Although she starred in the recent Mario Sorrenti-lensed Rihanna for River Island campaign (above), Japanese model Tao Okamoto has largely been missing from the catwalk. And now, our suspicions as to why have been confirmed. The trailer for the new X-Men film, The Wolverine (out this summer), was released today, and guess who plays Wolverine’s (i.e., Hugh Jackman’s) love interest, Mariko Yashida? Sure, we know the stigma surrounding the “model-slash-actress” title, but perhaps Okamoto will follow in the footsteps of peers like Milla Jovovich and Amber Valletta to make her mark. Take a peek at Okamoto’s acting debut in the film’s trailer, below.
Narrowing down the season’s top newcomers to just ten girls is never an easy task. After following their progress through New York, London, Milan, and Paris, we admittedly feel a bit like stage moms cheering on all the rookies. But, considering Fall ’13′s impressive crop of fresh faces, picking our favorites this season was even more gut-wrenching than usual.
At the end of the day, however, decisions have to be made. But the runners-up deserve a round of applause, too. At the top of our list of girls who almost made the cut is Elisabeth Erm (WILHELMINA), who shot to the front of the pack after walking Calvin Klein in New York, and then went on to kill it in Europe. She ended particularly strong in Paris, turning up at Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, and Miu Miu, among others. Another girl who boasted a very impressive show list was Nicole Pollard (ELITE), a favorite of Raf Simons, who closed the month with twenty-seven top-tier turns, including Dior, Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Givenchy.
Some girls only walked a few shows, but that doesn’t mean they went unnoticed. Take Binx Walton (NEXT), for instance. The Tennessee native racked up exclusives at Marc Jacobs and Versace, and also appeared at Miu Miu in Paris, and Giles and Sister by Sibling in London (clearly, Katie Grand, who styles both collections, is a fan). Breathtaking brunettes Elise Smidt (WOMEN) and Lauren English (IMG) also went the selective but premium route. Smidt caught the eye of casting directors in Milan, at Prada and Jil Sander, then went on to hit the runway at Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Chloé, and Dior in Paris. English emerged as a favorite of Alexander Wang (who definitely has a sixth sense for models) in New York, then turned up again on his Balenciaga catwalk in Paris. She rounded out the season with Céline, Acne Studios, Loewe, and Maison Martin Margiela. Keep an eye out for these ladies during the next few months—we have a feeling you’ll be seeing more of them.
“Have you heard about The Society?” It’s a question that’s been making the rounds in model-watcher circles for what seems like a year, and now The Society is no longer a secret. After a soft launch during New York fashion week, Elite Paris’ New York outpost—not to be mistaken with the nonaligned Elite New York—officially debuted its Web site yesterday with an impressive roster of established faces, including Lindsey Wixson, Sigrid Agren, Cora Emmanuel, Mackenzie Drazan, and Ming Xi, as well as noteworthy newcomers such as Marine Deleeuw, Josephine Le Tutour, and Manuela Frey. The agency will also represent musicians, including Grace Jones, Oh Land, and Lily Rose Cooper (a.k.a. Lily Allen). “We’ve had the opportunity to be super-selective with the girls we take on rather than being so volume oriented,” a representative told Style.com. “Elite understands the value of investing in a gorgeous face.”
The Society hits the ground running with a huge history and network already in place, which contains the Elite Model Look competition—the largest source of new models in the world. The polished Web site, which was designed by Ezra Petronio and features Santiago & Mauricio-lensed animations of each girl in a grid format (kind of like a glam version of Hollywood Squares, no?), sets the tone for one of The Society’s goals, which is “to promote original editorial content and do interesting projects that converge fashion and art,” a representative said. “It’s a bit different from the standard approach,” which is exactly what the New York modeling industry needs right now. Based on initial impressions, The Society is poised to become a major force.
While many of her contemporaries have lightened up on the modeling game, or taken to hosting reality TV, Kate Moss is snagging headlines left and right. For starters, she’s in a slew of Spring campaigns (Versace, Givenchy, Stuart Weitzman, and Rag & Bone come to mind). She made waves with her recent covers for Love magazine (she appeared nearly nude in a bathtub), and W‘s March issue (conversely, she was styled like a white lace-clad madonna), and closed out Paris fashion week with a surprise strut down Vuitton’s sultry Fall '13 catwalk. And today, the model sent the Twittersphere abuzz after she read a passage of Fifty Shades of Grey on pal Nick Grimshaw’s UK radio show. (It was all in the name of charity, apparently.) We’re always wary of ubiquity, but somehow, Moss makes it work for her.
Fashion saves the best for last, and Paris is usually where the magic happens—both in terms of creative collections and memorable modeling moments. This season, the city definitely delivered. Case in point: Kate Moss closing Louis Vuitton on the final day of shows. She’s done it before, and she’ll probably do it again, but a Moss runway appearance is always major. The rest of the Vuitton cast didn’t disappoint, either. Edita Vilkeviciute, Eliza Cummings, Georgia May Jagger, Isabeli Fontana, Jessica Hart, and Maryna Linchuk were a few of the other familiar faces on Jacobs’ catwalk. Earlier in the week, Riccardo Tisci brought in some of his favorite ladies, including Natalia Vodianova, Mariacarla Boscono, and Erin Wasson, to parade his electrifying lineup for Givenchy. Fall ’13′s freshman class of models also ended the month with a bang. Forget New York, London, and Milan. For newcomers looking to make an impression (read: land ad campaigns), Paris is the one city that really counts. Many of the girls we’ve had our eye on since the beginning kept the momentum going in France. Sam Rollinson finished out with sixty-two shows; Sasha Luss (lower left) ended with fifty-seven; Chiharu Okunugi totaled fifty-four; and Katya Riabinkina (upper left) did forty-seven. Amanda Murphy, who bookended Prada, turned it up a notch this week, too, walking nine top-tier shows, including Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Dior, Stella McCartney, and Chanel. Meanwhile, we’ve also got our eye on Elise Smidt (upper right), who opened Chloé and Sacai and turned up at Valentino, Vuitton, and Miu Miu; and Elisabeth Erm (lower right), who started out relatively slow in New York but made all the right moves toward the end (Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Giambattista Valli, and Valentino). Keep an eye out for these faces in the coming months’ editorials. We have a feeling they’ll appear on more than a few pages.