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Curves Ahead

Fashion’s new love affair of fuller figured models is starting to take the world by storm!  With a Vogue Italia and French Elle cover and a 10 spread editorial for Vogue Australia’s 2011 September issue under her belt, Australian bombshell Robyn Lawley has become the country’s most in demand size 16 fashion model, thanks to the industry’s new found love for curves.

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With her 186cm statuesque frame and incredible bone structure, Robyn’s career has skyrocketed and has become one of an elite new group of plus-sized  international supermodels, including American model star, Crystal Renn, who are changing the  industries perception of plus-sized bodies.

 

New York-based, Robyn has signed with a Milan agency alongside supermodels Raquel Zimmermann and Natalia Vodianova and since has been the face of the One Stop Plus show, that was broadcast in Times Square, New York and has featured in campaigns for Calvin Klein and global retail chain H & M.

Perth modelling agencies and specialist size 10 plus agency, Bella Model Management, have propelled the careers of a number of multi-faceted models, including 23-year-old Sophie Sheppard, who was  also featured in a six-page Vogue Curvy fashion shoot in the July 2011 issue of Vogue Italia.

Coined “The Now Shape” by Vogue Italia, the latest trend in models is all about generous breasts and hips, big hair and come-hither eyes.  This influential magazine has now created a new section called Vogue Curvy, which features full-figures models on the cover and offersfashion advice to plus-sized readers through a website at http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-curvy.

This special issue has increased Vogue Italia circulation figures by 20 per cent and has even caught the attention of fashion designer and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs, who attended a shoot and demanded to meet the models.  For it’s June 2011 cover, it buckled the super-skinny trend and featured three scantily clad, curvaceous models as part of a campaign against anorexia.  The spread featured the plus size models gathered around a table laden with food and drink with the headline “Belle Verve”, or true beauties.  The black-and-white photo is reminiscent of Italy’s dolce vita style of the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out background footage of the making of Belle Verve at http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-curvy/seen-in-vogue/2011/06/belle-vere.

Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani said: “Curvy women are beautiful and in fact sexier and more captivating … women want to see that people are not obsessed with being thin and that there are people who are capable of accepting the beauty of their bodies for what they naturally are.”

Following in Vogue Italia footsteps is Vogue Australia, who has given curves a stamp of approval with the magazine also prominently featuring a plus-size model for the first time and V Magazines’ January 2011 issue which gave us “Curves Ahead”, a photo spread featuring five plus-size models with styling by Nicola Formichetti and Photographer Solve Sundsbo.

 

 

 

 

 

So, whether you’re a size 14 regular or 24 petite, looks like the fashion world is finally making room for you gals and your magnificent curves.  Long gone are the days since the wafer-thin look of Kate Moss in the ‘90s. Now with Adele , Jessica Simpson and the TV series Mad Men, people will feel that it is OK to be their size and not have to be told to be skinny.  Plus-size models will eventually lead to designers using them on the runways and with the likes of Sophie Sheppard, Crystal Reen and Robyn Lawley this has already begun.

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Where does Australian fashion sit on the world stage and why is it unique?

As a product focused industry, Australia is fast becoming a ‘must have’ that the global fashion community cannot get enough of. The original and unique style of Australian fashion is increasingly taking the world by storm with down under designs being stocked in over 75 countries around the world even in some of the most unexpected and remote countries such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Inspired by an extraordinary range of Australian fashion textiles and cultural influences, many Australian designers have made their mark around the word including dynamic designers such as Sass & Bide, Wayne Cooper, Carla Zampatti, Easton Pearson, Nicola Finetti, Bettina Liano, Martin Grant, Michelle Jank and Lisa Ho.

The work of Collette Dinnigan has also been making its mark internationally since the 1990s.  Dinnigan’s work was the first Australian to mount a full-scale ready-to-wear parade in Paris in 1995.  Dinnigan now has a store in Los Angeles, displays her label twice yearly in Parisian Fashion parades and has an extensive high-profile fan list with the likes of Naomi Watts, Sarah O’Hare, Helena Christensen and Charlize Theron.

A more recent designer who has broken into the international market is Sydney designer Ben Pollitte.  Pollitte has been selected to join the Australian Wool Industry’s international protégé project, a program in the brainchild of Franca Sozzanie, editor of Vogue Italia, who pairs promising young designers with some of fashion’s most prominent figures like Karl Largerfeld.  The mentorship will have Pollitt working with big-name designers to create a collection using Australian wool.

Whilst the global downturn has injured the fashion industry, in Australia and abroad, healthy sales are still being made in all-Australian New York fashion shops from designers such as Jayson Brunsdon, Camilla and Marc, Kirrily Jonson and Mad Cortes, among others, with predicted sales in excess of $60 million compared with $40 million in sales last year and just $2 million in sales 10 years ago.

Austrade alone also continues to attract international buyers to all Australian fashion events including Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and the Melbourne L’Oreal Fashion Festival with representatives from top fashion houses in the USA, the UK, Canada, Italy, Singapore, Ireland, UAE, Japan, Hong Kong, China and New Zealand.  Austrade’s role is to ensure they have the opportunity to show and meet with international visitors and maximise their chances of making significant export sales.

As fashion continues to be a successful export market for Australia, equal in measure is the growth that has occurred in other employment opportunities in the fashion industry including fashion journalism, fashion styling, make-up and hair styling, fashion photography and modelling. Australia has developed an international reputation for producing some of the emerging stars of the fashion world, from designers to models. Supermodels such as Elle McPherson (now with her own high-end lingerie line), Miranda Kerr, Gemma Ward and Megan Gale have reinforced Australia’s place on the world stage.

With Australian designs seen on celebrities including Cameron Diaz and Kate Moss, Australian designers will continue to have their eyes set on the global fashion stage and aspire to achieve similar success experienced by those who have successfully made their mark internationally.

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