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Megan Gale

Megan Gale

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Megan Gale has finished as a runway model.

The Australian supermodel left the fashion runway for the final time with a smile and the eternal gratitude of her employer David Jones, for whom its star performer's protracted goodbye has generated the kind of publicity usually reserved for retiring sport heroes and changes of government.

The gushing goodwill enjoyed by the genetically blessed Gale might be a touch over the top for those to whom fashion means not mixing stripes with spots.

But the unaffected 32-year-old Perth native has won hearts because of her sheer ordinariness — behind the regal veneer she's a hotdogs and beer kind of girl — and long, hard slog to fame and fortune.

"Discovered" as a gangly teenager in a deportment course, Gale experienced years of relative struggle until the age of 23, when Italy was sent into a collective swoon over a TV advertisement she shot for Vodafone. Comparisons were made to a young Sophia Loren; Gale needed bodyguards every time she hit the streets, and David Jones came calling soon after.

Launching the store's winter collections at Melbourne Town Hall last night, Gale's six turns along the 20-metre catwalk added up to a cultural moment for the assembled fashionistas and "It" people — Kate Waterhouse, Lara Bingle, Jo Bailey, Peter Morrissey, Kimberley Davies and Gale's boyfriend Andy Lee, one-half of Fox FM's drivetime hosts Hamish and Andy.

She looked lovely, of course, as a highly paid model is wont to do. Her final call, which received a standing ovation, featured falling fake snow and a flowing white Akira Isogawa gown that highlighted her caramel loveliness

"It's been such a big part of my life for 14 years, so I'll really miss it," she told The Age last week about the end of her catwalk duties.

But la bella Megan has other fish to fry. She is launching a range of homewares and has landed the plum role of Wonder Woman in director George Miller's big-budget superhero flick Justice League of America, which is due to start filming in Sydney in the next few months.

"Wonder Woman is my dream role," says Gale.

"She's not some superhero bimbo. She's an awesome character
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