|Members of the press at St Regis ballroom|
|Mr Colin McDowell with one of the photos of Tao photographed by Russell James|
|Erdem, Tao Okamoto and Russell James|
|Tao preparing to be interviewed by Channel U.|
Russell James was familiar to me as a regular fixture on America's Next Top Model, which I've been following avidly since Cycle 6. His works are extensive and have been featured in leading publications such as Vogue, W, Sports Illustrated and have also been displayed alongside famous photographers Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, but he did share that he had his share of "starving artist" years before in Perth. Russell has shot Tao Okamoto in a series of art photographs entited Calm in the Chaos, to be up for silent auction, with all proceeds going towards Mercy Relief for the Japanese quake victims.
|Angela, Margherita and Vittorio Missoni taking questions from the press|
Margherita, the daughter and muse of Angela Missoni, as well as the accessories designer for the Missoni label shared that she doesn't see the difference between normal life and working life. It is a continuous flow of things and events, but because passion is the biggest luxury behind the work they do, that's why the work never ends. "Missoni is a brand created by my family - people that I love. That's why I see it as something I own but not physically. We work because it's our passion." More and more so, I find passion the main driving factor behind so many success stories, especially in the creative industry as it doesn't pay well initially. But I still maintain that we should all do something we love to be happy and satisfied with ourselves and our lives.
When asked about the recent collaborations with retail chain Target, as well as flip flop brand Havaianas, the Missonis said those collaborations are meant to allow the general public to be able to enjoy a piece of Missoni, but their main label would still remain at a high price point due to the high quality fabrics that Angela Missoni's father personally source. In a way, I guess it's the same as how women seek to own something of Chanel by purchasing Chanel lipstick, because they cannot afford the exorbitantly priced handbags and apparel. It is encouraging to see that Missoni is so well managed, even though they are an entirely family owned business with no outsiders (not even 'outside' managing directors or CEOs) and that is rare in today's fashion industry where many houses are mostly under LVMH or Gucci group. Even Salvatore Ferragamo has engaged someone out from their family as the current CEO. I feel that that has to do with the fact that Missoni has already established itself as a brand that is synonymous with quality and youth from its liberal use of colours and zigzag patterns - the same patterns are reworked and tweaked slightly each season to the point that it has became a classic that is easy to identify with.
Though not invited for the Missoni opening show and most of the shows for AFF, I am still very appreciative of the chance to be involved in AFF. I have my sights set on next year!