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3 posts tagged "Delfine Bafort"

Modelizing Milan

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Milan is notoriously regarded as a difficult city for new models. But it’s not hard to see why big-name labels like Versace and Gucci prefer to cast established catwalkers like Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, and Karmen Pedaru: Veterans simply know how to carry sexy clothes. That said, many of the rookies we’ve had our eyes on since the beginning of the season have proven that they can strut toe-to-toe with the big girls. Chiharu Okunugi, Sam Rollinson, Sasha Luss, and Katya Riabinkina, in particular, seem to be at the top of most casting directors’ lists this season. We’re also going to add Manuela Frey, a Spring ’13 Saint Laurent exclusive who opened Calvin Klein in New York and did turns at Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta, and Emilio Pucci in Italy. She’s kept up the momentum so far in Paris, with appearances at Dries Van Noten, Rochas, and Damir Doma.

Perhaps the best way to evaluate Milan’s crop of newcomers is to compare two of the week’s most hyped shows: Prada, which is cast by Ashley Brokaw, and Jil Sander, which is cast by Maida & Rami. Both are characteristically chock-full of unknowns, but there was more of an overlap than usual this season. Girls who walked both include past Balenciaga exclusives Juliane Gruner and Kirstin Kragh Liljegren (who actually opened Balenciaga last season). At Prada, they were sandwiched in between well-known faces such as Mariacarla Boscono, Liisa Winkler, Adriana Lima, Kirsten Owen, Jessica Stam, Iselin Steiro, and Esther de Jong (easily one of our favorite casts thus far), as well as a few more novices like Maartje Verhoef (above, left), Elise Smidt, and Jessa Brown, who also did Sander. As we move into the Paris shows, we’ll have our eyes peeled for these girls and a few others, including Amanda Murphy (above, right), who bookended Prada after opening Proenza Schouler, and then followed that up with appearances at Dries Van Noten and H&M today.

Speaking of, H&M turned out a cast of heavy hitters (you can chalk that up to a mega-budget and George Cortina’s styling), including Arizona Muse, Cara Delevingne, Daphne Groeneveld, Delfine Bafort, Edita Vilkeviciute, Isabeli Fontana, Joan Smalls, and closer Malgosia Bela.

Paris Fashion Week’s Queen Bees

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After three cities and hundreds of shows, Paris fashion week is where the most influential designers crystallize the season’s message and the major models stalk the runways. Miuccia Prada certainly delivered on the latter yesterday with arguably the best cast we’ve seen this month at Miu Miu. The lineup was bookended by Raquel Zimmermann, who opened, and closer Karen Elson. In the mix were plenty of other catwalk veterans including Malgosia Bela, Iselin Steiro, Jessica Stam, Hilary Rhoda, Delfine Bafort, and Diana Dondoe. It was a refreshing cap to a season that, for the most part, lacked big-name models. On that note, Miu Miu also illuminated some of the top newcomers including Irina Kravchenko, Marine Deleeuw, Esther Heesch, and Manon Leloup (pictured), who each had impressive freshman seasons. We’ve had our eye on Kravchenko since she opened Alexander Wang during NYFW, and the edgy redhead truly blasted off in the City of Light, where she opened Haider Ackermann, Viktor & Rolf, and Sacai and also walked Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Valentino. Meanwhile, Deleeuw’s Paris highlights included Céline, Balenciaga, Dior, and Chanel—out of all the fresh faces, Deleeuw won the numbers game with 36 shows total. After skipping New York and London, Heesch kept the momentum from her Prada debut going with turns on top Paris runways, including Valentino (which she opened), Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Céline, Chanel, Chloé, and Dries Van Noten. For her part, Leloup did many of those same top shows (15 total in Paris), and both opened and closed Nina Ricci.

Saint Laurent was another highly anticipated moment that delivered on noteworthy newbies. Grace Mahary closed the show and also did Balenciaga, Givenchy (where she was an exclusive last season), Balmain, and Isabel Marant earlier in the week. Hedi Slimane also plucked Kristen McMenamy’s daughter Lily as an exclusive, and she turned up at Chanel the next day. Others at SL included Juliana Schurig, who built upon her success from the first three weeks in Paris, walking Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, and Alexander McQueen, among others; Magdalena Jasek, who opened Céline and did Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Viktor & Rolf; and Alexandra Martynova, who we first saw as a Calvin Klein exclusive and really capitalized on her androgynous appeal in Paris, closing Dior and also showing up at Rick Owens and Alexander McQueen, among others. Overall, it was a season full of promising newcomers who will be top contenders for the season’s forthcoming ad campaigns.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Behind The Scenes At Viktor & Rolf’s Casting Session

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The fashion flock have jetted to Paris for the last leg of the Fall 2011 défilés, and along with the editors and front-row mainstays are the runway models, of course. For Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf’s upcoming Saturday show, Andrew Weir held an intimate casting in the 11th arrondissement heavy on the boldfaced names and sprinkled with up-and-comers. Notably, Victoria’s Secret regular Candice Swanepoel, who’s coming off a strong Milan season walking Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana, wowed the casting director. “Candice is a beautiful girl who sends a hush over the room when she floats in,” Weir raved. “She reminds me of what the girls were like when I first started in this business.”

Among the casting’s other stunners were IMG’s Joan Smalls and Elite’s Caroline Brasch Nielsen, who debuted just a year ago and has already fronted Valentino and Marc Jacobs campaigns. On the fast-rising front, DNA’s Saskia de Brauw and Emily Baker are having a buzzy moment, while a few older, more established names, like Delfine Bafort, were on hand as well. For newbies, the openings are slim, but possible. “I have no rules when it comes to casting,” Weir claimed. “But in New York, I can be more experimental, while in Paris, I lean more towards elegance.” And for those looking to capitalize in Paris, the stakes are on a big exclusive. Said the casting director: “A girl can be successful in New York by walking numerous shows, while in Paris the most successful can walk one.”

Top row, above: Candice Swanepoel and Joan Smalls; Second row, above: Aymeline Valade and Delfine Bafort; Below: Marique Schimmel and Iris Egbers.

Photos: Andrew Weir