Saturday, February 26, 2011

Age & Experience

Twenty nine year old model Saskia de Brauw, is proving that age and experience could well be this season's winning combination. The 177 cm tall, androgynous Dutch beauty is having a stellar Fall/Winter 2011 season appearing in shows for Anna Sui, D&G, Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Rag & Bone, Narciso Rodriguez, Francesco Scognamiglio, no. 21 and Giles. This comes on the back of a major coup as the cover model for Carine Roitfeld's final issue as Editor for Paris Vogue and a Spring/Summer Givenchy ad campaign lensed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. Represented by DNA Models in New York, de Brauw is slated to appear in upcoming issues of Italia and US Vogue, and looks set to be this season's model of the moment.

Image courtesy of DNA Models
Source - the Fashion Spot

Muse Magazine - Winter 2010
Photographer - Kacper Kasprzyk

Vogue Paris - March 2011
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

De Brauw is making a major comeback having started her career as a model at the age of sixteen before quitting modelling to pursue art school. De Brauw decided to return to modelling when a friend who happened to be a make up artist suggested that she should try modelling again. In an interview with W, de Brauw recalls "I was doing all sorts of jobs to make my living - I worked in a bakery, taught art at school to really young kids, and I would occasionally earn with my art projects, but most  of the time that wouldn't pay the bills. So when she (my friend) proposed that I try it again, I thought, "Why not?" Its become bigger than I expected it to be."

Modelling's preoccupation towards younger models appears to be shifting, with models in their twenties such as de Brauw, Arizona Muse, Emily Senko, and Aymeline Valade dominating the Fall/Winter 2011 shows. In an interview with the Cut, de Brauw shares her thoughts on underage models, "When I think of myself at 15, even 17, I could simply not have done this work on an international level and travel all the time, take care of myself and not feel lost. I feel very happy that this is happening now, and not ten years ago, as I feel stronger as a person. I find the underage models very courageous, but I wonder at times if they see themselves that way. Maybe that might even be a problem - there are exceptions, of course - they do not realise yet enough who they really are and what they want from life. I think that you have to be able to go back into yourself and your own world and not get sucked up into ideas of what other people might think of you. People can project many things on you which might not be the truth. Maybe when you are very young, you confuse the role you play as a model and the person you are in real life. They resemble and they connect but are not necessarily always the same."

Image courtesy of Paparazzi Models
Source - the Fashion Spot

Image courtesy of Paparazzi Models
Source - the Fashion Spot

Muse Magazine - Winter 2010
Photographer - Kacper Kazprzyk

De Brauw's success also marks a shift in aesthetics towards character models who project personality, presence and charisma. Speaking with the Cut, de Brauw attributes her current success to a number of factors, "I have really good management today. I think that is the biggest part of the trick. Then probably the way I look fits this particular moment in time. I am far from perfect, but I have something else. I heard that people in the industry are longing for more personality and diversity. Perhaps I am more of a character than a model. In an interview with W magazine, de Brauw sheds an insight into modelling's fickle nature, "There are many girls who immediately have a top model career, and there are lots of models who are doing things that aren't as exciting as doing big campaigns and beautiful magazines. I never had worked in high fashion before, had never experienced it when I was a model before. I appreciate it, being able to work with such talented people. It feels like a gift now. I think for everyone everything happens at the right time, and this is my time."


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