Monday, April 30, 2012

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Marvel Comics Inspired Fashion Marvellous


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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia today officially enjoyed day 1 in Sydney, Australia.

Yesterday it was media and insiders day, but it was today when MBFWA once again got to show itself off to the world.

In a world where life can imitate art, and fashion can take on all sorts of different forms, Marvel Comics - Marvel Entertainment superheroes got a whole lot of flash...adding to the strong buzz that Marvel's 'The Avengers' is already enjoying at the Australian and international box office.

Day one at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia was a colour fans and colour buyers dream come true, start with three very different, but equally bright, collections to open our most famous and favourite fashion fest.

In recent years, Romance Was Born shows have been staged late in the evening with elaborate, stagey productions where the theatricality of the show may have been accused of overriding the actual garmets on display.

This time is was done very right. Romance Was Born opened Fashion Week in Sydney with a comparatively simple set inspired by the graphic Pop style of Marvel comics, cartoon superheroines and "Op Art".

Fashion models strutted up a lightning bolt-shaped catwalk showing off bright red wigs that brought us back to Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie images and memories. The makeup was what Fairfax Media and others have called "Kabuki-like", with big fake eyebrows, slashes of electric-blue eyeshadow and glossy red lips all the rage. Some media and buyers would have also thought of the KISS rock gods.

The clothes were also cartoon inspired. Marvel icon Stan Lee could not have dreamt his cartoons would once day be shown off on the world's most beautiful models. How about the Big Bridget Riley-style op art graphics on dresses and separates opened the show, before things got even crazier.

Romance Was Born is not for the conservative fashionista, but these days just about anything goes anyway. They put out clothing for parties and other events where wow factor and "look at me" rules. Multi-coloured digital print catsuits, sexy sequinned corseted, padded bomber jacket - interested... then this way out designer is for you ladies, or should that be 'Wonder Women'.

Queensland-based designer Gail Sorronda got a little more experimental this year. Ms Sorronda who enjoyed a strong response to showing her collection in Milan, Italy with the support of Dolce & Gabbana, has gone more for the type of bold colour and quirky print normally associated with designers such as Romance Was Born, moving away quite a bit from her traditional blacks and whites.

The title of her collection, Oh My Goth!, may have tricked a few fashion fans. Models stood motionless on spot-lit white plinths while groovy and scary music played. The models also showed off Pierrot-like black lips and pasty white faces, but this was contrasted with bright polka-dot blouses, patterned flares, tiered buttercup yellow dresses and headwear that reminded some media or Smarties - the confectionery brand.

Some media were not so happy about the darkness of the room, but it was done for the show - not the media. It showed them off wonderfully.

Gary Bigeni has a very quirky individual style – he wears riotous clashes of print and colour and currently sports bright blue hair – but the clothes he designs are clean, minimal and totally wearable.

He showed a refined collection of colour-blocked dresses, leather skirts and dresses, open-weave knitwear and prints that are well suited for a summer down under.

Rather than mashing up several bold colours together – as has been a popular trend in recent times – Bigeni mixed neutrals with bright seaside blues and fresh tangerines. There were elegant cropped pants, striped sweaters, draped skirts and cuffed shorts. All pretty cool stuff.

As we know, media always watches media, and the following observations have been noted, and blogged all over town...some of the fashion industry's best-known bloggers, editors and other media and PR folks are in 'Sin City' Sydney to catch Fashion Week. Vogue's Tim Blanks, Filipino Bryanboy, UK blogger Susie Bubble and Australian model-turned-blogger Candice Lake have all been spotted sitting front row, and photographer and media agencies like AAP, Media Man, Fairfax Media and Splash News & Picture Agency have all been spotted in or nearby to all the action. We suspect many news media will be working to the early hours of the morning getting all their stories and pictures out for what looks to be an outstanding festival for the iconic fashion show of shows down under.

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Celebs including Lara Bingle and Kate Waterhouse packed the front row as comic strip prints paraded around.

Louise Van der Vorst and Montana Cox were among the models who sported David Bowie inspired red mullet wigs and comical garments for the show were well... show stealers in the hearts and minds of many.

Luke Sales of Romance was Born said they had wanted to work with comics for quite a while.

"Our prints have always been photo-based and we wanted to do something more graphic with more pop which is what attracted us to comics," he said.

"We figured Marvel was the biggest and so simply asked if they wanted to come on board as a collaborative partner and they were thrilled.

"I think the partnership is perfect because our designs mirror the celebration of creativity and and imagination they are famous for."

The week began with a hick up or two for for celebrity blogger Bryan Boy however, who is attending for the week to report on Australian designers to his legion of loyal followers.

The superstar of the blogosphere was a highly anticipated front row star for the show, but after holding the runway for almost forty minutes they were forced to start without him.

"I went to the wrong place and then had to try and hail a cab, and then he dropped me to the wrong place and I finally arrived as it was finishing," Bryan Boy later disclosed. We're pleased to report that AAP, Splash News and Fairfax Media were all present - at least for most of the day's activities.

Kirrily Johnston added hints of hints of acid brights to her signature neutral palette while Manning Cartell has forcast bold colours and prints to be a sure thing as the weather warms up.

Camilla Franks, known for her embellished kaftans and resort wear wowed a celebrity studded front row including star of WAG nation Terry Biviano, Erica Heynatz and Michelle Bridges with her new ready-to-wear collection.

The look was overwhelmingly inspired by the jet-setter lifestyle with new silhouettes including jumpsuits and playsuits. A jet-set feel was also paramount at the Dylan Cooper show, in his fashion week debut after winning on Project Runway last year.

Celebrity red-carpet designer Aurelio Costarella didn’t let the crowd down with hand-dyed raffia, silk-covered crystals and mirrored sequins.

Just off Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, Whitney Port, star of reality television series The City, turned designer, gave an international flavour to the day. Port showed off her collections Whitney Eve and WE by Whitney Eve.

Closing off the opening day was Ginger and Smart who are celebrating their tenth year in the industry.

Well done MBFWA... more marvellous days like this one please. Looking forward to move wonder women tomorrow.


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Madame Tussauds New York Unveil Their Marvel Superheroes Exhibit

Madame Tussauds New York Unveil Their Marvel Superheroes Exhibit...


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Madame Tussauds New York Unveil Their Marvel Superheroes Exhibit...

Madame Tussauds New York, USA, has revealed a first look at their new interactive Marvel Super Heroes exhibit, set to open on Thursday, April 26th, just before many of the heroes appear on the big screen in the May 4th release of Marvel's 'The Avengers'.

The new, multi-level experience will feature wax likenesses of The Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and two new wax figures of Captain America and Thor, as well as the Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience – a new, short film with amazing special effects.

Captain America, as portrayed by Chris Evans in the 2011 blockbuster film, Captain America: The First Avenger, will stand in his patriotic red, white and blue costume, holding his circular shield. Thor, as portrayed by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth in the hit 2011 film, Thor, will wield his mighty hammer, Mjolnir.

“We’re bringing the Marvel Super Heroes that so many of us grew up with to life,” said Bret Pidgeon, General Manager of Madame Tussauds New York. “Marvel fans young and old alike will now have the opportunity to see, interact with and stand alongside their favorite characters.”

The exhibit will lead visitors through a long hallway and downstairs into the secret command center to unlock their powers alongside their favorite heroes. Captain America and Iron Man stand at the ready while Spider-Man crouches, about to spring into action and a 15-foot-tall likeness of The Hulk emerges through a wall into the Gamma Radiation Lab.

Expo visitors will stand at the “Contamination Station” to see if they’ve been exposed to the gamma rays that turned Dr. Bruce Banner into his green alter ego. They will also have the opportunity to wield the hammer Mjoilnir alongside of Thor as he emerges through a portal from Asgard prepared for battle.

“From the pages of our comic books to the big screen and now live in wax – it’s a great thing to see some of our best-loved Marvel characters come to life in this fun and interactive way,” said Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. "For more than 70 years, Marvel has captured the imagination of fans around the world and we’re excited to be working with Madame Tussauds New York to open this amazing experience for everyone to enjoy.”

The never-before-seen Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience places visitors in the middle of a Stark Industries press conference. Viewers can not only watch as Peter Parker asks Tony Stark questions, but feel the commotion once the press conference is interrupted by the evil Loki and Dr. Doom. Viewers will feel as though they are joining Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, and Spider-Man to battle their nemeses. Excelsior!


Madame Tussauds recently opened their Sydney, Australia branch, and we understand that there's a superhero wax double of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

Marvel Entertainment: Wolverine Clawing Up Hollywood Comic Book Movies; Thanks Australian Government; Marvel Comic Book Fans And Australian Film Industry: Excelsior!...

Australia's favorite son, Hugh Jackman, is returning back down under to Australia to make The Wolverine, his sixth showing as the Marvel Comic book adapted character, thanks to a whopping $12.8 million federal government subsidy.

And while referred to as "one-off", the local film industry is hopeful that the near-doubling of the standard assistance for a big-budget foreign production is a sign of things to come in next month’s budget.

The Wolverine is set in Japan but will be shot at Fox Studios in Sydney between July and December. Hugh Jackman will star and produce.

“It’s so great to bring these big movies down there, to keep people working,” Jackman told the Today program from London, where he is doing Les Miserables for Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech). “I just have to say thanks to Prime Minister Gillard, she was instrumental with this.”

Ms Gillard and Arts Minister Simon Crean jointly announced on Friday "a one-off payment" that provides Marvel Entertainment, the Hollywood producers of The Wolverine, a 30 per cent rebate through the tax system on production expenditure in Australia. "Without this … the producers of The Wolverine would not have chosen Australia as the location," their statement disclosed.

They claimed the subsidy would generate "over $80 million of investment in Australia and create more than 2000 jobs".

But local industry figures are hopeful the "one-off" caveat could soon be lifted.

"It’s a positive step for us, it shows the government’s willingness to look at the proposed increase to the location offset," said Debra Richards, chief of Ausfilm, who is responsible for atracting big-spending foreign productions to Australia.

Ausfilm and others have been lobbying the government for an increase in the foreign location offset for the past three years as the strong Australian dollar and competing incentive schemes offered by more than 40 states within the US and countries such as the UK, Canada and even Malaysia combine to make Australia too expensive for big-budget foreign productions.

The offset was introduced in 2001, at 12.5 per cent. At the time, the Australian dollar was worth about 50 cents. In 2007 it was increased to 15 per cent as a number of other territories copied, and often bettered, Australia’s incentives. Last year it was increased to 16.5 per cent.
The industry is seeking an increase to 30 per cent, and is understood to have backing from both sides of politics because big-budget foreign productions are seen as important in training and retaining technical personnel.

Crucial to the case it has taken to government is the argument that the cost to government will be relatively low as Australia is unlikely to be inundated with big productions. “It won’t be opening the floodgates,” said Ms Richards. “There’s a natural capacity here in terms of personnel and facilities.”

Sources suggest that capacity might be one large production per annum in each of Queensland (Warner studios), NSW (Fox) and Victoria (Melbourne Docklands Studios).

Docklands boss Rod Allan welcomed the news with both cautious optimism and regret.

"I think it’s terrific the federal government is willing to look at a one-off production offset and I hope that’s an indication of its willingness to look at the offset generally,” he said.
“I’d have preferred Wolverine to have come here, but now the Sydney studios are tied up for the rest of the year we’re in a great position to compete for other projects."

Asked if the decision foreshadowed an announcement on the offset scheme in the budget, Simon Crean’s office replied "the issues facing the screen industry are important to the government and will remain on our agenda over the coming years".

The budget will be handed down on May 8.

In the meantime Australian movie fans, especially those of the superhero genre, are hopefully that the likes of Marvel Entertainment and DC Comics will produce more upcoming movies on Australian soil.

A Media Man agency rep said "Something tells us that not only are fans, Marvel Entertainment and DC Comics watching these exciting developments closely, so are the likes of Frank Miller Inc and others. Australian actors, technical staff, make-up and wardrobe talent, honey wagon operators, the hotel industry, gaming developers and a range of other services companies are delighted with the Wolverine production news, and are hopeful that the Australian government will continue to find initiatives to give the Australian movie business more shots in the arm that it needs".

Stay tuned as we witness the Australian movie sector continuing to claw, kick and scratch its way back to its former glory. As Marvel Entertainment comic icon Stay Lee would say, Excelsior!

The Wolverine comic profile...

Wolverine is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Born as James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, three retracting bone claws on each hand and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate. The healing factor also slows down his aging process, enabling him to live beyond a normal human lifespan. His powerful healing factor enabled the supersoldier program Weapon X to bond the near-indestructible metal alloy adamantium to his skeleton and claws without killing him. He is most often depicted as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, or later the Avengers.

The character first appeared in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 (his first full appearance is in issue #181, November 1974) and was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr., who designed the character, and was first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe. Wolverine later joined the X-Men's "All New, All Different" roster in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975). X-Men writer Chris Claremont played a significant role in the character's subsequent development, along with artist/writer John Byrne, who insisted on making the character older than the other X-Men. Artist Frank Miller collaborated with Claremont and helped to revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982 in which Wolverine's catchphrase, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice," debuted.

Wolverine was typical of the many tough, anti-authority, antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War; his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book anti-heroes by the end of the 1980s. As a result, the character became the clear favorite for fans of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise. Wolverine has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988 and has been a central character in most X-Men adaptations, including animated television series, video games, and the live-action 20th Century Fox X-Men film series, in which he is portrayed by Hugh Jackman. In May 2008, Wolverine was ranked #1 out of Wizard magazine's Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time and was ranked as the 4th Greatest Comic Book Character by Empire magazine in July 2008. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, ranked Wolverine at #21. In May 2011, Wolverine was ranked 4th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes (Credit: Wikipedia)


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Beyonce named world's most beautiful woman - 26th April 2012


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Grammy-winning performer and new mother Beyonce has been named the world's most beautiful woman by People magazine.

The 30-year-old topped the magazine's annual list just months after she and rapper husband Jay-Z welcomed their first child - a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, who was born in New York in January.

"I feel more beautiful than I've ever felt because I've given birth," she said.

"I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth."

Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez have all held the title before. (Reuters)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Supermodels turn super-mogul


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What happens when you combine supermodel success with business brain?

You get what's known as a super-mogul - and more and more of the world's most famous fashion figures are leaping off the catwalks and newsstands and into the ranks of this elite club.

Last year Brazilian beauty Gisele Bundchen was tipped by Forbes as likely to become the world's first billionaire supermodel.

According to Forbes, which has estimated her annual income is $US45 million (NZ$54m), she could be a billionaire by the time she turns 32 this year.

She also has a few hefty income sources aside from lucrative Versace and Dior contracts and her real estate holdings: there are also her successful jewellery and footwear lines and she recently launched her own lingerie company in a joint venture with a Brazilian retailer.

Unlike most celebrities who license their name to the company, though, she created her own brand, Gisele Bundchen Brazilian Intimates. In an unusual move, she will also own a stake in the company.

According to Forbes, the top three earning models on the planet these days are Gisele B√ľndchen, followed by German supermodel and host and executive producer of Project Runway Heidi Klum, with the waifish former Calvin Klein model turned Topshop retail franchise collaborator Kate Moss coming in third place.

Veteran super-mogul Elle Macpherson, who set up set up Macpherson Inc way back in 1988, also earns more than she did as a model thanks to global intimates and lingerie ranges, a new line of skincare and other projects. Her business empire estimated to be worth around $US120m (NZ$144m) and she has been listed as one of Australia's top ten richest celebrities in recent years.

According to Forbes, the economic climate is once again blowing in the favour of the supermogul. With consumers cautiously spending on luxury goods once more, the 10 top-earning female models made a combined $US112m (NZ$134m) in the 12 months to May 2011, a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.

Former 1980s Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kathy Ireland certainly qualifies as a high-ranking member of the model-turned-mogul club alongside Elizabeth Hurley, Cindy Crawford, Iman, Josie Maran, Marisa Miller and Erin Wasson.

All of these women sell their own product lines and these usually span clothes, shoes, fragrances, skin care and jewellery. What sets Kathy Ireland apart, however, is that hers is not the usual glamour product range.

Over the past two decades, Ireland has quietly built a $US300m (NZ$360m) brand that is attached to a diverse range of home furnishings including ceiling fans, flooring, mattresses, desks and even windows.

Moreover, these are designed and priced to suit busy mothers (think stain resistance and rounded corners).

The 48 year-old, who reportedly now has three kids and four dogs or her own, recently told Forbes Magazine it was for this reason that she no longer did grand store openings, as they tended to attract the wrong type of people.

"What happens is the store gets cluttered with guys who are there with 500-year-old copies of Sports Illustrated. How does that help a busy mum? These people are just in her way," she said.

Though Ireland has said she had entrepreneurial tendencies even as a child, her business success was sparked back in 1993 after she released a humble line of socks with her name on it. They started out in a few sporting goods stores, then a mass retailer started to carry them and they proved to be a hit.

From there, Kathy Ireland Worldwide expanded into other clothing lines and then, in 1998, moved into home furnishings, followed by other busy-mum-centric offshoots like kitchenware and outdoor products.

The business, according to Ireland, is about solutions, initially for families (especially busy mums) and is expanding into solutions for business people (think workstations) and people in love (think wedding gowns).

But don't extreme good looks dent your business credibility? Yes, according to Ireland. "There were times when I knew my ideas would have been taken more seriously if I was just looked at as the CEO but there's always the modeling thing," she told Forbes.

If her fortunes, and those of many other supermodels are any indication, though, this isn't presenting too much of an obstacle.

These days, according to Forbes, the California-based 42-person business sells $US2 billion a year at retail, which translated into $US850 million in wholesale sales last year. From that, Ireland would have got a royalty payment of roughly 6 per cent equating to around $US50 million in revenue.

She doesn't just endorse her products though, she helps to design and promote them - but others make and sell them, so most of that revenue is pure profit for Ireland, who is the 100 per cent owner, according to Forbes.

On this basis, it has estimated that based on the likely cash flow of $35 million, Kathy Ireland Worldwide is worth somewhere around $300 million. (Fairfax Media)

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Human Statue Bodyart Gold Statue Facilitates Golden Product Showcase Event For Alloys I.T In Sydney, Australia


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The Alloys I.T and print and imaging distributor company based in Sydney's North Ryde is the lastest technology based company to stand out from the pack using human statues at their yearly showcase event.

I.T and print imaging distribution may sound moderately sexy, but with the addition of a golden painted and decorated human statue, their moderatly sexy event came to life and achieved a real wow factor.

The human statue model mingled with management, distributors and other events, showing off the various impressive information products and services on display.

Alloy's is commited to maintianing their position as one of Australia's most innovate and customer / distributor focussed I.T companies, and their use of a human state model and campaign demonstrates their leadership and mindset to not just be average and one of the pack - but rather to stand out from the pack, showing innovation, daring and creativity.

The statue campaign was effective as it helped attract more a list attendees, positive press, as well as generating positive buzz for the firm in the Australian I.T and distribution industry.

Alloy's continues to innovate in an ultra impressive fashion - be it with products, services, or with outside the box media and marketing campaigns. As their trademark saying goes - "The non traditional distributor".



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Media Man Fashion

Media Man Fashion is part of the Media Man group of companies.

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity, internet portal and talent management company.

Media Man Fashion is headed up by leading Australian creative arts entrepreneur, bodyartist and talent manager - agent, Eva Rinaldi. Eva also owns and operates the well known Human Statue Bodyart brand.

The Media Man Fashion team have created and worked on some of Australia's and Asia Pacific's most dynamic and successful fashion campaigns.

Just a few of the brands we have worked with closely include Virgin Blue, WWE, UFC (Zuffa), Versace, Porsche Design Group, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Spring Racing Festival, Mulberry, Billabong, Quiksilver, Levis, SoulMark, Surf, Dive N Ski, and Lowes.

The Team

Greg Tingle - Business Director

Eva Rinaldi - Talent Manager and Photographer

Vince Cantali - Fashion Consultant

Paul O'Neill - Technical

Thank you for visiting the official web blog of Media Man Fashion.


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