Daria Werbowy spent her pre-catwalk days at the skate park, on the snow slopes, at the helm of a sailboat, and on the basketball court. She even spent a year playing rugby. Such an active youth has provided her with two fantastic attributes: First, there’s the legs that don’t stop, and second, as she herself will tell you, there’s the sense of determination and teamwork that playing sports as a young person provides. “The biggest lesson to learn from action sports is to get back up and try again,” she says. So when her friend Sal Masekela, the host of the X Games and a fellow snowboarder, told her about a charity called Stoked and its benefit for underprivileged youth, she was happy to sign on. This Saturday night, Werbowy is hosting a cocktail party and auction—click here to buy tickets and see what’s hitting the block—that will help set up future snowboarding and surf camps. “The program gives kids that would never have the chance to do any of these sports, or to see the ocean and the mountains, an opportunity to challenge themselves and to learn something that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives,” she says. Is there a better excuse for hitting up an auction, or, for that matter, hanging out with a supermodel? (P.S. Werbowy donated some of her own stuff.)
Trend alert! The humble workaday lookbook is becoming a performance art piece for the young and good-looking. First, redheaded socialite scribe (and sometime mannequin) Jessica Joffe bared almost all for Katy Rodriguez; Nicole Richie, FabSugar reported today, will model for her own line, House of Harlow 1960; and Byrdie Bell is the new face of Gryphon. “I use a lot of sequins, but my clothes aren’t really glamorous. They’re special things to wear every day,” says designer Aimee Cho. “Byrdie leads a glamorous lifestyle, but her personal style is easier.” Of course, the fact that Miss Bell looks like she just stepped off a runway probably didn’t hurt either.
We weren’t the only ones to notice Tao Okamoto at the recent round of shows. The newly mop-topped model landed the Ralph Lauren fall campaign, a teaser of which (at left) appeared in WWD earlier this week. We also hear that Tao is set to star in next season’s Polo Ralph Lauren ads as well—a twofer not even matched by Valentina Zelyaeva, the long-running face of the house.
In London yesterday, amid frenzied G-20 protests, road closures, and Michelle Obama and the Queen hugging (abandoning centuries of protocol—no one touches the Queen), madness was the theme of the day. And it continued into the night as Iekeliene Stange, she of the razor-cut cheekbones and the newly platinum hair, and her BFF, Dutch stylist Victor de Bie, exhibited their work at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury—aptly named, seeing as that in the 1800′s the art studio stabled cabbie’s sick horses. Strains of quasi-disturbing Dutch children’s folk songs, de Bie’s Dalí-esque paintings, Stange’s bleak Polaroids, vacant-looking Dutch dolls, and a disorganized spread of homemade cakes and tea set the oddly hallucinatory scene. The exhibit was called Umfeld, which de Bie explained means “surroundings” in Dutch: “We are trying to show the atmosphere of what it was like for us growing up. It was a surreal life, so it’s perfect that tonight has that chaotic kind of feel—we could not have scripted it better.”
Erin Wasson, the Texas supermodel and current Maybelline spokesperson, is cleverly building a brand for herself. After dabbling backstage for a few seasons, doing a body jewelry collection, and launching her clothing line with RVCA, the one-time model is nearly ubiquitous. Which brings us to Paris. Lest we forget Wasson was first a household name (well, in really fashionable houses, anyway) for actually modeling, her turn in yesterday’s Balmain show—which she closed—was a timely reminder of her humble catwalk beginnings. At the Purple magazine dinner that evening, she divulged she would be making one other strut while in Paris: the Isabel Marant show. “I wanted to get in, and I wanted to get out,” she said. “So I’m launching my collection here on Saturday, and then getting out of town.” Not only does she not miss the panic of a week of shows, but she’ll be heading back to Texas for the SXSW music festival, which she says is like an annual homecoming. Returning to the runway wasn’t that hard, she admitted. “I’ve been to a few shows now, and I still feel weird not being backstage,” she sighed. “Especially at Alex [Wang]’s show. They had Hooters hot wings back there.”