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. 

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