View Full Version : Karen Vermeiren: ZJ.dk, Fall '07

2nd September 2007, 02:14
<br>It seems to be an either/or proposition: fashion campaigns either show romantic, feminine attire, or stunningly beautiful models--but never both.

Our present topic is no exception. We are delighted to spotlight a thrilling new campaign produced by ZJ in Denmark (a.k.a., Zizzi Jeans, the junior line of the Zizzi plus-size label), featuring the captivating Karen Vermeiren--continental Europe's most gorgeous plus-size model.

The attire, unfortunately, is very hit and miss, and the settings are atrocious. On the other hand, the photography is top-notch, the styling is colourfully creative, and Karen herself looks more goddesslike than ever.

Try not to pass out as you gaze upon this intoxicating headshot, which is the cover of the new ZJ catalogue and Web site. Never have Karen's facial features looked so exquisitely soft and full. She possesses the radiant glow that only comes from unrestrained self-indulgence. More than any other plus-size model (besides Shannon Marie), Karen looks as if she stepped right out of an Angelo Asti painting. With her parted lips and steamy gaze (augmented by the dramatic eye makeup), she seems well aware of how alluring the opulent fullness of her face really is.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj01.jpg"></center></p>Another image in rotation on the ZJ cover page also shows the replete beauty of Karen's facial features, as well as the sensual embonpoint of her neck and shoulder area. What makes Karen so breathtaking is that she has high cheekbones <i>and</i> visible fullness in her cheeks, as well as a rounded chin--endowing her countenance with a particularly sumptuous appearance. She <i>looks</i> well fed--and this is what makes her irresistible.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj02.jpg"></center></p>Of course, Karen's figure is as gorgeous as her face--a fact that is confirmed by the following image, showing a closely-fitted pink blouse defining her most seductive trait, her curvy waist. Again, note the sensual expression.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj03.jpg"></center></p>Alas, ZJ being a European line, some of its clothing is rather on the formless side. Nevertheless, the model's womanly curves strive to give the garments shape. Note how the belt accompanying this top reveals the softness of Karen's waist in a highly appealing manner. And bravo to the stylist, whose addition of a pink scarf gives this ensemble some colour interest.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj04.jpg"></center></p>Unremarkable as the following outfit may be, viewer will still be entranced, thanks to the model's arresting beauty. The vibrancy of the red hue harmonizes with the model's luscious appearance, evoking a sensation of full-blooming flowers, or of ripe fruit swelling on the heavily-laden boughs in the early autumn.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj06.jpg"></center></p>In every one of her images, Karen exhibits the tantalizingly vain bearing of a prima donna, a diva who is in love with her own beauty--and rightly so. Her stance in this image testifies to her self-assurance.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj07.jpg"></center></p>And unattractive as the blouse in the next image may be, note how Karen's inviting, embrace-me pose intimates the charms of her robust figure--her voluptuous bust, her sumptuous waist, her womanly hips, and even her softly-rounded legs.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj05.jpg"></center></p>Browsing through the ZJ catalogue, one finds fuller-length versions of the heart-stopping images on the ZJ cover page. This view shows us the model's full, dimpled arms, and generous silhouette.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj14.jpg"></center></p>And here is another view of the main outfit in the ZJ fall collection (in official Judgment of Paris colours). Karen gazes at the viewer like an Egyptian queen, awaiting the homage that is her due.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj15.jpg"></center></p>The ZJ site offers intriguing "extras" for plus-size beauty aficionados. Notable among these is a Backstage section, which presents behind-the-scenes glimpses of Karen during the shooting of the campaign. This snapshot shows off her extremely curvaceous profile.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj08.jpg"></center></p>And here, in this rare glimpse of Karen laughing, one sees the "slight rise" of a "slope towards the throat" so admired by Renaissance poets. Karen's demeanour is that of a woman who enjoys all the pleasures of life to the fullest--and is beautiful for this very reason.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj09.jpg"></center></p>And here, in an unguarded moment, the camera captures Karen looking completely relaxed, totally unself-conscious about her generous curves.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj10.jpg"></center></p>Whatever one thinks of ZJ apparel, one must applaud the company for putting together such a size-positive campaign. ZJ's curve-friendly spirit extends even to its graphics. Note the following drawings of a cute girl, from the fall catalogue. She is very pretty (and doesn't she know it!), with a round face and flowing tresses, yet she is also undeniably plus size, with an unapologetically full waist, and generous thighs.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj12.jpg"></center></p>She is also dressed in a very Torrid-like fashion. One might almost think of her as an abstraction of Karen herself, or of Christina Schmidt. How delightful that this vixenish graphic represents the present-day conception of a plus-size fashion customer--i.e., as an excitingly spoiled, bewitching minx, rather than the matronly stereotypes of old.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj11.jpg"></center></p>Fans will also enjoy one further treat at ZJ.dk. Clicking on the site's "About" page will bring up the following picture of Karen, which turns out not to be a picture at all, but a short video of her, on a recurring loop. Denim is seldom an attractive material for tops, but note, in the video, how snugly it fits at the model's waist.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj16.jpg"></center></p>Bravo, then, to ZJ for producing such a size-positive campaign, and for enlisting the services of one of the most gorgeous plus-size models in the world. Even if the clothing isn't as universally feminine as one might wish, at least the images showcase Karen's well-fed beauty in a extremely attractive manner.

If the plus-size fashion industry were to produce more campaigns such as this, societal conceptions of plus-size women would soon be radically altered, with frumpy 20th-century stereotypes displaced in favour of the timeless ideal of full-figured beauty.

The collection is viewable at the ZJ Web site (<a href="http://www.zj.dk" target="_blank">www.zj.dk</a>), or in the new ZJ online catalogue, linked below:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj13.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kv/zj13a.jpg" alt="Click to enlarge" border="0"></a></center><p>- <a href="http://www.hellomonday.net/clients/ballgroup/zj_dk/files/ZJ_messe_aug07_200x200.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view the ZJ catalogue</a>

26th September 2007, 14:05
Of all the fall campaigns, the three that stand out the most are Christina Schmidt at MXM, Kelsey at Aurora Formals, and this one by Karen Vermeiren. She looks more beautiful here than ever before. The only thing that prevents this campaign from being perfect is the hit-and-miss fashions, and the awful settings. The model herself is gorgeous.

And I adore that cute graphic of the "ZJ girl". I definitely think the designer had Christina Schmidt in mind when he drew her. It reminds me of my all-time favourite picture of Christina,


except dressed in a more MXM-like wardrobe of a camisole and short shorts. The girl in the graphic has a beauty and a confidence in her body that I associate with Christina in her most exciting pictures.

26th September 2007, 23:16
Speaking of Karen, her Ego's Models portfolio includes two new images that I thought were noteworthy.

Horrible print on the dress here, but the picture looks like a page from a magazine, and it even identifies her by name, so Karen is obviously getting some PR in Europe, which is wonderful:


And here's a really beautiful new image. It shows the rich fullness in her face, and the fact that her clavicle is completely submerged in flesh. The outfit is even kind of flattering, since the wide open neckline is obviously designed to show off as much of the neck area as possible.


She's a gorgeous woman, and Europe really needs a model like her- young, beautiful, and genuinely full-figured.