Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bella Barber gets her best blue steel on for KAREN

Here is a first look at yet another edgy cover from Marian Simms' now Bali-based Australasian fashion title KAREN - issue #12, Winter 2012 This time shot by Troyt Coburn, styled by Michael Azzollini and starring Kiwi expat Annabella 'Bella' Barber. Repped by Nova in Auckland and Priscilla's in Sydney, Barber is rapidly emerging as an indie cover queen. This is her second KAREN cover and she has previously appeared on the covers of Oyster in Australia and No in New Zealand. Not to mention a recent cadaverous cameo in Kanye West's controversial new Monster video clip. Here is the accompanying editorial called 'Steel'. (And just a reminder that some some RSS subscribers may have problems viewing this photo gallery. Best to view on the blog). 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"We need fashion to catch up to women of size" - Velvet d'Amour

steven meisel for vogue italia
Much has been written about this month’s Vogue Italia cover story of three plus sized models: Americans Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine and Australian Robyn Lawley. Frockwriter covered the story here. Above and below is the remainder of the accompanying fashion editorial. This edition has been hailed as a watershed moment in the body image debate by some, including Australian commentator Mia Freedman, the chair of Australia’s National Body Image Advisory Group, who noted: “Huzzah! An Australian size 14 is on the cover of Italian Vogue”. Others weren't quite so perky. “Topless plus size women equals empowerment?” asked womens’ advocate Melinda Tankard Reist. Some suggested the move was tokenistic. While others lamented the fact that the women had been photographed semi-nude in lingerie, which only served to reinforce, they noted, the sexualised cliché of larger women and porn. What says plus size icon Velvet d’Amour? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wild orchid - Emma Balfour tones it up for David Lawrence Spring/Summer 2011/2012

David Lawrence evidently has a thing for women of a certain age. The 33 year-old Australian sportswear brand has chosen iconic fortysomething Australian model Emma Balfour as its campaign face for the second consecutive season. Herewith an exclusive preview of the Spring/Summer 2011/2012 advertising campaign shot by Australian fashion photographer Georges Antoni at one of the penthouses of Sydney bar/restaurant complex The Ivy. This is the second brand campaign orchestrated by new David Lawrence creative director Anthony Cuthbertson and his first full collection for the brand, which is owned by M Webster Holdings and has 101 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Cuthbertson brings considerable design experience to the job. The UK-born graduate of Leicester's De Montfort University and London’s Royal College of Art has spent a decade working as either creative director or designer at such well-known brands as Max Mara and Sportsmax, Moncler, Daks (creative director 2000-2006), Workers for Freedom, Burlington, Rene Lezard and Amanda Wakeley.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LOVE in the time of dysmorphia

Frockwriter thought it seemed a little odd that Britain's Love magazine removed last Tuesday's shot of Australasian model Catherine McNeil from its Twitter feed. Originally published on the Condé Nast-owned magazine's TwitPic account (a photo hosting service connected to Twitter), together with the caption "Catherine McNeil is back!", the Tweet was nowhere to be found on Thursday. Coincidentally, earlier that day, we had published the original - apparently unretouched - series of digital shots of McNeil that were taken by McNeil's New York agency, Ford Models - and which had been supplied to Love earlier in the week. But while the shot slipped off Love's Twitter feed, the image had already been reposted by several web forums and blogs, including frockwriter and remains cached on Google images. Oh, and Love also neglected to remove it from the magazine's separate TwitPic feed. What's problematic about this shot? Could it have anything to do with the fact that a quick comparison of the two images suggests some Photoshop magic has been worked on McNeil's left arm? The version published by Love is on the left, above, with the original on the right. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Catherine McNeil is iconic for her generation" - Doll Wright

ford models

Well at least one mystery has been solved regarding Catherine McNeil - one of Australia's best-known modelling exports who has been on a bit of a self-imposed career hiatus for much of the past year and who, as it now emerges, also boasts New Zealand citizenship and travels on a Kiwi passport. The photo of McNeil that was Tweeted two days ago by Britain's Love magazine, together with the caption "Catherine McNeil is back!", was not part of any upcoming photoshoot for the magazine, but one of a handful of new digital shots of McNeil that have just been taken by McNeil's new New York management, Ford Models (curiously, the shot appears to have now been removed by Love). Here are the rest, supplied by Ford, which contacted us overnight for a little damage control, presumably not terribly happy with Timo Weiland's unfortunate Twitter shot of McNeil that we published yesterday. But while Love has yet to book her, newly-minted Ford Models agent Doll Wright tells frockwriter that McNeil has just shot 25 pages with a major photographer for a major international fashion title. 

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.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Robyn Lawley covers Vogue Italia

steven meisel for vogue italia via bella model management

When Australian Robyn Lawley recently landed the cover of ELLE France's 'curvy' issue, frockwriter mentioned that she had just been shot for the June edition of another, even more prestigious European title by one of the biggest names in fashion photography. They don't come much bigger than Vogue Italia and Steven Meisel. Congratulations to Lawley, who appears on the June 2011 cover of Vogue Italia (above, far right) with two other plus-sized models, Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine. Lawley, an Australian size 14, is also prominently featured inside the issue, in the remainder of the Meisel-lensed cover story (see another shot, below), but also in an only-girl editorial shot by Pierpaulo Ferrari (see further down for three behind-the-scenes images from that shoot, taken by Lawley). Lawley has more high fashion gigs on the horizon, having just shot with Max Doyle back home in Australia.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Right said TED

What a joy TEDxSydney 2011 was on Saturday. It’s the closest this journo has ever been to the TED experience and I was lucky enough to be invited along for the second year. For anyone unfamiliar with TED, the acronym stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design” and it’s a US think tank that has been organised by the non-profit Sapling Foundation since 1984, throwing the stage over to thinkers, educators, visionaries or anyone, really, with “ideas worth spreading” - and just 18 minutes in which to deliver same. Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of local, independently-organised events designed to provide a “TED-like experience”. Sydney retail pioneer Remo Giuffré, who has been attending TED since 1993, is the TEDxSydney licensee. So who knocked our socks off on Saturday? Twenty-four inspiring speakers and performers, from inventor Saul Griffith to astronomer Bryan Gaensler, geneticist Richard Cotton, conductor and educator Richard Gill, Consciousness Philosopher David Chalmers, historian Grace Karskens, avian behaviourist Josh Cook and Daniel Johns, who delivered an emotional performance with filmmaker collaborator Josh Wakely. 

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