Art, Postmodernism, Warholites and the High Fashion cabal - III
What about Betak? He is French - but so is Carine Roitfeld...the same shitty mods show up in his shows, so he is a good collaborator when it comes to model selection...
Betak is credited with the "sexy" mod selection in the Victoria's Secret shows - but people may remember the 2003 show, when the "Belgian" influence in NYC was near its peak, and the VS runway was full of quirky superwaifs, including Betak's wife...The VS people were reportedly so insecure, that they hired three different NYC fashion PR firms, to make sure they kept everyone happy - I guess they thought the end of the "sexy model" was near...
You've probably missed the bizarre fashion commentaries in the NYT Style section lately - we haven't seen much "hip model" - related crappy analysis for some time...one of the weirdest pieces, from early 2003, follows - I am not responsibe if you feel that someone underestimates your intelligence...
"...Paris and Milan are the two places where modeling agencies each season import new talent to be started in a difficult business. Tastes in beauty tend to be adventurous among European fashion makers, and it is on the Continent that trends in beauty also take flight.
It is in Paris and Milan that the industry books odds on the new stars of magazines and runways. During the fashion season, certain streets in these two cities have something of the quality of the magical river bends certain anglers dream about, where extraordinary creatures arise above the water, hatched out of who knows where, and are just as suddenly gone. One year it is lush Brazilians or beaky Belgians or quirky Britons or Russians with child's pouts and sexy, suspicious hooded eyes. Styles roll on inexorably, however, and on the evidence of four fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris, this bids to be a pie-plate year.
With no obvious new national or ethnic vein being mined by talent scouts (and certainly not one that benefits black, Latina or Asian models), the current preference in the business where beauty is capital is for young people of no particular beauty — women with attenuated limbs, tiny heads and a range of expression that can sometimes put an observer in mind of an aquarium.
Elise Crombez, Madeleine Blomberg or Adina Fohlin are a few of the aggressively nondescript women seen everywhere on catwalks this season, frequently in the first entrance (which is called an exit) at a fashion show, a position that signals designer favor and often a trend. "She is the show star of the season," Nian Fish, the creative director of KCD, a fashion show producer, said of Ms. Crombez, backstage at the Chloe presentation in Paris a week ago. The usual gaggle of slender young women were clustered behind clothes racks on a bright early morning, laughing and gossiping and smoking Marlboro Lights.
"Elise is Belgian, but she's a sexy Belgian," said Ms. Fish of Ms. Crombez, who is 21 and comes from Koksijde, a town near the border of France. "She opened Prada," added Ms. Fish, referring to one of Fashion Week's most important runways shows, one that was notable this year for its tone of chic but anonymous androgyny.
Ms. Blomberg is a severe young Swede who opened the Louis Vuitton show last week and is featured in the latest Miu Miu campaign. She was cast for Vuitton, the designer Marc Jacobs said, less for her facial beauty than for her height and her peculiarly somnambulist walk.
Ms. Fohlin is another Swede ubiquitous on runways this season. Not long ago she had decided to quit the modeling business, which had been unreceptive, only to discover suddenly that designers like Alexander McQueen, who featured her prominently in his Paris show, were seeking precisely "a girl who doesn't look like a typical model," said Myriam Obadia, the creative director of Ms. Fohlin's agency, Next.
What she, Ms. Crombez and Ms. Blomberg look like are "students on the runway for the first time," Emmanuelle Ault, the fashion director of French Vogue, said.
If modeling is "always a business that creates the looks," said Ms. Obadia, a vehicle for transporting to the global-image market whatever form of beauty seems fresh at the time, there will likewise always be changes in how beauty is symbolized.
There are moments, Ms. Obadia added, when "it's all about a particular strong kind of beauty," the kind exemplified by supermodels in the 1990's, a time when the steady flow of money created a backdrop for a certain kind of vain, hoof-stamping loveliness — that of, say, Linda Evangelista, whose famous remark that she would not get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day now seems emblematic of a dated opulence.
IN leaner times, beauty, too, gets pared down. "These things come in cycles," said Alex de Betak, the director of Bureau Betak, one of the premier fashion show production houses. "It's a trend like every other trend."
Mr. Betak was speaking at last week's Chanel show, held in the Carrousel du Louvre. The parade of models deployed by Chanel's designer, Karl Lagerfeld, included most of the big name "girls" currently at work; as a group, they displayed Mr. Lagerfeld's clothes efficiently, a progression of sleek but interchangeable cogs.
Also working in the Chanel show that morning was the lovable, and lovably off-kilter, 1970's model Pat Cleveland, along with her son and daughter, Noel and Anna Van Ravenstein.
As Ms. Cleveland mugged from the runway, blew kisses to friends in the front row and pranced in delight, she gave some observers the impression of being a representative of fashion's sister planet, a place where personality is a natural complement to beauty and where the height of beauty is not an ability to impersonate an automaton.
"Designers don't want someone too recognizable at the moment," said Mr. Betak, whose wife, the French gamin Audrey Marnay, seemed faintly out of place in the show. "Now what is more important and more efficient," Mr. Betak added, "is neutrality in whoever is wearing the clothes."...
Obviously, a successful model agent needs to have "nondescript" models with a "somnambulist walk" -or attenuated limbs and tiny heads- in reserve, just in case...
Despite all the crapola, Next Models still gets little respect from the cabal...they probably can't come up with mods that are hideous enough for the job...