Helmut Newton (1981)- Model : Violla Sanchez and her fake version with real pubis hair

Martin Margiela AW 97/98 - Sleeveless Jacket and his cut up sleeves in linen

Anonymous models for la Revue de la Mode (around 1917)

The question of beauty is a current obsession. It is the number one question above all. You already know that we are looking for the uncompromising, the unconventional, the non-boring, trying to stay away from the stereotypes of beauty. Our definition of beauty will  certainly not be the classic one. After going to an exhibition in Paris at Docks Cité de la Mode et du Design about Mannequin: corps de  la mode, what we love was all this idea of a model not being an artificial beauty. We have in mind different archetypes of beauty:  the girl next door ( Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Freja Beha Erichsen), the superwoman (Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Daria Werbowy, Lara Stone, Raquel Zimmermann) and the natural born model (Kristen McMenamy, Sasha Pivovarova). We reject the idea of beauty as a trend. Beauty is large and  universal and it is not the result of  a standard code. Models are actually the different versions of a same girl: a random  beauty who anonymously walks for fashion weeks around the world. Sometimes new born model catches the attention of a designer, but it's very rare. Houses like Prada, Miu Miu or Marc Jacobs are famously known for promoting new talents such as Ruby Jean Wilson, Meghan Collison, Ginta Lapina, Lindsey Wixon and Daphne Groeneveld. Models are the body of fashion, meaning that fashion needs them, contributing to the diffusion of  images to sell products (clothes, make-up, perfumes, shoes and accessories).

Lanvin by Alber Elbaz- Model Board SS2013

William Klein - Who are you  Polly Magoo? (1965/1966)

Madeleine Vionnet used to drape all her designs with this model (1920)

The designer Raphael nailed down stars on a suit for SS1951 collection

Corinne Day- Kate (1990)

Inez Lamsdveerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Everglade Balmain AW2010/2011

Marcus Tomlinson (2002) - Coat by Hussein Chalayan

The time of Muse has not come to an end yet. She is like a star and remember "stars are never dying they live forever". Models like Kate, Naomi or Raquel have stopped to be runway girls, but  their aura is much stronger than ever. Some designers who built a special relationship with models can't help calling them for their fashion shows. Marc Jacobs has been working with Kate and Naomi for decades.  Kate closed Louis Vuitton AW12, SS12 and AW13 collections. She is more than a model for Jacobs, walking in  a fetish ensemble (la femme fatale) and smoking a cigarette at the end of  the AW12 collection. We also have in mind the spectacular casting, a bunch of supermodels (Stephanie Seymour, Eva Herzigova, Carmen Kass, Natalia Vodianova, Angela Lindvall, Isabeli Fontana, Karolina Kurkova, Lara Stone, Nadja Auermann and Naomi Campbell) opened the Vuitton SS20008 collection, all playing sexy nurses inspired by Richard Prince's paintings. Jacobs often want to give a real show not only a presentation of his new collection. Models are no longer models, they become showgirls like in Mugler's presentations during the 80's: the models have a posture and an over-exaggerated way of walking, personifying the Woman in the designer's vision.

Best of Thierry Mugler - Mugler archives
Alexander McQueen had the same idea about runways where models had the most important role not only the clothes, embodying the mood, the character of the collection. McQueen 's Delivrance  SS 2004 collection was about models letting go their bodies, freeing their minds, forgetting the posture and becoming dancers. It was about telling a different story, not only girls wearing beautiful clothes. We have no doubt McQueen really loved the girls. During the Plato Atlantis, his last show (SS2010), we were astonished by the stage , the space, the creatures and Raquel Zimmermann, his Queen under the Sea! Powerful! Another striking image, coming from the Widow of  Culloden, one of our favorite McQueen 's collections (AW2006), is Kate Moss in hologram, floating in the air, playing the ghost of Isabella Blow! We get very sensitive when we are watching this picture, almost in tears.

Seraphin Ducellier -  Alexander McQueen Fashion Show SS2004, referring to Sydney Pollack's film They shoot horses, don't they?

The natural born model, Kristen McMenamy has got over the years and decades a unique status. She's not a dying star, even if she's more than forty years old. She's gone beyond that , embodying all alone the mechanic body of  Gareth Pugh SS 2009, illustrating the original definition of her status. It is highly disturbing and also fascinating how she's mastered on her own the whole collection.

Ruth Hobgen - Gareth Pugh SS2011 collection - Model: Kristen McMenamy

The model's role in the collections and ad campaigns is to speed up the spreading of the images in all the media. The girls are no longer real, but artificially created by computer software. Models in ad campaign or in magazine editorials always have the perfect body just like a Barbie doll. Tell me who wants to buy clothes wearing by the ugliest boys or girls on earth? Fashion is a big, fat and juicy business. We are not sceptic at all, but we are just realistic.
Artists like Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Juergen Teller or Cindy Sherman do question about beauty in their works. They are looking for the uncoventional, the non-corrupted beauty and even sometimes what lies behind an unpleasant appearance. In their campaigns, Comme des Garçons chooses the disappearance of the body like in their early collaboration with Cindy Sherman or the lack of clothes in their most recent campaigns. That's representative of the spirit of the brand. In their latest campaign, it is the work of contemporary artists rather than beautiful girls/boys.
Juergen Teller stands for the body in its non-artificial way: a model for itself in a natural light without any make-up. For instance, Kristen McMenamy's naked body wounded by her outfit zip-fastener. Here Mcmenamy is neither a fantastical creature, nor a model, but a woman at rest after a fashion show.

Cindy Sherman X CDG Ads

Juergen Teller- Kristen McMenamy 3, London (1996)

Helmut Newton for Yves Saint Laurent's series in Vogue Paris in the 70's and 80's got the statement. The First series presents beautiful women wearing YSL in a posture. The second series is the repetition of the first, but the women are naked. Is it the  clothes that make a woman beautiful or is a woman beautiful without all these tricks?

Helmut Newton for Vogue Paris

Guy Bourdin- Pentax Calendar (1980), model: Nicole Meyer

1 commentaire:

  1. Hey! Found your blog at IFB. That's very good post. Thank you for sharing!

    x, Daria