One of the more interesting things about attending all the holiday parties is bumping into all the models and hearing their stories from their mouths (rather than from their agents').
Last night Elite hosted a gathering inside the agency and drew a great mix of models, from established veterans like Alex Coventry and Lara Fattal to newcomers like Russian import (less than a year in Canada) Ksenia Mezenina.
Michelle Valencourt drove in from Barrie, while 5'11" newcomer Emily made the journey from Niagara to take part.
Modelresource chatted with Meredith Mason and her mother for quite a while and learned the grade 11 student, just six months in the industry, has been shooting like crazy lately. Mason gave up synchronized swimming to pursue modelling, much like another model that went on to big things. We've been promised a full update soon from Elite booker Allison MacGillivray.
Edney Hendrickson, Lou Lou's Marilisa Racco and Men's Director Marc Rutherford
Speaking of that particular booker, we also learned from a few people that Modelresource's article on MacGillivray's recent trip to Shanghai is overdue. That story is coming soon.
Mark Hobson told Modelresource about his recent trip to Montréal to shoot Buffalo Jeans, and Highrise Magazine's Kyle Maling tipped us off as to what we can expect in coming issues. We're very excited about the March issue of the magazine (we're excited about the current issue too, but after what we learned about the the following one - nothing we can say yet - we're really excited about it).
One great idea from this party: agency staff wandered around with a Polaroid camera taking snapshots to put into a book to remember the occassion.
Kudos also to whomever made the decision to accept gifts for Elite's Christmas toy drive.
Model Angela, flanked by bookers Duy Cao and Noel Smith
Stylus Canada threw the agency party of note this weekend, at the Amber Lounge in Yorkville.
Certainly the busiest party Modelresource has attended thusfar, the loud, dark, crowded atmosphere made photos difficult (sorry), but the event was definitely a success for the new-ish agency which is expanding its booking staff and overhauling its website in the New Year.
Making friends with the snow seemed to be the order of the day at the Giovanni "Holiday Cheer" gathering Thursday.
Despite a blizzard that made the trek somewhat treacherous, when mixed with pomegranate or watermelon liqueur the snow was intoxicatingly good (but like any yellow snow, stay away from the Limoncello!).
Done right inside Giovanni's agency, the event was catered by Kubo Radio, meaning the food was both delicious and healthy.
Giovanni Director Alan Thomas made the sno-kones, with some help from booker Katie Martin who made sure each icy treat had enough colour.
As the afternoon became evening, top makeup artist Hung Vanngo tried his hand at making a sno-kone or two, while sharing his story about the difficulty of securing an apartment in Manhattan. Vanngo leaves for New York next week but has to fly back to Toronto almost immediately for a heavily-booked schedule to start the New Year.
In all the times I've been to Giovanni (which is many), this was the first time I saw booker Sharon Smith without a telephone headset firmly attached. Even that though, was only after the first hour.
Brooke Tremain took a break from maternity leave to drop by with her 10-month-old son, while amazingly talented photographer Miguel Jacob and twin brother Marco tried to pass me off as their triplet (you had to be there).
Also spotted: Nam Models' owner Norwayne Anderson, Nam agent Aaron Hawco, Hawco's whippet Diesel, stars-in-the-making Genevieve Pantano, Kori Richardson, & Kaleigh Dey, long-time Giovanni favourite Sorrell, male models Micah Hollenbeck, Marko Grubesic & Michael Currie and 2005 Lancome Makeup Artist of the year Boriana.
Modelresource finally got a taste of Sarah Ruba's musical talents Wednesday night, as her band Birdseyeingit played to a very receptive crowd at the Next Models Holiday Party.
The Mill Street Brewery in Toronto's historic Distillery District played host to the event, which drew the likes of Next Canada owner Thierry Tally, Next Montréal Director Didier Belluguic and Vancouver-based scout Corey Mann.
My cat Jet, as he appears in The International Agents & Models Cookbook
It's really great at this time of year to see the number of charitible gestures being made by Canadian agencies.
A couple months ago we told you about the Sutherland Models gift drive in support of the Children's Aid Society, and lately we've been noticing toys piling up in the lobbies at Ford and B&M. Yesterday afternoon our invite to the Elite holiday drop-in also mentioned they were accepting unwrapped gifts for their toy drive. It's really great to see!
In Calgary meanwhile, Images Director Pat Collins has come up with a unique way to raise funds to help animals. Over the last few months she, along with Jobee Yoshizawa of Mittsu Model Management in Vancouver, has collected recipes from models and agents worldwide. Along with photos of the contributors' respective pets, the recipes have been published into a book, the proceeds of which go to support the Cochrane SPCA.
According to Collins 80% of the books have already been sold, but if you are interested in Lisa Cant's recipe for chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cookies, or my recipe for vegan cheese spread you can contact Collins directly by e-mail or send her a cheque for $15.00 with your address and she will mail a book to you.
When Sutherland put forward its show package in advance of the last L'Oréal Fashion Week two of the models that really caught our eye were Carolyn Balogh and Niina Siller.
The pair ended up sharing a bowling lane with Modelresource, and a fourth player, Marc, at last night's Sutherland Models holiday bowling party.
Marc, Carolyn & Niina
Adrianne Ho & Baiba Zandmane
While Niina's bowling style could be described best as gentle (with the exception of the one shot that flew from her hand in an impressive backward arch), Carolyn's style would better be described as in-your-face (assuming your face were in the gutter).
It's safe to say that Niina was the only one of our foursome to improve as the evening wore on.
In the lane next to us was Sutherland's Men's Director Laura Virdo who posted some impressive scores. It should be noted however, she was playing on what we have called the "loser lane" (the one that has the gutters blocked off with a rail to make hitting the pins unavoidable... ummm... except that one of Virdo's foursome managed to lob a ball into our lane).
Women's booker Brandon Hall meanwhile, reminded Modelresource of the guy we first met nearly a decade ago. Back then Hall was the type to take control of a karaoke machine at conventions and force Jagermeister down the throat of pretty much everyone in the room. I thought he had mellowed since then, but the intensity returned last night as soon as he laced up his bowling shoes.
Other highlights: Models bowling in high heels, the frequent calls of "I broke a nail" and Chantale Nadeau who lights up any room she steps into. Thanks once again to Nadeau for remembering her camera when Modelresource forgot.
She has stormed the international scene so much so that if you look on Models.com's list of Top Ten Women's Agencies, her name is included in IMG's list of breaking faces. The list is only updated once a year (the last update was December 2004), and yet the name "Madeleine" has somehow found its way on to the list in the intervening months. That's a pretty good endorsement of this girl's potential.
Today, according to booker Ryan Greenwood, Berrevoets is shooting for French and TEN in New York, then flying to the Mexican Pacific Coast to shoot with Karen Collins for Telegraph Magazine.
Another of the emerging new faces is someone Modelresource first told you about in September.
Sarra, who was discovered at a shoot for a department store circular is now signed with DNA Models in New York, and as can be seen in the new photo Greenwood forwarded to Modelresource, has a "Super chic!" new do to show from her recent trek to Manhattan.
The coming week promises to be a busy one with four agencies planning their holiday celebrations (fortunately for Modelresource each gathering is on a different day).
The first, planned for Monday, is the Sutherland Models' bowling party. That should make for some interesting photos.
Forgive the obvious segue, but one Sutherland model guaranteed to bowl people over in the coming year is Zoe Duchesne.
Since her career shot in to overdrive in the past year the drop-dead-gorgeous brunette been gaining increasing amounts of interest, and according to Sutherland booker Brandon Hall the agency is expecting even bigger things for Duchesne in the coming year.
December 10, 2005
Hung Vanngo with Giovanni booker Sharon Smith
One of the more frustrating things about printing industry developments occurs when you know something is happening, but you're sworn to secrecy. Right now we're sitting on three (THREE!) major agency developments!
Finally though, we can report that one of this country's most talented artists is relocating to New York in the New Year.
Modelresource first heard of Hung Vanngo's intentions in April, but only recently did everything come together.
Fortunately for the Canadian clients that have come to rely on Vanngo's exceptional talents, the Giovanni artist will still fly back to Canada for bookings.
Giovanni phenom Irina Lazareanu continues her beautiful assault on the fashion world, chalking up Spring/Summer campaigns for Anna Molinari, Mulberry, Just Cavalli and Balenciaga.
As of this morning Lazareanu was ranked #43 on the Models.com list of Top 50 Models in the world. One page ahead of her, at #36, is Julia Dunstall who also landed the Balenciaga campaign.
Tasha Tilberg is the third Giovanni model to book Balenciaga, while simultaneously adding Aqauscutum and Kenzo to her impressive résumé.
Andrea Willis, meanwhile, joins Lazareanu in this season's Just Cavalli marketing, while Britni Stanwood signs up for BCBGirl.
All reasons Giovanni is already enjoying a happy holiday season.
December 9, 2005
Claire Oleson for Izzy Camilleri
Stunning Chantale Nadeau discovery Claire Oleson continues to build her career, doing notable campaign and editorial work.
Claire Oleson in Z!NK
On the right is a photo of Oleson in the latest Izzy Camilleri campaign, while on the left is a shot taken from the current issue of Z!NK.
In addition to her bookings through Sutherland Models in Toronto, Oleson has also lined up 2006 trips to New York, Paris, Singapore and Japan.
December 8, 2005
Thank goodness for I Models' Bailey appearing in the recent German GQ or we might not have any news at all!
You may have noticed the Scene and Heard section has been somewhat quiet this month. As the holiday season approaches the industry slows down, and so does the amount of news we can dig up.
The upside is that Modelresource has more time to work on features. Yesterday, as Willow was shooting Lush with photographer Paul Wright, we were posting our profile on the charming young blonde.
We also cleaned-up and reposted our 2005 New Face Preview. Plans for next year's preview are already underway with almost all of the agencies already confirmed.
And, of course, we're right in the middle of our year-end poll to determine your favourite of the Canadian models that took of in 2005. As of this morning voting was tight.
December 1, 2005
I'm often asked why I started Modelresource, and the answer is simple: I believe knowledge is the key to a successful modelling career. Looks and good management are extremely important, but without knowledge a model won't understand what to do with their look, and will likely not end up with the best management for their situation. Knowledge is key.
I also strongly believe that Canadian models are so much better off with a Canadian mother agent, especially in the early stages of their careers. I love New York, but try phoning any legitimate agency in that city, then try phoning any legitimate agency in Toronto and you will know as soon as the phone is answered which agency will take more time to answer your questions and help you develop. Not surprisingly, Modelresource is a big fan of Canada and what our agencies have to offer. Our system works, and that's why Canada has been supplying the top models in the world for the past few years.
Frankly, I started Modelresource.ca to give Canadian models an edge, and I couldn't be more proud of how well everything is coming together. Especially in recent months, the site has taken on increased profile, is attracting enormous readership, and has taken on such significance within the broader fashion industry that it now enjoys the regular contributions from various experts in their respective fields.
I'm also very proud to see one of Modelresource's contributors develop into an expert in her own right. Since she started writing for Modelresource, Robin Buss has become a minor celebrity. Not only was she recognized at castings in Hong Kong, but models and agency staff across Canada eagerly anticipated each new posting from the articulate 19-year-old. In fact, staff at one agency were so impressed with the insightful musings and observations they requested Buss' contact information to get more of her perspective. Although November marked the end of Robin Buss' Hong Kong filings (her summary piece arrived last night), the 19-year-old has kindly agreed to keep writing for Modelresource. More details on that in the very near future.
Our other Hong Kong contribution in November came from Highrise Magazine's Fashion Editor Annie Lam. Like Buss, Lam is based in Toronto but happened to find herself in Hong Kong when she sent us her brilliant trend report for the current season. Like Buss, Lam has also agreed to continue her valuable contributions. Later this month, be watching for what promises to be one of the more valuable pieces a model could want; a breakdown of what models need when they show up for castings, and for bookings.
Other December features Modelresource is incredibly excited about: a profile on Ford Canada, which is just completing its tenth year in Canada; an interview with Nam Models' beautiful young star, Willow; and a discussion with Elite Canada booker Allison MacGillivray about her recent Elite Model Look experience in Shanghai.
Finally, as 2005 draws near its conclusion, there is no way I could adequately express my appreciation to you for making this such a great year. I feel it everyday, but couldn't possibly say it enough: Thank you so much.