4 posts tagged "Diana Dondoe"
More so than in any other city, Milan designers and casting directors are known to favor established models over newcomers, but this week we witnessed a slew of fresh faces break through to the front of the pack. Many of the girls who started strong in New York and London
Another thing Milan was previously known for was overlooking minorities, so it was thrilling to see many of our favorite up-and-coming black models, including Firth, Binx Walton (top right), Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges (we never could’ve guessed that she would open Giorgio Armani), and Kai Newman making major strides this week. Newman, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, positively wowed us at Gucci and Jil Sander. We can’t wait to see her go on to crush it in Paris.
Natalia Siodmiak (top left) is someone who has been making the rounds for several seasons but is suddenly at the top of everyone’s watch lists. After ending London on a high note with turns at Christopher Kane and Giles, the gap-toothed beauty cranked up the sex appeal at Gucci, Versace, and Emilio Pucci, and opened and closed Max Mara. It’s gratifying to see someone who’s been paying her dues finally have a moment. Speaking of moments, who could forget Moschino’s memorable roster of old-school supes, including Pat Cleveland, Alek Wek, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd, and Diana Dondoe? Another runway high point was Liya Kebede and Malgosia Bela walking Emilio Pucci. And, naturally, there’s plenty in store for model-followers in Paris. Just today, iconic Snejana Onopka made a cameo appearance at Anthony Vaccarello, whipping the Fashion Spot forums into a frenzy.
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.
Rather than its usual day-long open house, this season, Sergio Rossi and creative director Francesco Russo elected to host a more intimate cocktail party to debut their new Fall collection in Milan. And intimate fits the entertainment as well as the event. For the occasion, Russo and director Luca Guadagnino created a three-minute short film starring model Diana Dondoe, whose shod (but largely unclad) form is placed front and center in the erotic piece.
Eroticism is nothing new to Guadagnino, who hit big with his film I Am Love, starring Tilda Swinton as a Milanese matriarch who embarks on a passionate affair with a young chef. (Russo cited a scene in which Swinton’s character and the chef first make love as a favorite.) “I’ve known Luca for 15 years, and for me it’s very important to work with people I feel close and comfortable with,” he explained to Style.com. “It all came together quite naturally, really.”
If the sensual is nothing new to Guadagnino, it’s familiar ground for Russo, too. Sex appeal has been one of his trademarks during his time at Rossi. “For me, the shoe is not just an object for its own sake, but something that can change the state of mind of the person wearing or observing it,” he says. “I’m moving forward towards accessories addressing the entire woman’s body. I refer to this project as ‘Skin to Skin,’ because the body pieces become a sort of a second skin playing with female transformation caused by wearing wonderful shoes.”
And those shoes? “Most are made of different types of leather and exotic skins like python, ostrich foot, lizard, crocodile, and kid suede, mostly in monochromatic colors to underline the different textures,” Russo says of the new collection. “They’re like objects in a constant mutation.” The film screens at the presentation, which begins now in Milan, and debuts here on Style.com.
Some of my favorite moments from the fashion week that was were seeing so many old-school supermodels back on the runway: Tasha Tilberg, Hannelore Knuts, Natasa Vojnovic, and Trish Goff at Alexander Wang; Diana Dondoe and Jamie Bochert at Marc Jacobs (Bochert surfaced at Rodarte, too); and Carmen Kass, who opened Michael Kors, followed by Frankie Rayder and, later, Caroline Ribeiro. I asked Douglas Perrett, a New York-based casting agent who chronicles his placements on cult-fave site
Confessions of a Casting Director, if he thought we might be harking back to pre-recession faces for nostalgia’s sake. “Totally,” he said, adding that Ana Claudia Michels is having a Givenchy moment right now, and Jenny Shimizu will be a judge on Bravo’s Make Me a Supermodel. “We are indebted [to] the nineties right now,” noted Perrett. Earlier in the week, I caught up with Tilberg, who said she can’t help but be flattered by the attention. “Alex [Wang] said such nice things to me,” she recounted, “so it was fun to come back to New York and do another show—but one or two is enough. I don’t miss all that chaos.” Perrett doesn’t think the trend will continue in the next few weeks, however. “I think Europe will be all about the new faces,” he predicts. What do you think, Style Filers? Do you want to see more old-school supes in the weeks to come?