You might not remember the very first day we met – but I certainly do – it was nearly 8 years ago.
I had arrived in Sydney, green as can be – direct from a country town in the West. It was my first Sydney Fashion Week and my only chance to make a first impression on the Australian fashion industry as a new model. The day before shows were due to begin I hadn’t booked a single gig and I was resigned to giving up. I wasn’t a good runway model, too broad and athletic, a terrible walker and mostly definitely lacking that effortless cool of so models before me than ensured their place in the best designer runways. Last minute, I was called into casting for one of Australia’s brightest new talents, Toni Maticevski. Of all the shows lined up in the week – this was one I REALLY wanted to get and also one where I knew I wouldn’t have a chance. I remember seeing your face as I prepared to do my walk – sympathetic. My nerves must have been written all over my face. I tried on one of your beautiful gowns and found it fitting me well – which was some kind of miracle – thank goodness for the stretch fabric. My experience of the castings told me so far that this was just a formality, a gesture to give false hope. Yet moments later my agent called to say I was booked and I was elated. Then the day of the show came and I was so excited, I felt like I was really a part of something special. I remember you were so sweet and generous to every model there, a handwritten note and a gift on each of our racks. Thanks so much for your kindness Toni! I loved being a part of your show. I’ll never forget it – and I’ve been a great fan (and now a friend) since then.
So this shoot is a kind of birthday wish to you, Toni. Nicole and I love so much what you do, your talent and work are such an inspiration and always a surprise, I’m constantly marvelled by what’s next. You’re a beautiful person and we are so proud to call you a friend.
Hope your birthday is filled with happiness!
Love Zanita and Nicole xoxo
Photography and Editing, Me
Styling and Modelling, Nicole Warne
Hair and Make-up – Vic Anderson
Photo assistant, Leah Traecey
Our beautiful flowers were provided by the incredibly talented Saskia Havekes at Grandiflora florist
Special thanks to Mondo Studio for the loan of their incredible space and equipment
Voyage Sweater – Haze Grey
Asylum Long Line Skirt – Polar White