Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Valentina Sykes touches down in Paris - but not at Balenciaga

valentina sykes (R) backstage at john galliano FW1314 via fashionising
When we spotted this recent Sun Herald story about 17 year-old Sydney model Valentina Sykes being "optioned" as they say in the model biz as a potential "exclusive" for last week's Balenciaga show at Paris Fashion Week, we felt the need to Tweet: "one way of reducing your chances of getting a balenciaga exclusive - talking about it beforehand". Sykes did wind up making her international runway debut in Paris, although not for the super prestige Balenciaga show, rather, John Galliano - the namesake line of Christian Dior's disgraced creative director, which is owned by Dior parent LVMH and continues on without him under the direction of Bill Gaytten. Of course any major Paris show is a great get. But the moral to this story is: never count your fashion chickens before they're hatched.  

Above is a backstage shot taken before the Galliano show. In pretty much every runway shot that we have seen, however, Sykes' face is unfortunately obscured by her cap:

john galliano FW1314 via
We must admit we were surprised to see Chic Management on the record in that Sun Herald story about how "exciting" Sykes' potential Balenciaga show was. The agency had no comment when we called. But they should know how problematic it is for models and/or agents to talk up options as confirmations, especially when it comes to major international brands and their casting directors, who tend not to like their top secret casting information disseminated beforehand. Rumour has it, some casting directors have even ditched models backstage in hair & makeup immediately before a show, after they were spotted talking about their involvement in the show in social media. 

When asked about the Balenciaga no-show on her Tumblr, Sykes reportedly replied;
"They got annoyed about the newspaper article, I think they wanted it to be kept quiet until after. But another reason is that it was obviously never meant to happen".
This is not the first time we have seen a local agent talking up one of their new faces as a shoe-in for a major international show. In 2008, New Zealand model Olivia O'Driscoll failed to book a so-called Prada exclusive after her agent blabbed to The Dominion Post about it

No-one mentioned Cassi van den Dungen's Balenciaga option back in 2010 beforehand and yet she still did not get the show. Because that's showbiz folks. Many models are optioned for shows and never confirmed for them, for many different reasons. Even once confirmed, disasters can still strike. A garment for which a model has been fitted might break, so it - and potentially also the model - may wind up withdrawn. 

It's great to see Sykes crack at least one show in her first international show season. She made her runway debut at Josh Goot at MBFWA 2011 and went on to walk for numerous designers at last year's event, from Carl Kapp to Camilla and Alice McCall. Her portfolio also includes editorial for titles such as Harper's Bazaar Australia and Cleo and various lookbooks and ad campaigns for, among others, General Pants. 

With one day of the Fall/Winter 2013/2014 shows left to go today - including a few biggies such as Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu - we hope to add more names to her FW1314 show list. 


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