Gemma Ward's recent two-year hiatus from the public eye seems to be coming to an end, if not already over. Following the death of her close friend Heath Ledger, Ward took herself out of the limelight to grieve and regroup - and left fashion insiders speculating whether this spelled the end of the 22-year-old's six-year, glittering modelling career. (Ward was discovered at 14 and rose up the modelling ranks at astronomical speeds, which resulted in her being the youngest model, at 16, to star on the cover of US Vogue.)
It seems nothing could be further from the truth, judging by her recent email to The West Australian, in which she clearly states, "I have not 'quit modelling' and my fans back home can expect to see me back at work modelling and acting in the new year." Her mother added to that by saying, "She's 22 years old and has worked incredibly hard...She's been doing some great drama theatre courses and is considering doing a three-year course in Yale which is a great possibility..." It seems that Ward is making up for lost time and proving that, like Lily Cole, some models can have beauty and brains. Jealous? Us? Either way, we're glad to welcome Ms Ward back into the fashion fold.
Nick Knight has been one busy photographer of late. Having collaborated with Alexander McQueen for his S/S '10 show at Paris Fashion Week (pre-show film, starring Raquel Zimmermann), hosting live photoshoots at Somerset House (including shooting Natalia VodIanova two weeks ago), which are running until December, the noted fashion photographer has now taken on a new project. He has been set to task to create a special video for Lady Gaga's forthcoming Monster Ball world tour.
The video is to be unveiled during the tour and will be leaning heavily towards the animalistic feel, judging by the information Michael Howells offered through the ShowStudio blog, where he confirmed that they were "ordering up a veritable menagerie of animals for the shoot..." We aren't really surprised though as we have come to love Lady Gaga for her over-the-top ensembles and generally 'off the wall' facade she projects to the public.
Sophie Theallet started her week off right: Last night, she took home a $200,000 prize for top honours at the Sixth-Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. The Brooklyn-based womenswear designer addressed the crowd at New York's Skyline Studios by saying, "I'm French, so I'm going to try to do my best...Thank you for making my American dreams come true."
Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz and Nicole Kidman gave out the awards, which saw runners-up Monique Pean, a philanthropic jewellery designer, and menswear designer Patrik Ervell take $50,000 apiece. Facing a crowd including Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg and Karen Elson, Pean vowed, "I won't disappoint you."
Wintour said at the event that she had met with the French minister of culture to discuss starting a similar fund in France, and the UK and Italy already have their own schemes. The editor reported that China, Russia, Brazil and India aren't far behind, but admitted still that "New York is the place to come for young designers to show what they're capable of."
Last night, New Yorkmagazine caught up with Courtney Love at the Eighth Annual Benefit for the Elton John Foundation - which offered the perfect opportunity for Love to gossip about a former run-in with Anna Wintour. We're all ears, missy.
When asked if she had hung out with Sharon Stone at the benefit, the singer said: "I have a really good story about her. So we were outside the Ritz, years ago, and she sees Anna Wintour standing with me — she's been on the cover lots more than me. So I said, 'Anna, would you like a card?' She ignored me, turned away." [Love mimics Wintour turning her head away.] "So Sharon says. 'Anna, would you like a CARD?'" [Love, again, mimics the snub turn.]
Love continued: "So [Sharon Stone] blows up and says: 'I DO MORE IN A YEAR THAN YOU DO IN TEN! I'M MORE INVOLVED IN FASHION THAN YOU EVER F*CKING WILL BE IN YOUR LIFE!'"
Yikes. But don't worry, Courtney. If Alexander Wang had you play at his fashion-week party recently, then you can't be that snub-worthy.