Tag: Models

Girls On Film/Girl Panic

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.

Model of the Week: Gemma Ward

Gemma Ward |

If there’s a trend today of  models resembling porcelain dolls (and there is), then Gemma Ward is the apotheosis of that trend. With her round pumpkin head and huge wide-set eyes, she looks more doll than human. It is downright eerie. It is, also, charming. It’s the girl-doll look in extremis. Besides looking for all the world like a broken doll, Gemma can portray an astounding variety of characters. Her face lends itself to an endless supply of fantasies, from Manga robot to Stepford bride to bride of Christ and of course, Lolita. Like always, it’s the unusual looking girls who make the best muses.

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

Gemma Ward |

with Lily Cole

Gemma Ward |

Know Your Supermodels: Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford |

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.

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Cindy Crawford |

Learn Your Supermodels: Jacquetta Wheeler

Jacquetta Wheeler |

Jacquetta Wheeler comes from a very specific breed of models. The coltish, boyish, fun-loving cool chick. The mold forged in the sixties by Twiggy, and exemplified today by Agyness Deyn. Cool Brittania girls. Low maintenance girls. Girls you think you’d want to hang out with. Short haired, big smiles girls. You know the type. I adore how radically unsymmetrical her face is. One eye is notably higher than the other. She’s gorgeous. I’ve also heard that she’s left modeling to pursue higher education, which is always commendable.

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Jacquetta Wheeler - Photo - Fashion Model

 

with Carmen Kass

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Jacquetta Wheeler |

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with Anouck Lepere

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Learn Your Supermodels: Nadja Auermann

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann wasn’t born – she sprang fully formed from the brow of Helmut Newton. Or so it would appear. Because she is fashion’s most surreal Valkyrie. A woman whose proportions are superhuman. Nadja’s famous legs are longer than her head and torso combined. That and her white hair, and steely blue eyes and granite cheekbones all come together to form Newton’s oversexed Teutonic ideal. Besides being the incarnation of Helmut Newton’s scary Aryan dominatrix fantasy, she also did the opposite and became one of the scrubbed bare faces of early grunge. Looking disheveled and natural in photos by Peter Lindbergh she showed a completely different side of herself. Avedon and Meisel loved her too.

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

with Amber Valletta and Kate Moss

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Nadja Auermann |

Model of the Week: Lily Donaldson

Lily Donaldson |

If you subscribe to Bazaar you will have received your first 2011 issue with a cover of Lily Donaldson cuddling a baby leopard. Me, I’m very happy about it – movie stars just about make me puke at this point. A want to see clothes worn by real professional clothes-wearers. Speaking of that…models today, I do complain about them, do I not. How they’re not as great as they were back in my day. Well, here we see Lily, who represents the cutting edge of trends in modeling, not least because a lot of models nowadays seem to be named Lily. She is, on her own terms, a great beauty and a fine model. She’s a dewy blonde-haired English rose. Her face is so white and perfect it’s like she’s made of porcelain. And the eyes – the eerie, huge blue eyes that look like something out of a creepy Victorian child painting. She looks like she’s waiting for some much older gent to come along and write her a fantasia about hookah smoking caterpillars and white rabbits whatnot. Looking like Guy Bourdin‘s re-conception of Alice in Wonderland is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. Neither do I get ruffled when I see yet another borderline Lolicon high-art magazine spread of frilly-dressed sylphs wandering about in the big bad woods with their nipples hanging out. But when that’s all there is, I do get offended. All the models look like this. There they go marching down the runway like an army of Madame Alexander dolls. And it’s always the same shoots of babes in the woods. Oh and now there’s this retro-Studio 54 thing, where it’s the same girls made to look like Alice Liddell grew up to be Jerry Hall. How can Lily become a star if everyone looks like Lily?

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Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

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with Jessica Stam

Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

Lily Donaldson |

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Learn Your Supermodels: Kirsty Hume

Kirsty Hume |

A memorable willowy blonde. Kirsty Hume was famous at first for her endless mane of hair. Then she cropped it down to a bob, which made her even more desirable. Her haircut was a Vogue cover story when it happened.The hair makes the girl, as always.   Also, she’s famous for marrying the younger Donovan Leitch.  Match made in heaven, ’cause they’re both Scottish, of course.

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Kirsty Hume |

Model of the Week: Georgia May Jagger

Georgia May Jagger |

If ever anybody was genetically engineered for maximum beauty, this one is it. Obviously, Georgia May is the offspring of Mick and Jerry. She is 18, and following in the professional footsteps of her mother and older sisters Jade and Elizabeth. Honestly, I think Lizzy is the prettier, but Georgia’s already outstripped her in terms of career success. She’s already signed a major contract with a cosmetics company  (Rimmel), been the face of brands like Chanel and Versace, got on the cover of UK and Australian Vogue and US Harper’s Bazaar, among other achievements. She’s clearly having a moment. With her bunny-rabbit teeth, she’s got the popular Lolita-girl thing down pat. Alongside Lara Stone and Lindsay Wixson she’s at the front of a new pack of dentally-challenged young models. I guess that’s inspiring for folks whose front teeth don’t come together. My teeth come together, so I don’t find the look particularly appealing (except in the mouth of Elijah Wood) but it does seem to be a big trend right now.

Georgia May Jagger |

Georgia May Jagger |

Georgia May Jagger |

Georgia May Jagger |

Learn Your Supermodels: Oluchi Onweagba

Oluchi Onweagba |

Nigerian born Oluchi Onweagba is known as Victoria’s Secret angel, and SI swimsuit model, and as a  face of L’Oreal, Lancome, and Ann Taylor among others. She was, for period in the mid-to-late-ninetiess, fashion’s token woman of color – sometime after Naomi Campbell lost some of her lustre to bad behavior and before Liya Kebede got the job. Which, sadly, is how it tends to work. There’s always one extremely successful black model that the industry can point to and pat itself on the back. Beverly Johnson, Iman, Naomi, Oluchi, Liya and now Chanel Iman. Not every editor and designer is so narrow minded, of course. Elle, under the direction of Gilles Bensimon, has always made a point of featuring models of many backgrounds and nationalities – it was Elle that gave Alek Wek her first mainstream magazine cover. The more conservative publications, Vogue and Bazaar, are still completely missing the boat. They never feature more that one story with a non-Caucasian model, if that, and it’s always the same damn one. Liya Kebede, lovely though she may be, has been featured in every single issue of Vogue for –  I swear to God! – ten years, and I for one and getting tired of her. It’s nice sometimes to see Jourdan Dunn or Sessilee Lopez, or even Chanel Iman, who I think is shaping up to be ‘the one’ for the foreseeable decade. Oluchi meanwhile, has married, gone back to school, and spends her time working with various aid organizations supporting women’s rights in Africa and running her own modeling agency based in Johannesburg.

Oluchi Onweagba |

Oluchi Onweagba |

Oluchi Onweagba |

Oluchi Onweagba |

Oluchi Onweagba |

Oluchi Onweagba |