Jets defender Ivan Vujica could teach those divas on America’s Next Top Model a thing or two about being a team player.
The 21-year-old’s star turn on the catwalk in façon magazine’s spring fashion show at Newcastle Museum on Thursday night was a lesson in poise under pressure.
Clubmates Roy O’Donovan, Katie Stengel and Taylor Smith also represented the Jets after football operations manager Joel Griffiths ran into façon director Lara Lupish at a cafe recently and offered the club’s services.
Vujica, operating “outside my comfort zone”, was presented with some flamboyant outfits to wear on the runway but didn’t bat an eyelid.
“Not something I’d wear personally, but I went in there and I said, ‘You’re my boss today, so whatever you need me to wear. I’m not in charge of this fashion show – you are. If you need me to wear that, I’ll wear it,’” he told Topics.
With Griffiths and teammates Ben Kantarovski, Lachy Jackson, Ronny Vargas and Steven Ugarkovic sitting in the front row, Vujica performed with the kind of discipline you would expect from a pro athlete.
“A few of the boys ended up coming to the show to watch,” he said. “Today they were saying, ‘You actually did all right. You didn’t embarrass yourself.’
“It’s a different experience, but at the end of the day I’m glad I got to try something new. It was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad that I did it.”
Vujica’s professionalism even extended to the post-show media interviews, where he plugged a couple of potential sponsors.
“I do like shopping for my personal stuff. I do take some pride in what I wear. I don’t like to look at brands too much. I keep it very simple. I like H&M and Zara. For me it’s the type of clothing, the shape and look of it rather than what brand I’m wearing.”
Topics did not ask O’Donovan about his fashion influences.
American W-League import Stengel posted a backstage photo of herself on Instagram and described the show as an “incredibly addicting experience”.
Vujica said the Facon backstage staff had made him feel comfortable about mastering the runway-model walk, something which trips up so many ANTM wannabes.
“All it was was 21 metres there and back, so it wasn’t that hard.”
Tyra would be proud.
Charlie ditches the razor
Topics favourite and Newcastle icon Charlie the Chicken has embraced Movember with a moustache straight out of the Victorian era.
The perky Charlestown Toyota mascot is proudly supporting the men’s health campaign from his perch beside the Pacific Highway at Gateshead.
He’s sporting a healthy growth, judging by the photo, so who knows what the mo will look like by the end of the month.
It’s good to see him looking his best after having his eye smashed in during a high school muck-up day encounter in 2012 and disappearing altogether late last year (he’d been taken down for maintenance).
Best of both worlds
Shelley Cornish, mother of Newcastle actors Abbie and Isabelle, is one of those overachieving types who make Topics feel deeply inadequate.
This week is a case in point.
First, Shelley won two gold medals at the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast in something called indoor rowing.
We’re not sure what that is, but we suspect it involves a very taxing piece of gym equipment.
And, on Saturday, the former Newcastle TAFE fine arts alumni will stage her third Newcastle solo exhibition of new work, Lovers not Fighters, at CStudios in Hunter Street.
“I moved to northern NSW four years ago, but four of my five children are still based and live in Newcastle and I’m here often,” she said.
“I still consider myself a Newy girl. I attribute all of my early success and development as an artist to the social and cultural support I received from the Newcastle community.”
Isabelle Cornish will open the show at 4pm.