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Oz Fest: Australians in New York Host Fashion Fete

The cultural exchange foundation held its fourth annual summer party at the Crosby Street Hotel on Thursday.

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Australians in New York Fashion Foundation Woolmark Shanina Shaik Julia Nobis

Shanina Shaik with Julia Nobis in Proenza Schouler.

Photo By Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

The extended Down Under set gathered Thursday night for the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation’s fourth annual summer party, sponsored by the Woolmark Company and held at the Crosby Street Hotel.

Guests including Ajak Deng, Karlie Kloss, Jason Wu and Nora Zehetner noshed on Aussie sliders and sipped on Melbourne Mules (that would be vodka, ginger ale and lime) admiring a selection of artwork up for silent auction. The foundation, which aims to put Australian fashion on the international radar, annually awards an emerging Australian designer with a grant and an opportunity to gain experience in New York. Natalia Grzybowski, last year’s winner, starts a six-month internship with Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein next week.

Katherine Keating, daughter of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, lauded the “timelessness” of Australian design, saying, “I make it a point, now that I live in New York, to import a lot of Australian clothes. Every time I go out, people are curious about where my clothes are from, because they’re not off the New York runway.”

Julia Nobis, a Sydney native, said she loves to play into the stereotypes New Yorkers have about Australians.

“Everyone assumes that I surf, but I’m scared of water,” the Proenza Schouler-clad model cracked. “I’ve made up plenty of jokes that I used to ride a kangaroo to school....In New York, everyone loves an Australian. The second I open my mouth and they catch my accent, I’m super popular.”