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Annette Lin

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Melissa ‘MJ’ Johannsen

A chance shopping trip to South Australia was to model Melissa ‘MJ’ Johannsen what a spider bite was to Peter Parker, or an all-too-juicy apple was to Snow White; unlike them however, her fate has taken her all over the (fashion) world.

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Originally hailing from Alice Springs - best known for its whoop-whoop location in the heart of Australia’s very vast, very arid desert - this fresh-faced teenager with ethereal looks was discovered in 2010 while on a shopping trip to the closest capital city Adelaide. Within months she was flying to Australian Fashion Week to walk for Aussie fashion stalwarts Camilla and Marc and Yeojin Bae; not long after, she was flying to New York Fashion Week, where she was picked by Kate and Laura Mulleavy to walk for Rodarte's spring/summer 2011 show.

It was the start of a beautiful relationship; Johannsen has walked in NYFW for the past three seasons, each time appearing for Rodarte amongst other brands. The feeling is mutual - she names Rodarte is the highlight of her show schedule, and cannot be quick enough to praise their collections. “Each one of their pieces is just a work of art, so much work goes into it and there’s so much detail. I’m definitely a huge fan of their stuff, I would like, take their whole collection home and steal it if I could,” she laughs.

Not that she needs to - despite growing up in a town where “surf shops were the height of fashion”, her sartorial sense has quickly developed to the point where she is a regular subject of street style blogger Candice Lake. She describes her style as “grungy rock-chick”, with a closet full of Rag & Bone, Band of Outsiders and Mulberry. “I really love fashion now,” she says. “I’ve learnt so quickly about all the high fashion brands, and I’ve got my favourites and all the different things that I like and I’m enjoying putting little outfits together with all my clothes and stuff, so yeah.”

Indeed, the self-proclaimed “outback kid” is looking forward to being in the shows again as fashion season starts in less than a month. “I love fashion season. I love the hype of it all and it’s such a huge rush and the adrenalin of running to shows and castings and all that. 

“Some of the girls don’t really enjoy it because it’s so busy and you don’t have the time to stop and rest, but I think that’s the whole excitement of it.”

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MJ in the Flinders Ranges / Adelaide Now

The little black jacket #4: Behind the scenes of The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s classic revisted by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld / Vogue México

In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, Genevieve Bailey and I quizzed the gracious Camilla Freeman-Topper of Camilla and Marc about love and what it means to her for Vogue Australia. It’s not an easy topic to open up about - powerful and amazing, love is also very personal and can be devastatingly soul-wrenching. But at the same time it can also be very beautiful and, as Camilla says, “There are moments when you just need love around you”. 

Thank you to Camilla for letting us film her and see the original on vogue.com.au. Oh, and for more video, see also the very cool lookbook video for the Camilla and Marc autumn/winter collection titled ‘Paperback Lovers’. Gorgeous. 

Codie Young in Vogue Australia

Codie Young X Vogue Australia / Codie Young

Feliz cumple a Mario Testino

Favorite place to celebrate your own birthday? 

Anywhere in the world where I have a couple of friends. Alone is a bit tricky.”

Happy birthday to Mario Testino, prolific photographer and Vogue cover champ / Nowness.com

Published: Photographer Mario Testino celebrates 52 covers with Paris Vogue

'World-renowned photographer Mario Testino celebrates an incredible – and iconic  – 52 covers for Paris Vogue.

Over the course of 30 years, photographer Mario Testino’s sexy and exuberant images have graced no less than 52 Paris Vogue covers.

Working with the world’s most beautiful women – including Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova and Linda Evangelista – the Peruvian-born photographer has captured glamour, confidence and sensuality from all of his subjects.’

Read more of my story on legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino’s covers for Paris Vogue on vogue.com.au

/ vogue.com.au

Published: Glamour in the front row at Milan Fashion Week

Fashionable progeny and editors brought European style and glamour to the front rows of Milan Fashion Week.

 

In contrast to the pop star-studded benches in London and New York, front seats at Milan were filled with glamour the European way. 

Heiress and aspiring actress Bianca Brandollini d’Adda sat in the front row at Fendi, next to jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi, daughter of Silvia Venturini Fendi, accessories director at the luxury fashion house.’

Find the rest of my story on front row faces at Milan Fashion Week on vogue.com.au

Garance Doré and Scott Schumann at Fendi / vogue.com.au

Published: Street style with attitude at London Fashion Week

'This season’s colour-blocking trend mixed with a dose of gritty Brit attitude summed up the street style at London Fashion Week.

The London fashion pack took their typical irreverent approach to style, pairing black body-skimming pieces and sultry, tough-girl attitude with bubblegum pink lipstick and fluoro yellow clothing from Christopher Kane.

Blogger Columbine Smille threw a tomato red Cos vest over a Ralph Lauren shirt in a homage to preppy high school Americana and amped up the attitude with a leather-look skirt, while model Hanne Gaby Odiele combined fashion, fun and feistiness with zippered Rodarte trousers, a fluorescent lime Christopher Kane jacket and a toy unicorn peeking out of her bag.’

See more of my story and Candice Lake’s street chic pics at vogue.com.au

Barbara Palvin in Hugo Boss jacket, Vera Wang shoes and Christian Dior glasses / Candice Lake X vogue.com.au

Published: Australian models make it on the runway

'Australian models took over the runways in New York and London, with a record number of faces seen on the catwalk this year.

A total of 28 models including Codie Young, Dempsey Stewart, Ajak Deng and Krystal Glynn were cast in the Damrosch Park shows.

Richard Chai and Marc Jacobs in particular seemed to favour Antipodean beauties, with six models being cast at Richard Chai and Jacobs choosing five Australians for his show.’

Read the rest of my story about Aussie models in Manhattan on vogue.com.au

Julia Nobis / vogue.com.au

Published: Quirky vintage street style at NYFW

'Street style at New York Fashion Week screamed three words: relaxed, quirky and fun.

With fashion week attendants rushing between shows in loud vintage prints and strong colours, the sartorial mood on the street was optimistic and bright.

A new type of sensuality was spotted too, with editors, models and socialites seen creating fluid shapes from jersey fabrics and cinching them in at the waist, displaying a silhouette that was more suggestive than overtly sexy.’

Read more of my story on street style at New York Fashion Week as shot by Candice Lake at vogue.com.au

Olivia Palermo, Elle Fanning + Julia Restoin-Roitfeld / Candice Lake X Vogue Australia

Rodarte spring/summer 2012

 

Frida Gustavsson, Lindsey Wixson, Gertrud Hegelun, Mirte Maas, Marike Le Roux, Samantha Gradoville X Rodarte / vogue.com

Published: Bars, chefs and students pop up at Westfield Sydney

'A student design exhibition, VIP lounges and a Masterchef contestant appeared at Westfield Sydney on Thursday night for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.

The Vogue Lounge on level two gave shoppers a place to relax in between spending. Meanwhile a stage was set up outside Westfield for the launch of Fashion’s Night Out and a Masterchef cook-off.

After the night was opened, Masterchef contestant Hayden Quinn made an appearance, before Leona Edmiston and David Tsirekas of Perama took the stage to prepare a dish inspired by Edmiston’s spring/summer collection using mandarins, raspberries, beetroot and edible flowers.’

Read more about the events at Westfield Sydney on Fashion’s Night Out at vogue.com.au

Fleur Wood and Alessandro Pavoni at the Masterchef Challenge outside Westfield Sydney / Tito Media

Published: Shoppers wine & dine at Fashion’s Night Out

'Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place hosted a fashionable shopping soiree on Thursday with the music pumping and drinks flowing at most stores on Fashion’s Night Out. 

Shoppers mingled with celebrities, designers and stylists, while enjoying discounts and special offers. In-store DJs, champagne and cocktails fuelled the party atmosphere.

Kate Waterhouse and lifesavers from Bondi Rescue were at Calvin Klein, where models replaced mannequins in the store display to showcase the brand’s spring/summer range.’

Read more about the giant fashionable fiesta that was Fashion’s Night Out Sydney on vogue.com.au

Fashion’s Night Out Sydney ambassador Jessica Gomes at Karen Millen / Tito Media

Published: Street style at Fashion’s Night Out

'Fashion’s Night Out was just as much about the street style as the shopping.

Bright pops of colour, ladylike skirts and the coupling of high-street brands and luxury labels were the themes of the night.

Meg Gray, Vogue’s fashion editor, paired her official Vogue Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt with a tangerine fishtail Prada skirt, while Sydneysider Eve Smith punctuated her soft, neutral-toned ensemble with a punchy coral ASOS bag. ‘

… and did you know that Luke Sales of Romance Was Born has 15 pairs of Reeboks? They remind him of being young, he said. Awesomeness!

See more street chic from Fashion’s Night Out Sydney at vogue.com.au

Love the coral ASOS bag / Xiohan Shen X Vogue Australia