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HSG
12th February 2006, 18:34
<br>For an opera singer to become a plus-size model would seem to be such a natural career progression, that one wonders why it has never happened before.

After all, many of the character traits of famous sopranos are the same archetypally-feminine qualities that make plus-size models so seductive: full-figured beauty, enticing vanity, a pampered nature, a inclination towards self-indulgence, a vivid stage/screen presence, etc.

To be sure, not all opera singers have the youth or the beauty to be able to model. But if a company <i>were</i> to find a soprano with sufficient aesthetic credentials, she would make a fascinating face (and figure) for a plus-size clothing promotion.

Ergo, we are pleased to note that a Belgian retailer named Xandres has now become the first company to employ an opera singer for this very purpose, for its Spring 2006 "X-Line" collection:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres02.jpg"></center><p>And Xandres could not possibly have made a better choice, because the singer whose services they have enlisted, one Karen Vermeiren, is both more attractive, and more genuinely curvaceous, than are most of the plus-size models who commonly appear in European plus-size advertising.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres03.jpg"></center><p>Indeed, Ms. Vermeiren possesses every aesthetic trait that one could wish for in a plus-size model: rounded facial features; full, shapely arms; and a generous waist.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres04.jpg"></center><p>There is at once a refined elegance about her beauty, mixed with a rich sensuality that undoubtedly serves her well in performance.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres01.jpg"></center><p>The Xandres Web site (<a href="http://www.xandres.com/" target="_blank">www.xandres.com</a>) also features a number of interesting behind-the-scenes photos of this campaign, including the following image, which identifies the singer (and showes off her gorgeous curves),<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres05.jpg"></center><p>and the following photograph, which explains that she is posing with her favourite musical score:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres06.jpg"></center><p>And what might that score be? It is impossible to tell from the diminutive size of the two images in which the notes appear. But taking into account Ms. Vermeiren's beauty, it would simply <i>have</i> to be one of the female parts in a Wagnerian opera.

For the sake of argument, let us say that it is from Wagner's greatest work, <i>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg</i>--perhaps Eva's lyrical <i>"Selig, wie die Sonne"</i> from Act III. If not, the score could just as easily be from <i>Tannhäuser,</i> because, with Ms. Vermeiren's looks, she could play a Venus so irresistible that the Minnesinger's difficulty in parting from her would be quite understandable.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/wagner07.jpg"></center><p>It seems particularly apt for a plus-size retailer to centre a major campaign around a gorgeous opera singer, since full-figured goddesses are living embodiments of the Western cultural ideals that Wagner so effectively realized in his music dramas. It's a shame that the Xandres campaign didn't make more of the opportunity--perhaps featuring a performance by Ms. Vermeiren in an online video, either dressed in the company's fashions, or even in full costume.

Regardless, this is a unique campaign that deserves praise. We hope that Ms. Vermeiren seriously considers plus-size modelling as a supplemental career to her artistic vocation.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/xandres07.jpg"></center><p><i>Brava, brava! Bis! Bis!</i><p>- <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000K4GK/thejudgmenofpari" target="_blank">The all-time definitive <i>Meistersinger</i> recording . . .</a>

kirsten
14th February 2006, 03:25
How exciting! An opera singer, trained not only in music but also in dramatic gesture, would beautifully represent with dignity the timeless archetypal feminine.