Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Magical Moments - Joan Smalls

One of my goals whilst in New York for the Spring/Summer 2013 collections, was to meet and photograph one of my favourite models Joan Smalls. Those of you who visit Inoubliable Model Army regularly, would know by now that I have been an avid supporter and follower of Smalls' modelling journey since her early days at Elite. A change of representation in late 2009 to IMG Model Management and a career defining meeting with Givenchy's Riccardo Tsci and voila - today Smalls holds the number 1 ranking on the models.com Top 50 Models List.

Before Smalls came to the attention of the rest of the fashion industry via her Givenchy exclusive at the Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010 collections, Oscar de la Renta had Smalls already firmly in their sights. Smalls was first cast in the Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall and Fall/Winter 2009 shows when she was attempting to cross over from commercial catalogue modelling to the high fashion arena. Smalls has since become a regular fixture and firm favourite at Oscar de la Renta, so I was hedging my bets on her being cast for the Spring/Summer 2013 show.

Joan Smalls
Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

When I arrived at the Oscar de la Renta headquarters to document the castings and fittings, one of the first things I looked for was the casting board bearing the model's composite cards. As I scanned the board, I spotted Small's IMG comp card however my initial delight turned to dismay when I noticed "TBC" etched on the card. It was not until later in the day that I was advised that Smalls had been confirmed and would be in attendance for fittings the following day. After some negotiation and thanks to the wonderful efforts of the PR Division, I was granted access to document Smalls' fitting the next day with Oscar de la Renta himself.

Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

Smalls arrived at Oscar de la Renta straight from the Carolina Herrera show and I chatted with her briefly about Inoubliable Model Army and the season ahead before she was whisked off to her fitting. As Smalls entered the fitting room decked out in a divine white evening gown embroidered with silver scale beading, a magical hush descended over the room. Smalls stood before Oscar de la Renta as adjustments were made to the outfit and walked for the designer for his approval. During the fitting, Smalls chatted animatedly about all manner of topics including the Style Awards where she accepted the Model of the Year Award from modelling legend Iman. Throughout the proceedings all eyes were trained on Smalls and it seemed as though everything else had faded into insignificance.

The Definition of Super
Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

Joan Smalls & Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Property of Inoubliable Model Army

My encounter with Smalls and the opportunity to observe and photograph her at work, confirms to me why she is the Model of the Moment. Smalls exhibits an unwavering professionalism, determination, ambition and appreciation for her success that is truly admirable. Even more remarkable is the beauty which seems to emanate from every fibre of her being. Not only is Smalls incredulously gorgeous but she also possesses an endearing personality that makes her beauty seem almost secondary. Throughout the New York Spring/Summer 2013 collections, Joan Smalls' name kept popping up everywhere amongst designers, casting directors and the models themselves when I asked them to name their favourite model. After having met Smalls in person, I can fully comprehend why.

Oscar's Girl
Oscar de la Renta - S/S 2013
Photographer -Filippo Fior
Source - style.com

Oscar de la Renta - Pre-Fall 2009
Photographer -Don Ashby
Source - style.com

Oscar de la Renta - F/W 2009
Photographer -Marco Madeira
Source - style.com

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