Milan’s Standout Models-------
In terms of castings, Milan designers tend to opt for tried-and-true models over fresh faces. That’s great for those of us who can’t get enough of It girls like Bette Franke, Daria Strokous, Kati Nescher, Nadja Bender, and Ava Smith—all of whom walked just about every noteworthy runway this week. (No sign of veteran Daria Werbowy, though. We’re still hoping to see her make a return in Paris.) But that makes things difficult for up-and-comers trying to gain a foothold in the industry. Still, each season Prada and casting director Ashley Brokaw continue to launch new stars with its coveted exclusive slots. Last time around, Prada debuted Vanessa Axente and Elza Luijendijk, who have each gone to succeed in major ways, and this season the lineup boasted over 15 first-season catwalkers, of which there were several standouts who continued to deliver throughout the week. Russian rookie Katya Riabynikina (pictured) went toe-to-toe with the big-name girls at Gucci on day one, then walked Prada, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Marni, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Antonina Vasylchenko followed up her Calvin Klein exclusive with an impressive Italian tour that included appearances at Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, and Trussardi. Jil Sander was another memorable moment for new girls. There we saw both Riabynikina and Vasylchenko, as well as other notable newcomers including the opener, Natasha Remarchuk (also at Prada), closer Josephine van Delden (spotted in London at Acne, Jonathan Saunders, and Christopher Kane), and Esther Heesch, who later appeared at Marni and Salvatore Ferragamo, too. Yumi Lambert was another new recruit who made an impact this week. The half-Japanese, half-Belgian stunner walked Prada, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, and Missoni, among others.