Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kimbra from The Block

richard freeman for KAREN magazine
It’s been a big year for Kimbra. Two Grammy nominations, five New Zealand Music Awards, three ARIAs, two APRAs, 38million views of her own YouTube channel - not to mention 354million views of her cameo in Somebody That I Used to Know, the global hit penned by her Belgralian buddy Gotye, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and topped charts in 18 countries – spending eight consecutive weeks at No 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chartLittle wonder the telegenic Kiwi is also rapidly emerging as a fashion star, increasingly visible in magazine features, fashion editorials and of course on all those red carpets. Her latest sartorial sortie is a 14-page spread in the 14th edition of indie quarterly Australian title KAREN, which is due out in a few days. 

Titled Betty Parade, no, it's not a nod to Betty Draper, in spite of the mid century mood of the story. “Betty parade” is in fact a snatch from the lyrics of Somebody Please, a hidden track at the end of Kimbra’s debut album Vows.

Shot by Richard Freeman, Bex Sheers played fashion director, with makeup by Sina Velke and hair by Richard Kavanagh.

KAREN editor Marian Sims tells frockwriter that Betty Parade follows the story of a girl from humbling beginnings who yearns to escape 'the projects' and do something with her life. She makes a rendez-vous with a man in a city hotel, but he fails to show. 

Wim Wenders' 1984 film Paris, Texas was also an inspiration, according to Freeman, who shot the story in and around Sydney, at a public housing estate in Maroubra, a motel in Randwick and Granville's National Trust-listed Crest Theatre

Unless a drab public housing complex is somehow symbolic of the cultural wasteland of Australasia and/or a 'sensible' 9-to-5 job, it's a fictional story, presumably. Kimbra is no Jenny from The Block - but the daughter of middle class medical professionals who ditched a University degree to pursue her music dreams.

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all images: richard freeman for KAREN magazine, supplied exclusively to frockwriter


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