's first leg in New York. The list is ranked, top to bottom, by show numbers, but clearly, some shows eclipse others in prestige. Hence Abbey Lee Kershaw doesn't have the biggest show tally, but overall was booked for a higher volume of big shows. Unheard of this time last year, Julia Nobis walked in 43 shows, including some of fashion's biggest names. Ajak Deng and Lauren Brown also continued their ascent. Even Miranda Kerr, at five months pregnant, made an appearance on Balenciaga's runway. Who would have thought it possible two years ago? With Kerr recently lurching forward to the eighth position on's Top 50 working models rankings - jumping seven places since we last profiled this list in July - that places three Australians in the world top 12.

Cut copy: MJ Bale's cartoon campaign a dead ringer for P Johnson's

p johnson SS0910
So yesterday frockwriter posted an exclusive preview of a new ad campaign by new Australian luxury menswear label MJ Bale, which was launched in late 2009 by cashed-up Herringbone co-founder Matt Jensen. The idea for the campaign was a bunch of images of a model in the MJ Bale collection – with cartoon faces, hands and feet superimposed over the model. The cartoons were courtesy Sydney graffiti artist Jumbo. Fantastic idea. Only problem: Patrick Johnson says it's his. Who is Johnson? A London-trained Sydney tailor who has been in business for three years and who launched his first campaign this time last year: a series of images of a model in his collection, with cartoon faces, hands and feet superimposed over the originals. Here is a selection, above and below (which remain on Johnson's website). The creative collaborator in Johnson's case was Sydney artist Tristan Ceddia and Johnson reports it took the duo six months to nail the concept. The MJ Bale images were supplied to frockwriter in good faith and unfortunately we were not familiar with Johnson’s brand or campaign prior to a large volume of hostile comments from his supporters this morning. Others claim the real pioneer of the photo/cartoon/fashion mashup is yet another Australian artist, Ashley Wood, who created some earlier illustrations for Diesel's spinoff streetwear brand 55DSL. To be fair to Johnson here, it's not just the general photo/cartoon idea that was picked up by MJ Bale, but the exact look of Johnson's campaign.   

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Louis Vuitton's glitch in the Matrix

There is no spoon, OK? As consolation, in approximately half an hour (ETA 14.30 CEST, 23.30 AEST), the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2011 womenswear show will take place in Paris. Head to Louis Vuitton's Facebook page to watch the live stream and Now Fashion for still photos in (almost) real-time. And as if runway models didn't have enough backstage photographers to contend with the nanosecond they exit the runway, they are due to be assaulted by 52 cameras in-the-round backstage, via which every outfit will be clocked in 360. Check back in back at LV Facebook central at 20.00 CEST (05.00 AEST) to see the fruits of those Matrix-style photo sessions (in the interim, you can practice rotating Jacobs with your cursor via LV's handy little player, above). After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and Marc Jacobs shows you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Cartoon connection: MJ Bale's Jumbo Spring 2010 campaign

The fashion/art collaboration concept is nothing new. Dali and Schiaparelli, anyone? Far more recent collaborations have included Marc Jacobs with Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami, Prada with illustrator James Jean and Stella McCartney with iconic Disney character Bambi. Now comes MJ Bale’s turn with Sydney artist (Andy) Jumbo. Here is an exclusive preview of the luxury Australian menswear brand’s Spring/Summer 2010/2011 campaign – which is fronted by a cast of cartoon models. Launched in late 2009, MJ Bale is the brainchild of Herringbone co-founder and wool scion, Matt Jensen. After the launch of the recent Orri Henrisson campaign, the ad creative for the Australian menswear sector is starting to look a little fresher than some of the efforts in the womenswear sector. UPDATE 07/10: Another Sydney menswear designer, Patrick Johnson, says he came up with the idea first.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Short black: Bambi Northwood-Blyth also snags Chanel - Spring/Summer 2011

The Australia's Next Top Model judges seemed to enjoy giving flak to some of the shorter contestants on this year's show. In the end, the taller model - Amanda Ware - won Cycle 6. But a lack of runway regulation height (5'6"-5'7") hasn't stymied Bambi Northwood-Blyth's chances of an international runway career. Her Paris Fashion Week started with Thursday's Balenciaga show, moving onto to Loewe and yesterday's back-to-back Ungaro and Giambattista Valli shows. Well she has just added to that impressive Paris show list with no less than Chanel, joining three other Australian models on the French luxury brand's Spring/Summer 2011 runway: Chanel face Abbey Lee Kershaw, Julia Nobis and Lauren Brown. Judging by this video below (thanks to TFS for sourcing), Northwood-Blyth has been working on her walk, which raised a few eyebrows after New York Fashion Week. She's up at around 1.07. It seems the sky may well now be the limit for her.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beth Ditto backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier - Spring/Summer 2011

jean paul gaultier SS11 backstage/steve wood

Jean Paul Gaultier is no stranger to runway diversity, having sent arguably the world's most high profile plus size model, American Crystal Renn, down his Spring/Summer 2006 runway in October 2005. The following year, plus-sized Paris-based American actor Velvet d'Amour made her Gaultier appearance (here is the interview I did with her at the time). Yesterday Gaultier upped the plus size ante by having no less than three plus size models on his Spring/Summer 2011 runway in Paris: Renn, Marquita Pring and Beth Ditto, the frontwoman of US indie rock outfit Gossip, who opened the show and later delivered an a cappella performance. A photographer mate, the inimitable Steve Wood, just zipped me these backstage shots of Ditto with Gaultier and some other members of his show cast, including Sasha Pivovarova and Eliza Cummins (but no sign of former Gaultier face Tallulah Morton, who is in Paris at the moment).  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stella McCartney for Target redux

You've had three years to recover from the first Stella McCartney for Target Australia hysteria. Gird your loins for SMFT Mark II. In what could best be described as a Target-ed launch tonight, the Australian discount department store invited six local bloggers to the Altona mansion in harbourside Point Piper, to unveil the fruits of its second Stella McCartney capsule collection. The interstate bloggers were flown in and put up overnight at a 5 star. Noted one invitee, Sam Winter aka Sassi Sam, "we were treated like rock stars". Frockwriter wasn't there, but we can confirm that the fashion editors of at least three major Australian newspapers not only were not invited, they were given zero information by Target about the launch. Nevertheless Grazia Australia broke the news on Twitter and has a story next week (update 02/10: and The Sydney Morning Herald both have the story today - although info for the SMH story was not provided by Target). The bloggers report they are being paid to write posts and must submit copy for approval. While they're busy doing that, here is a first look at the 42-piece collection (which is already on Target's website), to be sold in 102 Target stores and online from October 29. It ranges from $20 for a headband up to $299 for a silk dress and includes some kickass cropped cigarette pants, blazers, skinny jeans, tulip skirts, lace and satin blouses and some quite beautiful dresses, including one French blue lace cocktail dress with sweetheart neckline and a heavily-embellished shift. 

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