Let's Dance (In A Brand New World)
Sasha Pivovarova @ IMG
That's been the topic of almost all day. Let's dance and have some joy. No way to keep brewing the same old thoughts back and forth, from east to west and melt them in a crazy mix. Just light as bubbles, because we all need such feeling from time to time. And those are probably the pictures that bring this idea to life, bright fluorescent mood, somewhere between a recent past and close future, a moment dedicated to the instant without thoughts (or afterthoughts, or regrets, or plans, or predictions). Build it now (the future), build it with the current mood and what takes you high enough to hold on tight. Building the foundation with what embodies your project in your eyes, regardless of the real meanings those who created these visuals had in mind (would we ever know and would it really mean something at all?). It's big time to gather all good energy available and the source is not the point. Only the effect(s), only what happens in your brains and veins when you keep your eyes looking at the screen or page more than thirty seconds matters. The rest is future history. Sasha Pivovarova in Vogue Paris by the best duet the magazine ever gathered: Hans Feurer and FDIB's beloved Marie Chaix.
Naomi Preizler @ NEXT
"Joeyzine" or just "Joey." as its website says. It's the third issue of this online fashion journal, not really an UFO on the radar but not your comon rising publication. Priority is photography (or the other way round) and it shows just by reading the names of contributors how much visual appeal and creativity are key words there: this third issue humbly named No.3 and subtitled by the sole mention of friends counts among its contributing photographers Alexandra Carr, David Shama and Joey's very own force Aaron Richter. Everytime we have an opportunity to share a few lines about a young magazine we're glad to do it but it's an even pleasure when quality, talent and vision are in the mix as well. Of course the energy and excitement certainly matter too and would make us less picky in some case but the third issue of Joey found its own rythm, from minimalist look to consistent contents. It's especially Alexandra Carr's story (styling by April Johnson) that caught our attention. Following Alexandra's work for a few years already and being very fond of the atmospheres she creates in her photogrphs it was exactly the story from the mag we didn't want to miss. The editorial itself will probably not count as a milestone in fashion photography history but we live for the moment and need to enjoy what comes in front of ours when the opportunity happens. Let our eye get caught and taste the atmosphere of the visuals without caring about technique and theories. The kind of breezes of fresh air you wish you had every signle sunny morning. Download the whole issue here.
Taste The Difference
We know it's a pretty subjective notion and everyone may have his own point but let's leave aside the old syrupy melody of beauty being in the eye of the beholder (broken record somehow, isn't it?). Let's focus on the obvious and forget about the obnoxious politiquement correct as it's quite rare and happened twice in two different situations: Aymeline Valade outperforming her partners in editorials. Strictly speaking, full stop. Or to say it in a more casual way: give her one of these so-called multi-girl-stories and she just takes the cake. You won't see it every season and won't feel the same two seasons in a row. We will try not to name who she overshadowed but as all the references of the editorials are here and our readers are generally well informed of who's doing what in fashion and modeling, it's easy to guess who are the unfortunate characters of that plot. Above from most recent issue of Vogue Deutsch, a series of portraits by Greg Kadel, featuring some rather recent models (mostly shooting stars ready to fall apart?), each one with one black and white and one color photograph as the given theme of the editorial, the presence of Aymeline in the cast is a total eclipse for the others regarding of their skills or latest runway achievements. Again, we are fully conscious this sounds as a totally subjective or even biased point of view but we go the way our eyes lead us to. And we are fully conscious there are models able to outshine Aymeline's work by far. But at today's turnover pace (slightly slower and smoother than a few seasons ago but still speeded up and sharp enough to hurt), it's a rare fact one model can brilliantly take the first role by herself. The first picture below, from Dazed & Confused (by Josh Olins) is the ultimate example to demonstrate our point.
The idea of this post is not to write an ode to Aymeline's glory, though. Her career is just starting now (from a fashion-only point of view) and the future will tell us if it keeps on rising or slows down, stays here at this height or even stops faster than we could expect. So, no way to overreact and get a little too excited the wrong way. The general idea, the "point behind the point" of these lines takes its roots in the words we chose as title. Taste the difference, first in its most literal sense but not only. We could have expressed this idea with dozens of other expressions. The impact wouldn't be the same, though. If you take "taste" and "difference" separately, you get a few more other concepts coming to your mind. Taste as we used it here refers to a feeling, an appreciation or express enjoyment in a more subtle manner. And as it's an article on fashion after all, another obvious meaning of taste immediately appears and it's hard to too think of what it takes to "have taste", what is good taste or bad taste etc. There is neither good nor bad tastes, if you ask (but that's for an endless night chat, please), there is taste as a whole and it goes back to the first meaning of the word, as we used it in the title. Having taste starts with feeling something. Which makes it personal as a matter of fact and that's a high quality (and geniune asset) in such a visual world as fashion. Then difference. Once again you can turn the word upside-down and inside-out and get a cornucopia of various possible meanings, with various connotations. Let's put it straight: we do not intend to glorify difference as you will read here and there as a notorious good intention (or some way to satisfy everyone and extend your customer database?) but we strongly relate the existence of beauty with the idea of difference. Not random difference or difference for the sake of difference. Different as beyond common, difference as the frontier between the exception and the masses. Having taste means seeing the difference and working in fashion is all about... tasting this difference. Just too bad there are still legions of professionals who keep thinking the fastest way to take the cake is to use the same old mold.
Laura @ Micha Models (The Netherlands)
She has... a secret smile. Let's cut the chase and put it straight, there is something absolutely mysterious about Laura, newest of the newcomers at Micha Models (twice in a row). Can you feel it? Can't you see it? Secret smile. In the eyes and on her lips, some kind of personal vibe that keeps your eyes looking at her pictures, taken by Yorick Nubé (also featured twice on our space this week). And probably his very natural style and the importance he puts in really portraying his models play a role in how we, viewers can interprete Laura's looks. Something peaceful, even laid back yet extremely present, endearing somehow but never falling into the cutesy oblivion of these girls who look too sweet when they gaze at the camera.
One word on her 5'11 height and back to a more instinctive approach of the topic. As we already wrote earlier this week, Yorick's photography is not only eye-candy but also fantastic tool when it comes to introduce a model and as we said above, it's mainly due to his very own ability to literally 'draw' an accurate portrait of the model in front of him. Catch the waves and captures the essential details that define her character from all angles. That's what enables us to perceive Laura as full fresh yet bearing the marks of a refreshing maturity, far away from those who express nothing or overplay their modeling performance. Certainly something to remember these days when too many models fall into these categories, Laura shots it right in the bull's eye just by giving a glimpse at the right side. And... thanks to that secret smile.
The Ringing Of Your Laughter
Jamilla @ Micha Models (The Netherlands)
This game can't last forever. Why? Because everything needs to end or transform. Morph. And who knows in which form FDIB will morph tomorrow. Happy mood on one hand, bittersweet on the other. And who knows (God knows?) what will be the ending. Hope for some fireworks but somehow we are still far enough from the end not to think or talk about it. And here comes Jamilla from Micha Models, in the Netherlands. Here comes another Dutch blondie that doesn't look like other dutch blondes. We're not going to sell you the same old cold soup of the edge or the twist or whatever they call it. Just got a different vibe from Jamilla's look than could get from various others. Featured many dutchies these days and don't want to feed the trend, just looking for faces we like and can find words to express this feeling. And there she arrived by chance in our inbox this morning. The way it happens, with no premeditation and no red thread behind the theme. No planning, no plotting. Head over heels as always when it comes to writing late at night. All photographs by Carin Verbruggen.
Fleurance @ Vandemast Model Management (The Netherlands)
Maybe we're wrong tonight but maybe we're so right. The future will tell us and as we often think: the moment tells the story. Or writes it if we don't have a pen in hand to write it ourselves. Spring vibe, summer weather and good energy that nobody could stop. Funny feeling, no rush no frenzy but the impression everything is moving and rather in the right direction. Path is not easy and nothing is, in fashion at least and in life in general. Enough with 8pm philosophy and let's step back (or maybe forward?) to the topic. Fleurance, from Vandemast Models, was introduced on this very same grey and white a few times ago. Not saying that everything moved fast for her since but her recent work with Yorick Nubé was definitely worth a little loud shoutout and few dozens of minutes spent finding the right words (which, if they are the most unperfect things in the world are still much higher than numbers). And Yorick's work is something that create necessary questionning in your mind if you are a little bit concerned by fashion photography. We remember very well these words we heard a little while ago saying his photographs are "enhanced model digitals but that's all" and think if this is true somehow, it's true in its best side. Nothing matters more than the main character in his pictures and that's what makes them interesting and even further than this makes them literally charming. The best story to tell is the one you don't write with a specific aim in mind. So, then let's enjoy the vision of growing wisterias and smell the uncanny perfume in the air. It's Spring, baby.
Head Over Heels
It was a little more than a year ago, our last feature on Maryna Linchuk. A couple of pictures and a flow of words, a deep analysis of what her walk at Prada meant to us and a few more on how much we were impressed by a very simple yet extremely efficient modeling performance. Cover-girl of Vogue Russia this month, Maryna does it again or even better, bringing up to life a story that would look pretty kinetic without the little touch of presence she adds to it. Basic fashion with a twist in the same way she appears to be a classical beauty with an edge. Clear and bright, all in understatement except the charisma radiating from these two shots above, taken by Patrick Demarchelier in his most simple style. Sometimes it's quite refreshing to have a glimpse at fashion stories without any other point than creating beautiful pictures.
Veerle @ Bloom (The Netherlands)
We could talk about faces but somehow strategies offer more opportunity to write and discuss. And everytime we drop a line on Bloom Management, the young Dutch boutique, a few words on the strategy behind the agency is the very best part. You've got to read it when we first featured Daphne and had another slice of the story when came the two posts we did on Rosanne. And key-word remainds the same: precision. Miles away from randomness in management you could find in bigger firms (and unfortunately not only the huge factories can be random these days), Bloom's point is to handle the image of each of their models in the most precise way ever. Relying on the model's forces and flaws to refine the portrait they want to shocase. Daphne's extreme features, Rosanne's scar and atypical beauty type and now... Veerle.
The awkwardness of the beginner can be the most charming thing if handled the right way. Being a little shy and stiff in front of the camera is being natural somehow and better do your first pictures with your heart and soul than trying hard to copy what others did before. That's the point with Veerle's pictures right now, what you see is probably the most accurate vision of what a model should look like at this stage of her career. And kudos again to Bloom Management (and photographer Katrien Franken) to highlight it instead of hiding it behind fake effects. Bringing up the truth about a 5'9 tall newcomer needs guts and instinct, doing it with good pictures needs genius and that's just the point right now. See polaroids here.
Ronja @ New York Models (NY)
Midnight drama but no broken dreams so all should be fine. Next time we'll try dancing under the pale moonlight, might get better results but that's a secret for now. And totally off-topic whihc is not our goal at eleven in the morning (leaving this to next night). Topic today is Ronja by Nando Esparza. We already wrote much on Nando's work and our feelings about it so it will be Ronja in the spotlights now. And must say she totally deserves it. Met the 19-years-old young lady from Switzerland last February in New York City while doing the fashion week coverage for her agency there, New York Models. Felt like she is at some kind of crossroads in her career, which she started full-time not so long ago saying before it was too early, too young. Pretty awesome to hear this from the model herself, gives even more credit to what she is doing now with passion for it and a dose of excitement that makes her sparkly personality even more endearing. As always when it comes to features that have high importance words are missing a little bit... but meeting Ronja was one of the highlights of this co-work with New York Models, geniunely. And same could be said about her work with Nando as the result is basically gorgeous and gives the feeling two visions were able to meet. As said in our pre-feature, good luck for future achievements.
Diamonds Are Silver In Love
No drumrolls and trumpets, no violins but a couple of lyrics and a few fresh pictures. Polaroids or digital for instance and the next one from Mandarina Models on our list. After two years following the young Romanian agency and its rise among the international modeling landscape, it's a pleasure to showcase another piece of its story. Relentless scouting going hand in hand with aggressive and smart policy when it comes to placements and management are a priority and if success is hard to achieve, it's a geniune plus to make sure you keep all the ingredients at the right place in your recipe. And mix them, shake them till it finally explode. Enough politics, let's have a few lines on Ruxanda herself. 19-years-old and 5'9"5 (177) tall, starting almost out of the blue and flying to Paris at this moment to join Nathalie there. We could go on a little more on her personality and that kind of stuff but think we will leave this to the two sets of test shots coming soon. And leave it to your own imagination to understand that bloody romantic title (and we bet you hear the violins now).