Sunday, May 1, 2011

Carla Zampatti's fair ladies

Frockwriter hears that Carla Zampatti had to have her arm twisted to use the basement of her Kent Street headquarters as a show venue on Thursday. Originally used in the late 1800s as a carriageway for horse-drawn vehicles, but now serving as Zampatti's garage, presumably the Australian fashion industry veteran figured the crumbling industrial interior was not sufficiently chi-chi for her classic, uptown designs. Celebrating her 46th year of business this year, good to see Zampatti take advice from a younger creative generation. The space was not unlike many edgy show venues that you would see at London Fashion Week. And stylist Michelle Jank made full use of the 19th century brickwork, using it as the backdrop for a model tableau that was choreographed at the end of the show. Wearing the strikingly elegant eveningwear from Zampatti’s 'Strength of Simplicity' Spring/Summer 2011/2012 collection, which included columns with sporty necklines in tangerine, cobalt, black and ivory and a pretty short shell pink taffeta puffball dress - all teamed with beautiful, Beaton-esque picture hat-like silk georgette headpieces from Jonathan Howard ‘Hatmaker’ - the models draped themselves over chairs and ladders at the end of the runway. The image evoked the iconic Cecil Beaton photograph of models in Christian Dior’s 1957 collection, which has been copied a number of times by fashion magazines - one example of which we spotted backstage as reference. 

Although the name of Jank's magazine reference escapes us, the models appear to include Kirsten Owen, Stella Tennant and Naomi Campbell, which dates it. See below for the Beaton original, Jank's reference and a shot of Zampatti's finale, which is a dead ringer for the magazine image in more ways than one.

Although it is unclear who else may have been involved in the production, interesting that Jank would choose to return to this concept.

In May 2005, she copped quite some flack after both the staging and styling of her off-schedule Australian Fashion Week show, which was produced by Tony Assness and Victoria Fisher, was seen to bear a little too much of  a resemblance to Viktor & Rolf’s Spring/Summer 2005 ‘Flowerbomb’ show, that had been presented six months beforehand in Paris. Also apparently inspired by the 1957 Beaton photograph, the Viktor & Rolf show was similarly set against a backdrop of ladders. 

via jonathan howard 'hatmaker''s facebook

cecil beaton, 1957 - time life/getty images via


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