This is the Mambo shoot that almost didn't happen. Model Jess Hart was at Margherita Missoni's wedding in Italy when she cut her foot on broken glass under a table, causing nerve damage. Forced to wear an awkward moon boot, she even had to pull out of scheduled commitments, including one for coveted label Victoria's Secret.
But the 26-year-old decided she couldn't withdraw from the Mambo Goddess summer campaign, especially as the surf label's Palm Springs shoot had the added bonus of pairing up with her bestie, Jessica Gomes. (See Jessica in this week's Date with Kate.)
''The week before I was due to shoot for Mambo, I injured my foot really badly and so was lugging around a moon boot up to my knee for weeks,'' Hart told S exclusively from Greece, where she is holidaying with her sister, Ashley, and her Greek shipping tycoon boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos III, - putting to bed the rumours of a split.
''It was a really nasty injury, so the boot had to stay on for the Mambo shoot, and [photographer] Jason Ierace had to work around it. He did a great job and I think the shots came out amazingly well …''
Hart says her foot is now on the mend. ''The boot's just come off, so I'm treating myself to an overdue holiday in Greece with my sister, Ashley, and my boyfriend. It will be hard to leave.''
Unfortunately Hart's busy schedule means she won't be back for Thursday's spring-summer collection at the Hordern Pavilion. The Mambo Goddess campaign will also be launched through the department store.
''The US has been treating me really well and keeping me super-busy,'' Hart says. ''I'm so lucky to be working with some incredibly amazing and inspiring people. Of course, nothing compares to shooting a summer campaign in LA with an Aussie brand like Mambo. I'm a total beach girl at heart …''
Sisters hoping for blonde moment
Twin cheerleaders Michelle and Jo Troy have surprised their competitors - and viewers - in The Amazing Race Australia. And, as they head into the pointy end of the competition, the girls say they have even shocked themselves.
''We are totally surprised we made it to the top five,'' says Michelle, who works with her sister as a cheerleader for the St George Illawarra Dragons Flames, as well as working together as ground staff for Jetstar.
''It wasn't till halfway through the competition we realised we were tough and believed in ourselves, and started dreaming of the finish line. People don't think blonde cheerleaders can outsmart everyone.''
With their eyes on the $250,000 prize, the girls will watch the final on Wednesday with their fellow pom-pom enthusiasts and other Sydney top-five teams at Circular Quay's Paragon.
Ironically, they're doing better than the footballers they support - the Dragons don't even look like making it into the top eight this year.
''We have so much support from all of the Dragons and all of our fans there,'' Michelle says. ''It's been really nice to go to a game and pose for photos and give autographs.''
Aussie Op Shop film is short but sweet
Forget Fifty Shades of mummy porn. Now it's all about granny porn. Well, if you ask Lee Rogers, it is.
The filmmaker husband of Kate Ceberano is kicking goals with his award-winning short film The Op Shop - based around a sex toy donation to a second-hand shop, which sends the 70-plus-year-old women working there on a journey of, ahem, self discovery.
''It's inspired by a true story. I just went with it because I like the idea of a whimsical comedy for women in their 70s,'' Rogers says of the film, which has won a swag of awards from Las Vegas to Aspen to St Kilda. ''These women have probably become icons of op shops around the country. One of the reasons I liked it was that it was unusual, as short-film festivals are more targeted at young people than older people and, ironically, because this is about older people, it's actually really fresh in those festival circuits and is being embraced.''
Casting for the shoot was fun, he says. The women - who endured 12 costume changes for a 16-hour shoot in one day (and included veteran Prisoner actress Joy Westmore) - all thought it was hysterical.
''It was pretty cute watching them audition. We discussed whether they had ever seen one [sex toy] and they hadn't. They definitely thought they looked like whiz-bang kitchen gadgets.'' Check it out at leerogers.com.au.
There's no rush to the altar for actress Zoe Tuckwell-Smith.
Unlike her character Bec in Channel Seven drama Winners & Losers, who has spent the best part of two series longing to be a bride, Tuckwell-Smith has revealed she actually doesn't need that prized piece of paper herself.
The Melbourne-based actress has been in a long-term relationship with actor Damon Gameau, who wows as Greg Chappell in upcoming Channel Nine drama Howzat! Kerry Packer's War. They've been together for several years but admit they have no desire to get hitched.
''We're married in every sense of the way,'' she revealed intimately to S this week. ''He's such a beautiful man … but we aren't the marrying kind. I've never said it previously and I've steered clear of saying it because my character is more traditional [but] I don't necessarily believe it needs to be be institutionalised. We love each other and I hope to still call him my lover when I'm in my '60s.''
As opposed to the unconventional storyline her character is currently involved in, which portrays a New Age parenting triangle that sees her character pregnant to her best friend's boyfriend and not her fiance, Tuckwell-Smith is looking to a more traditional model of parenting herself, but thinks it's brave of the network to do something so out of the box.
''[Personally] I can see myself with kids and a vegie patch and a family - we definitely really look forward to that … I think it's important to show these atypical scenarios. It pushes it further as the series airs about home births and the complicated situation with the father. It is interestingly handled. I think life is often stranger than art and it's important to challenge our perceptions and narrow-minded thinking.''
Mind you, Tuckwell-Smith admits her sense of motherhood is utterly warped at the moment. The twins used for filming on-set are dream babies.
''I have a completely deluded sense of it; they hand them to me in the most blissful state - fed and nappy changed - and they whisk them away and bring me the other one when they are unsettled. It's all care and no responsibility!''