As of the close of day one of New York fashion week, the newcomer making the biggest splash was Abbey Lee. The Aussie teen logged more exits than almost anyone, newbie or vet, popping up everywhere from BCBG (above) to Rag & Bone and ending the day as the Erin Fetherston opener. Also causing a stir is Brazilian bombshell Aline W. We spotted her at Rag & Bone and Nicole Miller, but expect to see more of her as the week goes on.
On the evidence of the show packages we’ve received, it seems that recent discussions on racial diversity in modeling have had some impact on the model boards. We wouldn’t call it a sea change—blondes and Eastern Europeans proliferate—but it’s heartening to see women of color, like Korea’s Seung-Hyun Kang, winner of Ford’s Supermodel of the World contest, represented. Another new face that caught our eye is that of Austria Ulloa, who, despite her name, is not from that small Alpine country but the Dominican Republic. Ullola, likes to hang out at the movie theater when she’s not playing volleyball or listening to music. Her favorite city? Paris, of course.
Since she won a local modeling competition in her native Texas in 1999, several things have set Erin Wasson apart from her pretty peers. There’s the mole, the pout that won’t quit, the legs—and then there’s her personal style. This last bit, a scruffy but pulled-together look that’s all her own, is what’s been getting rave reviews lately. The designer Alexander Wang asked her to be his in-house stylist last season, and was so pleased with the results he asked her back. We sent Derek Blasberg to catch up with Erin as she prepped for Wang’s fall show and finished a day of errands.
“You’ve gotta feel this stuff,” Erin Wasson says as she caresses the exotic skins and leathers strewn about Alex Wang’s lower Fifth Avenue studio. “It’s so yummy.” This morning isn’t all fur appreciation, however; after a brief directional meeting, Wasson leaves Wang’s studio to find chains that she will link together for the Fall show. Asked what her best skill is, Alex responds, “Just being herself is her best talent. She knows what looks good.”
Meet Erin Wasson’s boyfriend for the next few weeks. “Until the show, it’s just you and me, buddy,” she teases outside Wang’s studio. “Wait, this is a girl.”
It takes a few minutes—Erin only remembered this destination because it had a Starbucks nearby (hardly a good locator in New York)—but we finally found her first stop, Beads World on Broadway, where she looks for feathers and biker chains. “How often do you get a tour of midtown?” she asks, defending her lack of direction.
“I didn’t style before this per se,” says Erin, admitting, however, that her own stuff would often end up in the final shots on shoots. “So Alex has given me an awesome opportunity. When he asked me, I was floored but thought it could be fun. It was.” At Metalliferous, where she continues her metal hunt, we ask if this is a possible new career. “Every day is a new day, and I don’t expect anything from this. I’ve already been so blessed.”
It’s not all work and no play for Ms. Wasson. She’s got a party to go to, so she decides to swing by the Chanel offices to see if there’s anything to borrow that tickles her fancy. “I hope they don’t mind that I’m not trying anything on,” she sighs. “I’m good at knowing what I want immediately.” She wasn’t kidding: Erin was in and out in ten minutes.
Outside the Chanel store, Erin gives her own personal double-C logo. Her own shoes attract some compliments, but she’s not trying to fool anybody. “I got these on the street for like $50,” she says. “This ain’t no Balenciaga shit.”
Although she came by only to pick up a feathered headdress for tomorrow night’s event, she couldn’t not try on a pair of black handmade leather fringe pants at Lost Art. “These are ridiculous,” she tells designer Jordan Betten. “You’ve got some dope stuff going on here.” Jordan, for his part, was happy to play dress-up. He’d be hard-pressed to find a more excited model.
An appointment with a designer, two shops for chains, a fitting, and a stop at a leather shop—not bad for one day. So to celebrate, Erin heads to her favorite spot, the Antique Garage, in Soho for a Bloody Mary. “Oh yeah, that hits the spot,” she says. “Another full day over.” It’s only now that she reveals she got off the red eye from L.A. that morning and has a 5 a.m. call time for a Maybelline print ad the next day. “But I’ve got something to look forward to,” she says with a sly grin. “This weekend is my birthday, and all my friends are going back to Texas to party.”
Couture isn’t typically the place to break a new face, but IMG’s Diana F. showed up in all the right places. The elfin Russian first caught our eye as the mystery girl who opened and closed the Nina Ricci pre-fall show in New York. This past week in Paris, she took turns like a seasoned pro at Chanel and Givenchy, all but ensuring her status as one of the top new faces to watch come February.
Sao Paulo Fashion Week’s Animale show was a roll call of the most beautiful faces to emerge from Brazil. The collection was packed full of high-octane glamour, in the spirit of Versace, from dramatic body-conscious silhouettes to leather and horsehair belts and handbags. The real story on the runway, however, was the impressive list of major faces, many of them making their only appearance of the week. Raquel Zimmermann opened the show and was soon joined by Marcelle Bittar, Ana Beatriz Barros, Daiane Conterato, Carolina Pantoliano, Caroline Demarqui, Fabiana Semprebom, Camila Finn, Jeisa Chiminazzo, Solange Wilvert, Claudia Seiler, Monique Olsen, Flavia Lucini, Lais Navarro, Aline Weber, and others. The crowd went crazy as the Brazilian beauties strutted their stuff, and Animale’s investment instantly paid off: Its show had the kind of visceral energy you only get with top-caliber models.