Friday, November 5, 2010

A new MJ is born


Just touched down in Adelaide, where frockwriter is the guest of the South Australian Tourism Commission and the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters. We were invited to cover the third incarnation of the Adelaide Fashion Festival, which runs from today until Saturday 13th November. Having never been to Adelaide, it seemed like a great opportunity to check out the local talent. We knew it wouldn't be too long before some emerged. Meet Melissa Johannsen aka "MJ" - who looks like the love child of Uma Thurman and Elvis Presley. She’s 15, lives in Alice Springs and up until last month, had never previously set foot inside a model agency. In Adelaide with her mother in early October doing a spot of shopping, the 5’11" schoolgirl was encouraged by one sales assistant to contact local agency Finesse Models. Within two days, she had won the Finesse Colonnades International Model Search competition. And since Monday last week, she has travelled to and from Sydney, been signed by Viviens Sydney and Wilhelmina Models in New York, walked in a Starlight Foundation runway show, shot a campaign for the Colonnades shopping centre, a lookbook for local label Finders Keepers and an editorial story and cover for this weekend's Sunday Mail magazine. “She’s the hot new face coming out of Adelaide.........via Alice Springs” said Finesse director Brigette Mitchell, who has previously launched Vanessa Milde, Kirsty MacPhail, Lucy Bayet and Emile Wake. The big question.... can she moonwalk?


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