Australian supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw has been conspicuous by her absence on the Fall/Winter 2012/2013 runway circuit, turning up in just two shows in New York - Alexander Wang and Anna Sui - and prompting all sorts of wild rumours. Sure, at Kershaw's level (she is ranked the world #5 by models.com) a model might not feel the need to run herself ragged on every runway, choosing instead to appear in a select few shows, possibly on an exclusive basis. Considering that Kershaw is a current advertising face of Gucci, however, many were surprised to see her miss that specific Milanese show last Wednesday. But frockwriter can reveal that she has at least one pretty good excuse for keeping a low profile.
Kershaw's Australian mother agency, Chic Management, tells frockwriter that Kershaw is having knee surgery in New York tomorrow.
This follows several years of health problems.
Three years ago, some may recall, Kershaw took off the entire Fall/Winter 2009/2010 season after an arthroscopic investigation just after Christmas 2008 revealed bone fragments in one knee. Chic Management reported at the time that Kershaw had had a longstanding problem with her knee ligaments - a problem that pre-dated, but was possibly not helped by, two runway spills during the previous season.
In September 2008, Kershaw fell at Rodarte's Spring/Summer 2009 show in New York, wearing a pair of gravity-defying Nicholas Kirkwood stilettoes. Three weeks later in Paris, she fainted on Alexander McQueen's runway in a tight corset.
In December 2010, Kershaw also had a minor cycling accident in New York.
We wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.
But could she possibly be working on a film project with Steven Spielberg?
We initially called Chic Management to enquire if there is any weight to this rumour - first floated on Twitter two days ago by New York-based photographer Damian Bao as the real reason why Kershaw missed the Milan shows.
Chic Management claimed to have no knowledge whatsoever of any film projects in the pipeline. Kershaw's New York agency, Next Model Management, however, was slightly less emphatic in its response, saying that Next is "not able to comment at the moment on any of Abbey's projects". Which is not exactly a flat denial.
A quick check of Spielberg's IMDB lists six projects currently in pre- or post-production: Robopocalypse, When Worlds Collide, Men in Black III, Lincoln, The Talisman and Jurassic Park IV.
We'd love to be a fly on the wall in Kershaw's New York hospital suite tomorrow, to observe if any scripts with fembot or alien parts are on her bedside table.