Forget the first name basis girls you’ve seen in every other Vogue. Forget Carine’s favorites or Anna’s favorites or even the handpicked by Meisel Vogue Italia juggernauts. Forget who’s who on the campaign scene. The time has come for fresh blood and not in the Bauhaus listening, neo-goth sense. With the Spring/Summer 09 shows a scant two weeks away the new model guessing game has begun. Who will sweep the shows? Who will fade into the background? Who will be first face on the choice Milan catwalks and win the hearts and minds of fashionistas everywhere? Questions abound and while no one save Sylvia Browne, has the answers guessing is always amusing.
As such here are a few girls whose names you might wish to memorize and where we’d like to see them this season. Only five for the time being – good things come in small show packages…
YULIA KHARLAPANOVA | WOMEN MANAGEMENT
Though startlingly unusual girls may be de rigeur true beauty does not require a gimmick – Russia’s Yulia Kharlapanova is a testament to this fact. With her doe eyes and ivory complexion Yulia calls to mind the glamorously undone allure of a young Charlotte Rampling. Having already walked for indelibly French houses like Nina Ricci and Lanvin, Kharlapanova is set to bring her sultry strut stateside this season. May the Marcs and Donnas of the world take note!
PREDICTIONS: Yulia front and center at Prada, Fendi, Gucci and Balmain – versatility is this girls middle name.
WANESSA MILHOMEM | NEXT
The eyes have it. Wanessa Milhomem, is blessed with the kind of wide expressive eyes that say more than words ever could but those aren’t her only assets. Wanessa can go from offbeat to slinky in less than a second. The Brazilian ingénue has already put her considerable gifts to good use for i-D magazine and now the Spring shows are calling. Be prepared to see her sullen glare and flawless gait at the best shows.
PREDICTIONS: Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, Hussein Chalayan and a wildcard stint at Prada
ISABELLA OELZ | ONE MODEL MANAGEMENT
This is the face that launched a thousand options. Fresh from Armani Prive and ready to conquer New York, Isabella Oelz is a sight to behold. There is something undeniably fresh about her bright green eyes and spray of freckles. Her guileless feline features jump off the page – if there was one showcard that stopped us dead in our tracks it was hers.
PREDICTIONS: Alberta Ferretti, Nina Ricci and Valentino. Oelz’s combination of sophistication and girlishness would mesh perfectly with ethereal designs.
MYF SHEPHERD | NEXT
Myf Shepherd is simply put – cool. The aura of exclusivity surrounds her like a halo whether she’s playing the role of downtown punk or uptown princess. Its no wonder she’s been popping up in editorials all over the place and bringing her patent pending brand of Aussie insouciance to Prada’s resort collection. The unquestioned queen of Sydney fashion week is taking to the global stage in a big way and with her elfin meets edgy features she’s guaranteed to make a splash.
PREDICTIONS: Rodarte, Jil Sander, Prada, Miu Miu and any other show where personality is a requirement.
HYONI KANG | FORD
As the last winner of Ford’s Supermodel of the world contest the bar is set high for Hyoni Kang. Last season was good but all signs point to this season being great. With an enviable status as a go to Teen Vogue girl and growing editorial presence Hyoni has been hard at work since her win. The artistic and preternaturally twee catwalker has the market cornered on cute but this could be the season she shows her grown up side.
PREDICTIONS: Hyoni turning on the charm at Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen and Phillip Lim.