karri pledger

Who is Karri Pledger you ask? Karri is tso's first featured face in an upcoming segment dedicated to up and coming models called... "Featured Faces". Karri recently won the annual Girlfriend Rimmel Model Search 2009, winning a two year modelling contract with Australia's Chic Model Management and Next Model Management New York. With past competition winners including the likes of Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Sarah Stephens, Karri's future certainly looks more than bright. The 15 year old red-headed beauty has been compared to fellow Australian model royalty Gemma Ward. I recently had a quick chat with Karri following her competition success.

karri pledger

Hi Karri, how are you?
Hey, I'm great thanks :)

Congratulations on taking out the 2009 Girlfriend Model Competition. With past winners of the competition including the likes of Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Sarah Stephens hitting international status how does winning it feel?
Thank you. Winning has been amazing, the idea of modelling internationally is so exciting. I'm sure it'll be a life changing experience.

What was the competition like? What were your most memorable moments?

All aspects of the competition were great. I'd have to say that the part I enjoyed the most was the winner's shoot; working in a professional environment with such talented people was a great experience and I love how the photos fitted together to create a story. A close second would be the winner's announcement event, it was such a fun afternoon and I got to meet some amazing people in the industry - it was overwhelming.

karri pledger

At 15 and your career about to take off, have you always wanted to model?

From the age of about 11 I started to understand what modelling actually involved and I found it to be very intriguing. It's such a fast paced, non-stop profession and every job is a totally new experience.

What will you be doing now that the competition is over?

I guess the next step for me is to talk to Girlfriend Magazine and Chic Model Management to see what happens next. Then hopefully I'll be off to NYC.

Do you have any favourite designers/style icons?
Christophe Decarnin for Balmain, the way he has re-introduced structured shoulders is inspiring.

What music are you currently listening to?
I'm not much of a mainstream music fan. I'm more into the alternative music, especially British rock. I've recently fallen in love with The Metros, The Cribs and The Futureheads. I also love Bloc Party, there's nothing else like them.

Where is your ultimate travel destination?
I know it's a bit of a cliché but I've always wanted to go to New York. But really, having never left Australia I'd be happy to travel anywhere. The world's such a huge place and I can't wait to explore it.

karri pledger

Do you have any unusual habits or phobias?
There's nothing jaw-droppingly strange that I can do, although I can touch my nose with my tongue and bend my arms at an unusual angle. Also, I'm the girl who undeliberately gets attached to and constantly uses weird words... Gumby for instance - "You can't wear that, you look like a Gumby." It's completely meaningless yet I can't stop it slipping out.

You have been compared to fellow Australian beauty Gemma Ward. Do you have any beauty must haves, routines?
I just try and look after myself as well as possible. I make sure to clean my skin properly and always wear sun block and I look after my hair by avoiding blow-dryers and straighteners.

And finally, what is next for you?
What's next for me? There's a question I can't completely answer. Of course I hope to continue modelling, I'm just not sure how far it will take me - so for now, watch this space.

interview with saint augustine academy

following australian fashion week tso had a chat with alvin manalo, the creative mind behind up and coming label saint augustine academy. definately a designer to keep your eye on.

saint augustine academy

tso: Hey Alvin. How are you?
alvin: I'm a little sick with the flu right now actually! I think I've been wearing myself out with all the craziness of fashion week.. although partying for 6 nights in a row probably didn’t help ha ha.

tso: Have you always wanted to be a designer, if not what did you want to be as a kid?
alvin: When I was a kid, I actually really wanted to be a comic book artist, I really loved the X-Men and Batman comics. Drawing has always been a big interest of mine.

tso: How did you get into designing? How did Saint Augustine Academy come about?
alvin: I was studying Economics at uni when I decided that it wasn’t for me – the appeal of doing something creative was too much, so I formed the label with a friend from uni, Adrian who has since gone on to become the label’s business manager. The label was born out of not being able to find what I wanted from local designers so I decided to make things that I would actually wear.

tso: Congratulations on your recent show at RAFW SS09/10. Your collections have been inspired by the indie rock scene, was it the same for this collection or did you draw inspiration from elsewhere?
alvin: Thank you. My collection are always inspired by music, you are right! That’s kind of become the Saint Augustine Academy signature. “Do You Believe Her?” references a song of the same name by Danish band The Raveonettes. With this collection I aimed to showcase the different musical elements contained in that song; surf rock, 60’s girl groups and British invasion bands.

tso: What are you listening to these days?
alvin: I’ve just discovered some new favourites; Black Angels, Black Mountain, Dead Confederate, Au Revoir Simone and Passion Pit.

tso: You have dressed the likes of Nick Cave, Interpol, MGMT and Bloc Party to name a few. How does that feel?
alvin: It feels amazing.. it’s definitely my favourite part of what I do. There’s something about seeing one of my idols wearing (and liking) clothes that I have created.. doesn’t get much better than that!

tso: Any cool stories about meeting any of the rockers?
alvin: We arranged to meet Nick Cave this year while he was in Sydney for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival (which was amazing by the way!) and his manager was kind enough to invite me and Candi to go to his hotel room for a private fitting. While we were there, his beautiful wife and twin sons arrived! We felt like we were dreaming.. We had to have a drink in the bar downstairs afterwards to recover.

tso: Do you have anybody on your wish list to dress?
alvin: I’d love to see Bob Dylan and Morrisey in my clothes. Also, Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Lydia Lunch would look amazing in my womenswear..

tso: How are you finding womenswear compared to menswear? Do you find either more challenging, fun, are you more enthusiastic about one or the other?
alvin: Womenswear is a little more challenging, I’m still learning the ropes a little there. But I love doing both, its so great when someone comes into the store and gets excited to find something they like.. makes all the hard work worth it!

tso: In a pool of never ending competition for womenswear, what can we expect from Saint Augustine Academy? Will you be broadening the womenswear range or stick mainly to menswear?
alvin: Womenswear will continue to grow with coming seasons, I would eventually like to make each collection half/half. I’d like for Saint Augustine Academy to known for being a good womenswear label, as well as mens eventually.

tso: What’s next for you and Saint Augustine Academy?
alvin: Right now, I’m designing Winter 2010 – my inspiration for this collection is kind of taking over my life right now, its such a rich source.. and for once its not a band or album.. although it is music-related (of course!) We are also planning our 5th birthday celebrations, along with the first birthday of our flagship store.. So a big party is in order!