It's like one week to countdown, one week left and goodbye. Well, who knows where it goes and where we will land and after all, uncertain times have their own charms. So, before to say a final thank you to all the ones who took their time to listen to our rhyme, a last piece to add to a section that has been a historical part of FDIB's story: the readhead posts. Back to our beginnings, our first steps in fashion, to Lily Cole's heyday. Back to these quirky times when Stam was walking down the runway with bold copper hair (you might have forgotten but it used to be like that). Back to the innocent moments we had almost no knowledge and let our eyes be captured by flame-red locks, far from any fame-fed hoax. But if the topic suddenly fuels old memories, this last piece dedicated to gingers has nothing of a blast from the past. Kiera is new and has nothing else to do with our old inspirations than the bright shade of her bangs.
No need to write Kiera @ Select as we used to write all the time, it's written on the polaroid sheet and we must say the London-based agency has put a lot of attention to relentlessly re-invent that good old concept year after year. Today it's black with bold yellow writing, a touch of fun when it literally screams "Kiera!" at the bottom of the page while still avoiding any visual confusion keeping it classic (with a playful side). It's pop but it rocks, a bit the same way as Kiera herself (on Select's Verve board). Something definitely classical about the 5'10 tall young lady, something gently crazy about her looks, fierce hair but soft features. As it's our last one of that kind we can put it this way: feed the fire and keep the flame growing higher.
Gonna be busy writing the very last posts now. You can have hesitating beginnings but you can't tiptoe on your way out.
Memories and Foresights
Brooklyn, November 2010. Saturday afternoon, on the way to Chadwick Tyler's place. Some CK underwear lost on the sidewalk. If we were in touch with him since the very beginning of FDIB, that was the first opportunity to meet him in person, where he works. This didn't turn into an interview, did it already in the past and many others did it too (even recent interviews of him seem countless these days) but had time to talk, drink... tap water on the photographer's sofa. Time went fast that afternoon and had to postpone the next meeting twice before leaving and rushing to the closest metro station. Such memories are priceless when you realise you are writing one of the last posts ever to be written on this page and give all your best efforts to pick only the topics that really matter, featuring the people that really count and have counted since a long time, especially those you appreciate both as persons and professionals.
Chadwick's work caught our attention very naturally, with no intention in mind. FDIB was at its very beginning and had no clear goal at that time so we just used to browse around and pick what speaks to our hearts and eyes. His distincitive aesthetic left a mark from the first second we saw one of his photographs and since then, we can't say we stopped featuring and supporting his work for a minute. Its evolution, its milestones, the inspiration that never faded, the editorials published by some of our all-time favorite magazines and the Tiberius exhibition. The interview we mentioned in the first paragraph also. His steps and ours went through the same path quite often and it's pretty needless to remind it's always a pleasure to write another article, short or longer on Chadwick Tyler. As FDIB is coming to its own end and we are about to start new projects, the idea of a retrospective of all Chadwick's work posted here came to our minds as a suitable ending. But at the moment we write, the future has much more importance than the past (was it ever different for us?) and after hearing about Chadwick's next project, we thought it's on this note we should end. Working on his first art book to be released next year, we weren't surprised that one of the key-elements of the contents will be the characters themselves, the women in front of the camera, their personality and what they express. All the reasons that made us love his work from day one and why we'll always love it. That's not fashion, that's beyond and nobody does it better.
PS: Were talking about countless interviews and we must confess we didn't read all of them till the end. Though, this one had an interesting part to read this morning, as the excerpt sounded like a sign of destiny: "When I started shooting, I wanted to shoot 3 girls. The only one I have left on that list is Lily Cole."
One Month To Countdown
Polina Ponomareva @ VG Models (Russia)
Alevtina Zyablitskaya @ VG Models (Russia)
One month or even one month minus one day. June will be the last drop, the last step. Certainly no climax but a good month to post some extras or retrospective reviews, to plan some last collaborations with agencies we had a good time working with and hope we will have enough opportunities time wise to drop a note on everyone falling into this category. Thinking of all the ways to make these last plans happen but have to manage future projects first so what will be will and sorry in advance for the lack of updates. Today is VG Model Management's turn, not the first mother agency we've ever worked with but these last few months they have been a pleasure to work with, putting an extra attention to the quality of materials they forwarded and always being open to suggestions and conversation. We found natural to offer the russian boutique a last shot with their newest rookies on board: Polina Ponomareva (at 5'9) and Alevtina Zyablitskaya (at 5'9"5). Time and pressure lacks to write a full notice on each young lady but pictures can speak for themselves and they seem to make a good combo. Hope everybody loves the show.
Veni Vidi Vici
Tune your eyes and ears for one of the last times as we did while working on this piece. Who are the "faces of five years of FDIB" was the main question behind our idea to (re-)feature a final time these models who regularly appeared on this page from their first steps in this business till end of our project. We don't pretend we took part in anything in their careers but were our wildcards from the starts, models we were probably among the only ones (besides their agents of course) to believe in their future and who proved us the price and power of instinct when it comes to modeling and casting. Rather than considering that as a kind of success, we prefer to put the emphasis on the interesting discovery it was for us: good eyes are legions in fashion but an instictive vision and geniune belief in your own tastes is a much more precious tool for anyone aiming to work in this field. Of course not every girl we followed from her beginnings on became successful, and that's literally impossible for anyone to be right every time but again, something appeared striking to us while reviewing the names on the list. Most of these models were considered too short, too old, too commercial, too strange etc. And most started their careers at a time when everyone was praising easily marketable 16-years-old 5'10 tall blondes, skinny as sticks, ready to conquer the catwalk... and ready to be forgotten fast.So, this post is also dedicated to all the ones who won against all odds and to their faithful agents.
Those were the days of the unicorn. Or the days when Vogue Italia had a supplement for "new faces". They were the first to question themselves about the meaning of new face, after all. If we wanted to push the conversation any further, we would question the words one by one. New and Face. But it's not the point. Not yet. So, we found out Edita existed via this Vogue supplement, Marilena was that you? Hope so. In a sea of faces she was the one who stood out and (fashion) History told us and everyone else that she was here to last. The too-small, too-commercial girl set the high fashion world on fire a few months after we "discovered" her. And we hope she set new standards for a business who desperately need to renew itself.
That's a backstage story. A second level model walking for a second level show. That was the deal back then. Too small to make it big, too short to make it high. And? The opposite happened, Steven Meisel started to like the way she poses and she ended up with a Vogue Italia cover. And countless campaigns. So, the stupid girl won over many smarties? If you want but that's not the point. Vika (who is not Vika according to her own words) made her little way in this cruel, crazy and beautiful world. What will happen next? The future will tell us. Don't promise, don't swear but the achievements till now speak for themselves.
Another backstage story. As if History always writes the lines behind everyone's back. If then we were hiding in the shadows at this time and writing plots against the big ones. We perfectly remember the words, ours and hers. After a Chanel Haute Couture show and shady season, Ms Mihalik wanted to stop. Too old, too fat and so on, the FDIB crew didn't agree at all. We firmly believe that unique will always win and if she didn't win, she made it high so far. Multiple features in la crème de la crème (the cream at the top if you are too lazy to google-translate french to english) of the current magazine scene. That's it, that's all.
With a name that sounds like a melody and a career that looks like a Nummer Eins Hit (direkt von Null zu Eins, genau?), Aymeline went out of the blue all of a sudden. We perfectly remember the day we asked her agency about materials on her, the surprise in their eyes and how they gently send us over some freshly taken snaps. It took a little more months until Balenciaga put her name right on da fashion map but all happened. And since then, Mademoiselle Valade seems unstoppable. Not that she gets everything a girl can get in this business but she keeps collecting the good and better jobs. One after the other. It was so obvious she could make it that we almost blush right now.
We talked about the days of the Unicorn, we should even drop a word about the past. The previous days, when the Unicorn we mentioned was just a baby. At that time we used to run a blog called MNP Models, full of hopes and dreams and whatever else you want. These were the days we got our modelwire.com account and pass and found out about a model called Arizona Muse. Except one person (if he reads it, he will know), everyone said the girl is too commercial and all that bla-bla-shit. Not high enough and see where she is now, the first Prada-made success since a long, long time.
Too shy, shy. Hush, hush, eye to eye. For her it's more too dark and moody than shy and all the shivering. We saw Valerija and imagined the rest. And as we are not the kind of people to rest on their laurels, we dropped a few words on the crow-black-haired newbie at that time. She will not last, she will be for a season, she is too special. Those were the words, as we heard it right after she took off. But reality went another way and keeps going on (and especially up) right now.
Was before FDIB, before all our projects. A jewellery or watches advertising, and a face that couldn't escape our eyes. It's how it started and we guess she is also glad about it. Not the usual beauty-type (how these words sound sweet now), not the usual required age (back then we hope) and not the usual way to the rooftop of course. Since these times, Lakshmi managed to build a distinctive image at the top of our fashion world. Not at the literal climax but at a safe height that would fulfill with pleasure any modeling dream right now.
Maybe the last strike of FDIB and one of the most symbolic. It's not only the story of a model, it's also the story of a newborn agency and the proof another kind of management is more than possible: it's warmly welcome and all what this business needs. Bloom Management, the epitome of a boutique thats knows its priorities and keeps this in mind throughout the whole process. And the results are here to tell this story isn't going to stop at this point, it will definitely going on as one major change that will affect and effect everything and every thought related to modeling. We know these words are kind of strong but that's exactly our belief and wishes as we are ready to close this page. Long live a strong, selective management that begs to differ from the usual ways to do in a business that definitely craves for refreshment, new ideas and new practices.
Many other names would have their place here, today, tonight, tomorrow. Many models that had a good or at least interesting career would deserve to be listed here. Most of them had their world premiere on FDIB and we wish we could use more ink to dedicate a few lines to them. Marloes Horst, Anna De Rijk, Ginta Lapina, Kate King and the list goes on. All have become respectable names in fashion modeling and all of them built their careers against all odds as the girls featured above. That has been the only valid policy at FDIB during these five years, to support the ones that break molds and shine by themselves, regardless of the current trends and forecasts. That's also what we wish to modeling now and what we wish we can contribute at our level. With the first part being to bring back to the word 'model' it's initial, etymological meaning. To give back some sense to something that got lost too often. That's a tough aim and we may fail but it's not a reason not to try.
Slow Motion Towards The Exit
Elisa @ ICE² (Milan)
We might be the last two romantic minds in this business or the only ones we know right now using their keyboard to discuss such issues. Tired of reading about "potential" all the time. Potential, what does it mean exactly? Why so much overconfidence and a total lack of confidence mixed in the same word, the same judgement, why does this word sound like the promise nothing will ever happen? New faces with potential have been appearing in front of us, sometimes even walking next to us and then went away without goodbye. It's strange, sometimes funny and sometimes obscene. This morning we'd pick the latter to describe that circle (or can we write circus). Dead ringers to each others, army of bodies with no heart, with no soul and lots of people prentending they are in control. And then nothing and let's start the same again. All over again. What was a treasure hunt a few years ago became a tricky media game and we are all losers at the end. Gotta have someone to refresh that soon or we gonna get a little more bored again. Les dés sont pipés, it's only a mascarade here, there and everywhere. It's like a gigantic virtual chessboard and each player places his pawns as fast as he can, as randomly as it sounds. So, talk about "potential" in such a sick situation... The only happy feeling is to know on this chessboard we are still the jokers, in every game and now more than ever.
Lore @ ICE² (Milan)
It's a little sad to start this post (and this week) with such lines and that wasn't our initial intention to associate these words with the visuals but let's take thoughts and feelings as they come and it was time to drop a note (again?) on that matter. It's pretty tiring to read again and again about outstanding potential everywhere, see a legion of young ladies radiating this so-called potential and see the vast majority of them vanish even before they could get their first chance of serious exposure. Only the strong survive, then! But it shouldn't be so, shouldn't be as life was a show (and for a show it looks more like a cheesy soap opera than a thrilling thriller, sigh). Selection should begin earlier, focus should remain as tight as can be from first moment on. It should be art, at least craft and all we see is a kind of industrial wheel smashing everything and everyone on its way. Getting lost in thoughts again, but if there is one voice to disagree please shout it out loud now.
Lucia @ ICE² (Milan)
Okay, enough is enough, for once. Or it's already too much too fast too far. And there is no will from our side to overshadow the real topic any longer. Instead of brewing dark thoughts on modeling in general, let's take this last paragraph as a last opportunity to talk about an agency that has been supportive of our work as much we were of theirs over these last few years. Ice Models in Milan, especially the 'Squared' division which has been an interesting experiment in a city supposed to sleep a little on its image. The will to create a small, focused board with a direction and a precise image is remarkable where everything seems to abide by the law of the "more you try, more chances you get". It's not only a good sign some people are still able to claim their taste for taking risks, it's a statement. And if some will consider these three models (Elisa, Lore and Lucia) as three more troopers within the big legion, we prefer to see the people involved in that story and dedicate this post to them. The guys at Ice of course, the girls themselves and the photographer, Mara Corsino, who made possible that this whole feature makes sense visually speaking. Cheers. FDIB is dead a buried soon but its spirit is alive. Smells like pine tree but the holy smoke is rising in the air.
The End @ FDIB (France)
Dear readers, friends and collaborators of all kind, as you may have guessed reading the title or seeing the visual we have chosen for today, this is going to be a rather special post in FDIB's history. First of all, we would like to thanks everyone who followed or took part in the incredible venture this project was for us during five years full of passion and dedication to what became our main activity through seasons: modeling and fashion in general.
This post isn't going to be the last one ever but certainly opens a new chapter for FDIB, the final chapter if we may say. The idea of our project coming to its end soon has been running wild in our minds these last few months and now that the decision has been made, we thought we owed you a few lines to clarify the situation. We are not going to leave fashion at all and can even say we're more into than ever, ready and excited to write a new page, to get involved in new projects and new collaborations. Such changes, of course, wouldn't make any sense without closing FDIB first as we both need time and energy to focus on our respective projects and as we both like things to be clear.
Thanks to everyone who helped and supported us through the years and made us able to turn what was initially a simple picture database into a real online newspaper on fashion, photography and modeling. Thanks again to all the people who gave us their warm and sincere feedback and spread the love around. Thanks to all agencies, photographers and other professionals who have supported this blog and contributed to its success. You were always fantastic and we both look forward to keeping working with you in our future projects. For any questions, suggestions feel free to contact us on our respective mail addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
Last but not least, FDIB will only close in July of this year and will remain active till then, so for those who were saddened by today's news: you can cheer up thinking you've got two more months of FDIB ahead of you!
Tess @ Select (London)
Überraschung... or shall we write surprise instead as our topic of the day is all about an agency from London? Somehow feeling like the german title has some extra power and sounds intriguing enough to fit the mood of the moment. There is a feeling of change, wind of change in this word that we couldn't not use today. Something powerful and unexpected, exactly what was needed here. And the young señorita (just another trick to keep this post more internationally intriguing), Tess is 5'11 (180) high and keeps the good shots piling up in her fresh book. Everything is moving, if not shaking and we're close to believe we can take part of some little revolution sometimes (though we aren't keen on giving too many details while all is just hopes and work in progress). So, all we have for tonight (it's dusk already here) is a few fun or intense pictures of the young miss at Select Models totally channeling the current mood in this very tiny room we are working from. With all possible expectations, wings can grow here and there to bring new flight opportunities for everyone. As we would say in our now-infamous frenglish: life is a bon voyage.
Contradictions Dropping By
Melle Muzea @ ID Model Management (The Netherlands)
Seconds fall like drops, slowly and softly. Mental raindrops on a sunny day, looking for an escape or any kind of exit and if whoever could send us wings we would buy them eyes closed. When time passes too slowly, patience passes away and when suddenly times passes at a faster pace, you feel like only passing by in your own life. Contradictions all the way but that starts to sound usual. And contradictions can be a very good thing when topic changes, when the contradiction is about something else than your own perception of hours and minutes. It would even sound accurate to consider beauty as a form of contradiction or at least as a contradictory concept. Classical beauty might flatter the eye, real beauty stands for its uncanny way to challenge your sense or even the thoughts and intense reflection it may provoke. Melle's looks actually flirt with classicism without abiding be the laws of sleek and flawless beauty and it's practically this very fact that commands attention to her photographs, uptempo yet offbeat vibe creating an unpredictable harmony. Scouted by ID Models in the Netherlands, Melle stands at 5'9 (176) while her little portfolio is growing page after page. Might these lines just be a first paragraph.
No Reason To Go Insane
Hanna @ Team (Norway)
There is no reason to go insane but some people go mental for pictures and dreams. Go frankly mad or sweet-little-crazy-daisy, doux-dingue as we say in french and would perfectly resume the latter state of mind. A little wild but not too much to get fierce and dangerous, with rich imagination. Sometimes beyond borders but who still cares. The link with this evening's topic? Practically none except it may refers to our short introduction written on Hanna, remembering the words we used back then. If ours were read as lovely understatements or if we really meant some people get too excited too fast in this business is our secret and it's no time to share. And to be true it's right in between, halfway or just touching the golden middle though we're not known as tedious minds. So what? Already a few lines just spent on discussing some short text we wrote a few days ago and you've probably forgotten since (we bet not Hanna's face, though) and no fact. But who needs them when you have the pictures. If you need the numbers you can rush to Team's website, run to their fashion section and you'll got all you need, even polaroids if our memories aren't getting sick. Sweet disease it would be if we could remember beautiful things we've never seen. But our eyes are not betraying us while looking at her test photographs by Ole Marius Fossen. What we see now is probably what you'll get tomorrow (without trying to make any predictions) and the peaceful black and white atmosphere surrounding the young model is perfectly echoing her features (without trying to sound too lyrical and fakely romantic). Tales are bits of the past but supposed to draw a line going straight to the day after tomorrow. And that's insane now. We're not.
Lisanne @ Micha Models (The Netherlands)
As fast as lightning and as quiet as blue sky on a summer day (it's only Spring and it's cloudy and windy now at that's not that bad): first time in a while we do it this way and want to see a sign, a little light and the end of the tunnel. We made the decision to feature Lisanne as soon as we got the materials in our mails and it hasn't been very usual lately. Not that others wouldn't have deserved it too and it could be more for the sake of the exercise than to mark she is that high above the masses (even if she doesn't look so common as you may have noticed). Fingers running on the keyboard and cold minded thoughts transforming into words on the screen. Wanted to feel the instant and took the opportunity when read she is not signed abroad yet, took it as a short mission and enjoyed doing so instead of taking five days of reflection and random inspiration, mixing it for two more days before getting any publishable result. The young lady from Micha Models is 5'11 (180) and that's pretty much all we can say right now that the photographs above don't tell. And writing more would be an insult to the openly telegraphic style of this message (not that telegraphic already but well...). [more in the pipeline so to say].
Simone @ Oui (Paris)
You can be excessive and limitless by nature but it's not what you really aspire to. Can cross roads, limits, red lines or whatever you can call these borders when you get "borderline". Don't do it, don't let it happen again. Make some promises and please don't break them too easily, only break the rules when you feel it's big time to do so. When everything is ready, don't worry you will already feel it. deeply and very easily actually. Till then keep quiet, keep secret. Keep calm. Silence is gold for whoever can handle it and too many words erase their own meanings. Their own meaning. Night talk doesn't bring anything at all when ideas get scrambled by each others and all you get to see and to show is your own mental fog. Leave aside the sweet wooziness, it's just an illusion to mask the bitter taste of your evening turning too dark for standing straight and hard will be the fall, then the hematoma the day after. By the way, hematoma in french is called blue. If that's not a sign, that looks a lot like it. Don't die from being too much alive when you should keep this energy to build things instead of singing the wrong song. Don't know what we are singing now but guess it's time to stop again, it's half past eleven, Paris time. In the morning. Night has gone and day has already grown. A new day calling for a new night, not another night. Tonight won't be the night, tonight we'll just sleep tight. As should always be, feeding the dreams we work hard to turn into reality, day in day out. Sorry, were forgetting the centre of the topic is Simone but that might be due to the fact these pictures came by a too long too chatty evening. By Alex Brunet who still eats fish instead of spinach. Simone wearing the Ramones top, a piece of the photographer's mythology for whoever had a chance to glimpse at his closet. Then switches to floral dress and the rock'n'roll vibe goes romantic then simply and strictly goes away as blown further by a summer storm. But that's already too much talk again. Sorry.
Rosalba Garcia @ Hollywood Model Management (LA)
From Eastern Europe to West Coast, we did the big jump in half an hour. Mentally and visually. It's too early to talk about Hollywood Nights (though geographically it might be alright according to time zones) so we changed it to Hollywood Mornings and are quite happy of that swap. And it's a title that sounds pretty appropriate for an article talking about Hollywood Model Management, boutique company which doesn't only share its name with the famous boulevard but is also located only a few steps from it. It's not the first time we drop a few words on an agency from LA but maybe the vibe (the wave?) is stronger this morning, 9.30am GMT+1. If it's the will to escape to broader horizons or simply some geniune enthusiasm to start featuring work from markets we didn't fully reached yet, no one can tell and we are first to ignore it. But one thing we know for sure is the quality of Rosalba's photographs, by Jaesung Lee, didn't escape from our eyes. It's basic test-shooting yet clear and pure as should be in such case (remember it's LA, not a dirty trash bootcamp for wicked edgy-lovers) and hits right in the target. Screams and shouts the truth about the model's facts (from Dominican Republic, again), figures (5'11 32 - 23.5 - 34), features (look above) and fearless fashion sense (ditto). And with the dreamy aura of both pictures and agency location the message could be clear: from a day in Paradise to a life without a lie, little dreams can go a long, long way. Not even mentioning where bigger could go. Then our message to HMM: don't stop these Hollywood mornings.
Shine A Light
Sveta @ Cherie Models (Russia)
Keep the candle burning and let the flame grow higher. Everyday motto, every moment's battery and never give up. Follow your own vision and instinct to some point. That should be written on every (mother) agency's walls all over the room and that seems to be what Cherie Models does (though we haven't seen their walls yet). Shine a light and it will be alright, might sound too simple but simple things sometimes keep the world turning round (unless the Earth is flat, haven't checked either). Shine a light could be a perfect title for this post since it would be in accordance to Sveta's name. And to her oddly uncanny beauty type. Not the too-easy kind (and only 5'8"5 to be true) but one of those who can turn out to be the most interesting and whoever is seeking great things loves a little (or bigger) challenge and experiment. The experiment itself might be to see how far Sveta could go, how far the wind (as in her hair) can blow her up to unless you think (in your own right) that it's not up to wind to push her up but a common effort. Feeling alright. And always okay for another odyssey. After all, as the smart woman featured below perfectly said: "only bad soldiers don't vant to be general".