Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cassi van den Dungen won't be doing RAFW because she's four months pregnant

One face that we won't be seeing at next week's Rosemount Australian Fashion Week is 18 year-old Cassi van den Dungen. That's because van den Dungen is four months pregnant and is taking a year off from modelling. Although suspicions first arose that something was up several days ago, yesterday's publication of an interview with van den Dungen and her fiancé Brad Saul in the Australian edition of OK magazine, announcing the pregnancy, appears to have completely flown under the radar - no doubt due to the Royal wedding media frenzy. Van den Dungen managed to keep her pregnancy a secret at last month's Melbourne Fashion Festival, where these photos (above, below) were taken. No mean feat, considering how body-hugging some of the garments were.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Order of the Phoenix

thom kerr

Well Rosemount Australian Fashion Week is four days away but as has now become tradition in the leadup to the event, a vibrant off-schedule week of Sydney shows is underway. Yesterday, Life With Bird and Thurley unveiled their Spring/Summer 2011/2012 collections. This morning, it was Carla Zampatti’s turn, followed by tonight’s Ginger & Smart and Phoenix Keating shows. Phoenix who? The 20 year-old eveningwear designer from Sydney’s Bellevue Hill, who is now in his second season, will be making his runway debut tonight at Sydney’s Luxe Studios. Keating did a part-time TAFE patternmaking course while still at school, before receiving private tuition from retired Australian costume designer Jenny Clarke. He also spent one and a half years as an assistant to Australian makeup artist Jody Oliver, who is doing tonight’s show. Others giving a helping hand tonight include his first cousin, Sydney fashion PR queen Marie-Claude Mallat; Deni Hines, his sole client, who will be performing; and upwardly mobile Sydney-based fashion photographer Thom Kerr, who shot this portfolio of images to accompany the collection - starring new face Krystal Glynn. Keating looks to be sufficiently talented to make it on his own without name-dropping, but it is nevertheless worth noting one fascinating bit of bio trivia: five years ago, he discovered that his biological grandfather was the late Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Answers on an Abbey Lee Kershaw postcard

kamel rachedi

She has been photographed by the best in the business. Now comes Abbey Lee Kershaw like you have never seen her before: as an illustrated postcard or greeting card, courtesy under-the-radar French illustrator Kamel Rachedi. This illustration has just popped up on Rachedi’s portfolio on online art community Red Bubble, where it's being offered as a postcard or greeting card (AUD 2.52) or one of various prints (AUD 18.00). And Kershaw isn’t the only supermod to have been sketched by Rachedi. Edita Vilkeviciute, Lily Donaldson and Naomi Campbell also feature in Rachedi's portfolio (that’s Vilkeviciute and Campbell, below, with the uncropped version of ALK). Rachedi does not appear to have a dedicated blog, but it's probably not a bad idea as the blogosphere has proven to be a tremendous springboard for emerging illustrators. Two cases in point: illustrator/bloggers Garance Doré and Danny Roberts, both of whose careers were launched via blogs.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Catherine did Next

christian dior RTW FW0809/sonny vandevelde via TFS

Catherine McNeil might still be listed as the world number 24 on’s Top 50 Women list, but we have not seen much work from her of late. In fact a Vogue Australia cover in February this year, her fifth Vogue Australia cover, appears to be the highlight of her 2011 portfolio so far – after a stellar 2010 that saw McNeil book, among many other jobs, four advertising campaigns: Givenchy Fall/Winter 2010 ready to wear and Narciso Rodriguez, Carolina Herrera and Lanca fragrances. And all of this in spite of the fact that she had skipped several international show seasons. But there has been some movement on McNeil’s profile. Her New York agency is now listed as Ford, as opposed to Next Model Management, which is the agency that launched McNeil's international career in 2006. Although still has McNeil listed with Next’s affiliate agencies in London, Milan and Paris, Stephen Lee, McNeil’s former agent at Next, told frockwriter that, as of yesterday, Next no longer represented McNeil in any market. “We wish Catherine all the best for the future both personally and professionally” is all tight-lipped Lee would say. So, did she jump or was she pushed?  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dress circle: Leona Edmiston celebrates a decade of frocks

Congratulations to Leona Edmiston and Jeremy Ducker on the 10th anniversary of their fashion label. The occasion was celebrated yesterday at a small lunch in the Boathouse restaurant, which is located directly above Sydney University’s Women’s Rowing Club boatshed on Glebe's Blackwattle Bay. It was also an opportunity to unveil Edmiston’s Spring/Summer 2011/2012 collection, 12 very pretty dresses from which were modelled by Tania Pozzebom, Caris Tiivel and Tiah Eckhardt [L to R, above]. Australia’s answer to Diane von Furstenberg, Edmiston’s hero product is the dress. In fact, that's all she makes. “By focussing on the one thing, we’ve been able to remain independent and grow at our own pace” Edmiston told her lunch guests. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ben Pollitt is taking a break
A few Rosemount Australian Fashion Week shows are still up in the air ahead of this Thursday’s release of the official schedule by organisers IMG Fashion Asia Pacific. In the interim, see frockwriter’s preview of what's on. But one name will definitely not be among the late additions: Friedrich Gray. That’s because Ben Pollitt, the designer behind the Sydney-based label, has ceased production – temporarily, we are assured, by his spokeswoman Rae Begley, who confirmed that Pollitt “is definitely taking a break”. Although retailer Belinda Seper, Pollitt’s mentor and former employer, told us she was unaware that Pollitt had produced an Autumn/Winter 2011 range, according to Begley he did do a “small injection” for winter. But there is no Spring/Summer 2011/2012 collection and for the moment, it is unclear just when Pollitt will be resuming work.

Friday, April 8, 2011

RAFW Spring/Summer 2011/2012 - The commuter edition

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Australia's most high profile fashion event, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, runs from May 2-6. As per tradition, frockwriter has been making a list and checking it twice, ahead of the official release by organiser IMG Fashion Asia Pacific. Two years may have passed since the abbreviated "Recessionista edition", but that does not mean that retail is still not incredibly tough. Or that sponsors are not thin on the ground. Two longstanding RAFW partners will not be showing: Nicola Finetti, who has shown at the event every year since its 1996 launch and New Zealand's Zambesi. You can catch them in their showrooms. Also AWOL this season: Friedrich Gray, with designer Ben Pollitt taking a break from not just RAFW, but in fact putting his label on ice. The good news: among the big names showing are two of Australia's best-known designers, both returning to the schedule after several years showing in New York and London - Toni Maticevski and Josh Goot. Update 21/04: Good to see that Romance Was Born finally got over the line with its show plans. Although technically not on schedule, their slot is the next best thing: an unofficial kickoff to the week on the afternoon of Sunday May 1st. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Robyn Lawley covers ELLE France

One of the strengths of the Australian modelling industry, say industry insiders in New York, is its extraordinary versatility. "You cross every section - you have sexy, you have edgy, you have androgynous, you have it all” Elite Model Management's Doll Wright tells frockwriter. Add curvy to that list. Twenty-one year-old Robyn Lawley has just pulled off what no other plus-size Australian model has thus far managed to do: score the cover of an international fashion title. Here is Lawley on the cover of French ELLE’s ‘Spécial Rondes’ issue, which has just hit the newsstands. She also appears on 10 other pages inside the issue. Even more exciting: on Monday and Tuesday this week in New York, we can reveal that Lawley, an Australian size 14, shot an editorial and cover try for the June issue of far more prestigious European fashion title, with one of fashion's biggest photographic names. Yes, the shoot was for a plus-size story. But give her time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Krystal formation

justin smith

So Australia's biggest fashion event, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, is just around the corner (May 2-6). Which new faces might it springboard? Frockwriter is betting that Krystal Glynn will be among them. Spotted on Bondi Beach a week ago by The Agency's Lincoln Ferguson, the 5'11" 16 year-old Penrith schoolgirl has, reports Ferguson, already been photographed by David Shields for New Zealand's Black Magazine and shoots tomorrow with Christopher Morris for the same title, with a booking from Rene Vaile to shoot for Oyster and Holly Blake for another magazine. And she is about to be signed to New York agency DNA. "It's a scouter's paradise" says Ferguson of his Bondi HQ, where he stumbled upon Glynn stretched out on the sand, soaking up the sun in a vintage white crochet one-piece. "Everyone walking past was stopping and staring at her, she was oblivious to everything. I thought I was looking at a shot from RUSSH or old school Vogue from the 1980s”.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mother and son

So Myer celebrated its 100th birthday, simultaneously unveiling the A$300million Bourke Street flagship store revamp, with a million dollar party last night. Arguably the biggest star of the night was Melbourne modelling sensation Andrej Pejic accompanied by his proud mum Jadranka Savic, who looked beautiful in a custom-made black Grecian-style gown by Jane Lamerton. Kitted out in embellished gold trousers and tuxedo jacket by Yeojin Bae and towering black platform boots, Pejic's extravagant up-do was inspired, he told The Melbourne Herald Sun, by Helena Bonham Carter's character Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Noted Pejic, "I watched it on the plane and I'm like, that's the hair that I want". 

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