Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Comeback Trail

Australian model Catherine McNeil is officially back on modelling's A-list following an impressive string of select appearances throughout the Spring/Summer 2013 collections. McNeil who has been noticeably absent over the past two years from the glare of the runway with poor health, burn out and personal issues all being cited as possible reasons for her extended break from modelling. McNeil has laid all rumours to rest with a stunning return to the catwalk appearing at Helmut Lang, Barbara Bui, Kenzo, Isabel Marant, Guy Laroche and Hermés. The twenty-three year old modelling sensation has industry pundits cooing again over her recent cover appearances for French Numéro and Australian Vogue shot respectively by Jean Baptiste Mondino and Benny Horne. McNeil who was discovered at the age of thirteen via the Girlfriend modelling competition, revealed to Who magazine earlier in 2012, "I started modelling young and I was blessed my modelling career took off quickly. But once I left home I needed to act like an adult, and I wasn't one. I needed to take step back so that I could properly understand who I am. After taking time to sort out my life, it finally seems like everything is falling into place." McNeil looks positively radiant, displaying the supermodel aura that propelled her into the limelight during the initial stages of her career. More importantly, McNeil appears to have rediscovered her passion and enthusiasm for modelling which will make her a muse once again for photographers and designers alike.

Australian Vogue - October 2012
Photographer - Benny Horne
Source - thefashionspot.com

Australian Vogue - October 2012
Photographer - Benny Horne
Source - thefashionspot.com

French Numéro - Issue 137
Photographer - Jean Baptiste Mondino
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Isabel Marant - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Barbara Bui - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Helmut Lang - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Guy Laroche - S/S 2013
Photographer -
Source - style.com

Hermés - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Saturday, September 29, 2012

If Looks Could Kill - Ji Hye Park

The Milan and Paris legs of the Spring/Summer 2013 season have anointed a new star on the horizon in the guise of South Korean model Ji Hye Park. Park debuted in New York at Alexander Wang before moving onto key pivotal runway spots at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui, Narciso Rodriguez and DKNY. The buzz swirling around the 179 cm tall Asian beauty carried onto Milan via ultra blue chip bookings at Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Blumarine, Giorgio Armani, Max Mara and Gabriele Colangelo. Paris has likewise fallen for Park's considerable charms with appearances at Damir Doma, Dries Van Noten, Gareth Pugh, Carven, Isabel Marant and Barbara Bui. Armed with a killer walk, crescent-shaped eyes, and bone structure reminiscent of supermodel Christy Turlington, Park also displays an elegance and a commanding presence on the runway that is often lacking amongst newcomers. Park is represented by Elite Model Management in New York and is a stunning example of the diversity of beauty amongst the current wave Asian models who have taken the fashion industry by storm.

Ji Hye Park
Image courtesy of Elite Model Management
Source - models.com

Image courtesy of Oui Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Max Mara - S/S 2012
Photographer - Unidentified
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Alexander Wang - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Blumarine - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Gabriele Colangelo - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Isabel Marant - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Narciso Rodriguez - S/S 2013
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com

Friday, September 28, 2012

Peaches & Cream - Stephanie Hall

During Calvin Klein's Spring/Summer 2013 presentation, there was one sole newcomer who stood out  amongst the mostly non-descript exclusives. For me that face belonged unequivocally to seventeen year old Stephanie Hall, whose strawberry blond mane contrasted beautifully with her luminescent peaches and cream complexion. The statuesque 179 cm newcomer from Surrey, England, was discovered a little over a year ago whilst on a shopping expedition in Kingston and has since been busily testing with photographers to build up her portfolio. Hall's mother agency in London is Models 1 and she is currently represented by Supreme Model Management in New York. Hall's exclusive appearance at Calvin Kelin has galvanised industry attention ensuring her a strong berth in London and Milan with lucrative bookings at Acne, Antonio Berardi, Aquilano Rimondi, Versace, Max Mara, Missoni, and Marni. Hall's striking looks are an intriguing cross between Australian model Alyssa Sutherland and current French it girl Sigrid Agren. It is this definitive mix of in your face beauty combined with an early nineties supermodel glamour which I'm hoping will enable Hall to make her mark editorially in the coming months.

Stephanie Hall
Photographer - Amie Milne
Source - thefashionspot.com

IO Donna - May 2012
Photographer -  Michael Woolley
Source - thefashionspot.com

Test Shoot
Photographer - Evan Browning
Source - thefashionspot.com

Photographer - Amie Milne
Source - thefashionspot.com

Photographer - Unidentified
Source - models.com

Calvin Klein - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Max Mara - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Missoni - S/S 2013
Photographer - Filippo Fior
Source - style.com

Antonio Berardi - S/S 2013
Photographer - Filippo Fior
Source -style.com

Versace - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Marni - S/S 2013
Photographer - Filippo Fior
Source - style.com

Ashley Brokaw's Balenciaga Belles

Casting director Ashley Brokaw assembled an outstanding cast of beauties for Balenciaga's seductive thigh skimming Spring/Summer 2013 presentation. Thirty-nine models made the cut with an assortment of models of the moment, special requests and red hot newcomers receiving Brokaw's astute nod of approval. Iconic faces Liya Kebede and Jamie Bochert returned to the catwalk bringing their very own distinct brand identity to the house of Balenciaga. Brokaw remained loyal to former campaign models Juliane Grüner, Julier Bugge, Rosie Tapner, Juliet Ingleby, Linn Arvidsson and sixteen year old Danish newcomer Kirstin Kragh Liljegren, who made her international runway debut by opening the show. Current it girls Marte Mei Van Haaster, Maria Bradley, Saskia de Brauw, Tilda Lindstam, Bo Don and Julia Nobis ensured a cool mix of androgynous sex appeal. Whilst the underlying message from Brokaw was clear with the dual casting of Stina Rapp Wastenson, Chiharu Okunigi, Marine Deleeuw, Grace Mahary, Hedvig Palm, Irina Kravchenko, Ondira Hardin and Esther Heesch in both the Balenciaga and Prada shows, signalling that these are the faces that will be marked for key editorial and campaign interest once the dust has settled in Paris.

Liya Kebede
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Stina Rapp Wastenson
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Kirstin Kragh Liljegren
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Marine Deleeuw
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Grace Mahary
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Magdalena Jasek
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Bo Don
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Irina Kravchenko
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Esther Heesch
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Chiharu Okunugi
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Hedvig Palm
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Kasia Struss
Balenciaga - S/S 2013
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Exclusive - Iris Van Berne

During the Fall/Winter 2012 collections, twenty-two year old Dutch newcomer Iris Van Berne emerged as the queen of exclusives scoring a total of four semi-exclusives for Prada, Versace, Miu Miu and Yves Saint Laurent. In the lead up to the Spring/Summer 2013 shows in New York, I caught up with Van Berne and discovered an engaging young woman with a clear focus for the season ahead. Van Berne was discovered three years ago by her mother agency Code Model Management, who noticed her pictures on the Dutch social networking site Hyves. Within a month Van Berne was signed to Next Model Management in Milan and took to modelling full-time. Van Berne credits her major breakthrough moment to casting director Ashley Brokaw, who championed the 179 cm lanky beauty helping her to secure the career defining Prada exclusive. Walking for Prada has certainly opened doors for Van Berne with key appearances so far this season at Jason Wu, Zac Posen, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli and Fendi amongst others.

Iris Van Berne
Photographer - Unidentified
Source - thefashionspot.com

I found Van Berne to be one of the most engaging and captivating personalities amongst the almost 150 models that I encountered during New York Fashion Week. We covered all manner of topics including Van Berne's love of my homeland Australia, where she worked with her favourite photographer Nicole Bentley for Australian Vogue. Van Berne confessed to being a "Balmain girl at heart" and listed fellow Dutchies Quinta Witzel, Mirte Maas, Patricia Van der Vliet, and French newcomer Cora Emmanuel amongst her nearest and dearest. Van Berne credits "a combination of luck and having the right look at the right time and place" as key factors to her being touted as a newcomer to watch and adds with a wry grin, "plus I'm easy to recognise because I have two freckles on my chin." When quizzed by Inoubliable Model Army about her views on current modelling trends, Van Berne revealed with surprising candour, "I think model trends are leaning towards girls with character, and faces that act as a blank canvas and can be versatile." As for the future, Van Berne has her sights set firmly not so much on a particular dream assignment but more so on being viewed as "a respected model who is recognised for her good features and posing ability. I want people in the industry to have a reason to say she's a good exclusive." Judging by her show list so far, I'd say that Iris is well on her way to achieving those goals.

Amica - September 2011
Photographer - Ishi
Source - thefashionspot.com

Amica - September 2011
Photographer - Ishi
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dutch Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Alique
Source - thefashionspot.com

Inoubliable Exclusive
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

Australian Vogue - February 2011
Photographer - Nicole Bentley
Source - thefashionspot.com

Missoni - S/S 2013
Photographer - Filippo Fior
Source - style.com

Fendi - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Prada - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Roberto Cavalli - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com

Bottega Veneta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
Source - style.com