They love a sunburnt country

melissa johannsen backstage at rodarte FW1213, vogue.it via TFS

Fashion really is having a love affair with all things Australian at the moment (and for anyone not familiar with the line in this post's title, it's borrowed from the iconic Australian poem My Country by Dorothea MacKellar). Sydney's urban beach culture was the inspiration for Michael Kors' Resort 2012 collection and in New York last week, Jeremy Scott looked to have deployed an army of Ms Fitz clones to model his Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection. Scott said the collection was "inspired by the computer and the way information is disseminated today" and his show styling and even invitation certainly bore a striking resemblance to the work of the New York-based, Sydney expat artist, stylist and blogger. The Mulleavy sisters, meanwhile, themed their Fall/Winter 2012/2103 Rodarte collection around the "rugged Australian outback". Their cast included two Australians, Codie Young and Melissa 'MJ' Johannsen (above). Johannsen, who turned 17 yesterday, is of course more than a little au fait with Australia's Red Centre, hailing as she does from Alice Springs. Young and Johannsen were among at least 28 Australians to walk the New York Fashion Week runways last week. Below are their New York Fall/Winter 2012/2013 showlists.
Julia Nobis looks to be attempting to break her season record of 60 shows with 25 shows already under her belt this season in New York. Right behind her is Codie Young with 18 shows, opening or closing (or else both opening and closing) eight of these.

Newcomers include Girlfriend Model Search winner Jemma Baines, Emily Jean, Olivia Thornton and of course Shanina Shaik, who made her international debut last November in the Victoria's Secret show and then walked for Chanel's Pre Fall 2012 show the following month. It's been three years since Shaik was last in the spotlight - as runnerup of Seven Network's short-lived model reality show, Make Me A Supermodel.

Of note, this is the first time that two men have made any season's Top Ten in terms of show numbers - Angus Low and Joel Meacock. They are two of the rising Australian stars we mentioned in our recent post about the FW1213 menswear season in Milan and Paris
Meacock was one of ten Australian models promoted by New York agency Wilhelmina for New York Fashion Week castings, alongside Johannsen, Dempsey Stewart, Harrison Dimitroff, James Cater, Louka Taffin, Shane Gibson, Ebony Edwards, Gabrielle Sullivan and Laura Wood. Wilhelmina agent Greg Chan scouted most of these during a trip to Australia in December. Chan originally flew in to judge the finals of the Gold Coast Miss Schoolies modelling competition, which was won by Edwards - and which he describes as "a mini Girls Gone Wild". Over coffee in Sydney, we joked that Steven Meisel should travel to Australia one of these days and use Schoolies as a shoot backdrop.
Chan then travelled around Australia, including Alice Springs, to see the sights and meet with Johannsen's family. It was his second trip down under. I asked him for his thoughts on the proliferation of Australian models internationally. 

“I’m not sure why there haven’t been any major articles yet on the invasion of Aussie models - V magazine should do something on it" said Chan. "And it’s great because it’s not only the girls but the guys now are pouring in which I have to say was more challenging before. It’s funny because I heard someone tell me a few months ago that the Aussie moment was over. Well not if I have anything to do with it. After I exhaust the cities I'm going to go into the farmland and the mining towns with a van and a bullhorn to find more. I suppose I'm kind of like an Aussie whisperer ha ha. I think there’s something special about the spirit down under. It’s a fearless energy that is both disarming and beautiful. Aussies will talk to anyone. I love that. The Russian girls are fantastically gorgeous but have little to say. It’s all about connecting with people. I mean I can only speak for myself but that kind of energy connects with me and I base my inspiration on my heart. It’s like they come from this tiny corner of the world where noone goes and you expect the people to be so recluse. Instead they’re incredibly curious to discover what else is out there. Aussies will save all their money to go thousands of miles to find out. They’re born with a gene to explore and interact and that is what I want in my talent.

“Personally I think the future is just beginning with the Aussie models. Scores of small independent scouts are popping up with a wonderful new eye, finding a different kind of girl. That’s going to change the game. There are  some extraordinary small players in Australia that actually understand the look of a New York model more than most big city agencies around the world. Oh it's lovely. And its not going to end soon. We need a revolution like that here in the States”.


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Julia Nobis
Richard Chai
Tadashi Shoji
Peter Som
Jason Wu
Rag & Bone
Suno
Alexander Wang
Prabal Gurung
Lacoste
Altuzarra
Victoria Beckham
Tommy Hilfiger
Edun
Derek Lam
Jen Kao
Theyskens’ Theory (closed)
Marc Jacobs
Tory Burch
Narciso Rodrqiguez
Vera Wang
Michael Kors
Proenza Schouler
Reed Krakoff
Ports 1961
Calvin Klein

= 25 


Codie Young
Honor
Cynthia Rowley
Rebecca Taylor
Creatures of the Wind (opened)
Tess Giberson (closed)
Band of Outsiders
Charlotte Ronson (opened and closed)
Edun
Marc Jacobs
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tory Burch
Rodarte
Timo Weiland (closed)
Oscar de la Renta
L’Wren Scott
V by Victoria Beckham
Marchesa
Vivienne Tam (opened and closed)

= 18 


Angus Low
Richard Chai
Loden Dager
Robert Geller
General Idea
Academy of Art University
Siki Im
Antonio Azzuolo
Duckie Brown
Custo Barcelona
J Crew
Shades of Grey
Tim Coppens
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Yigal Azrouel

= 14 


Melissa ‘MJ’ Johannsen
Nicholas K
Libertine
Steven Alan
Kimberley Ovitz
Band of Outsiders
Charlotte Ronson
Tracy Reese
Rodarte
Concept Korea
Denis Basso (closed)
Bibhu Mohapatra
Whitney Eve
Jeremy Scott

= 13 


Gabrielle Sullivan
Bibhu Mohapatra

Emerson
Gen Art
Assembly
Gretchen Jones
Katie Gallagher
Correll Correll
Erin Featherston
Odilion
Negarins
Japan Leather
Noon by Noor 

= 12 

Caitlin Lomax Libertine
Jason Wu
Creatures of the Wind
Derek Lam
Thakoon
Oscar de la Renta
Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti
Zero Maria Cornejo

= 8 


Ajak Deng
Suno
St John
Lela Rose
Mara Hoffman (opened)

Dennis Basso
Nanette Lepore
L'Wren Scott

= 7


Tori Trigg
Cynthia Rowley
Creatures of the Wind
Parkchoonmoo
Yigal Azrouel
Rachel Zoe
Ruffian (closed) 


= 6 

Shanina Shaik
Jason Wu (opened)
Charlotte Ronson
Ruffian
Diesel Black Gold
Kevork Kiledjian

Nanette Lepore

= 6 


Tallulah Morton
Pamela Love
Mara Hoffman
Betsey Johnson

Threeasfour
Bebe
Rachel Roy

= 6


Lydia Willemina Collins
Yigal Azrouel
Doo.Ri
Wayne
Theyskens’ Theory
Milly 

L.A.M.B.

= 6 

Ebony Edwards
Angel Sanchez
Gen Art
Calla
Correll Correll
Nicki Cozzolino
Noon by Noor

= 6 

Joel Meacock
DKNY
Rag & Bone
Billy Reid
Loden Dager
Joseph Abboud
Y-3 


= 6 

Emily Jean
Libertine
DKNY
J Crew

Houghton
Monika Chiang

= 5 


Amanda Ware
BCBG Max Azria
Hervé Léger
Ohne Titel
Jenny Packham
Carlos Miele

= 5 


Jemma Baines
Libertine
Rachel Zoe
Marc Jacobs
Houghton

Parkchoonmoo

= 5 


James Cater
Native Son

Concept Korea
Alexandre Plokhov
Robert Geller
Spurr 

= 5 

Dempsey Stewart
Rebecca Taylor
Band of Outsiders
Sophie Theallet (closed)
Calvin Klein
 

= 4 

Rosemary Smith
Band of Outsiders
3.1 Philip Lim 

Felder Felder

= 3 

Chrystal Copland
Jil Stuart
Theyskens’ Theory
Anna Sui

= 3 


Olivia Thornton
Nicholas K 

L'Wren Scott
Sachin + Babi

= 3

Harrison Dimitroff 
Loden Dager (opened)
Carlos Campos 
J Crew

= 3 


Abbey Lee Kershaw
Alexander Wang
Anna Sui

= 2 


Tom Bull
Billy Reid
Michael Bastian

= 2 


Victoria Lee
Juan Carlos Obando

= 1 


Sarah Stephens
Betsey Johnson

= 1 


Shane Gibson 
DKNY 

= 1 

Louka Taffin
Rag & Bone 


= 1 


photo gallery

1/ julia nobis - peter som/sonny vandevelde; 2/ codie young – marc by marc jacobs/getty via daylife; 3/ abbey lee kershaw – alexander wang/getty via daylife; 4/ melissa johannsen – dennis basso/getty via daylife; 5/ angus low – marc by marc jacobs/getty via daylife; 6/ dempsey stewart – calvin klein/getty via daylife; 7/ amanda ware – BCBG max azria/sonny vandevelde; 8/ caitlin lomax – jason wu/getty via daylife; 9/ ajak deng – lela rose/getty via daylife; 10/ chrystal copland – anna sui/getty via daylife; 11/ emily jean – DKNY, getty via daylife; 12/ harrison dimitroff- loden dager/getty via daylife; 13/ jemma baines – marc jacobs/wwd via TFS; 14/ joel meacock – loden dager/getty via daylife; 15/ lydia willemina collins – theyskens theory/getty via daylife; 16/ james cater – native son/design scene; 17/ rose smith – band of outsiders/getty via daylife; 18/ tom bull – billy reid/getty via daylife; 19/ tallulah morton – betsey johnson/getty via daylife; 20/ shanina shaik – jason wu/getty via daylife; 21/ tori trigg – rachel zoe/getty via daylife; 22/ louka taffin – rag & bone/style.com; 23/ victoria lee – juan carlos obando/getty via daylife; 24/ gabrielle sullivan - bibhu mohapatra/getty via daylife; 25/ olivia thornton - sachin + babi/getty via daylife; 26/ sarah stephens - betsey johnson/getty via daylife; 27/ ebony edwards - angel sanchez/getty via daylife