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.

To be fair to Glynn, unlike many aspiring models who eagerly send in photos to agencies in the hope of being signed - in the majority of cases, only to be disappointed - she was minding her own business sunbaking on Bondi Beach in March, when Sydney-based agent Lincoln Ferguson first spotted her and asked had she ever considered modelling.

With multiple Australian magazine and fashion ad campaign/lookbook bookings to follow immediately afterwards, as well as Australian Fashion Week shows, Glynn hit the ground running. You could almost call her a reluctant star. Save for the fact that, according to Ferguson, she quit school in mid 2011 to model fulltime and has been working nonstop for the past five months.    

The financial rewards of modelling can be immense. But let's face it, it's an intensively competitive profession, with immense pressures and a high percentage of its workforce is teenage. To the average kid entering the business and their family, it may well look like an industry populated by wankers and bozos. In many cases, of course, they'd be right. 

So, could it all be happening a little bit too quickly for Glynn? Or is she perhaps just the latest Australian model to insist on self managing her career, ignoring advice from agents and minders?

As various agents and casting directors told me in this feature about the rise of Australian models for The Australian's Wish magazine, a large part of the international appeal of Australian girls is that, over and above their work ethic, they are easy to work with, friendly and generally 'low maintenance'. And yet some Australian models have earned reputations for being a tad more difficult. They include Tallulah Morton, Cassi van den Dungen, Stephanie Carta and Catherine McNeil. 
Glynn, who hails from the blue collar Sydney suburb of Penrith, told The Sunday Telegraph last weekend, "I wasn't ready to shoot Prada so I turned it down, but I hope the opportunity to work with them will come around again... I would also love to work with Louis Vuitton".
So would a million others.  


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