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Australian Designer Catherine Martin Wins Two Oscars for The Great Gatsby


Cate Blanchett might have a shiny new Best Actress Academy Award, but it's another Australian, designer Catherine Martin, who's now her country’s most prolific Oscar winner.

Martin won two Oscars for her work on husband Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, taking out the Best Costume Design and Best Production Design categories. That puts her total tally at four, one gong above Orry-Kelly, who won three awards for his design contributions to An American in Paris, Les Girls and Some Like It Hot. Martin had previously won two Oscars for Moulin Rouge in 2002.

Though The Great Gatsby earned mixed reviews from critics, the opulent costumes and hedonistic sets won over even F. Scott Fitzgerald extremists. Miuccia Prada designed 40 background dresses as well as some of Carey Mulligan’s costumes, while Brooks Brothers supplied a further 1,200 in total (some of the party scenes had almost 300 extras outfitted in unique costumes).

The film’s release also coincided with the great Jazz Age revival of Spring 2012. Designers including Gucci and Ralph Lauren found inspiration in the flapper era, and trend reports everywhere added fuel to the roaring 20s fire. Vogue interpreted the trend more literally by giving Mulligan a full Gatsby-themed cover for the May 2013 issue, after a lengthy mutual courtship with Luhrmann (he created all the videos for the Met Costume Institute – now the Anna Wintour Costume Center — 2012 ‘Schiaparelli and Prada’ exhibition, and Mulligan co-chaired the corresponding Met Gala).

In the Best Costumes category, Martin was up against the designers for The Grandmaster, The Invisible Woman, 12 Years a Slave and, most significantly, American Hustle. Fellow Australian designer and top contender Michael Wilkinson, who brought the characters of American Hustle to life with his bold 70s costumes, studied at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art about the same time as Martin.

They might not boast massive star power, but Australian costume designers are having a bigger influence on high street (and high) fashion than anyone might have anticipated. 

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Suzy Menkes to Join Vogue

suzy menkes main 620

Big hair with even bigger news as the inimitable Suzy Menkes announces she is changing publications. After almost 2 million words and an era defining 25 years as Style Editor at the The International New York Times (formerly International Herald Tribune), the infamous fashion journalist has been appointed as international editor for Vogue. Her new role will see her becoming an active presence as a reporter and critic for all of its international sites outside of the U.S.

British-based Menkes will also be able to remain in London whilst working for the Condé Nast publication, covering 19 markets including Britain, France, Italy, China, Russia and Japan.

This marks a true change for the industry as Menkes has been a front row mainstay for the INYT for a quarter of a century, but there looks to be exciting prospects on the horizon with Vogue, particularly for such a revered fashion figure head.

In a statement today, Menkes remarked that "change is good, it's what fashion is all about." Alongside her continuation of online writing, she will also be heading up a new annual luxury goods conference with Condé Nast International.

British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman is certainly excited about the news saying on that “her experience is invaluable and I have always admired her."

Whilst her start date for her job is unconfirmed, Menkes has already noted her gratitude to the newspaper she is leaving: "I am grateful to have spent 25 years at the International Herald Tribune — a newspaper where I had unstinting support in being able to express myself freely and honestly. I feel this is the perfect time to embrace a new challenge in the digital age."

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Carla Zampatti Announced as ‘Mercedez-Benz Presents’ Designer for MBFWA 2014


Carla Zampatti has been announced as the “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2014.

Zampatti will take the opening spot when things kick off on Sunday 06 April, marking an impressive 49 years in the volatile industry. It will be the second time MBFWA has been held at Carriageworks after its game-changing move was announced in 2012, and only the second time Zampatti has showed at the event in its 19-year history. Her shows traditionally take place off-site at an earlier date.

The “Mercedes-Benz Presents” award commends designers for dedication to the use of quality materials, unique style, and innovative design. It will place Zampatti, who previously received the Australian Fashion Industry’s prestigious Australian Fashion Laureate, among overseas “Mercedes-Benz Presents” luminaries including Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Narciso Rodriguez, and Schumacher. Locally, Easton Pearson and Johanna Johnson have been recognized in previous years.

“Carla Zampatti  is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most established and influential designers,” Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO Horst von Sanden said. “We are honored to welcome her into the ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents’ program, which continues to support the industry globally.”

Zampatti is about to take over Collette Dinnigan’s former store in Sydney’s Woollahra (RIP) and will also open a new boutique in Brisbane’s Indooroopilly. In a retail climate where local labels are increasingly threatened by overseas fast fashion chains, it’s nice to see one of our stalwarts thrive in the face of them. 

Image: Carla Zampatti's Facebook

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Zoo Magazine Releases Its Spring 2014 Covers with Malgosia Bela and Lily McMenamy

Quaterly magazine Zoo released its Spring 2014 #42 covers via Facebook today. The minimalistic covers feature models Malgosia Bela and Lily McMenamy. McMenamy's cover was photographed by Dancian and Bela's was shot by Bryan Adams.





Malgosia's cover is my favourite, although I am partial to Bela's beauty and insane modelling ability. She just excells at every shoot. Which cover will you choose?

Check out the thread here, and join the discussion.

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Link Buzz: Sky Ferreira Covers Miss Vogue Australia; Arby’s Bought Pharrell’s Grammys Hat



  • Miss Vogue Australia's second issue, covered by Sky Ferreira, is available on newsstands today. In an obvious play for my attention and affection, the issue also features Greta Gerwig, Suki Waterhouse, Metronomy and Tommy Ton. []
  • Last night at the Oscars, an elite cadre of actresses appeared on the red carpet dressed in DIOR. Take a few moments to prepare yourself and then click on to see it for yourself. [FabSugar]
  • Suzy Menkes is leaving the International Herald Tribune for a gig at Condé Nast International. [WWD]
  • Some 'barely-there' makeup looks from Stella McCartney's Paris Fashion Week show, if you're into that kind of thing. [BellaSugar]
  • Arby's bought Pharrell's now-infamous Grammys hat for the low, low price of $44,100. [The Cut]
  • Timberland's classic yellow boot is having "a moment," as they say in the biz. Will its success help the footwear company sell other styles? [Fashionista]
  • NastyGal has hired a former Lululemon exec to help the e-commerce site expand into new product categories, like home and swimwear. [Racked]

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Is Subscribing to Magazines Worth It?

After a thread was bumped on theFashionSpot last week, I began to think: Is it worthwhile to subscribe to magazines?

I used to subscribe to UK Elle but decided to cancel my subscription because I disliked its new format after a redesign. I replaced Elle with UK Vogue after I happened to stumble across an excellent subsription deal. I also subscribe to UK Harper's Bazaar because it offers subscribers an exclusive cover, so the thought of exclusivity forced me to make the annual commitment.

I was (secretly still am) a fanatic about getting a magazine in pristine condition, so never in my wildest dreams did I consider a subscription to Vogue. The thought of getting a damaged copy through the mail was almost unbearable (luckily no complaints thus far). Vogue's just one of those magazines which is an investment and a real coffee table statement.

What advantages does a subscriber get? Like Bazaar, many publications use exclusive subscription covers to entice new readers. Price is also a factor. My current Vogue subscription allows me seven free issues a year (paying full price for the remaining five). 'Free issues' being an incredibly clever choice of words and an excellent marketing tool. It's imperative you find yourself a good deal.

My one complaint is that sometimes you will see an issue in the stores before you recieve it through the mail, which can be frustrating after most publications entice their customers by stating they'll receive issues before its on-sale date.

Below is the subscription cover to UK Harper's Bazaar's April 2014 issue with Sarah Jessica Parker, photographed by Alexi Lubomirski.



See what I mean? Why wouldn't you want to subscribe to recieve this beautiful cover?

Overall, I am very content to subscribe to a magazine. My main reason is to keep the print industry alive. Ever since I started to collect fashion magazines in 2005, I've only ever known print versions and I'm still not completely fond of digital copies. There's something about holding a tactile issue and admiring the content in person which seals the deal for me.

I'm curious, which magazines (non-fashion magazines welcome) do you subscribe to? Check out the thread here. You can also visit 'Subscription Help' for questions you may have regarding subscribing to a particular publication.


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