Gemma Ward's surprise stroll over Prada's purple dunes sparked a wave of runway returns. We chart our favourite comebacks of the season – including Amber Valletta and Lara Stone
It all started with Gemma Ward opening for Prada. The Australian model caused an internet frenzy when she made her comeback for Miuccia, and was shortly followed by Lara Stone, another iconic beauty. It was a clear indication that Mrs. Prada was resurrecting girls that had already fronted campaigns or opened shows for her years before. She was delving through her model archives, and other designers had a similar plan up their sleeves.
Next, Jessica Stam – the model that inspired one of the 00s most infamous ‘it’ bags – walked the runway at Bottega Veneta. Then, in Paris, Jessica Miller – once a favourite of Carine Roitfeld – walked for Balmain. However, it was the Lanvin show in which Alber Elbaz rolled out a who’s who of nineties to noughties model favourites that really put the message across. The cult model is back and it’s never felt like a better time to have her here.
“When you use all new faces you are essentially using a blank slate,” Dazed casting director Noah Shelley explains. “But these better known models bring their established individual character with them – which can be a refreshing dynamic. I do think it's healthy for both the notion of clothing sales and the idea of beauty to be showing clothes on women of various ages and not to solely focus on the pursuit and idolisations of youth.”
In celebration of these women, we remind you of the power of the cult model and why their looks and personalities make them so addictive for fashion’s loyal fans:
One of the original doll-faced models of the early noughties (alongside Jessica Stam and Sasha Pivovarova), the Australian model could be seen peering out from Prada campaigns with her wide-eyed, innocent stare. She was last seen on the catwalk in 2008, since appearing in movies such as The Strangers (2008) and Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). In 2013 she made a cameo in The Great Gatsby, and gave birth to a daughter, Naia. Whether she'll make a full return to fashion is yet to be seen, but she'll have a warm welcome if so.
Is there a show this Canadian model hasn’t walked for SS15? She’s been spotted at Rick Owens, Rochas and Lanvin, which counts as a big season for a model that’s meant to be ‘retired’. The forty-three-year-old has always been popular with fashion editors across the globe and it’s her maturity now that counts. Once referred to as the "reluctant" supermodel due to her need to take hiatus from the industry from time to time, Kirsten was one of the first faces of grunge as well as a Helmut Lang campaign girl. The fair hair, the determined brows and the authenticity of her look make up her appeal, and whether a lanky, unusual beauty of a teen or a woman in her own right, fashion loves to make a fuss of her.
Fashion critic Cathy Horyn once described Stone as the "anti-model" due to the gap in her front teeth, but this Dutch-born model and now fully fledged celebrity turned that notion on it’s head, with the help of Carine Roitfeld, naturally. After appearing in a Bardot inspired spread in Paris Vogue, everything clicked. Her voluptuous cleavage, her bee stung lips and her sex appeal made her a campaign hit with Calvin Klein and Miuccia Prada.
One of the most iconic beauties of the nineties, Valletta never exactly disappeared from the public eye but she did trade in fashion for acting after a decade fronting campaigns and walking every runway imaginable. The Arizona born model, now forty, was known for her classic beauty made almost alien-like with her piercing blue eyes. One of the hosts of MTV’s House of Style, Valletta was also a favourite with a then Gucci and YSL based Tom Ford. The self-proclaimed “sometimes party-crasher” and “fashion renegade” caused a commotion when she opened the Lanvin SS15 show, and we couldn’t get enough having her back.
Growing up in Vegas with a showgirl mum would make it hard for most girls not to see the appeal of the limelight, although for Jessica Miller, modelling was never a goal. After giving into her family’s advice, she went on to become one of the most sought after girls of the noughties. Adored for her American beauty and her athletic build, there was an indie-girl side to Miller that designers loved too. The face of Chanel, Calvin Klein and Chloé, she could also sell jeans and fronted campaigns for Miss Sixty. Now engaged to Lars Ulrich, she made a return to the industry by appearing in the Balmain show alongside Kendall Jenner and Rosie-Huntington Whiteley.
Determined to be a model from her teens, Serbian born Natasa was finally signed to Next Models in 1999 and went straight into walking for Balenciaga, Lacroix and Fendi as well as becoming a Dazed cover girl. A favourite of Karl Lagerfeld and Nicholas Ghesquière – the energetic blonde was known for her immaculate walk and her spicy personality and she made it onto the cover of British Vogue twice. No controversy here however, Vojnovic understood fashion, had a dialogue with designers and fronted campaigns for Gucci, Stella McCartney. Walking for the Lanvin SS15 show marked her return to the international runway.