April Rose Pengilly: the Face of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

March 20, 2009, 9:11 am Simone Casey whomagazine

WHO's Simone Casey chatted to April Rose Pengilly, 20, the face of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.


At the festival's first show on March 16, the model and daughter of INXS's Kirk Pengilly sat next to the festival's international guest, America's Next Top Model runway coach J. Alexander. "He's hilarious," she told WHO on March 17. "He pays out on all the models' walks, and not even under his breath!"

How would you best describe your own sense of style?

I always try a different look every day, sometimes I go for a ballerina look and then maybe more of a rock'n'roll look the next day, I just like to mix it up. I really like playing dress-ups.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

When I'm in Sydney I like to go to Tuchuzy and David Jones, I love L'Oreal and Napoleon Perdis for makeup, where else do I go? Overseas I like to go to the usual High Street kind of ones, like H&M and Top Shop and vintage stores are a lot of fun overseas. When I was in London, I got a really great vintage clutch purse cause, you know they have stuff there from decades ago, whereas most of our vintage here is only from the '80s or '90s. There's a vintage store I love in Tokyo as well called Kinji.

Some of your favourite Australian designers?

I love, oh gosh, who do I like? Daniel Avakian, I'm really looking forward to seeing Wayne Cooper because he's a friend of mine and always does cute things and also Romance Was Born. Anna and Luke are friends of mine and they have really really crazy ideas, like they're insane, so I look forward to seeing what they do this season.

Are there any up and comers that you're hearing about?

I really like to support the younger designers, like if they want to loan something for an event, I'm always happy to support them, I love Rachel Gilbert, I'm really excited about seeing Ellery, she has an amazing sense of style, her stuff is beautiful, I got to wear one of her dresses the other day for some press, a beautiful gold sequined one, and ANT!PODiUM as well, one of the other emerging ones.

At home with your own wardrobe, what would you say is your most cherished accessory?

A Chanel watch that was my mum's. It's beautiful gold, like the classic Chanel chain with black leather threaded through it. I have a beautiful Chanel purse of hers as well. And I recently got given an amazing Cartier bag to thank me for attending their Christmas party. I couldn't believe it when it arrived in the mail - it's absolutely gorgeous, I'm too nervous to take it out, it's so beautiful.

Are you a shoe person or a handbag person?

I'm a bit of both.

How many pairs of shoes would you say you own?

Oh God, I kind of roughly counted the other day, quite insane, it was something like 80, probably more if you can include flip-flops. It's just ridiculous, I have like eight pairs of slippers alone, like who needs that many slippers?

You haven't got pig feet or any silly ones?

No no, no, not those, actually, I do have a pair of, obviously fake fur of course, white fluffy ones.

What can you imagine you'd wear at your own wedding?

What would I wear at my own wedding? That's a very scary question. I guess the dream would be Vera Wang, something quite classic. There are too many people with their horrible '80s wedding pictures with a giant cake and lots of layers. I'd rather something that's gonna stand the test of time.

What do you wear when you are just bumming around the house?

Gee, I usually just wear pyjamas. I love Bonds stuff and Peter Alexander, they're cute and comfy, what's the point of dirtying clothes when you're just walking around the house, really.

Have you got a particular pattern of Peter Alexanders at the moment that you're liking?

The cute kind of princessy ones. I love the whole Barbie collection, that's so cute, that's one of the characters I like to dress up as. The personas I like to take on, with fashion, I like a bit of Barbie sometimes.

What about when you dress up, what would be your usual eveningwear?

A lot of designers are willing to loan me clothes or give me things to wear to events and parties and that sort of thing so I pretty much wear anything. I'm always a bit nervous about wearing a maxi with heels, though, I might trip myself over. Definitely something about knee-length. I love a party dress though.

Will your dad [Kirk Pengilly] be coming along to see you at any of the shows?
I'm not sure, he might. He's quietly working away at the moment and Layne [Beachley]'s travelling, it seems she's away more now that she's retired. Mostly I want to knuckle down and focus on it and get my duties done. I don't want to distract myself too much because I'm so excited about it and can really sink my teeth into it.

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