View Full Version : Valerie: Waves of Gold

20th April 2010, 19:15
<br>It may be a bit of a retreat to go from talking about the most size-positive campaigns of 2010 to discussing the work of a smaller plus-size model, but these new test photos of Valerie Lefkowitz are notable enough that they would deserve comment even if they were produced by a straight-size waif, and they might give other full-figured models helpful ideas about how to create beautiful images.

Several of the following pictures harken back to an accomplished Valerie test of a few seasons ago, when Ms. Lefkowitz was fuller figured. Oh, how we miss the roundness of her facial features from that time, as exemplified in this image:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test10b.jpg"></center><p>Of the new photos, the following is the only one that suggests a hint of remaining curviness in her figure. What particularly catches the eye, though, are her splendidly windblown tresses.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test10.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test10a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The movement in her hair is what makes this test series so captivating. Valerie has always possessed magnificent golden locks, and this aspect of her beauty, at least, remains undimmed.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test12.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test12a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Here she delivers a particularly stunning hand-in-the-hair pose. Note too the exquisite fairness of her complexion--a second element of timeless beauty that she has retained.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test13.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test13a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Perhaps the most adorable image in the entire series is the following, in which she consciously shows off her tresses in a winsome manner. We have never seen a test photo quite like this. It evokes the quality of a young girl playfully posing before the camera, preening in a way that is innocent and light-hearted and fun, yet unintentionally alluring. But make no mistake--the ability to adopt such a naturalistic, girlish pose and have it look authentic, not staged, is a testament to the model's craft.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test11a.jpg"></center><p>The following pair of images specifically recall the first photo in this thread, from years ago. The golden necklace is an opulent touch, and the cosmetics artistry--giving her fairness a kind of pallor, emphasized by the dark lip colour--is intriguing. It tends just a little bit toward a Gothic, vampiric look, without fully surrendering to that aesthetic.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test15.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test15a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>What a shame, however, in this and every picture in this thread, that one sees how narrow and drawn her features have become. This is a lamentable diminishment of a face that was once one of the loveliest in the industry. No other model's beauty has ever been so directly affected by her fullness (or lack thereof). In her richer, more well-fed condition, Valerie becomes a goddess--a beauty that tragically evaporates as she decreases.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test16.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test16a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The final image shows the beauty of her hair with a touch of "measured messiness," a style that evokes the incomparable Kelsey Olson. Her tresses are absolutely stunning. But still, one cannot help but compare this with the first image, above, and see how much more life and vitality and robustness Valerie possessed when she had a fuller look.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test17.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/test17a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>No one can question Ms. Lefkowitz's skill. But how regrettable that, like so many models who won their greatest fame and fan enthusiasm during the curvier phases of their careers, her current beauty does not compare to that which she possessed when she was at peak of her fuller look.

Still, perhaps it is not completely hopeless. Valerie regained her curves at one point in her career. Fans will simply have to hope that she might do so again someday.

- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/valerie.htm" target="_blank">Valerie Lefkowitz: An Homage</a>