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Friday, September 10, 2004

Bugs, etc

This may be useful for those who find the recent high fashion hip names to be "pretty", "glamorous", "elegant" and even attempt to compare them to proper fashion models - according to the NY Times, "...current runway stars like Heather Marks and Lisa Cant, two from among a crop of large-eyed creatures who resemble John Currin paintings and who are known in the business as the Bugs..."

Of course, "Bugs need love too", some would claim - OK, but can't they give them some other job to do and keep them away from modelling?
Some obviously hadn't had enough of this post-modern "ironic take on everything" bullshit.

I thought that this Currin fella may be yet another celebrated transvestite from the Warhol era - an artsy type explains: "..Take one look at John Currin's paintings and you could assume he likes stupid women with big tits. Pouting, wide-eyed ingénues look vacantly out of his canvases while ladies in mini-skirts measure each other's immense breasts...Currin depicts a bizarre and very American world of ageing divorcees, 70s pin-ups and cliché gay couples..."

According to a marketing type, the average US Vogue reader is a "33+ yo NYC racy divorcee with 2.5 children..." so maybe there is a connection somewhere.

Yet another indication that high fashion continues to operate on a London aristotrash / Miuccia Prada mentality. For those who may not be aware of Miuccia's mindset, she claimed several times that her clothes (she is not a designer of course, she employs low-cost British art school labor for that, like most hip Vogue advertisers) are really intended as a joke on middle-class people - and that she is inspired by the "banal".

A look at high fashion hip model faces is certainly inspiring, in that regard.

The NY Times hack does yet another pathetic suckup job to AW (but that was expected)-it looks like the article was written when the September US Vogue issue came out, but they decided to scrap the "Vogue story only" and add some totally unrelated stuff to the piece to make it look less of a Conde Nast promo. For anyone who cares, they quote some AW wisdom too - she says: "I had a sort of feeling that we were saturated and slightly OD'ing on the celebrity factor..." (no shit, says FV)"...Models are more reserved, less overexposed, if you like...they have more mystique and glamour...They also help you pay more attention to the clothes"

This year's sucker (last year the title went to Escada) is Ann Taylor. Their people got swindled out of several million dollars - as the hack explains "...a multimillion-dollar campaign that Annie Leibovitz has photographed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ann Taylor and that features 50 models drawn from this week's catwalks...The campaign itself is being promoted in the 685 Ann Taylor stores, as well as in a 50-page Vogue insert..."
Everyone gets to cash in with a client like this one, inc Karen Elson's sister, Kate, who did some sort of filming project. A company executive says that "...From its beginning in 1954, Ann Taylor has worked with some of the world's most beautiful women..."
Sure, but what does that have to do with AW's fave models? Calling them "beautiful" is something they may find insulting.

Update: I didn't comment on the hack's observation (Not to be obvious, Models are back, Sept 10, NY Times) that the mods on the Sept Vogue cover looked "submissive and unchallenging" - after all, that's what the biz expects from models, and it certainly suits the mentality and the agendas of most of the major players who are involved in model selection and promotion. I pointed out in the past several instances when the NYC/London "pros" tried to manufacture "fresh" models with an empty book - most of the time they manage OK, but their ignorance doesn't always alert them to the fact that the mod had been around for years doing shows in NYC for nothing - which of course raises the question of why the "pros" didn't notice the mod's "qualities" two, three or even seven years ago.
One day I may publish some of the dialogues between the Prada hip model picker in London, Russell Marsh, and some models who had to endure his bullshit attitude - not that anyone will bother...
As to why male fashion models are "conventionally" beautiful 90% of the time and female (high fashion) models are quirky 95% of the time, again, it doesn't take a MSc in Psychology to figure out why the discrepancy exists.

Update II: From a Canuck Bug interview, revealing some of retro-photographer S Meisel's tricks - btw, I used to refer to the Vogue Italia editrix as the "alleged editrix" - Ms Bug confirms that cover selection is not one of her duties...
"...The switch to a smaller agency paid off. Last December she (Lisa Cant) met renowned photographer Steven Meisel. Aside from shooting many top ad campaigns, Meisel is responsible for much of the editorial in the highly influential Italian Vogue. "He chooses the cover every month. He has a lot of power because his pictures are amazing," Cant says. "He pretty much took over my career."
Meisel locked Cant into an "exclusive" meaning, "he wants to know every job you are doing, and he'll say yes or no to it."
(tells you how much power bookers and agent bosses have these days...)
Her first shoot with Meisel resulted in an Italian Vogue cover for March. "That was such a surprise," Cant demurs. It was followed by a second in April. Having been anointed by Meisel catapulted Cant on to 40 runways for the fall 2004 show season including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Chanel..."

So maybe it's not the clients who demand these "quirky" models, as the various hacks allege - they probably just follow AW's and Supreme Anointer Meisel's dictates, or no Vogue advertising for them. They are hardly in a position to bargain - they know that blacklisting by the Nasties, for going against the retro-Illuminati of high fashion means certain high fashion death. Either that, or they are just insecure characters who can't exercise any personal judgment and will simply take whatever Meisel and Co foists on them - the choice is theirs.


At 9/12/2004 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the Russel Marsh conversations.



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