We were packed in like sardines backstage at David Jones’ Spring/Summer 2015/2016 show at the Elizabeth Street, Sydney flagship on Wednesday, but thanks to DJs for squeezing me in. I managed to fire off a few shots in what was a particularly tight space this season. Here is a small selection.
It’s been a couple of seasons since I shot backstage at the DJs show. A lot has changed in the interim obviously – i.e. a brand new owner in the form of South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings Ltd, which acquired David Jones last August for $2.2billion and is in the process of revamping it. With sales surging 6.4percent in the interim – the retailer’s strongest sales growth in eight years – the revamp looks to be on the right track.
Hard to put your finger on exactly what has changed in the production of DJs’ biannual fashion launch post-acquisition. Beyond the slicker, far more minimal sets of the past two seasons, which are certainly an improvement on before – not to mention the high-tech campaign tie-in this season with former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, who sang live during Wednesday’s show – at a quick glance from where I was standing at least, there appeared to have been a better and tighter edit of the brands and clothes selected for the show. There looked to be less dross, more gloss. And not before time.
The model roll call included, of course, DJs ambassadors Jessica Gomes, Montana Cox and Jason Dundas, runway veterans such as Ruby Jean Wilson and Ollie Henderson and some up-and-coming names, such as Talisa Quirk and Kia Low, the latter now an international runway circuit regular – and who never seemed to stop smiling backstage. Also, some of the new cadre of ethnically-diverse girls who are starting to make their marks, notably Charlee Fraser and Kawani Prenter. And who could forget the media hype over model/actor/tv host/Miss Australia 2010 Jesinta Campbell. Not realising who she was until after the show wrapped, I kept asking myself, ‘Who’s the blogger in the show?’
Arguably the biggest modelling find of the night was not a girl, but a guy, however – brand new Viviens’ face Charlie Kennedy (first digital shot, below). Modelling for approximately three months, Kennedy is no doubt destined for big things.