Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prue Lewington: style editor, photographer, exhibitionist

We’ve read a lot about self-taught blogger photographers. A good eye and an even better camera can work wonders for anyone seeking to fill their online publishing ventures with original photographic material. Scott ‘The Sartorialist’ Schuman, Tommy ‘Jak & Jil’ Ton and Todd ‘The Selby’ Selby three great cases in point. But multitasking mainstream fashion editors or journalists? Not quite so common (and as frockwriter can attest, we’re not that welcome in the blogosphere. Something to do with the sentiment that we’ve somehow cheated our way to a profile that the ‘grassroots’ blogging crew have had to build from scratch). Sydneysiders would know the name Prue Lewington from her weekend fashion musings in The Sunday Telegraph. But who knew that she could also take a decent photo? Also self-taught, Lewington has been shooting in her spare time for the past three years and her work has been published in The Sunday Telegraph and Tonight her first exhibition opens at the Kit & Kaboodle Stairwell Gallery in Sydney's Kings Cross. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Andrej Pejic wraps 2011 in a lingerie campaign for Hema

It's Victoria's Secret all right. He closed Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture show in Paris as the traditional bride. He channelled Marilyn Monroe. He was presented to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. What other accomplishments could the androgynous, Bosnian-born, Melbourne-raised modelling superstar Andrej Pejic squeeze into the closing days of 2011? Try scoring an advertising campaign for womens’ lingerie. Behold two images from a new intimate apparel campaign from Dutch chain store Hema, advertising its “Mega Push-Up Bra”, as modelled by Pejic underneath two womens' dresses. Even in the super liberal Netherlands, Hema’s choice of model has made big news, with at least a half dozen Dutch news outlets picking up the story in the last few hours. The campaign was shot in Amsterdam in late September and is described as a "money job" by Pejic's Sydney agent, Chadwick's Joseph Tenni. "It's revolutionary" Tenni told frockwriter. "I've never known a man to do a womens' lingerie campaign before".

Monday, December 12, 2011

Liv life

thom kerr

Whatever happened to Olivia O’Driscoll? In 2008, at age 17, she emerged as one of New Zealand’s most promising modelling newcomers. Repped internationally by IMG, she walked in four Paris haute couture shows in July that year, before flying to to Milan on an exclusive option for the Spring/Summer 2009 Prada and Miu Miu shows. While those gigs never eventuated, she nevertheless shot editorial for French Elle, German Vogue, Japanese RUSSH, Wallpaper, AnOther Magazine, US Teen Vogue and Italy’s Amica. Only to suddenly drop out of the business, sparking various rumours. In spite of the fact that New Zealand has the second-highest rate of teenage pregnancies in the developed world, a pregnancy was not among these whispers. But a baby daughter, Hara Lea O’Driscoll, arrived a day after O'Driscoll's 20th birthday in December 2010. Now as a single mum, with new management back home in Auckland (Red Eleven/MHI) and Sydney (Chadwick) - and as “Liv” O’Driscoll, as she prefers to be known these days - she is attempting a comeback. She joins models Jourdan Dunn, Arizona Muse, Natalia Vodianova and Australia’s Cassi van den Dungen, all of whom took time out under the age of 20 to have children. Herewith an exclusive preview of some new test shots by Australian photographer Thom Kerr.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The high Low

chic management
Twenty-two year-old Brisbane-ite Angus Low may prove extra popular on the international circuit, once any runway colleagues suffering from back pain twig that he doubles as a physio. Low graduated last year from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy Studies – and was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for academic excellence – and has been working full-time at a private Brisbane hospital. Modelling part-time for the past two years, prior to June 2011, the biggest name on his modelling CV was the Mercedes-Benz Brisbane Fashion Festival. Enter the Spring/Summer 2012 menswear season in Milan and Paris and Low can now add shows for Lanvin, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Costume National and Raf Simons. And we can add his name to a bulging Aussie male model pack that is headed up by Andrej Pejic, Tom Bull, Jordan Coulter, Jack Vanderhart and Jordan & Zac Stenmark. Although Low's SS12 show season transpired under the publicity radar back home, evidently he made quite an impression because two months ago, his Brisbane mother agency Dallys tells frockwriter, he shot Lanvin's SS12 menswear campaign in New York with Steven Meisel, two other male models - and a bunch of snakes. Then last month in Paris, he shot Lanvin’s SS12 eyewear campaign with Stéphane Gallois. Low has just given up his day job to pursue modelling full-time. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In any office other than Terry Richardson's, this might be considered sexual harassment

detail/diesel mexico's twitter

Just another day at the office for Terry Richardson, photographed here during what appears to be a Diesel photoshoot. Below is the original photo as it appeared on Diesel Mexico’s Twitter feed several hours ago (NSFW). The male models are all wearing Diesel underwear, while the controversial American photographer has dropped both his trousers and boxer shorts. Although his hand is covering his privates, Richardson's pubic hair is clearly visible. It’s not entirely clear what the shoot is for or how old the photo is, but Richardson and Diesel have a longstanding commercial relationship, which embraces several Diesel advertising campaigns (including at least one Diesel Intimate campaign), the publication of a book of Richardson’s photographs of Hong Kong and even a clothing collaboration

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paul de Gelder: Navy diver, shark attack survivor, smoking hot swimwear model

silke stuckenbrock/the navy diver
Aimee Mullins meet Paul de Gelder. Much has been written – and broadcast - about de Gelder’s near brush with death on February 11, 2009, when the then 31 year-old Royal Australian Navy clearance diver and former paratrooper and East Timor peacekeeper came face-to-face with a three metre bull shark, which savaged his right hand and leg. A double amputation, extensive rehabilitation and two years later, de Gelder is back at work as a Royal Australian Navy diver trainer, with several brand new spinoff careers, including motivational speaker and conservationist, who has called on the United Nations to protect sharks from over fishing. Earlier this year he also became a published author, with the release of No time for fear: How a shark attack survivor beat the odds. But de Gelder has another new career that’s a little less well-documented: fashion model. To be precise, underwear and swimwear model for new Sydney-based brand The Navy Diver

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lanvin's Lucas Ossendrijver covers the launch issue of Manuscript

Sydney-based freelance fashion journo Mitchell Oakley-Smith isn’t one for resting on his laurels. Already the author of one coffee table book through Thames & Hudson Australia – Fashion: Australian and New Zealand designers – T&H Australia has just released a second collection of his designer vignettes, Interiors: Australian and New Zealand designers. And he’s just signed a third contract, this time with the Thames & Hudson mothership in London for another, slightly more complex tome that is due for release in late 2013 and is to be co-authored with Australian art curator and writer Alison Kubler. All under the age of 25. But that’s not all. Behold a preview of the first cover of a new menswear magazine called Manuscript, Oakley-Smith’s first effort as a publisher, which is out on Friday. Lensed by London-based Australian Paul Scala at the Lanvin headquarters in Paris, it stars Lanvin’s menswear director Lucas Ossendrijver, an extensive profile of whom features inside the issue. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kim Kardashian wants you to buy her handbags but she'd rather carry Balenciaga

splash via the daily mail
Sydney-based entrepreneur Bruno Schiavi managed to convince Kim Kardashian to sign a global fashion and accessories deal, so you'd figure he would have taken care of a little detail like what brand handbag she was carrying when she arrived at Sydney Airport yesterday, wouldn't you? But apparently not. Kardashian and sister Khloe are in town specifically to spruik their Kardashian Kollection handbags, an exclusive capsule collection of which has just gone on sale in Australia. In the reality television star's first public appearance since her announcement on Monday that she would be filing for divorce from her husband of 72 days, NBA player Kris Humphries, she waltzed into the waiting media scrum carrying not a Kardashian Kollection, but a black Balenciaga City bag (aka Motorcycle bag). The distressed leather and hand-stitched handle are unmistakable. The bag is one of many Balenciagas from Kardashian's personal collection

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Transsex and the city

screen cap 'transsex & the city'
Chloe Sevigny channels Terry Richardson on the cover of the third edition of Candy, Luis Venegas’s irreverent “transversal style magazine”. And inside the edition, following last issue’s hilarious tranny take on American Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, Venegas also takes on Sex And The City’s Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Highres images from the just-landed mag are yet to surface, but in the interim here are some screen caps frockwriter took from a behind-the-scenes video that Venegas has posted of the Ellen von Unwerth shoot. Entitled ‘Transsex and the city’, the story stars Ladyfag, Darian Darling, Mona Marlowe and Zeb Ringle and Brian Shimansky

Chloe Sevigny covers Candy as Terry Richardson

screen cap/luis venegas's vimeo
Candy, the world’s “first transversal style magazine”, frocked up model Luke Worrall and actor James Franco as women for the covers of its first and second issues. For its just-launched third issue, Candy has transformed actor Chloe Sevigny into a drag king – and in fact, in character as photographer Terry Richardson, with his trademark flannel shirt, glasses, sideburns and thumbs up. Having shot both the Worrall and Franco covers, presumably Richardson shot this one as well. Sevigny has more than a passing interest in the subject of transsexuality. She earned an Academy Award nomination as Lana Tisdel, the girlfriend of murdered transgender man Brandon Teena, in Kimberley Pierce’s 1999 film Boy’s Don’t Cry. She voiced the role of Andy Warhol’s male-to-female superstar Candy Darling in James Rasin’s 2010 documentary Beautiful Darling. And she recently shot a British television series called Hit & Miss, in which she plays a transgender Irish assassin. She also has some commonality with the controversial Richardson. Sevigny is in a minority of mainstream actors to have engaged in an unsimulated sex act in a film – Vincent Gallo’s 2003 Brown Bunny, in which she performed fellatio on co-star Gallo. Richardson has pushed the boundaries of pornography like no other in fashion - coming under fire for the alleged exploitation and degradation of some of his models in the process - and his personal work features a high volume of imagery of himself engaging in unsimulated sexual acts. Sevigny copped a lot of flak herself over Brown Bunny. So, lots to chat about during the cover shoot.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Colourblocking with the stars: Melbourne Cup 2011

getty via daylife
And they're off. The 2011 Melbourne Cup race day is underway at Flemington Raceourse and the fashion competition is heating up. A few shots to dribble in indicate that colour is an early trend. Hardly surprising of course, given that intense colour is a major trend of Australia's Spring/Summer 2011/2012 season, following the cues of the northern hemisphere's SS11. Big local names to catch the photographers' attention thus far include Dancing with the stars contestant and serial red carpet offender Brynne Edelsten - whose style one wag dubbed "Dis-Vegas", a hybrid of Disneyland and Las Vegas - together with colour-coordinated husband Dr Geoffrey Edelsten (above); Rebecca Judd (below, with her sister Kate Twigley); DWTS co-host Sonia Kruger and Jennifer Hawkins, the face of Australian department store chain Myer. The fashion editors are keeping it a little more muted. Here are some shots from the Twitter accounts of Kate Waterhouse, fashion editor of The Sun Herald and Alyx Gorman from The Vine - the latter channelling a 1920s flapper in Romance Was Born. Entourage's Adrian Grenier teamed his black suit with Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Tops. While former Triple M radio star Mieke Buchan breached the Victoria Racing Club's dress code by rocking up in shorts. At least they weren't denim cutoffs. 

The fashion commute

steven meisel via
In one of those amusing art-imitates-life scenarios, the ever-creative Vogue Italia released a preview of its November cover story overnight. A 26-page fashion editorial lensed, of course, by Steven Meisel, 'The A train' depicts supermodel Raquel Zimmermann commuting on the New York subway, whilst kitted out in various luxury brand finery and flanked by a cast of black-suited salarymen. Anyone familiar with Australia's annual Melbourne Cup Carnival will be reminded of very similar scenes on Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse Line at this time of year. At time of writing, the latter is in the process of delivering a hefty percentage of the 100,000 that are expected to attend today's Melbourne Cup - just with a much higher volume of women in hats. Whilst the traditional dress code for Derby Day is black and white (ignored on Saturday by, among others, Dita Von Teese), for the Melbourne Cup, the so-called 'race which stops a nation', it's more of a no-holds-barred fashion approach. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

But Dita Von Teese was the belle of the ball

getty via daylife
Dita Von Teese might have bucked with tradition at Flemington Racecourse today by failing to adhere to Derby Day's traditional black and white dress code. But while there were some terribly chic ensembles at the track - Lindy Klim springs to mind, in an elegant black sheath dress with point d'esprit sleeves and a black picture hat - Von Teese stole the show in her own creation: the one-shouldered, draped 'Follow Me' style in 'ruby lips red' from her new Muse capsule dress collection. It was teamed with a scarlet Philip Treacy hat and matching Christian Louboutin satin pumps and clutch. Other racegoers weren't quite as well pulled-together, notably those who opted for shaggy, unkempt hair. One case in point, Alexandra Richards - daughter of Keith - who was otherwise elegant in a black silk maxidress and black lace headpiece.

Miss J is the belle of the Derby

getty via daylife
Derby Day is in full swing but at time of posting, not a whole heap of fashion coverage was forthcoming either from the mainstream media or the real-time crew. In the interim, here are a few shots from Getty. Most adhered to the traditional black and white dress code of the first day of the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival, the highlight of which is of course Tuesday's Melbourne Cup. Great effort by America's Next Top Model model mentor J Alexander - aka "Miss J" - who topped his smart black suit with a fabulous black-and-white, Cecil Beaton-inspired headpiece that looked like it was straight off the Royal Ascot set from My Fair Lady. Alexander is part of a posse of international celebs who will descend on Flemington Racecourse over the next week. Others expected include Sarah Jessica Parker, Joan Collins and Kim Kardashian. Dita von Teese, who is in town to spruik her new Muse dress collection at David Jones, bucked Derby Day's dress code with a scarlet red ensemble from her own collection:

Bambi Northwood-Blyth covers V magazine with Lindsey Wixson

v magazine
Australia's Bambi Northwood-Blyth is on a roll. Behold the latest cover of US fashion magazine V starring Northwood-Blyth together with Lindsey Wixson - one of four covers of V's issue #74, shot by Terry Richardson and styled by ex Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld. Each cover pairs together two models, most of them high profile. Head to V's website to see the others, featuring Candice Swanepoel and Joan Smalls; Daphne Groeneveld and Saskia de Brauw and Sui He and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem. "These eight girls are unique" Roitfeld told WWD. "It's their diversity that makes each of them, to me, truly modern. They bring a new energy to fashion". This may be Northwood-Blyth's first major international cover, but it's her fifth OS cover this year, after French Revue des Modes (Spring/Summer 2011), Vogue Nippon (April 2011), Harpers Bazaar Espana (May 2011) and the current Fall/Winter 2011 cover of the Barcelona-based Metal magazine. And that's not the end of her V duties. She will be co-hosting V's Halloween party tomorrow night in New York with Richardson, Smalls, Swanepoel and He. Will her designer/DJ love interest "Dangerous Dan" Single play a set?

Monday, October 24, 2011

King Flinn

The live finale of Australia's Next Top Model is tomorrow night at the Sydney Opera House, a time that's sure to prompt a little soul-searching amongst ANTM-ites. Questions such as "Will the series be renewed for 2012?" and "Will I, won't I, have my contract renewed"? Although no Foxtel announcement is as yet forthcoming, given that ANTM is the highest-rating Australian production on pay tv, the chances of a Cycle 8 are good. Josh Flinn, the show's model mentor for the past two seasons already has, we hear, a few other tv irons in the fire. So stand by to see if he becomes ANTM's next breakout star. In the interim, here is Flinn like you have never seen him before. Produced and art directed by Mother & Father PR as a frockwriter exclusive, the story was lensed by Sonny Vandevelde, styled by James Dykes, with hair by Natalie-Anne Ayoub and makeup by Rebecca Hatherly for Napoleon. Entitled 'The thin white duke', it was inspired not by David Bowie, but in fact Edward VIII, British monarch from January-December 1936, who became the Duke of Windsor following his abdication.

Friday, October 21, 2011


iris van herpen haute couture FW1112/
Adelaide is emerging as quite the model springboard. This time last year frockwriter popped over to the Adelaide Fashion Festival and stumbled upon a new face just-signed to local agency Finesse Models, Melissa Johannsen. Johannsen has since emerged as a key member of the new Australian modelling A Team on the international circuit. Tomorrow we are heading back for the 2011 Adelaide Fashion Festival - once again, as a guest of the organisers - and a quick ring-around unearthed a few more hidden SA gems. Case in point, Tori Trigg. This 18 year-old champion horsewoman was, according to Adelaide's Pride Models, overlooked by Sydney agencies earlier this year when Pride first introduced her. After coming to the attention of the world's biggest modelling agency, IMG, Trigg was whisked off to the Paris haute couture shows in July. She booked three shows, walking alongside the much higher profile Australians Julia Nobis, Codie Young and Ajak Deng, unbeknown to most. Here is Trigg at Iris van Herpen (above) and in this video, where she appears at 58', immediately following Young:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Royal commission: The Queen's Australian tour wardrobe

reuters via daylife

Because noone ever seems to track what eightysomethings wear on the red carpet, frockwriter thought we would buck with tradition and clock the frocks in which HM Queen Elizabeth II rocks up during her 10-day visit to Australia. This is her 16th trip downunder and many predict it may be her last. After touching down yesterday in a British Airways 777 at Canberra's Fairbairn RAAF base - welcomed to Australia, for the first time in history, by an all-female Australian power posse in Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Governor General Quentin Bryce and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher - HM wore an aquamarine military-style coat by British couturier Stewart Parvin; a short-brimmed aquamarine straw hat festooned with grey silk flowers and plumage by Rachel Trevor-Morgan and a wattle and tea-tree blossom brooch designed by Paul Schneller, a sentimental favourite from the Royal Collection. Commissioned by Melbourne jeweller William Drummond & Co, the subsequently much-copied yellow and white diamond brooch was presented to the Queen by Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1954, during her first Australian visit, reportedly eliciting the response: "I value this magnificent brooch not only for its artistic beauty but as the symbol of the kindness and loyalty of my people in Australia". Corgi suit-clad Republicans notwithstanding, the "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!"chant that erupted yesterday would indicate that she still has quite some local support.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bull market

tom bull by justin chung

Andrej Pejic is the undisputed king of Australian mens’ modelling right now – even if he’s rocking womenswear half of the time. Although yet to make the big dollars, in terms of profile, it’s impossible to ignore Pejic, with global news stories about him rolling out on almost a daily basis. He is currently the only Australian to make the Top 50 Men list (#18). Others to catch the attention of the international fashion industry of late include Jordan Coulter, Jethro Cave, Frankie Eliss-Galatti, Broed Dillewaard and Jack Vanderhart - with indigenous Australian Jake Gordon recently popping up at a few New York Fashion Week shows. So far no other Australian men have matched the track record of Heath Townsend, now in his 30s and a David Jones ambassador, but an erstwhile advertising face of Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. But Tom Bull is making a pretty good start. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Middleton English

getty via daylife
Queen Elizabeth II has touched down in Australia, where she will attend the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth. Less than a week after she greeted Elle Macpherson, Hugh Jackman, Andrej Pejic and a swag of other prominent Australians at Buckingham Palace. With 10 days of royal news ahead of us downunder, frockwriter thought we would address one little aristo puzzle that has perplexed us since April 29th, when Prince William married Kate Middleton and the titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus, were bestowed on the couple. Why does the media insist on continuing to call the Duchess/Countess/Baroness by her maiden name? It’s not just entertainment sites and blogs bereft of iron-fisted sub-editors who religiously vet house style sheets and protocol lists that are doing it. A case in point E! Entertainment, which recently ran the headline: “Bitch Stole My Look: Kate Middleton vs. Cat Deeley”. Even newspapers and mainstream tv news sites don’t seem to care. Here's a small sample of stories that have run since the wedding:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blowout at Buckingham Palace

antipodium's facebook
So Buckingham Palace's Australian reception is done and dusted. Three hundred and fifty guests descended on the palace last night for a special meet-and-greet with Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, ahead of next week's royal visit downunder. So far there don't seem to be terribly many photos of Andrej Pejic. But Antipodium designer Geoffrey J Finch snapped these two shots of Pejic en route to the do in a rather demure black vintage Versace pencil skirt and charcoal grey Paul Smith blazer (and not Jean Paul Gaultier, a rack of whose clothes, we hear, had been sent to Pejic prior to the event). Teamed with, Pejic tells frockwriter, an Issey Miyake blouse, black tights, boots from Australian high street chain Tony Bianco and his mum's vintage gold belt from the 1980s, the most extravagant aspect of the outfit was his coiffure: dead straight blond hair extensions which reached to his waist - the antithesis of his Bellatrix L'Estrange-meets-Marie-Antoinette up do at Myer's recent relaunch party. In the absence so far of any photographic evidence, did Pejic actually get to meet the Queen or did he just mill about the reception rooms while a select few were run past Her Majesty? "All the guests who attended last night's reception were presented to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh" a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told us.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Andrej Pejic and Geoffrey J Finch gear up for their hot date at Buckingham Palace

geoffrey j finch's facebook, juergen teller/photoshopped by frockwriter

Our recent post about Andrej Pejic heading off to meet the Queen at an upcoming Australian-themed reception at Buckingham Palace caused a minor stir. Although Pejic’s Australian agency Chadwick had initially confirmed Pejic would be attending this Thursday's soiree, faced with what we hear was a subsequent barrage of calls from the Australian mainstream media, the agency later played it a little coy, claiming Pejic “had not decided if he would make it to London”. Yeah, right. This morning, we spoke with fellow Buck Palace invitee, Pejic’s London-based Australian designer mate Geoffrey J Finch, who tells frockwriter the pair plans to head to the soiree together. “I couldn’t think of a better date to go with” said Finch, who was the first to put Pejic on a runway in womenswear way back in May 2009 in Sydney, when Pejic opened Finch’s Antipodium show at Australian Fashion Week. Finch is suiting up for the royal occasion in a double-breasted charcoal Burberry. Is he at all concerned that his date might turn up channeling Princess Diana? “It would be quite incredible, I’d love to see him in a little pleated collar” he noted. So far, however, we gather Pejic has been mulling over a rack of Jean Paul Gaultier. “I can’t wait to see what he pulls out of the bag” says Finch. UPDATE 14/10: Blowout at Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Summer of the thirty-eighth doll

dempsey stewart at louis vuitton SS12/getty via daylife
Take a bow ladies - and gentlemen. Thirty-eight Australian models have just helped wrap up the Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear runway season in New York, London, Milan and Paris - by frockwriter's estimate, a 35percent increase in numbers from the previous season. And what a season it has been, culminating over this past week in Paris, where the 18-strong Australian contingent included Miranda Kerr. No Balenciaga exclusive for Kerr, for the first time in four seasons. But after making her name as one of the world's highest-paid models, thanks to a lucrative contract with lingerie giant Victoria's Secret, how fantastic to see Kerr take her place alongside the world's top high fashion girls in a string of other blue chip brand shows, from Christian Dior to Lanvin and Chanel. Flanked by Abbey Lee Kershaw and Catherine McNeil, who is looking better than ever after a year's break from the shows, it was like the holy triumvirate of Australian modelling reunited. They were joined by Julia Nobis who walked in, wait for it, 72 shows, opening six. This may well make Nobis the busiest model - of any nationality - of the SS12 season by show numbers. Oddly, Nobis has yet to even be accorded a ranking on's Top 50 Women list. One assumes this may soon change.   

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What will Andrej Pejic wear to meet the Queen?

love cat magazine via milk made

Earlier this month, Sydney-based PR agency Under The Wing Tweeted an invitation that its client Geoffrey Finch had received from The Master of the Household of Buckingham Palace (see below) for a special Australian-themed reception on Thursday October 13th - six days ahead of the kickoff of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Australia. The London-based Australian expat is one of several hundred guests who are expected to descend on the Palace that evening and, as it emerges, one of at least three Australian fashion industry representatives. London-based retailer Yasmin Sewell has, we understand, also received a bait, as has gender-bending pop culture phenom Andrej Pejic. Although Buckingham Palace would not provide any further details about either the guest list or RSVPs when we checked overnight, Pejic's Australian agency Chadwick confirms that he will definitely be attending. The big question, of course, is just what will Pejic wear for such an occasion? UPDATE 14/10: A demure little black dress and waist-length hair extensions is the answer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amanda Ware and Jordan Coulter cover Wish

We might not have seen Amanda Ware at any Milan Fashion Week shows this week, but she booked a solid showlist at this month's New York and London Fashion Weeks. And the Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 6 winner is about to score her second cover in four months of The Australian's luxury magazine Wish - alongside Jordan Coulter, another rising local star. Here is an exclusive preview of the October Wish cover and accompanying editorial which showcases brands including Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Lensed by Pierre Toussaint, with styling by Ken Thompson. On newsstands October 7th. 

Mambo Italiano

rose smith, dolce e gabbana SS12/getty via daylife

If fashion weeks were like marathons and they awarded a medal for every show finisher in the Big Four fashion cities, Australian models would be buying some extra suitcases right about now to repatriate their hauls. Welcome to the business end of the Spring/Summer 2012 season. Milan wrapped yesterday, Paris starts today and a clear antipodian vanguard has emerged. Milan and Paris are where the big luxury brands are headquartered and this season the Italians chose 12 Australians to showcase their wares (out of a total of 34 who have also appeared on the runways of New York and London over the past three weeks). Abbey Lee Kershaw might not have the SS12 show numbers - she ditched New York Fashion Week altogether, due to New York commitments with her band, Our Mountain - but her showlist reads like a Who's Who of fashion. With 49 shows already under her belt, Julia Nobis could well finish as one of the season's busiest catwalkers. Rising stars include Rose Smith, whose biggest claim to runway fame as of February this year was David Jones. In the interim she has walked for such prestigious names as Chanel (x three shows), Fendi and in Milan this week, Dolce e Gabbana. Here are the updated showlists, with the Milan shows marked in red.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fantastic four

antonio marras SS12 backstage/sonny vandevelde
Here are four key members of the new Australian modelling force that has been powering ahead on the runways of New York, London and now Milan for the Spring/Summer 2012 season, as documented by frockwriter over the past fortnight. Shot backstage by Sonny Vandevelde at yesterday's Antonio Marras show, they are, from left: Dempsey Stewart, Caitlin Lomax, Codie Young and Rose Smith. There was a fifth Australian in the same show, not pictured here - Chrystal Copland. All under 21, in demand and having the time of their lives, they are among at least 31 Australians who have been carving up the SS12 show circuit, on many other occasions walking in the same shows. Milan Fashion Week is, however, missing one promising Australian newcomer, Krystal Glynn. The very same model who claims that she recently turned down Italian luxury brand Prada for its Resort 2012 lookbook and campaign, who made an impressive debut at New York Fashion Week and in whom sources say there was significant casting interest in both Milan and Paris. Where is Glynn? Back home celebrating her 17th birthday and a camping holiday with her family. Lomax, meanwhile, scored not only the Prada Resort lookbook, apparently in Glynn's place, but a slot in Prada's SS12 runway show, alongside Abbey Lee Kershaw and Julia Nobis.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time out London

abbey lee kershaw backstage at burberry SS12/burberry's twitpic

The Spring/Summer 2012 shows rolled on at London Fashion Week, traditionally a bit of a breather between the far bigger and busier New York and Milan schedules. The latter put further than usual strain on the London event this season, with Marc Jacobs pushing his show back by three days, prompting many models to miss LFW's first day. Further demands were made by Gucci - whose show is today - dragging many girls to Milan at the end of the week. Nevertheless, 14 Australian models did the London shows, with Abbey Lee Kershaw, Catherine McNeil and Bambi Northwood-Blyth touching down in the SS12 season for the first time. Contrary to reports that McNeil had not done a runway show for two and a half years, in fact September 2010 was the last time we saw her on the circuit. Expect to see more antipodians in Milan and Paris, where many are already positioned attending castings and fittings.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Manhattan transfer

krystal glynn at theyskens' theory SS12/getty via daylife
It was hard to miss the Australians in New York over the past week. In what is shaping up as another record season, by frockwriter's count at least 27 28 29 of them stalked the Spring/Summer 2012 runways of New York Fashion Week. On numerous occasions, they were cast alongside other compatriots. Six were cast at Richard Chai, for instance, with five at Marc Jacobs. Not counting a rapidly-expanding Kiwi posse led by Emily Baker, Jessica Clarke and Georgia Fowler, who did many of the same shows. No sign of the better-established Oz names Abbey Lee Kershaw and Catherine McNeil, even though McNeil was spotted at at least one casting, for Rag & Bone. Or for that matter, Bambi Northwood-Blyth, who made such a promising international start this time last year. Carving up the circuit in their place was a new Aussie power pack headed up by Julia Nobis, Codie Young, Dempsey Stewart, Rose Smith, Melissa Johannsen, Ruby-Jean Wilson, Ajak Deng and Amanda Ware, with a swag of new names getting their first bites of the Big Apple. The latter included Krystal Glynn, Nicole Pollard, Sarah Lorimer, Claire Collins, Chrystal Copland, Caris Tiivel and Philippa Gleeson. Fantastic to see two models who are well-established on Australia's runways, finally venturing onto the New York stage: Simone Kerr and Eliza Humble. After the Red Eye to Heathrow overnight, it starts all over again today at London Fashion Week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Andrej Pejic channels Marilyn Monroe

screen cap 'norman jean'
It was only a matter of time. After making fashion history in January in Paris by closing Jean Paul Gaultier's haute couture presentation as the traditional bride and thence gussied up for a gazillion photoshoots and indie videos, someone finally got fashion's favourite cross-dresser, Andrej Pejic, to do a Marilyn - Monroe that is. Called, hilariously, Norman Jean, this video was commissioned by Milk Made, the online editorial arm of New York's Milk Studios, from Love Cat magazine's Prince Chenoa and Jacob Dekat, working in tandem with filmmaker Jenna Elizabeth. Styling is courtesy Sex and The City costumier Patricia Field. It depicts bare-chested Pejic in a blonde wig and corset, chanelling Monroe during one of her most iconic moments: singing 'Happy Birthday, Mr President' to John F Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in May 1962, three months before her death.

Six Australians and a Kiwi walked into a show....

richard chai SS12 backstage/sonny vandevelde

So New York Fashion Week is up and running and the so-called ‘Australasian invasion’ of its runways got off to a cracking start again on Thursday, the week's official kickoff. Six Australian models walked the Richard Chai show which, as some may recall, was opened by Aussie newbie Dempsey Stewart last season. Stewart walked Chai’s runway for the second consecutive season, flanked on this occasion by Julia Nobis, Codie Young, Ajak Deng, Rose Smith and Krystal Glynn, in her international runway debut. Joining them was New Zealand modelling sensation Emily Baker, the breakout star of the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 shows. With 26 models in the show, that's almost one third of Chai's cast hailing from the antipodes. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Westfield spreads the LOVE

Now we know the name Katie Grand probably means diddly squat to the average Australian punter and, notably, the hordes of shoppers that Westfield is no doubt hoping will invade its gleaming new Pitt Street Mall development tonight for Vogue Australia's Fashion's Night Out festivities. But since frockwriter believes we left the punters behind when we were blogging for and and we now have a hardcore fashion audience that knows its shit, we thought our readers would get a chuckle out of this first look at a new magazine that the world's largest listed shopping mall developer is handing out tonight in Sydney. Behold the cover of the first issue of the Westfield magazine, 100,000 copies of which have been published for Westfield by, amusingly, Vogue rival, ACP Custom Media.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Action Jackson

johan sandberg via

So the Spring/Summer 2012 shows kick off in New York overnight. As anticipated, a contingent of antipodian models is in situ, preparing to sink its teeth into the season. Some are international runway vets, others newbies, eager for a blockbuster first season. After turning down one blue chip European brand for two recent shoots and planning to wait until January to head offshore, Penrith’s own Krystal Glynn has had a change of heart and is in New York now. Stand by to see just where she pops up over the next four weeks. Ditto 17 year-old Brisbanite Nicole Pollard. Both Glynn and Pollard have been nominated by influential New York casting director Michelle Lee as two of Lee's top 12 new girls to watch for the season. Joining this burgeoning Aussie/Kiwi model posse is Jade Jackson from Melbourne. Modelling for one year, the 20 year old former nursing student, who is repped by Viviens in Australia and One Management in New York, was so under the radar in February this year, she managed to walk in 10 Fall/Winter 2011/2012 shows, including Richard Nicoll, Jaeger and Haider Ackermann, unbeknownst to most Australian modelwatchers (including frockwriter).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Huffer's flag dance

Another day, another US flag-waving collection in Auckland. Following Trelise Cooper’s True Blood-inspired Cooper show on Wednesday, yesterday sportswear outfit Huffer wrapped one black model in a US flag and sent US-born, Auckland-based celebrity and Ralph covergirl Aja Rock out onto the runway in a US-flag-emblazoned birthday cake and itsy bitsy string bikini. Rock is the daughter of US music producer Bob Rock, who has worked with Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and David Bowie among many others. Dubbed “Golden Days”, the collection was supposedly inspired by the “Golden Days of Communist Russia” and also included Kiwi model Michael Whittaker swathed in a Soviet Union flag. Whittaker, whose nose was broken 30 times during an altercation following last year’s Stolen Girlfriends Club show, has clearly made a remarkable recovery. Some cute knit dresses, colourblocked anoraks, plaid shirting and platform brogues with crafty, colourblocked espadrille platforms (which frockwriter is dubbing espadrogues - dead ringers for a shoe done by Prada for Spring/Summer 2011), but the cheesy girl-in-a-birthday-cake stunt stole the show, which was presumably the intention in a bid to boost publicity and was so very reminiscent of Pamela Anderson’s 2009 sortie at the event.

Zambesi's World Cup

The Rugby World Cup is just a week from kickoff in New Zealand, so it’s hardly surprising that some of its athletic chic appears to have rubbed off on the locals. The focal point of Zambesi’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was an oh-so-sportif fluorescent yellow, that Zambesi patriarch Neville Findlay quipped to frockwriter backstage has seen his wife, business partner and the brand’s womenswear director, Elisabeth Findlay, move into “high vis Liz” gear for the season. He may not not be wrong on the collection's visibility factor. This was a strong collection from Zambesi, arguably one of its best ever. Deconstructed sportswear is the fulcrum of this brand’s DNA, on this occasion given a shot of adrenalin with a unisex vibe and the eye-popping palette, that also included an electric kingfisher blue. Opening with a slick, Mod-like black knitwear series slashed with fluoro yellow banding, then followed a fluoro yellow mens anorak – courtesy menswear designer Dayne Johnston – that will no doubt be equally coveted by women and a loose fluoro yellow and black womens’ sweater dress that looked like an oversized footy jumper filched from the bf. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cooper's Lite

All backstage media were kicked out just as Trelise Cooper's show was due to start yesterday. So, given that our runway photo skills tend to be hit and miss, the best shots we managed to take were the first looks from Cooper's Cooper diffusion range which opened. Cute show, whose opening number - Jace Everett's True Blood theme toon 'Bad Things'- had everyone tapping their toes. The military jackets, denim blousons, nubby wool high-waisted trousers, prairie shirts embellished with smocking or bullion fringing and microshorts galore, in American flag-printed denim and crochet, seemed tailor-made for True Blood's feisty fairy Sookie Stackhouse, who is played by Canadian-born Kiwi Anna Paquin, even if the pretty, drop-waisted teadresses with fruit prints were probably a little too virginal for same. Frockwriter couldn't help including two shots from Cooper's palate cleanser in between the Cooper and Trelise Cooper shows: an army of models in black blazers and corsets/knickers. Minus the word "boardroom" printed across the models' derrières, it was a knockoff of Dolce e Gabbana's finale for the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 show in Milan in February 2010. Here is a photo gallery, best viewed on the blog. The final shot is from the original Dolce e Gabbana show.  

Her name is Lola. She was a showgirl

Kia Ora from sunny/rainy/sunny/rainy Auckland, where frockwriter is, once again, the guest of the organisers of New Zealand Fashion Week. Due to other commitments, we only touched down yesterday so missed some early shows. Beyond the event's spectacular new digs at the newly-unveiled Viaduct Events Centre, what has struck us so far is the fact that while it's not at all unusual to see Oz models on NZ runways, on this occasion, they seem a little more prominent than usual. To wit, Krystal Glynn, the face of Zambesi's Spring/Summer 2011/2012 campaign and also the covergirl of New Zealand Fashion Week's official 2011 handbook (bottom). Glynn is already en route to New York so won't be attending. Another Aussie will be opening tonight's Zambesi show - Lola Van Vorst. The name sounds familiar? A contestant on Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 5, Van Vorst has barely done any modelling in the interim, moving instead behind the camera as a photographer. But she suddenly finds herself much in demand in front of the lens. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hailey Clauson was 14 when she posed for this shot, but apparently only some of her more recent work is "blatantly salacious"

kava gorna

Another day, another tabloid scandal involving controversial fashion images of an underage model. On Friday The New York Post broke the news that American Hailey Clauson has commenced proceedings in the New York federal court against American photographer Jason Lee Parry and three US retailers, including the US streetwear chain Urban Outfitters, over the sale of merchandise featuring sexually provocative images of Clauson that were shot by Parry when Clauson was 15. Clauson, who turned 16 in March this year - and last December, told New York magazine that she still sleeps with her baby blanket - is seeking US$28million in damages. Court papers claim that although Clauson’s representation at the time, New York’s Ford Models, obtained an assurance from Parry that the images would not be published, the shots were subsequently published in Germany’s Qvest magazine and several of the images later appeared on T-shirts and other merchandise, all without Clauson’s consent. The court papers allege that “She is posed in a blatantly salacious manner with her legs spread, without a bra, revealing portions of her breasts. The image of Teen in a spread eagle position making her crotch area the focal point of the image may portray a child in a sexually suggestive manner and may be in violation of one or more federal and/or state laws”. But are we talking about the louche image, above, of Clauson with her legs spread? No. Below is the image in question in the New York federal court case, which also references another Parry shot in which Clauson is holding a six-pack of beer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What does Andrej Pejic have to do to make the cover of Vogue Australia?

gazelle paulo/freak chic

Andrej Pejic’s first modelling job was a cover shoot – for Oyster’s 77th edition, back in 2008, flanked by a phalanx of male and female models. And while many cover tries never make it to page one, one of Pejic’s Oyster shots did, together with two of the women. It’s fair to say, however, that very few in the Australian industry knew who he was at this time and he was by no means the sole focus of the story. Fast track to August 2011 and Pejic has appeared on no less than eight international magazine covers in the space of six months: Zeit Magazin (February), Photo (March), Dossier Journal (Spring 2011), Citizen K (Spring 2011), Carbon Copy (Spring 2011), L’Officiel Ukraine (June 2011), Follow #5 and just this week, the very high-profile New York magazine, as one of four covers of the magazine’s Fall 2011 fashion special. Here is a photo gallery of all nine covers (best viewed on the blog): 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kate Moss's pint-sized photo bomber is punk royalty

US vogue tumblr
US Vogue nabbed a world exclusive in last month's nuptials of Kate Moss and The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince in the UK. This week the magazine unveiled its portfolio of wedding images shot by Mario Testino and an accompanying feature penned by Hamish Bowles, which provide further insights into the lavish £1million bash. Vogue's photo captions also reveal the identity of the wedding's breakout star: the little brunette flowergirl with the pixie haircut who was clinging to Moss in every photo taken outside the church and who indeed, even in Testino's official portrait of the bridal party (above, below), is still hanging onto Moss for dear life. According to Vogue, she is Ava Jones, no other info. But a little digging reveals that Ava and her fellow flowergirl sister Stella, are none other than the progeny of British punk legend Mick Jones, co-founder of The Clash, and producer Miranda Davis.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Flynn Bloom likes the limelight, Miranda Kerr thinks her drug-free labour was "a bit crazy"

Miranda Kerr is in town, as you know, spruiking David Jones. Below is a quick video chat backstage after last Wednesday’s runway show starring Kerr, in which she concedes that she found the prospect of doing the DJs' show in a swimsuit just seven months after giving birth “a little nerve-wracking” and confirms that she will be back on Victoria’s Secret runway later in the year. When asked what is the best thing about motherhood, Kerr notes “Everything, I just love it. There’s no word that could describe the joy and loveliness that it is to be a mother”. Undergoing a 27 hour labour without drugs may have given the supermod pause for some reflection however. She told frockwriter, “I was kind of a bit crazy not to but you know, I’d made my mind up and I’ll probably just see how I go next time”. As for Flynn, arguably the most overexposed baby on the planet right now, Kerr reveals that it’s a tough job trying not to give paps their money shots whenever she’s been out and about with Flynn in recent months. “You try your best to avoid it but it’s inevitable. And he was really into it. I tried to like, protect him but he comes around [flicks her head around, mimicking Flynn] because he likes the light”.

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