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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Do you remember what you were doing on this day, exactly ten years ago?
Well - what is so special about August 23d 1995? That afternoon, I was in LA, just back from a brief stay in the North Shore Hilton (Turtle Bay) hotel in Oahu, Hawaii (can't reveal what I was doing there - some sort of business) waiting for my European flight in LAX with a few hours to kill - so, I headed to Manhattan Beach, to check out the local Fry's for cool electronic gizmos. The scene there was one of havoc - coz Microsoft was going to release Windows 95 for sale exactly on midnight (!) and people were already queuing up for the event! So I skipped that and went to an overpriced burger joint instead...
I don't remember what I did the next week or month - but August 23d 1995 was a milestone...I made lots of money from Windows 95 in the following years !!!

I wasn't into fashion models at the time - I got interested in mods in early September 1997, after I stumbled onto a model contest (and Yfke Sturm along with Ana Beatriz, both 15 yo at the time) in Nice, France - and I wasn't there on vacation, either. From late 1997 to 2001, I was very much into the modeling scene, wasted lots of time maintaining a web site, going to model contests and all that - these days, I devote very little of my spare time to modeling, probably more than what the subject matter deserves...

Have you noticed that we haven't seen an article on model trends for over a year? In the good old days, some authoritative asshole would be quoted in a NYT article on hip models, delivering the modeling biz diktats - why, for example, next season's sensation looks bland (that was really the biz intention, since the season was all about "bland" clothes, and the mod's boring face accentuated the look). Some people - mostly Milanese - who were not informed about the particular mod's bland quality actually found her fascinating (!) and used her even after the "bland" trend was over - but then again the US Elle publisher believes Anouck L and the "Belgians" were some sort of "beauty wave", so no surprises here...
The last diktat was about bland and alien/bug faces - then there was supposed to be a "return to beauty", about this time last year, but what we actually got was Karen Elson, Kate Moss and the same alien/bug faces...obviously IMG & Co need more time to amortize their promotional expenses.
Quality fashion models don't grow on trees - even the Brazilians have trouble coming up with interesting new faces. The ex-USSR modeling system has collapsed, with "high fashion" promoting various ludicrous faces, who wouldn't have been allowed into their local modeling schools a few years ago. Canada and Australia provided lots of mediocre models in the past two years -consistent with their performance in the big 90s model contests- while the only two countries that remain "unexplored" model-wise are Argentina and South Africa. Spain is consistently being ignored, and little can be expected from Czech/Slovakia and Holland, the other traditional model-producing areas...

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