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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Pirelli 2005 post-mortem

So, is the calendar any good?
The international response so far was been lukewarm - other than Naomi and Adriana Lima, the mods are little known and don't show much that may impress people interested in somewhat saucy calendars.
Demarchelier now works for Conde Nast, inc US Vogue, and represents the "mass market" face of hip NYC modelling - if you look at the model selection, you'll see that whoever picked the girls followed "hip in NYC" rankings blindly, leaving out the more "edgy" girls that Meisel and his fellow travellers like to work with. Throw in a couple of Ralph Lauren models, and you get the idea.

The execution is predictably less than thrilling - Isabeli (November) looked far more interesting in the 2003 calendar, shot by Bruce Weber in Italy. Naomi C (December) was underutilized and didn't show up for the calendar launch in Rio, a disaster in international PR terms. Adriana Lima IMO is in the calendar only because of the relation between Pirelli and TIM Italia - after all, TIM Brazil's model contest winner, Valeria Bohm, got a calendar place (in the last page) as the prize. I suspect Naomi was supposed to get the cover, but it was given to Adriana instead. If Demarchelier and Co wanted to use more credible "Ipanema girls", they could have gone with mods like Fernada Tavares, Michelle Alves, Ana Beatriz, Leticia Birkheuer, Ana Hickmann, etc - Liliane F is pretty but curveless, and hardly the type that would turn heads in any beach, much less a Brazilian one. Even the Adriana photos (cover and April) are ho-hum. Leticia and Raquel Zimmermann could have been featured, since they also satisfy the "ranking" criteria. Somebody should show Demarchelier the Rosa Cha ads, with Raquel in bikini.
The casting, allegedly done by a lady who also works for VS, reflected NYC model agency biz politics and fell far sort of what the public would expect from an "Ipanema girl" theme. Some of the casting choices didn't work at all - Volodina isn't in any of the "month" pages, and in the pic where she is together with J Stegner, she is cropped below the waist - she has an obvious cellulite problem that apparently could not be retouched. Julia Stegner (January and July) gets two month pages, for no apparent reason. Marija Vujovic, reportedly the niece of the Montenegrin president (if they mean Djukanovic, that's the guy who is wanted for smuggling and mafia links by Italian judges, a small detail that the US media avoid mentioning since he is a dependable "yesman") offers a good view of her butt, which may be the most interesting feature of the calendar. Filippa (June) and Valentina (September) represent R Lauren, with Valentina appearing in more pages than anyone else - September and three more, for a total of four out of 22. Looks like she has a bright future with RL !!! Also present are Diana Dondoe (October) who can look a lot better than this, Michelle Buswell, who is compatible with the calendar theme but could use a boob job, while Erin Wasson (March) doesn't show anything that would interest (saucy) calendar fans - but she said that she did enjoy her Rio vacation.
Overall, dodgy model selection for such a theme and poor photography selection for a calendar shoot (Demarchelier has shown he can do much better) where pleasing NYC agency model bosses seemed to be more important - unless you are one of those longing for a chance to see Julia Stegner's nipples, you'll probably be disappointed.

Demarchelier autographs copies of the 2005 Pirelli calendar in Rio

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Did Alexander the Great wear eyeliner?

I am sure Vogue types will actively debate the subject, now that the Stone movie is coming out, with the actors playing Alexander and his close friends all using eye cosmetics.
And did he prefer Maybelline-like stuff, or more prestigious brands?
Of course, we know that other historical figures used eyeliner too - the Pharaons in Egypt used it to protect their skin from sun glare, but that doesn't sound very exciting.
Then again, what do you expect from men who wear skirts?
And was Alexander wearing anything beneath the skirt? Scotts men are rumored not to, and some evidence to that follows:

It's a good thing the rival "Alexander" movie starring Leo diCrapio died an ugly death - Leo as Alexander would be a joke.

For me, the two most interesting characters in the Alexander story are Roxanne and Thais.
The Roxanne story is very exciting, and it's even related to Armageddon eschatology (Alexander is said to have built iron gates to seal off the land of Gog-Magog, near the area where he met Roxanne, south of present-day Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and just north of the Oxus river and the Afghanistan border) so the casting of Rosario Dawson as the woman who mesmerized him is hardly the best possible choice. I expected a far more impressive actress - or model- to play the role.
There is lots of crappy history around the net, but the (historical) account I believe is that Roxanne was a 15 year old girl whom Alexander saw dancing during a wedding, and "fell in love at first sight". After all, he is quoted to have "developed an interest in Oriental women", meaning Persian/Central Asian.
The other woman is Thais, one of Alexander's girlfriends/mistresses - she is the one who convinced him to burn down Persepolis during a feast. I don't know who plays her in the Stone movie, but it's an interesting casting choice.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Isabeli was kissing Henri Castelli in public recently, both sporting engagement rings.
The German GQ Dec 2004 issue asks who will succeed Gisele as the top Brazilian fashion model - I am sure IMG doesn't entirely agree with the idea, but in any case, the possible contenders are mentioned as Ana Beatriz (on their December cover last year), Anna Hickmann, Leticia Birkheuer, Adriana Lima and Daniella Cicarelli (who is to marry Ronaldo?)
I guess they don't think Isabeli has a chance. You can also vote here
Currently, Ana Bia leads with 32% (I only voted once)- Adriana has 26%, Daniella 15%, Leticia 14% and Ana H 13%.

Anyone knows if the Shopping Iguatemi SP campaign with Ana Bia, Gianne Albertoni and Loenie Bienow is the new one? Pics?

Brazilian FW - Fashion Rio slated for January 12-15, Sao Paulo FW Jan 19-25
(but check again if you plan to go there !!)

Cindy Crawford will be in the S/S 2005 campaign for Byblos, and she has a new cosmetics line coming out.

Jil Sander left Prada for the second time - no word if Miuccia's hubby will once again proclaim that "marketing is more important than any designer".

The semi-edgy publication known as French Elle saw fit to report on A Wintour's troubles with her ex-nanny and her toxic poisoning episode - the live-in nanny passed out from "...paint-thinner being used by workers send by Conde Nast to remove anti-fur graffiti from the magazine executive's house"
"On December 2, 1997, a group calling itself the Paint Panthers spray-painted a trail of red paw-prints to her townhouse on Sullivan Street, ending in a pool of animal blood on the doorstep".
The nanny almost died as a result of the clean-up efforts, and won $2.2 million for her anguish last month.
If AW's NYC minions say anything nice about French Elle again, you may as well see me star in a US Vogue editorial...

Which reminds me - is G Bensimon still comatose fashionwise? He was last seen in a "GUESS Watches" model contest, where he helped in the judging. Not much came out of it.

Finally, Tom Ford said that the French are "the worst dressed people in the world", among other things. The French LVMH boss, Bernard Arnault, is nevertheless "having regular lunches", with Tom (he too must have an awful dress sense). Tom insists that if he starts his own fashion label, whether LVMH-supported or not, he'll be "living half in London designing things and making movies in Hollywood".
Even though he has little good to say about the French, he likes London for "...the tradition, the formality, the manners, the England, men can still be foppish. It's not like that in France. I think they're among the worst-dressed people in the world"
He must be the first person ever who admires Londoners for their manners.

Let's see what the Paris-based Vogue Hommes -edited by Tom's (ex?) boyfriend, Richard Buckley- has to say about all that.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Anja Rubik arrives in NYC

It was about %^$#@*& time - "...Inez and Vinoodh have been lensing Next's hot newcomer..."
Newcomer my ass -and people tell me I am nasty when I call some "pros" ignorant...
Whatever - I was getting tired calling the Next people names, telling them to push Anja - looks like it finally happened. Even the shitty polaroids they use in NYC to make mods look "fresh" can't hide her beauty and elegance - so, kudos to Next, finally a mod of some quality will show up in "hip" campaigns. She is 21 yo, from Poland, and she's done Kenzo, Givenchy, Escada Sport, Tod's, LaPerla, Guy Laroche, Clarins and much more - not bad for a "newcomer" !!! In the "French" campaign, with way too much hair (Anja usually has zero-volume hair) she looks like a product-improved Vialytsina.
I have to say that I love Anja's look with baby-doll length outfits, as in old Castelbajac shows - her legs look so perfect...
A year ago, I was saying "...I always liked Anja Rubik, a better mod than Elise Crombez in my opinion...". I guess Elise was with Next at the time, Anja is far better in every respect.
Wim has a very nice gallery with Anja pics, here (btw, I've met Olga Elnikova once, when she was very young and winning contests in Moscow - she looks amazing in the Dior ads). Someone has a site dedicated to Anja, here.

The Chanel No5 commercial/short film is about to hit the TV and cinema screens. Check out the story line and tell me how this is different from the BMW short film and the Italian TIM mobile ads, both starring Adriana Lima (OK, Adriana actually drives the car)

The short "film" is a quick-cut version of a love story that tells a tale of the most famous woman in the world (Kidman), who flees a horde of paparazzi and jumps into a taxi where she meets a young writer (Brazilian star Rodrigo Santoro) so immersed in his own world that he does not know who she is. They share a lost weekend in his garret before she acknowledges her responsibilities and returns to the outside world.

The NYT doesn't mention the film cost - originally thought to be 5 milllion, or 18 million UK pounds, according to others. Will Nicole sell in non-English speaking markets? Is she big is East Asia? We'll see.
Predictably, the NYT hack mentions the BMW short film, but not the fact that Adriana Lima was the female star - I guess if CondeNast editrixes don't like you, the CondeNast-friendly NYT will ignore you.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Brazilian model contests

The 2004 Elite Model Look Brazil winner is 15 yo Rebecca Gobbi de Faria,1m77 tall, from Itirapina, Sao Paulo - "típica morena interiorana" as the Brazilians say.
Among the 18 finalists was 1m88(!) tall Tayrane Grabowski, 14 yo, who may steal the "longest legs" record from Ana Hickmann. A black girl, 2nd winner at 1m80 and 19 yo, Luciana Reis - here, with R Gobbi - from Salvador, looked interesting. I would have voted for 14 yo Tawanny Calazani, from Novo Friburgo, RJ.

The Ford Supermodel Brazil winner is 13 yo Camila Finn, the brunette here, 1m75 tall, from Botucatu, Sao Paulo.
Blondes were in short supply - looks like Liliane F types are popular these days.

The Mega Models contest will follow.

I noticed Bianca Klamt in Brazilian Nokia 7200 ads.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

VS tour

Iris H tells me the "Angels Across America" extravaganza is on - pics here, at GettyImages and similar sites. Extensive examination of the PR pics shows that Alessandra Ambrosio is the only one exposing her bellybutton - I am not aware of the significance of this.

Apparently the main event in NYC was cancelled - VS says it was due to eco-freaks with chainsaws protesting outside the VS NYC Herald Sq store. No word if Angie L was present. According to this VS catalogues may be the biggest threat the Canucks are facing. These VS people are a bunch of hosers, eh?

Elle McPherson's underware now sell better than many overhyped high fashion labels - no wonder UK Vogue is paying attention.

Angie Lindvall is pregnant again - we learn that she is "...married to commercial diver William Edwards, already has a two-year-old son, Dakota, and is set to act as the face of Calvin Klein for the forthcoming spring/summer 2005 ad campaign".
No word if she will replace N Vodianova.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

If you are looking for a saucy 2005 calendar and like Shana Zadrick types, check out the calendar featuring Samantha de Grenet - the "how it was made" feature on TV Moda (on HotBird 13E) convinced me !!
Another example of how a 34 yo can look better than almost any fashion "fresh face".

Daria Werbowy looks like a tarted-up joke on the cover of W magazine.
IMG wants to make her a "supermodel", but these mid 90s-style shoots need Cosmopolitan covergirl types to work, not hip high fashion models. W can afford to experiment, since they sell less than 50,000 newsstand copies anyway.

Has anyone told the hipsters that recently hip Women agency mod Shannon Click is a "GUESS model"? I guess Rowland is trying to cover up this embarassing (for the hip crowd) detail...

I got the recent Vogue Paris (fashion is a Parisian rather than a French thing)- I don't mind browsing since I didn't pay for it !!!
Let's see - we have sporty (!!) Kate Moss on the cover - did Katie ever go to a gym or did any jogging? Whatever - the Chanel ads feat Isabeli look tacky with all the oversize logos, but people tell me there are endless queues of Japanese tourists buying Chanel and Vuitton these days in Paris, so success is guaranteed. The Roberto Cavalli redhead looks weird - maybe Roberto is expanding into the "Vogue Teen" market. C Murphy impersonating Liz Hurley as the E Lauder family girl looks less than convincing - I think Liz will be around for many more years. Isabeli again (she is all over the place)for Versace Crystal Noir perfume - looks like a high fashion attempt at a sexy perfume campaign, the photographer must be one of the usual suspects. By comparison, the Ungaro Apparition ad is far better - even if the mod looks like Testino's fave London "street urchin". The issue is more of a perfume rather than a sports special. There is an ed with 27 yo Brazilian model/celeb Fernanda Lima, and even Liz Hurley in a bad hair day, exercising in an art-deco hotel room. The posh party coverage is unimpressive - L'Officiel always does better than Roitfeld's rag. The main difference from US Vogue is that men are featured in the mag.

btw since the NYC "pros" are rather predictable, I won't be surprised if Daria and Isabeli "clones" start showing up in the "hip in NYC" model charts.

Isabeli on the cover of Brazilian Istoe Gente - the mag article makes the affair with Henri Castelli "official".

Monday, November 01, 2004

Americans are ready once again to vote for their next President - like they do every four years, on "Election Tuesday".
The question is - go for Dubya or Kerry? The real question is - what do you really get when you vote for one or the other? (full story here)