The new deal
Some background: in May that year, David Jones dropped legal action against the Australia Institute over the latter’s 2006 paper, Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of Children in Australia, which had accused several large local retailers, including David Jones, of exploiting children in marketing material.
Also in May 2009, Australian photographer Bill Henson had become embroiled in a child pornography scandal over images of naked teenagers in an exhibition at Sydney’s Rosyln Oxley 9.
Nevertheless, the new 18 year age minimum seemed draconian, considering the fact that 16 year olds are able to model at Australia’s biggest fashion showcase, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia - an age minimum that had, in fact, only just been imposed in April 2008, following MBFWA’s own underage modelling scandal that year.
“Eighteen to 35 is the target audience and (we) need girls to reflect that” noted DJs casting director Kelvin Harries in an interview with The Adelaide Advertiser in 2009.
Fast track to 2014 and DJs would now appear to have officially dropped its age minimum back to 16.
In July last year, as regular readers may recall, it had become obvious that in spite of the 18 year age rule, a few younger models were in fact being cast, with at least three under-18s sneaking into the Spring/Summer 2013/2014 show.
Although Frockwriter is still waiting to hear back from DJs for an official comment on the subject, two agencies have told us that the 18-year age minimum has been "officially scrapped" and that all over 16s were welcome to the recent castings for the Autumn/Winter 2014 show, which takes place tonight.
And indeed, a number of under 18s will be featuring in the Autumn/Winter 2014 showcase at DJs' flagship Elizabeth Street Sydney store.
Below is the near final DJs cast list which includes a number of new faces from some of Australia's biggest agencies. The list includes several virtually unseen models, who will appear alongside some of Australia's most successful modelling exports, such as Ruby Jean Wilson, Kaila Hart and Jemma Baines, as well as a few internationals who are in town.
Top of the newbie list is Talisa Quirk (17) from Coolum, Queensland, who was originally signed in April last year by IMG Models’ Paris and New York-based vice presidents of development, Jeni Rose and David Cunningham - after not only having been spotted by both earlier in the year during the state-wide audition roadshow for Cycle 8 of Australia's Next Top Model, for which IMG Models is the affiliate modelling agency, but also making it into Cycle 8's Top 50. Just not the show itself. Quirk has since been signed to IMG Models worldwide and this Friday is due to fly out to Europe, where she is on option for a number of Milan and Paris Fashion Week exclusives. Definitely one to watch for the upcoming northern hemisphere Fall/Winter 2014/2015 show season, which commences in New York in a few weeks’ time.
Also brand new from IMG Models is Nikita Steinohrt (19), a Melbourne veterinary science student who was spotted during last year’s auditions for Australia’s Next Top Model, but never made it into the series proper (like Quirk, she did, however, make it into the Top 50). Also, Madison Stubbington (16), who we originally met in her home town of Adelaide in September 2012.
New to the DJs show, although not the industry, are IMG Models Australia's new faces Astrid Holler (17) and Eliza Baker (17).
Chic Management's brand new faces are Jade Burton (17) from the Central Coast and Stephanie Field (18), originally from Wagga, NSW, both of whom were originally spotted during the 2012 edition of the Girlfriend Model Search competition.
London Management's new face is Dylan Blizzard, who has been modelling for six months, while as we reported on Friday, eMg Models has Charlee Fraser in the show. Although not brand new, Fraser is nevertheless new to the David Jones show and is the second indigenous Australian in the cast, after DJs ambassador Samantha Harris.
Work Agency, meanwhile, has 20 year old British/Australian Georgia Graham, who was scouted in Sydney last year at a Zara store, amusingly, and has been modelling for six months.
Alina Ismailova [Russian]
Olivia Lefebre [New Zealand]
IMG MODELS AUSTRALIA
Signe Belfiore [Swedish]
Kathleen McGonigle [American]
Fernanda Hin Lin Ly
Ash Walker [American]
Ruby Jean Wilson
George Alsford [British]
Rob Moore [British]
Henna Lintukangas [Finnish]
Jena Goldsack [British]
Sofia Fischer [British]
THE AGENCY MODELS
ALL IMAGES - SUPPLIED BY IMG MODELS AND CHIC MANAGEMENT. COVER: JADE BURTON
1/ TALISA QUIRK
2/ NIKITA STEINOHRT
3/ JADE BURTON
4/ STEPHANIE FIELD