Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lone Star

Lakshmi Menon is one of the few South Asian models to have achieved international modelling success. Bangalore-native Menon began modelling in 2006 at the ripe old age of 25, purely as a means to finance her University studies in developmental economics and sociology. Menon is an intelligent and insightful woman whose beauty lies more than skin deep. Menon's beauty is mesmerising. The quality that I find most striking about Menon is her eyes which emote a rare combination of fragility, strength and sense of knowing. 

Menon was fast tracked to the upper echelons of the modelling pyramid when she was championed by Jean Paul Gaulthier and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci. In an interview with American Vogue, Tisci says of Menon "When we saw her, we said 'Wow! She is so strong. She has this elegance that is rare to find these days." Tisci swiftly cast Menon in Givenchy's Fall/Winter 2008 campaign alongside Lara Stone, Natasha Poly, Kristen Owen and Maria Carla Boscono. Tisci reveals in a press release statement for the campaign that "I chose these five women that represent elegance, femininity and masculinity with character. The new Givenchy star for the Fall/Winter 2008 season is the Indian model Lakshmi Menon." In an interview with Vogue.it, Menon also acknowledges Gaulthier's instrumental role in her entry into the international modelling circuit when he cast her for his Spring/Summer 2007 show exalting that "Jean Paul Gaulthier has an eye for women as such. If you come across as a striking woman, he will cast you."

Menon has since fronted campaigns for Max Mara, Hermes, H&M and multiple Givenchy campaigns and has posed for Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson, Mikael Jansson and Craig McDean for American Vogue, V Magazine, Allure, Paris Vogue and Dazed & Confused. In 2008 American Vogue went as far naming Menon model of the year. Menon was also selected as part of the illustrious line-up for Pirelli's 2011 calendar lensed by Karl Lagerfeld. This is far cry from her early days of modelling in 2006 when Menon recalls in an interview with the Independent that "When I first signed with agencies in Europe and the US I barely did anything; it was one show here another there. At that time it was completely dominated by Caucasian girls, particularly Russians." 

London stylist Nicola Formichetti, who cast Menon for the cover of Dazed and Confused in April 2009,  cites fear as the motive for under-representation of Asian models in the modelling industry speaking with the Independent, "It's a shame; there are even fewer Asian girls then black girls, which is why it's so exciting when you find a girl like Lakshmi. I think people are just scared of taking risks. They won't start doing it until everyone else does." Lakshmi adds in the same interview that "If there aren't many South Asian girls modelling, that's because the agencies haven't looked. I don't think anyone has really come to India to scout for girls, or at least not in the same way they go to South America or Eastern Europe. In a country of more than 1.2 billion, there are bound to be beautiful women - I mean, come on, who are we kidding." 


Photographer - Benoit Peverelli
Source - thefashionspot.com

L'Officiel - May 2008
Photographer - Jon Compson
Source - models.com

V Magazine - November 2008
Photographer - Cedric Buchet
Source - models.com

US Elle - December 2010
Photographer - Horst Diekgerdes
Source - models.ocm

Photographer - Prabuddha Dasgupta
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - May 2009
Photographer - Mikael Jansson
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - December 2008
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - models.com

US Vogue - May 2010
Photographer - Sebastian Kim
Source - chungkitblog.wordpress.com

US Vogue - May 2009
Photographer - May 2009
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - May 2009
Photographer - Mikael Jansson
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - October 2008
Photographer - Mario Testino
Source - models.com

L'Officiel - May 2008
Photographer - Jon Compson
Source - models.ocm

Vogue Espana - May 2010
Photographer - Tesh
Source - models.com

Eniko Mihalik & Lakshmi Menon
MaxMara - Spring/Summer 2009
Photographer - Craig McDean
Source - thefashionspot.com

Lakshmi Menon & Maria Carla Boscono
Givenchy- Spring/Summer 2009
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - thefashionspot.com

Vogue India - May 2009
Photographer - Jean Francois Campos
Source - models.com

Dazed & Confused - April 2009
Photographer - Josh Olins
Source - models.com

French Review des Modes - F/W 2009
Photographer - Thierry LeGoues
Source - models.com

Vogue India - April 2008
Photographer - Prabuddha Dasgupta
Source - thefashionspot.com

Velvet - February 2009
Photographer - Takay
Source - thefashionspot.com

Maria Carla Boscono, Lara Stone, Ana Claudia Michels & Lakshmi Menon
Givenchy - Spring/Summer 2009
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - models.com

Hermes - Srping/Summer 2008
Photographer -Thierry LeGoues
Source - models.com

Lara Stone, Natasha Poly, Lakshmi Menon & Maria Carla Boscono
Givenchy - Fall/Winter 2008
Source - models.com

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