|christophe kane FW1314 via wwd.com|
The casting director for the Victoria, Victoria Beckham and Christopher Kane shows was industry heavyweight Russell Marsh.
The other Australians in his Kane cast were Eva Downey, who is also making her international debut this season, alongside the slightly more-established, but nevertheless relatively new-to-the-circuit Kaila Hart and Rhianna Porter and runway vet Catherine McNeil, who is making a major comeback this season - six years after she first emerged on the scene in the Fall/Winter 2007/2008 season, dubbed "fashion's latest crush" by The New York Times.
Described by models.com as "one of the most powerful casting directors in the world" with, according to WWD, "the Midas touch", Marsh, a Brit, is credited with launching the careers of, among many others, Daria Werbowy, Sasha Pivovarova, Lara Stone, Arizona Muse and Gemma Ward - thanks in large part to his 14-year association with Italy's Prada.
"Not to sound pompous, but if an agency knows I like a girl, it's a springboard for her career" Marsh told The Guardian in 2004. "I always say to the girls, 'Once you walk the Prada catwalk, your life will change'. And it does. A girl comes from Latvia, aged 15 or 16. Six months later she's on a billboard in New York".
Such is Marsh's power and influence (Craig Arend from model street style blog Altamira dubbed it the "Russell Marsh Future Indicator"), inevitably, he has found himself the target of salacious industry gossip. In 2008, he was accused of accepting bribes from the IMG Models and Women agencies for preferential placement of their models in the Prada and Miu Miu shows and campaigns. Flatly denied by Prada and IMG Models, it's the kind of rumour that you would have no difficulty imagining could have been engineered by bitter rivals.
Marsh and Prada might have parted ways in 2011, but his client list still groans with blue chip brand names such as Céline, Dries van Noten and Marni.
photo gallery: all images wwd.com
1/ gabby dover
2/ kaila hart
3/ rhianna porter
4/ eva downey
5/ catherine mcneil