Wednesday, April 10, 2013

LOVE...Julie Nobis at MBFWA

Dion Lee
Kate Sylvester
Bec and Bridge
Alex Perry
Camilla and Marc
Toni Maticevski
Ginger and Smart
Australian model Julia Nobis is popping up in practically every show during MBFWA. It is great to see an Australian model featuring so prominently in the Australian shows, and fantastic to have her back after her international success. This season she has so far successfully walked the line from sophisticated socialite at Toni Maticevsk to leather clad warrier at Kahlo, with everything from ladylike to prim in between.

It is condascending and untrue to describe models as merely a 'blank canvas' for clothing. If that were the case, we wouldn't need models at all, the clothes could be wheeled out on dress makers models or photographed hanging lifelessly on hangers. During the shows a model brings the clothes to life, demonstrating their movement and wearability (even if they aren't particularly wearable).

Those who follow fashion know that trends for models come and go over the years just as they do for clothing. I started thinking more about the current trend after the AW13/14 shows in February. Cara Delevinge appeared in more shows than any other model and is now arguably the world's busiest model. Cara is probably as well known for her kooky off catwalk personality as she is for being one of the most beautiful women in the world today. Marc Jacobs described her as 'a silly goose' and she is just as likely to turn up to an event in an animal onesie as she is to wear couture. 

Catwalk models are no longer the line up of beautiful, but strikingly similar Europeans who walked when I first starting buying Vogue at age 14. Models like Julia Nobis are beautiful certainly, but they now have an unspoken permission to bring to the shows an element of themselves.

Julia is one of the increasing number of models baring delicate tattoos on the catwalk. Freja Beha started it, defying her agent who begged her not to add to her collection. Now they are commonplace both on the catwalk and in editorials (less so print advertising, where Photoshop saves the day). Catherine McNeil re-entered the world of modeling this summer with a stunning Australian Vogue cover showcasing her extensive body art, and then walked for many of the big names across the four fashion weeks.

It is this personality that makes watching models like Julia, Catherine and Cara so interesting. They not only demonstrate to us the beauty and versatility of couture, they show us that no matter who you are, you wear the clothes, they don't wear you.

Images via Vogue and Harper's Bazaar

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