View Full Version : Kailee IS MXM!!
2nd August 2006, 21:43
You're not going to believe this. Kailee is the new face of MXM (which is kind of like Canada's version of Torrid)!!
The cover shows in a romantic lacey blouse, looking so vulnerable and soft, in the arms of a GQ. Then the main page shows her with Botticelli hair, in big romantic curls:
I don't even think they've finished updating the site. But what's there is SO beautiful!
3rd August 2006, 17:09
<br>This campaign is highly original, and explores motifs that no plus-size promotion--and few fashion campaigns of any kind--have ever broached.
In this extraordinary cover image, Kailee does look thrillingly vulnerable, even needy. Her pose and expression intimate a desire to be protected, and taken care of. Consider how rarely girls are allowed to exhibit these qualities, in contemporary culture. The modern media invariably presents women as aggressive, masculinized beings, whose belligerence or coldness is passed off as "independence." (Nietzsche famously writes, <i>"There is little of man here; therefore their women strive to be mannish. For only he who is man enough will release the woman in woman."</i>)
But in this image, the model exhibits a softness that is not just superficial, but an expression of her innermost being. She is disclosing to the viewer a glimpse of her heart. Even her lace clothing can be considered symbolic, as an expression of her inner self--delicate, fragile, but extraordinarily complex and beautiful. Her heavy, luxuriant tresses are partly hidden by the lace collar--significantly so--but they reveal themselves in the gust, offering a hint of temptation
And what about that man with the wolf-like features--is he her protector? Or is the imploring look in Kailee's eyes an entreaty to the viewer, to save her . . . from <i>him</i>? To apply a fairy-tale metaphor, is he the dragon-slayer . . . or the dragon? Is he her knight, or a predatory Gaston (referring to the character in the Disney adaptation of <i>Beauty and the Beast</i>)? Is she, in fact, asking the viewer, <i>"Are you strong enough to supplant </i>him,<i> and become my champion?"</i> Many interpretations are possible.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/mxm02e.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/mxm02d.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>And in this highly romantic image on the site's main page, the model adopts a wondrously languishing gaze, the kind that can enslave any man's soul in an instant. She seems breathtakingly indolent and languorous, rightfully expecting to be adored and worshipped, her every desire fulfilled, her every whim obeyed. More than this, she also exhibits a captivating look of yearning, of <i>want,</i> in her eyes. Those magnificent tresses tumbling over her shoulders in a profusion of luxurious curls testify to her unbridled, passionate nature.
To extend the metaphor of the earlier picture, has she now been freed from the dragon, and made to feel safe, so that she can reveal the full measure of her passions to her rescuer? Is the bewitching, Pre-Raphaelite seductress in this image another aspect of the irresistibly helpless angel in the first?<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/mxm01d.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/mxm01b.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>This is an extraordinary campaign, one which exhibits singular artistry. To be sure, a more romantic setting would have made it even more dramatic, and the MXM site could well benefit from added images of Kailee on her own (although several of the pages do feature striking headshots of the model). More importantly, as a plus-size promotion, it should have acknowledged and celebrated the model's curves.
But it is fascinating to see plus-size models exploring suppressed, even forbidden, feminine motifs--motifs to which they are far more aesthetically suited than their underweight rivals, since these motifs (like their beauty) are truly timeless.
3rd August 2006, 18:09
as a plus-size promotion, it should have acknowledged and celebrated the model's curves.
Yes, that's the one real problem I have with this campaign. I think Kailee is very, very pretty, and she's excellent at posing, but in these images, she simply looks a bit too thin. It's surprising, because in her prom campaigns, and her test photos, she did look curvaceous - so maybe it's partly due to the photography here. But nevertheless, unless Kailee becomes at least somewhat fuller-figured, her work will never really advance the cause of size celebration, or make girls feel significantly better about being curvaceous.
I admire her work very much, but she needs to become more visibly plus. Otherwise, it will be yet another missed opportunity.
4th August 2006, 01:46
It's important and commendable that MXM paired Kailee with a GQ-type male counterpart, to underscore the fact that voluptuous vixens never need to settle for second best, but can have any man they want. (This is true in real life, even if the media never allows this fact to be acknowledged.) It's also very effective that MXM thankfully paired Kailee with someone with more of a respectable...military (?) look, rather than a grungier sort. I think they were going for a complimentary aesthetic relationship between the sublime, embodied in the male, and the beautiful, embodied by Kailee. The pairing works well.
Employing male models in plus-size fashion campaigns is an art all unto itself. The one thing that Figure did that was very effective, in its covers featuring admiring male models, is that the men were present but de-emphasized, either by having them facing away from the camera, or by showing them only in profile, leaving the attention precisely on the female model, where it should be. It was an effective technique.
Kailee's posing is brilliant. She is astonishingly expressive. In the top image, she allows herself to appear so vulnerable (yes, that's the perfect word), and yet, one senses that she holds this man's heart -- or any man's heart -- in her hand, and that she could command him at will, precisely through her neediness.
And for once, the clothing is appropriate, as the lace top suits the mood perfectly. In the second image, the attire is less harmonious, but the image is still gorgeous, because of Kailee's expression, her beauty, and of course, those to-die-for romantic tresses.
12th August 2006, 19:25
The first image of Kailee really captivated me because despite the modern clothing, it still conveys an essential archetype of male-female relationships: the prince and the princess, which survives in fairy tales and in romantic literature and film, despite modern culture's efforts to erase it.
However, I can't help but wish that Kailee's hero was dressed in a more elegant, even military aspect (as mentioned by Emily in the previous post). There is a new trend of military-inspired style in menswear, spearheaded by Dolce and Gabbana's "New Power" collection for Fall 2006. The designer sought inspiration in 19th-century European military styles. Interesting how the "New Romanticism" discussed on the forum and seen in the Gaultier folkloric-themed show has entered menswear.
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