Friday, August 31, 2012

Slow Burn

Puerto Rican juggernaut Joan Smalls kicks of the month of September with another pivotal cover appearance, this time for the Korean edition of W Magazine. Photographed by Steven Pan, Smalls shows off the fine form that has industry pundits heralding her as a true supermodel contender. The year of 2012 undoubtedly belongs to Smalls, with back-to-back editorial slots in American Vogue, and cover appearances for Vogue Italia, V Magazine, Australian Vogue, W, the Last Magazine and Pop, not to mention blue chip Fendi and Givenchy campaigns. Smalls has been on my radar since her early days as a catalogue model whilst under representation at Elite. It is gratifying to see Smalls' career progression which harks back to the days when models were permitted the luxury of time to develop a slow burn in order to achieve their full potential. With four months to go, you can rest assured that Smalls will close out the year with Anna Wintour's ultimate endorsement, as well as a cover appearance for a certain newly relaunched European style bible.

Super Nova - Joan Smalls
W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

W Korea - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Pan
Source - models.com

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Return of the Supermodel

Vogue Italia unveils its September 2012 cover with the effortlessly gorgeous and multi-dimensional supermodel Carolyn Murphy as its star. Photographer Steven Meisel captures Murphy with her flawless visage perched amidst a sea of mannequin masks whilst bearing an enquiring gaze. Murphy who recently turned thirty-nine, has been a muse to Meisel since posing for him for the first time in 1995 for American Vogue. Murphy reveals to Italia Vogue "I just love working with Steven and I love working for Italian Vogue because you just always know that it's going to be a work of art and creativity, and a different form of expression than fashion." 

Murphy who has been modelling since 1989, reminisces to Vogue Italia about her early modelling days and divulges her thoughts about the current state of modelling, "We had a really creative era in the beginning of the nineties, it was all about diversity with Kate and Amber and Shalom, all different shapes and heights... I don't really know now what the business is about today. I feel like the girls on the runway are beautiful but they're quite thin. And I think there's an issue with that. It sends a message to young ladies like my daughter who is only eleven, that you have to be this way. I would love to see more diversity, ethnicity, shapes, sizes. I would love to see more personality, I'd love to see a supermodel, a real supermodel come back. I don't think that we've had one in a while."

Carolyn Murphy
Vogue Italia - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - fashiongonerogue.com

Monday, August 27, 2012

Boys 'R' Us

Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel adds versatility and range to her portfolio as she hangs out with the boys for Muse Magazine's Issue 30. Photographer Cass Bird captures Swanepoel without her wings in an editorial which highlights the South African's breathtaking natural beauty. Sporting unkempt hair, minimal make-up and a wardrobe consisting of high-waisted pants, wife beaters and slouchy jackets, Swanepoel downplays her trademark sex appeal in a series of natural and unforced poses. The results are sublime with Swanepoel being given the opportunity to extend her modelling abilities. As the lines between commercial and high fashion modelling become increasingly blurred, it is gratifying to witness commercial girls like Swanepoel being shed in a refreshingly different light. The current economic climate will no doubt influence casting trends with a healthy dose of sex appeal, personality and charisma being utilised by fashion houses, magazine editors and casting directors to help stimulate consumer spending.

Candice Swanepoel
Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Muse - Issue 30
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - thefashionspot.com

Life's A Rollercoaster

Crystal Renn's beauty, intelligence and charisma have kept the fashion industry riveted for close to a decade. Renn's body weight has been well-documented throughout her modelling career, from her early battles with anorexia as a teen to her unprecedented success as a plus-size model. In recent years however, Renn has been the subject of considerable speculation, rumours and criticism over the weight loss which has seen the dynamic model shrinking in stature to a more standard size 8. Renn's weight loss which she attributes to her new found love of hiking and healthier eating practices, has come under fire from fans who had previously seen Renn as a poster child for the plus-size communities.

Renn's appearance in the September 2012 edition of Russian Allure is sure to earn her further ire amongst plus-size supporters with the model looking incredibly svelte with her only curve in sight being the accent of her finely chiselled cheekbones. Photographer Thomas Whiteside captures Renn's new leaner silhouette as she takes in the sights at an amusement park. Renn's agent at Ford Model Management Gary Dakin has been quoted previously by the New York Post as saying "She's just getting into hiking. She's not losing the weight. You know, she's just very, very, very, very healthy." Personally, I have never seen Renn looking stronger, healthier and more confident, and look forward to seeing how the industry responds to her more catwalk friendly frame.

Crystal Renn
Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Allure Russia - September 2012
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

The Model Scouts

Last week I stumbled across a television series called "The Model Scouts", which was produced in 2010 by RTE Television. The reality style modelling show chronicles the journey of IMG Model Management's Jeni Rose and David Cunnigham, as they scour Ireland in search of twelve girls with the goal of transforming into models over eight weeks. The Model Scouts is one of the most credible and compelling shows of its kind, so much so that I viewed the series in its entirety in a single day. IMG Model Management requires no introduction, being one of the major powerhouse agencies responsible for representing supermodels including Gisele Bundchen, Liya Kebede and Kate Moss. Jeni Rose and David Cunningham are Vice Presidents of IMG Models Development in Paris and New York, and are two of the most influential players in the modelling world. 

Ellen Flanagan, Becky Ali, Tabea Weyrauch & Lucy Moore
Photographer - Gilles-Marie Zimmerman
Source - The Model Scouts Facebook Page

David Cunningham & Jeni Rose
Vice Presidents of IMG Development in New York & Paris
Image courtesy of the Model Scouts
Source - www.rte.ie

Throughout the Model Scout's eight week run, the aspiring models attend make-or-break go-sees and castings with photographer Steven Meisel, Grazia Magazine's Style Director Paula Reed, Teen Vogue's Bookings Director Lara Bonomo, casting director for Ksubi Kannon Rajah, and Calvin Klein's casting director Maida Gregori Boina. The girls receive expert advice from models Debra Shaw, Caitriona Balfe, Adina Forizs and Jac Jagaciak, and gain invaluable experience whilst being photographed by Khalid El-Awad, Elina Ketchicheva, Gilles-Marie Zimmerman, Terence Chin and supermodel Carolyn Murphy. The show follows the models from Ireland to London, Paris, Sydney and New York before returning to Ireland for the final. Seventeen-year old Tabea Weyrauch whose lilting romantic beauty is reminiscent of the iconic French model Marie Sophie, took out the honours winning a one year IMG contract, a cover appearance on Ireland's best selling magazine LIFE, and a contract as the face of Irish fashion label A-Wear.

Tabea Weyrauch
Image courtesy of IMG Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Tabea Weyrauch
Image courtesy of IMG Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Along with Weyrauch, sixteen year old runner-up Ellen Flanagan made an indelible impression. Both models are currently signed to IMG Models Development division and have collectively appeared at the Fall/Winter 2011 shows in New York, Paris and London. Weyrauch is making serious headway with editorial appearances in the Turkish edition of Marie Claire  and DMag, and has recently landed a Fall/Winter 2012 campaign for Atsuro Tayama. Both girls are standouts with Weyrauch possessing a confidence, poise and elegance way beyond her years and Flanagan looking like an unpolished rough diamond just waiting for the right moment to gleam. Look out for Flanagan and Weyrauch at the Spring/Summer 2013 shows which are due to kick off from the 6th of September.

Ellen Flanagan
Image courtesy of IMG Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Ellen Flanagan
Image courtesy of IMG Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Little Monsters

The worlds of fashion and fantasy collide courtesy of Steven Meisel's lens in the September 2012 issue of W Magazine. Meisel's creative vision is taken to full effect in a bewitching editorial set in an enchanted forest. Guido Palau, Pat McGrath and Edward Enninful transform models; Hanne Gaby Odiele, Anniek Kortleve, Meghan Collison, Rachel Trachtenburg, Peyton Knight, Mae Lapres, Ethan James, Yuri Pleskun, and Aaron Vernon into a cast of ghouls, ghosts, fauns and demonic living dolls. Entitled "Spellbound", the editorial takes W's readership on a spine-tingling journey not for the faint of heart, replete with haunted houses, ritualistic ceremony and slaughter. The editorial is also sure to stir controversy in fashion circles for it's use of underage American model thirteen-year old Peyton Knight. Perhaps W Magazine missed the Health Initiative Pact's recent recommendation which discourages the use of models under the age of sixteen?

Meghan Collison
W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Mae Lapres
W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Peyton Knight, Anniek Kortleve, Hanne Gaby Odiele,
Mae Lepres & Meghan Collison
W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Mae Lapres
W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

W Magazine - September 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

Fields of Gold

Paris Vogue's September 2012 issue is simply brimming full of editorial gems. Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot continue with the style bible's obsession with all things black in an editorial starring Finnish model Suvi Koponen. Part Witches of Eastwick, part Goth girl meets Amish, the overall effect is an editorial which is supremely haunting in its beauty. Koponen's alabaster milky skin, golden flaxen hair and bleached eyebrows are the perfect contrast to the brilliant styling by Joe McKenna featuring Fall/Winter black ensembles from Gucci, Lanvin, Haider Ackermann, Balenciaga and Chanel. Koponen poses immersed in fields of gold set against a backdrop of looming clouds with black crows circling ominously. I love this editorial and as always, Koponen displays the versatility and modelling apopros which has made her the go-to-girl for editorials requiring more than just a pretty face.

Suvi Koponen
Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Monday, August 20, 2012

Black Glamour

One of modelling's stellar novas Daria Werbowry takes sensuality to a whole new level in the September issue of Paris Vogue. Werbowry, who has been a Paris Vogue favourite for over eight years, appears in a scintillating editorial shot by boy wonders Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. The editorial entitled "Le Noir" explores the allure of all things black with Editor-in-chief Emanuelle Alt decking Werbowry out in a hot mess of rooster feathers, luxuriant fur coats, lacy lingerie and thigh skimming stockings. Werbowry belongs to that exclusive clique of models who just seem to get better with age, combining life experience and life lines to create magic on film. It is Werbowry's inimitable mix of strength, earthy beauty and an elusive air of mystery which make her one of modelling's most enduring and compelling faces.

Daria Werbowry
Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com

Paris Vogue - September 2012
Photographer - Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Source - thefashionspot.com