8th January 2012, 09:55
(If it seems a little late in the season to launch a winter campaign, it's because Elegance Plus Sizes is a Brazilian client, and in South America the seasons are reversed, so this video promotes a winter season that will be happening in conjunction with our own summer season, here in the Northern hemisphere.)
Second to Mayara Russi, Nathalia Contier is one of my favourite Brazilian plus-size models. One of her regular clients, Elegance Plus Sizes, has just released a video to promote its forthcoming winter campaign, and this is one of the loveliest fashion videos I've ever seen.
It opens with Nathalia, then shows her at 0:53, her facial features adorably round and full. (She really is the Brazilian equivalent of Kelsey Olson.) She appears throughout the rest of the video, particularly with a cute smile at 1:17, a dramatic approach at 1:27, and looking seductively pouty at 1:38.
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What I especially love is the ambience- the lush outdoor setting, complete with a rustic hut, a turning millwheel, and other elements that blend the beauty of the country and the forest. It's a very Romantic video, exhibiting a remarkable use of the principles mentioned in the "Natural Ideal" post on this forum:
8th January 2012, 11:08
What a gorgeous video! Nathalia is stunningly beautiful, and she has the look of a true plus-size model - at least a size 16.
I took a few screen grabs. Here she is at the beginning, in her pretty, summer hat:
On the right, with her attractively round facial features and soft fullness at the neck:
On the right again. She's very buxom, the curviest of the three. The dark lip colour and the washed-out hues of the image make me think of Dracula's three brides from the Francis Ford Coppola movie.
Such a pretty smile. How extraordinary to see her in a Russian-style fur hat, given how warm and lush the setting appears.
A cute pose, on the right.
The video has a very cinematic feel, especially this shot of Nathalia approaching the camera:
That particular shot, and the clip as a whole, reminds me of the video for the song "Aria" by Delerium, featuring a group of singers called the Mediæval Bæbes. It similarly has a setting in a lush woodland, though in this case, the domicile is an elegant mansion rather than rustic hut. Both are attractive elements, perfect settings for plus-size beauty.
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The Elegance Plus Size video is a gorgeous bit of footage celebrating the fuller female figure in just the kind of natural location that best suits luscious, womanly beauty. Nathalia is a goddess, and I hope her career continues to progress.
13th January 2012, 15:58
What I especially love is the ambience- the lush outdoor setting, complete with a rustic hut, a turning millwheel, and other elements that blend the beauty of the country and the forest. It's a very Romantic video.It <i>is</i> a Romantic video, in every respect. The rustic location, the woodland hut, the beauty of the river and the lush forest, are all elements that figure prominently in Romantic literature.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill05.jpg"></center><p>But above all, it is the telling presence of the mill-wheel which links the video to the Romantic tradition, as mill-wheels are a prime symbol of Romanticism in general, and of German Romanticism in particular.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill04.jpg"></center><p>As Oskar Walzel writes in his book <i>German Romanticism</I> (1932):
The solitude and enchantment of the forest, <strong>the rushing mill-stream</strong>, the nocturnal stillness of the German village, the cry of the night watchman, splashing fountains, palace ruins and a neglected garden in which weatherbeaten statues crumble, the fragments of a demolished fortress: everything that creates the yearning to escape from the monotony of daily life is romantic. This yearning lured the German romanticist not only to distant realms but also to peculiarly native customs, to old German art and manners. The romanticist would fain have learned to feel again as a German and to fashion out of this strengthened national feeling a newer and more virile Germanism. Though he cast his eyes upon the glories of the past, the romanticist nevertheless heralded a spiritually quickened golden age of the future.The turning mill-wheel represented, to the Romantics, a visual expression of a golden age of the past, an era when humanity lived in concord with the natural world, a time prior to the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which set in motion the processes of dehumanization, mechanization, regimentation, and urbanization which blighted the 19th century and which have morphed into the soulless cubicle-world of our own time.
For the Romantics, the mill-wheel, forever turning and forever rushing forward, propelled by the surging stream that powered it, also represented movement. It became a visual symbol of their own perpetual <i>Sehnsucht,</I> their restless striving after the infinite. The first Wilhelm Müller poem in Schubert's <i>Die Schöne Müllerin</I> song cycle (1824) expresses this sentiment:
To wander is the miller’s joy;
A poor miller he must be
Who never thought of wandering,
We have learned it from the water,
From the water!
Day or night, it does not rest,
But is always intent on wandering,
We can see it in the wheels too,
They don't care for standing still
But turn all day without tiring,
The mill-wheels.Countless paintings of the Romantic era depict mills distinguished by lovely, rustic mill-wheels, just such as that which appears in the Elegance Plus Size video. Here, for example, is <i>The Old Mill</I> (1855), by the German-American painter Albert Bierstadt:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill01.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill01a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The Kunsthalle in Hamburg, one of the finest galleries of Romantic art in Germany, features Carl Morgenstern's idyllic <i>A Watermill in the Vosges near Ribanville</I> (1836). Observe how, in each of these paintings the mill and mill-wheel is not an intrusion into the setting, but is seamlessly integrated into the landscape (rather in the manner of a medieval castle), as if these edifices had grown from the soil.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill02.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill02.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>J.R.R. Tolkien was, of course, profoundly influenced by Romantic aesthetics and philosophy when he penned <i>The Lord of the Rings.</I> Not for nothing is the first glimpse of Hobbiton, in Peter Jackson's masterful adaptation <i>The Fellowship of the Ring,</I> a view of the village mill, with its turning mill-wheel:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill06.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill06c.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>And Gandalf, the "Grey Pilgrim," is, of course, a signal example of the Romantic wanderer, so the association of the perpetually turning mill-wheel with his tireless travels is unmistakable.
A female Romantic painter, Caroline von der Embde (1812-67), created this enchanting canvas titled <i>Mill near Dörnberg,</i> found in the Neue Galerie in Kassel, Germany:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill03.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/mill03a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Observe the presence, in Embde's painting, of the miller's daughter. This female element too was a key element in the rustic-mill trope: a lovely girl whom the Romantic wanderer meets and falls in love with, as he chances upon the mill, only to have his heart broken, leading to the fabled romantic melancholy.
Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff's poem <i>Das zerbrochene Ringlein,</i> or "The Broken Ring" (1810), offers just such a narrative:
In the coolness of a valley
<strong>A mill wheel turns around</strong>,
My loved one now has vanished
From this, her native ground.
Her troth to me she plighted,
And sealed it with a ring,
But when her troth she slighted,
My hoop in two did spring.
I'd like to ride as minstrel
Through the wide world along,
From house to house I'd wander,
And sing my tuneful song.
I'd like to fly as horseman
Right in the bloody fight;
Round quiet field fires lay me
To rest in dark of night.
Hear I the mill wheel turning,
I know not what I will--
Best would I like to perish,
Then all at once 'twere still.In the Elegance Plus Size video, then, Nathàlia becomes a type of the sweet/seductive enchantress who is associated with the mill in Romantic poetry. And to be sure, what Romantic wanderer could help but lose his soul to such a baby-faced, well-fed, lusciously curvaceous, fair-haired vixen?<p><center>* * *</center><p>Bravo to Elegance Plus Size for filming such a cinematic video featuring Nathàlia Contier, who is, after Mayara Russi, the second-most-beautiful Brazilian plus-size model. With gorgeous fashions, a lovely setting, and a visibly full-figured model, this is the plus-size fashion industry at its most accomplished. It also happens to be a wonderful evocation of the themes of Romanticism, which are the richest in the Western tradition. The Brazilian industry is know for being superlatively size-positive, but this video demonstrates how artistic it can be as well.
We look forward to future triumphs from both Nathàlia and Elegance Plus Size.
(Click images to view larger.)
- <a href="http://www.eleganceplussize.com.br/" target="_blank">Elegance Plus Size</a>
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