An Aussie elegance
By Jen Melocco
January 24, 2008 06:00am
THE Paris haute couture shows may highlight the best of French fashion but it is top Australian models who are working the looks down the catwalk.
Catherine McNeil, 18, is the latest Oz model to hit the fashion world centre stage, appearing in five shows for the world’s top designers.
Yesterday the model, who is managed by Sydney model agency Chic, appeared in the deep sea-inspired Chanel show, wore fashion fantasy pieces at French designer Christian Lacroix and finished the day in sleek statement pieces at Givenchy.
“This is my first couture week and the dresses are amazing,” Catherine said from Paris.
The New York-based Queenslander has made a meteoric rise on the fashion front in the past 12 months — being heralded for bringing back classic beauty to the modelling world and fronting a Versace campaign with Kate Moss.
But she said the world of couture, where made-to-measure dresses are created for an estimated 200 seriously rich clients internationally, was a world apart: “I didn’t even know that anything like this existed.
“The clothes and everything are so over the top.”
Those decadent looks included a brilliant collection from Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld that was inspired by the beauty of shells found at the bottom of the sea.
Soft shell tones dominated in the collection, which was strong on mid-length skirts teamed with shell-like versions of the classic Chanel jacket and delicate soft-toned cocktail dresses and gowns, all worn with simple flats.
It was colour that made its mark at Christian Lacroix.
Bold tones from sunshine yellow to fuschia pink were weaved into decadent dresses that ran riot — from puff-sleeved polka dot print day numbers to multi-tiered cocktail dresses.
Simple, beautiful styles were also on show at Givenchy, with McNeil wowing in a fun and flirty version of the little black dress.
It has been a big week for Australian girls on the Paris runway.
Two other girls from Chic have made it big in the shows — Mosman teenager Alexandra Agostan and newcomer Hayley Magnus who appeared for Giorgio Armani.