Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cold Water Symmetry.

No, you're not witnessing a paradigm shift in my views on modelling - I do happen to indulge into conventional beauty albeit it's not the field where the wow factor mainly lies to me. It turns out that Danish newbie Juliane Grüner, whose classic appeal very much harks back to the infamous newfaces wave that dominated Spring Summer 2009, made me do a definite double take. Her astute gaze and strongly defined jawline would indeed reconcile anyone with her tame type of beauty - though after setting these words down, I'm starting to ask myself if anyone out there would actually consider her as safe-looking as I do. I suppose that after delving into the modelling land for as long as I have (and I mean it in the humblest way possible, lest I sound condescending) your opinion gets a little skewed, and so gets the way you measure beauty. Either way I've come to the realization that Denmark is a country to be kept an eye on. Most of the models it's brought to life within the last five years have never utterly dropped off the radar and continued on wandering across magazines and runways avenues or cemented themselves a prosperous comeback. From Freja's dominance, to Agnete and Gertrud's bounce-back, including Caroline's rise-up and Amanda's constancy, Denmark not only seems to swarm with beautiful mannequins who can nevertheless stand on their own, but also with girls who can indeed carry their modelling niche over several seasons and thrive off of the lulls within their careers to come back full force. It's as if there were a certain thread running through their modelling that enabled them to pull this off... I wonder what this thread could possibly be? Is it due to their ability to straddle the line between overall conventional looks and singular facial characteristics, which, when took apart, appear significantly eccentric? Out of the five models I mentionned earlier on, none of them could actually be lumped in under the common beauty category because of remarkable features of theirs and yet each one of them can easily fill the bill as such. Search out the newest Danes into the modelling scene and this definition will most certainly be applicable to most of them too (check out Solveig to begin with!). The point I've just brought forward is just assumptive and I may aswell be completely far-off ; however it's never seemed to me that the ins and outs of modelling only amounted to a blend of coincidences therefore I'm standing by my guess and there must be a theme concerning Danish models. At any rates there's no hamming it up and claiming that Juliane is the next Denmark-born hot thing - even though in real life I tend to deem Carpe Diem a convenient manoeuvre to let loose under the guise of well-being and pass off irresponsibility as a philosophy of happiness, I'm hankering to go by that motto in regards to Mrs. Grüner for the time being... regardless what might happen next.

source :

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Never knock down a newcomer as a one-trick one-season wonder before she's debuted in print. Ever. This is the lesson whirlind of a model Arizona Muse has learned me and I'm willing to stick by it so I won't be missing out on watching the evolution of another up-and-comer of her caliber (if any) any time soon. I assume I don't need to go about typing down Arizona's resume ; other blogs have and will better than I ever could. In a nutshell she's been working for three years but has only started burning up the fashion industry this season, and... she's got a baby. Chill out, I'm not heading down mundane debates lane (isn't she too young? irresponsible? selfish?), nor am I willing to expound upon her personal life, but being cognizant that she hasn't left everything behind so as to get her face plastered all over Vogue Italia is a thought I deem comforting - not to mention it takes someone who has a good head on their shoulder to be fully aware of the fickleness of the fashion industry and not to get invested into it at all costs.

To a certain extent, knowing that insignificant bit lulls me into thinking Arizona doesn't fall into the category of girls ready to write off their off-duty lives so as to keep the pace with the industry they happen to work in and God know there's nothing more miserable than self-dismissive, obsessively aspiring demeanors (at least to me). I've earned this repulsion through witnessing countless wannabes trying to make it into any industry whatsoever undergoing ludicrous make-overs so as to stay relevant, but at the end of the day it felt so like self-denial that it took away all the authentic freshness they had embodied at some point. Here's to hoping Arizona never gets tempted into changing drastically basically, for it would truly affect my love for her and her work. She stands out to me because she is so malleable as a model and yet so genuinely and unassumingly herself. She can be the vehicle by which photographers convey their vision and remain recognizable by means of her infectious smile, her sophisticated stance, and her risky posing above all.

Poses happen to impart much more significance to the way we look at the clothes than we realize. When clothes just hang down a body we're kind of bullied into seeing them but all in all we're so bombarded with different aesthetics and cuts and patterns that there's nothing left to do but gloss over the whole without absorbing anything at all. When a model dares to try out eccentric poses, not only can she cancel out the staidness of studio photography and the one-note goal it strives for, but she also draws your eyes into concentrating away from the garments upon the lines of her body and the intricacy of its angles first, then back upon the fashion and all its subjacent details per se. Not to mention a mannequin who has no setting to work off of and who still gets to do the clothing a favour solely within the limitation of her body commands respect, doesn't she? And well, correct me if I'm wrong but I think Arizona is slowly yet firmly entrenching herself within the model who masters the art of posing type. Her postures give off such a determined fortitude, an unwavering dominance, that even poses that could look contrived at first cursory glance come across as bluntly immanent to her body language. Only a model who's well-versed in her own body can carry this off.

I'm finally starting to comprehend the why of the Arizona Muse phenomenon. I couldn't wrap my head around her sudden blow-up in the first place, but I've gradually grown to see the wow-factor that was overshadowed by her unpolished runway appeal. Sometimes - no, often, success in modelling doesn't boil down to looks. I know it would sound paradoxical to anyone not dissecting the fashion industry, as well as I'm certain mannequin connoisseurs will grasp my point. You know a model is great when you can peel away the prettiness - or look past the absence of that for that matter - and still get enough fodder to chew on and ramble about. Blatant beauty can be irksomely depthless and unexciting, while presence... presence is an unexplainable and complex power that pulls you in and keeps your level of fascination up. Being a talented model, it's being versatile enough to be capable of taking on a myriad of characters all the while being detached from this all enough to cling to your individuality and let your idiosyncratic presence pierce through the layers of artifice. I do reckon presence and consequently personality win out over beauty. Arizona perfectly exemplifies it.

source : scanned by push @ tFS

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Is it me or there has been an outpouring of noteworthy newcomers hailing from France? I'll hand it to you, outpouring remains an overstatement as of now, but there have been a few new faces cropping up here and there who could be strong contenders to French modelling scene frontrunners Sigrid Agren and Constance Jablonski. Anyhow there's no winding down the French models enthusiast in me ; after quick write-ups on Victoire and Aymeline, it's Hélène Desmettre's turn to make it here. Out of honesty I'll admit that I used to have a mind-boggling love-hate relationship with her before she grew on me altogether - I'm close to being ashamed for spelling this out so casually, given she just screams out potential and that I should have noticed it upon first glance. Albeit Hélène doesn't fall into the outrightly memorable models category I am such a sucker for ; she's more of a girl who leaves an imperceptible impression on you, which gets you to keep her name in the back of your mind. Enough to cause you to click away whenever seeing it popping out in industry-related news and gradually memorize the face behind the name. And yet, despite visiting her tFS thread on a regular basis and starting to get the hang of recognizing her, I would continue moving between fascination and indifference cyclically and back again... up until Rokas Darulis's imagery came in and saddled me with the pictorial proof I needed to put to rest my unsettled hesitance as to Hélène. I'll direct you to the photographer's website where the entire set is to be found. It's a right-on mirror of Mrs. Desmettres per se : straightforward, touching and intriguing. Besides, her capability of connecting with the camera is unquestionably born out all throughout. Lens and model, more than working in tandem, are as one and the chemistry between both entities is palpable. It is tough to put into words the feeling of cohesion and unity I get from the pictures since it is mainly dependent upon sight and individual partiality... But anyway, you (hopefully) got my point : time has come for Vogue Paris to change their list as soon as possible. Is this also too demanding of me? You know, my hopes concerning the magazine being back to a more creativity and culture-centered direction are stretching thinner and thinner now that Emmanuelle has reportedly taken the helm, so I'm just trying to hold on to minuscule wishes in order to soften the blow.

source :

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lost in Hollywood.

Yay! The first double-page shot of the campaign I was most awaiting has eventually leaked out. The last advert that made me feel such an unbridled reaction of visual awe was lensed by Mert and Marcus and sported the creations of a certain Miuccia Prada aswell... there must be a theme here. It seems like Miu Miu never fails to hit the nail on the head in terms of ads. I love that the spirit of the collections always translates onto them without any emanating sense of monotony or sloppiness, and I equally find myself admiring their capability of moving freely along a nuanced spectrum of models castings, going from one pole to another ; from newcomers to established models, including rising stars aswell. This season we get Polish model Kasia Struss, reported to keep company with Sasha Pivovarova and Querelle Jansen (double yay!), whose pictures have yet to surface.

That line-up seems pretty neat to me. Neither Querelle, who's coming back from the void after a few years' absence, nor Sasha walked this season's show, but they've been featured in Miu Miu and Prada campaigns in the past, respectively. I would somehow not lumped in Kasia under the Miu Miu girl category (then again, what is a Miu Miu girl?) but she's both exceeded my expectations and beaten up my a prioris here. And if you're well-versed enough in her career, it musn't be lost on you that she's actually sustained a solid collaboration with the brand since her debut season - it may not stick out as much as other label-model pairings, such as Freja and Chanel or Sigrid and Calvin Klein, but it does exist (less constantly so, though). She first made her way in the Spring Summer 2007 show, sat out the four following ones, fought her way back into the casting in Spring Summer 2009 and has grown into a regular of the brand ever since. Therefore, if you can't take anything from this all, it's that this season's Miu Miu girl is patient and self-possessed ; she can wait until an optimum opportunity to gain momentum passes by and is able to grasp it dexterously.

A tFS member laid out his own interpretation of these first pictures released and although I don't apprehend the campaign as he did, I can value his comment for being so insightful and putting forward a take on the shots I hadn't envisonned. This is the beneficial aspect of this forum (and all places up to public discussions) and its appealing to a wide array of people ; anyone can step up on their soapbox and render their valuable points accessible to others. As far as I'm concerned I had to carry over my own thoughts onto this blog for fear of cluttering up The Fashion Spot from being too wordy.

I find the idea of encircling the models within mirrors to be beyond brilliant, especially when you know about the impetus behind the collection, namely stardom and celebrity - two (one actually) concepts largely ubiquitous in our lives whether we try to face away from them or not. In my mind's eye, Kasia's different angles reflected in the mirrors are the signifiers of the numerous - whether they be interviews, redcarpet or magazines-ready - personaes mainstream personalities have to take on to gloss over the human being (and its flaws) lurking underneath, while the latter, embodied by Kasia, is caught up amid all those made-up images ricocheting off each other. These photographs raise a callous issue bound to rear up that a lot of people lose sight of (don't they..?) when dreaming up schemes to make it in any stardom-related industry : going down the route of fame goes hand in hand with taking the risk of losing the essence of your being in the process, through the onslaught of public eye and what it demands in return for its interest in you - that's to say enough substance, whether it be praise-worthy or scandalous, genuine or not, to get it talking. This idea of self-loss is made even more poignant by means of the bewildered impuissance conveyed by Kasia's expression and haphazard posing.

This actually brings to mind (I apology in advance but I just have to sneak that in) a most well-known text of Sartre's, The Waiter. He spells out in it that the role you get into every day in order to live up to others' standards and expectations will, in the longrun, insidiously encroach upon your true self to the point where you mix up who you are and who you play at being. It's indeed a risk we all run as soon as we step out into society, but this is a plague even more pervasive in the life of a celebrity who gets continuously pressured into projecting a fully put-together image that isn't necessarily in accordance with reality.

Don't get me wrong though. I thought I'd dwell on this campaign because of its ominously inspirational quality solely. Lord knows that I've had more than enough of that asinine, afflicting stardom culture. Then again, I wonder who is to be blamed... Celebrities themselves or the sea of celebrities worshippers? Eternal conundrum, isn't it.

source : scanned by style_expert @ tFS ; ;

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mélancolie urbaine.

(Before I lay out all my thoughts, I'll let you know that this post might seem lacklustre to you possible reader since it all in all hasn't much to do with the substance I've picked out to accompany my writing. Consider yourself forewarned - and apologies for this!)

I've been hell-bent on being a loyal purchaser of Vogue Paris through thick and thin, and I might not regret it when I'm back to poring over old issues of mine within the years to come. Yesterday I randomly fell upon their June 2005 issue, which had been tucked away in a shelve of mine probably since I got it. I can actually remember buying it off eBay in 2007 just for collection's sake, for both the cover and contents looked pretty coarse to me back then (and to be frank, over-tanned Demi Moore is still not the most appealing sales argument Carine has come up with).

Well, all in all, this encounter with the magazine proved to be a much more enjoyable experience than I thought it would be. I'm in a kind-hearted mood enough not to expound upon the infamous lieu commun "[back issues of magazines] are like wine they get better with time" but this saying is a great summation of the first thoughts that crossed my mind. I was definitely shown that you can't fully soak up the current fashion when caught up within the whirlwind of trends that rages as of the moment. You grow cognizant of the fashionable quality of magazines / collections a certain number of seasons after they hit the shelves / runways, when you can finally value them for what they are and not what you were expecting or willing them to be. The rediscovery of this issue actually took on an introspective significance as I was reminded the fashion enthusiast I was back in 2007.

It was peculiar to find myself gazing at pictures I would have literally disdained four years ago, while some of the pictures that used to leave me awestruck felt incredibly trite within my page-turning. For instance I laid eyes on one of the shot of the Chanel Spring / Summer 2005 campaign which I used to glorify - not only did I feel a tangible aversion to it this time around, but it also learned me why I've kind of hated most of location-shot Chanel campaigns of this past decade. If Karl's going to shoot outside, he can at least decides on doing so in France because - take a d-e-e-p breath - Chanel was born in France before being the widely-spread brand it is known to be nowadays. Not that I am uptightly patriotic, not that Lagerfeld should be burnt at the stake for displaying Chanel clothes in New York, but I still find myself a little appaled at people's unwillingness to stick to their roots - in general that is. Globalization was pleasant before starting to take away the cachet and idiosyncracy of every country, before bringing to being a flat and overpowering world culture (which I'm fully complicit in, much to my dismay). And while Vogue Paris dedicating an issue to American fashion (as they have done in regards to Russia, Brasil or China) seems to me like an in-depth study written from a French point of view, a Chanel campaign lensed in South America or Los Angeles appears like crossing out the French spirit that is full part of the brand.

On a brighter note, I was positively thrilled that my soft spot for this editorial of Daria's hasn't died out after all these years. Photographed by Mario Sorrenti and styled by Emmanuelle Alt, I love it for its self-reflective quality, which is eminently patent on the shot of Mrs Werbowy with her head affectedly leaning forward. The detachment portrayed all throughout the story could easily come around in us mere mortals' life. This is one of these lonesome moments you experience when you retreat back into yourself and ponder over your existence : your past, your future, but your present above all. What you are, what life and your surroundings have made you grown into and what you would have liked to grow into. In spite of the laid-back styling and Daria's nonchalant persona coming through, the story isn't devoid of tension. The casualness of this all collides with the intricacy of the process that goes into self-analysis, which is itself mirrored through the travel between frownings and eased-up expressions (for musings can be as soothing as desolating). This is such an enchanting editorial in that there is a storyline underneath all this sleek leather and raw denim and you can get a sense of a wide spectrum of emotions. Every shot can stand on its own in addition to working in concert with the other ones.

Spreads such as this one are delectable reminders about Vogue Paris not always being the forcedly tongue-in-cheek publication it tends to be mistaken for. Carine started latching onto the over-sexualized aesthetic that has come to characterize the magazine as a whole towards the second midst of her editorship. Prior to that, you'd get Liya Kebede by Corinne Day or Jessica Miller by Sorrenti within one issue, an no trace of Terry Richardson arising from it to boot. I find it really saddening that Mrs. Roitfeld intended so determinedly to make her stamp by founding (and limiting) her work upon recycling oh-so-hype stereotypes as to French people being free-spirited not shying away from cigarettes and erotism all the while beating up dress codes and managing to look classy doing so. It may have come off as daring and invigorating to begin with, but by dint of using up this cliché, this publication got stale and try-hard, it gradually lost its witty substance. Whoever the new editor in chief will be, I hope with all my might they drift away from the road Carine Roitfeld went down in her last days, and get the magazine back to being effortlessly risky with a twist of intellect.

source : via kasper! @ tFS


I'll give you a break from my favorite blog topic, nevertheless - brace yourself for another one I've touched on twice before : Dazed and Confused. Another publication that would deserve to be bestowed much grander praises upon than it already is, because even though their covers tend to be underwhelming they can do no wrong in terms of contents. Hiring newcomers and emerging photographers? Not the type of delightful combinations we get to savor from every magazines out there. This month we're spoiled and get Polish image-maker Kacper Kasprzyk and Swedish model Theres Alexandersson working in concert in a twelve-pages long colorfully flowery editorial.

The vibrancy of the colors takes over your sight at once ; the textured quality of the images draws out the fabrics the clothes are made out of, while the model's stately poses add a certain starkness to the whole. There's a certain dichotomy organic to the spread in that despite its being a glorious bacchanal of colors, it still has a statuesque austerity to it. Theres's modelling has a lot to do with setting up this chilling atmosphere. Naysayers would argue that oh my God! she sticks to the same facial expression all throughout the editorial! but within certain aesthetics, a semblance of inertness can be more befitting than smiley faces and extravagant poses. Being a good model doesn't solely amount to having a wide repertoire of poses and expressions. It also - and above all - comes with knowing when to use this repertoire, when to change the things up. A good model is able to adapt to the defining signature of every photographer she works for, and here the lack of variety expressions-wise is not only welcomed but also meshes together and increases the brooding intensity of the imagery.

In regards to the latter, I think you have to see past the pared down and and stern feeling that sticks out from the overall composition of the set to fully get absorbed into Kacper Kasprzyk's photography and his painterly approach. Being a dilettante art enthusiast, I can actually detect a tenuous reference to French artist Matisse here. He is deemed the leader of Fauvism, an art movement that spanned over four years (from 1904 to 1908) and was characterized by a cheerfully vivid aesthetic, in which colors were utilized as the main mean to channel your emotions and feelings onto the canvas (just as a heads-up). The resemblance may seem quite implicit - and even insignificant to some - but the color palette that runs through the set is very much akin to the colors Matisse falls back upon all throughout his oeuvre, while some of There's poses also happen to echo back to the painter's work.

Yet again my eyes may just be playing tricks on me and deceiving me into making out references to art that by no means exist, but given the photographer studied both painting and sculpture before branching out into photography, I might aswell allow myself to think he did take his cue from Matisse's paintings. I suppose you're starting to know my inclination to make fashion and art intersect by now, so this whole babbling shouldn't leave you overtly bemused. It's just that I've had enough of people pigeon-holing fashion into the uni-dimensional misconception it's widely attached to, and even though I'm just whiling away the time by dropping a few lines onto this online platform, I hold out hope some passerby changes their mind about fashion (or at least, about some aspects of it) after reading them.

source : scanned by williscrazy @ tFS

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Le Diable au Corps.

Evija Kreismane, Latvian, unfortunately on the shorter side. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for this one since late June and looking forward to her evolution with avidity. Needless to mention the bittersweet feeling I've felt filled with everytime I've browsed through her portfolio and found no recent test material whatsoever. Bitter, because when taking notice of a compelling newcomer, you consequently want her to put out substantive test shoots - firstly to get treated to new work from her, secondly because you want her to manage to keep her head above water later on in her career, and for a model, this partly comes with being familiar with the camera and able to thrive off of editorial sessions. Sweet, because I appreciate it when agencies keep mum on the developement of the newfaces they hold in store - that's how they're most likely to get people intrigued and keep them anticipating. It all boils down to straddling the line between overdone hype and utter muteness - all about being moderately secretive, as I've already stated before. An endeavor far away from being effortless, since lots of things today (from means of transportation up to means of information) are designed to give people access to whatever they want increasingly easily so they can indulge their appetites - the faster, the better, I would also say.

In the age of the Internet, the word patience has lost its significance and actually seems to belong to the days of yore ; you can't even begin to feel the willingness to know about something that it has already been splashed all over the Web. The Spring / Summer ad campaigns are starting to roll in for instance, which signifies a certain angst related to the haste of all these releases starting to wash over me. It struck me last season, when a few hours after the first images of the Louis Vuitton campaign came out, the whole set was already up on their website and onto The Fashion Spot. It took away all the excitement linked to discovering the ad. It's just going too fast, really.

I'm not trying to hold responsible all the so-and-sos kind enough to scan / get pictures off brands websites and put them up for everyone to see them, because the real culprit is our impulse to find out about everything always faster, which prompts us to embrace the leaking craze and take part in it - and this is an impulse earned through the era of mass media and what it shoehorns us into doing (don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly count myself in that plight). Then again, I guess utilizing mankind-friendly innovations (whether they be technological, ideological etc...) at hand beyond the boundaries of reason is equally inherent to human nature - instead of being wise and getting the best out of them, we get anything likely to provide us instant and personal satisfaction without thinking of the impact of this all on the future - ours. Not that (almost) entire magazines issues being spread across the web within two days after their releases is that serious. Not that we could boycott the Internet into a more level-headed use of it even if we wanted to.

source : via *Bianca* @ tFS ; via lanvinray @ tFS ; via fadedcolors @ tFS