I had a chance to sit down with the fantastic Joseph Tenni, head booker from Chadwick Sydney, after the Lonely Hearts show – which he missed due to pushy Aucklanders elbowing their way in! (I apologised on their behalf.) Topics of conversation included Vanessa Milde, Louise Van de Vorst, his thoughts on New Zealand models and the whole no stopping at the end of the runway debacle…
Me: Tell me a bit about Vanessa Milde.
Joseph Tenni: Vanessa is Australia’s rising star. She’s 17, she’s Gemini and she’s from South Australia. She’s with Chadwick in Australia, 62 here and IMG in New York, Milan, London and Paris. She just got back from a great season in Paris where she walked for Chanel, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Christian Lacroix.
Me: So what’s she doing here in New Zealand then? Why didn’t she go to do the New York shows?
JT: She decided not to go to New York, she’s still at school, New Zealand’s so close it’s easier to come and do it here, and she’s been here before (about 2 years ago). And she can be a really big fish in a small pond here. I think she’s on a different level to a lot of the girls here.
Me: What have you thought about the standard of the models here at Fashion Week?
JT: I was here last year for Fashion Week and I think the standard of models is better than last year. But there are some girls here who wouldn’t work anywhere else.
Me: Which of the New Zealand girls do you think have a bright future ahead of them?
JT: The girls who standout to me are Samantha Shorter (from 62), I love her, she’s like a baby Paulina Porizkova. I love love love Elena Zubielivitch (from 62), she’s got a big career ahead of her. Georgia Fowler from Clyne is incredible and I love Jessica White from Nova. India (from 62) has potential but she’s still very young.
Me: I’ve noticed a distinct lack of blondes this year. Have you noticed that?
JT: It didn’t strike me, but maybe it’s just not a blonde season. Overseas it’s all about Asians and African girls at the moment, they’re getting away from the Northern European look.
Me: What are your thoughts on Zippora Seven?
JT: I think Zippora looks like a cross between Hillary Duff and (French actress) Melanie Thierry and I think Amanda Betts did an absolutely amazing job making everyone believe in her when she wasn’t that amazing, and she had all that work put into developing her and now she’s grown into this amazing thing. Amanda Betts did an incredible job with her.
Me: And what about Katie Braatvedt?
JT: Katie Braatvedt is an exceptional beauty. They’re still holding her back because of school but she’s doing as well as she can while not being a full time model.
Me: And Olivia O’Driscoll?
JT: Love Olivia O’Driscoll. Love her and want her (laughs)! She’s New Zealand’s new hype bunny.
Me: What do you think of how the models haven’t been posing at the end of the runway?
JT: I find it strange, it’s not what I’m used to. Even watching Fashion TV you don’t see it, it’s unorthodox. It seems to be a statement but I can’t work out what it is!
Me: How’s Louise Van de Vorst going?
JT: I love Louise. Everyone knows her in Australia, she’s done everything. She’s getting papped everywhere she goes, it’s crazy. She’s about to go to New York and Europe again.