Thursday, June 9, 2011

Catherine McNeil is a Kiwi

timo weiland's twitter

Catherine McNeil is one of Australia's best-known modelling exports. The winner of the 2003 Girlfriend Model Search, at age 14, McNeil debuted on's prestigious Top 50 Women list at number 26 in early 2007, the year her international career was springboarded via covers of both Vogue Paris and the American V Magazine. But who knew McNeil also had New Zealand citizenship? Apparently not even some in her Australian mother agency, Chic Management, until frockwriter's phone call this afternoon enquiring about an image of McNeil that was just taken by New York-based designer Timo Weiland and published on Twitter. In the rather unflattering shot, a cigarette dangling from her lips, McNeil is holding what looks to be a bottle of Corona beer in one hand and a New Zealand passport in the other. The Brisbane suburb of Coopers Plains is clearly stated as her place of birth, which would give McNeil automatic Australian citizenship by birthright - although that said, due to changes to Australia's citizenship legislation in 1986, only if one parent was an Australian citizen or had permanent residency. According to Chic Management, McNeil's maternal grandmother is a Kiwi and McNeil's mother spent many years living in New Zealand. We await further information.  

But what of McNeil's modelling career?

We know she recently defected from Chic's New York affiliate Next Management to Ford (and sources claim she recently attempted to move back).

Yesterday British magazine Love Tweeted a much prettier image of McNeil (below), with the caption "Catherine McNeil is back!" - suggesting that perhaps McNeil may be about to be featured in an upcoming edition of the magazine. 
If Catherine McNeil is "back", then for the moment that is apparently news to some in the industry, notably Although by July last year, McNeil had risen to the world number 12 spot on MDC's Top 50 Women list, in the interim she has progressively slipped further down the rankings, only to be totally wiped off the list altogether in recent weeks. 

love magazine's twitter

Australian model-turned-actor-and blogger Tanja Gacic recently asked me if models are "fair game"

Gacic mentioned that she had first heard about frockwriter via the controversy arising over several posts which discussed the antics of several Australian models in their down time, out and about in nightclubs and at parties.

I assumed she was talking about posts such as this and this.

My response to Gacic: models are public figures. It is their choice to pursue high profile careers. This blog covers fashion news. Not all of it is going to be good. To quote a cliché, we don't make the news, just report it.

If you are a model and you going to allow yourself to be photographed off duty and you know that these images are destined for the public domain, then it's worth bearing in mind that they are likely to be scrutinised. And it's probably not a bad idea to think about your image. Because the prestige brands that you are hoping will pay you big bucks to be their ambassadors take theirs pretty seriously. 


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