Also personifying the 80’s, Duran Duran. They were the picture of sleek, stylish superficiality. They weren’t the exact apotheosis of mindless prettiness – that would have been the boys of Wham!. Eventually, the grunge revolution would vilify the glossiness of bands like Duran Duran and Wham!. It would come to seem that bands who put so much thought into their dressing and blow drying were just ciphers with nothing real to say and no message to offer. But not delving too deeply into emotional terrain or thinking very hard about a message isn’t a crime. It’s still held that highly produced, highly commercial pop artists are less important than serious minded emo/poetic types, and in many cases that’s a point I agree with. But credit should be given to the value of an extremely effective pop sensibility like Duran Duran. They were a pop band through and through, and at that they excelled and their hits remain indelibly, durably appealing long after their fluffy hairstyles entered fashion extinction. Duran Duran were probably the best major pop band of the 80’s; in their heyday the were leaders in misguided fashion, teenybop idols, tabloid fixtures and, of course, chart-toppers. So fashion were they, that they not only earned a reputation for their cutting-edge videos, which they filled with comely models in various states of undress, but went so meta as to write songs about videos and the models in them. You might think it’s dumb, but I think a band known for their videos writing songs about videos to engender more videos is actually a pretty neat joke. I’m also pretty sure Girls On Film isn’t a parody and contains no signs of irony or self-awareness. They just honestly think filming girls for videos is the neatest thing. And they’re still up to it. Though their relevance in the wider world faded somewhat after grunge rendered hairspray and man-rouge obsolete, they never stopped making their videos and casting them with every supermodel they could find. In fact Duran Duran sowed the seeds for the supermodel phenomenon, being one of the first bands to cast models in their videos, combining fashion and pop music into a single glamorous fantasy. In 1997 their kinky video for Electric Barbarella, starring Myka Dunkle, Sophie Dahl, Devon Aoki and others, looked like an anachronism. Today the pendulum has swung back in favor of shiny, glamorous pop. Duran Duran’s most recent video, Girl Panic is an orgy of self-reference, starring Naomi Campbell as Simon Le Bon, alongside Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, and Helena Christensen. They don’s sound a day out of Rio, and they sound like the next big thing.
Why did I wait this long to feature Cindy C.? Because she should need no introduction. When I was growing up, Cindy’s picture was in the dictionary next to the words beauty, glamor, and sex appeal. Still is. It’s no exaggeration to say Cindy Crawford is one of the most iconic women in history. If you don’t find her instantly recognizable, I don’t know what cave you crawled out of. She’s in a class of her own, and that’s that.
What can be said about Claudia Schiffer? She’s a living legend at this point. She’s an iconic face. Why is she so enduringly popular? It must be the guileless combination of Bardotesque sex appeal and Bavarian milkmaid goodness. It must be the way her assets – definitive blonde hair, curves like no other – balance out her relative shortcomings – noticeable overbite, average looking legs – making her seem like a realistic total package; perfect but not too much.
with Helena Christensen and Nadja Auermann
with Naomi Campbell and Karen Mulder
with Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford
with Karen Mulder, Nadja Auermann and Shalom Harlow
(with Cindy Crawford)
(with Nadja Auermann)
(with Nadja Auermann & Julia Stegner)
What a great year 2009 has been! I’ve enjoyed multiple magazines coming in with beautiful proffesional models on the cover. Now Christy Turlington is lighting up Vogue. Christy was also on the cover of W in January. Christy is the model all the other girls wish they were. She’s been at the top of the game since the 80s and her popularity has never waned. The Vogue feature showcases Christy as a woman of incredible substance. In the 90s she graduated cum laude from NYU with degrees in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy. Now she’s gone back to school to pursue a degree in Public Health at Columbia, the better to expand her worldwide work promoting women’s issues and maternal health.
A recent Vanity Fair profile of the original supermegahypermodels; Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford & Naomi Campbell.
Harper’s Bazaar, an otherwise classy magazine, hasn’t featured a model on its cover since September 2004. So I am completely thrilled to see Gisele on the cover of this month’s issue. I think that the celebrity cover trend has gone on long enough. I have my favorite stars whom I love to see, but I am sick and tired of the same faces of has beens and b-listers. For example, I am sick of Drew Barrymore. When was the last time she made a good movie? 2001. Eight years ago, that’s when. Part of the reason so many movie stars are now cover girls is that the new crop of models aren’t exactly super material. The new girls are just too bland, too wispy. I open a magazina and I can’t remember any of the girls’ names. There is no one who has the charisma to become a real supermodel. Gisele is the last great supermodel. I love her. What makes her great is that she is always herself. It’s not even her beauty or her body. (I think her body looks like a noodle with boobs) It’s her personality. No matter what fantasy she’s dressed up as, she brings her personality to it. No matter how sexy or glamorous she’s made to look, she’s always still herself – friendly, fun, relatable. She seems like someone you’d want to hang out with. And by all account she really is what she appears to be – a really nice person.
All the stories in Bazaar this month, as well as the cover, were shot by Peter Lindbergh. Lindbergh is a photographer whose style is instantly recognizable. What sets his work apart is that he’s never not shooting portraits. His pictures don’t feel posed. Even if they are posed, they feel natural and intimate. He’s not shooting clothes, he’s shooting people. Besides the Gisele shoot, there’s a story featuring Cindy Crawford, who is now a living legend. There are also stories featuring new girls and the difference is obvious. Hilary Rhoda and Lily Donaldson just don’t have the magnetic quality that a Gisele or Cindy has.
This 1989 shot is one of Lindbergh’s most iconic images. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford show what a real supermodel looks like.
In comparison, who the hell are these people? Sasha Pivovarova, Natasha Poly, Catherine McNeil, Lily Donaldson and Doutzen Kroes. They are beautiful, but they just don’t have it. I think Doutzen is my favorite of this bunch. She needs to work on her personality, that is get one, then maybe she can be a star.
P.S. Why are girls without boobs modeling bras?