11th August 2006, 18:46
"Herbst" is the German word for "Fall," and I found several new images of Barbara at Happy-Size.ch and Happy-Size.de, as part of their new autumn collection.
It's such a shame that the .jpgs on the site are so tiny, because this photo stood out as a really gorgeous fall image. Actually, it's about as perfect an evocation of autumn as any picture I've ever seen. Barbara looks breathtaking with her long hair (I'm so glad she kep it), and her pose is so vivacious. It's always great to see a plus retailer advertising shorter skirts. The setting is lovely, and even the prop- a basket containing the ripe fruits of the season- contributes to the effect. It gives off a warm, inviting feeling of idyllic beauty.
It should have been the cover of their catalogue- or better yet, of a plus-size magazine.
I also like these two images, part of what Happy-Size calls a "romantic look." And who better to present such a look than Barbara?
Happy-Size produces some of the loviest promotions of any retailer, either in Europe or North America. I hope we get to see larger images from the campaign soon.
15th August 2006, 04:03
I have to add at least one more image from the Happy-Size online sites - this incredibly cute photo of Barbara engaged in...a pillow fight! This is a unique Happy-Size theme (I know they shot a similar pose before), and I enjoy it immensely.
Someone was just talking about the "playful" quality that Mode had - well, I think the Happy-Size campaigns (true to their name) capture that particular Mode quality better than anyone else. I even like the outift that Barabara has on in this image - between the skirt, the accessories, and the neutral-color top, it has an attractive folkish quality.
Even in a pillow fight, Barbara still manages to look curvy and beautiful!
<i>[Image URL edited--HSG]</i>
5th October 2006, 06:51
<br>Thanks to Helga, our dear friend and ally from Austria, we can finally share a few more images from the new Happy-Size.de fall catalogue. Autumn campaigns, by their very nature, are never quite as size-positive as summer promotions, in all their sleeveless, midriff-baring glory. But any campaign featuring Mrs. Brickner is a guaranteed masterpiece, and for this promotion, Happy-Size has complimented the model's beauty by shooting in gorgeous, natural settings, and even by giving Barbara several genuinely attractive outfits to showcase.
Happy-Size promos distinguish themselves from Barbara's other work by their playful, whimsical quality. There is something eminently agreeable about seeing Barbara is such a light-hearted mood. (For all of its sensuality, <i>Mode</i> too had a sense of fun about it.) Viewing the Happy-Size campaigns allows one to escape the contentious modern world, and to enter an alternative reality of playfulness and guilt-free indulgence.
The "pillow fight" image, posted earlier, and again below, captures this whimsical spirit better than any other. The photograph shows Mrs. Brickner modelling the most attractive items in the Happy-Size line, a feminine lace blouse paired with a folkloric skirt. (Notice how much better a skirt compliments this romantic top than, say, denim slacks.) The lavish accessories, from the belt to the thick bracelets to the vintage necklace, complete what is truly an appealing ensemble.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy35.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy35a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The following image shows the rich, opulent beauty of Barbara's facial features better than any other. Her hair flows softly, voluminously, over her shoulders, with the sunglasses functioning as an attractive hair binding. The model's expression is bewitching, her feline eyes suggesting that she is privy to secrets of which no one else is aware. The image invites narrative possibilities. One wonders: what object (or individual) could have captured Barbara's attention--and obviously in such an agreeable way? She has the look of a vixen who knows just how irresistible she is, and who has just spotted the lucky fellow whom she will allow to be her next worshipper.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy36.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy36a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Our favourite image in the entire campaign, shown below, is reproduced at an absolutely minuscule size in the Happy-Size catalogue, therefore scanning it was a challenge. (Please forgive the graininess.) But it is well worth posting, because it is an exemplary study of Barbara's breathtaking beauty. One imagines that this may have been a response to an instruction from the photographer to <i>"Show the world just how gorgeous you are"</i>--and she surely does. Barbara's hair wafts gently in the breeze. She looks elegant, almost formal, but the verdant backdrop reminds the viewer that the model is an integral part of the natural world around her. The viewer intuitively appreciates that if Venus herself were to visit our world, and don contemporary clothing, this is exactly how she would appear. A photograph like this is our closest modern equivalent to paintings of goddesses, by the Old Masters.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy41.jpg" border="0" alt=""></center><p>Part of what makes this campaign so memorable is that it evokes the very essence of the fall season. This is Autumn itself, in visual form. Several images showing Barbara in bucolic surroundings particularly reinforce this theme. Barbara's opulent beauty is nothing less than the personification of the season, in all its ripeness and fullness. She wear seasonal hues in the following image, with generous decolletage, which associates the beauty of the model with nature's bountiful harvest.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy37.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy37a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>This larger version of an image posted earlier, at a smaller size, also evokes the model/nature link, showing Barbara holding the fruits of the season in a traditional thatched basket. This is a Bruegel painting reconfigured for the 21st-century, with Barbara's timeless beauty linking the past and the present.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy38b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy38c.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Although the top in the following image is dreadful, the picture is nevertheless gorgeous, displaying one of the most endearing, melting looks that Mrs. Brickner has ever projected. The inexhaustible variety of the Barbara's expressions and poses never fails to amaze, even after many seasons of admiring her work. The sweetness of her demeanour is a look that one usually associates with Kailee or Christina. The pumpkin-patch setting continues the theme of the model being at one with the natural world.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy39.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy39a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>And finally, just for variety, here is an "indoor" photo showing Barbara sporting a fun, youthful hairstyle (but a very pretty one). The fit of her top is comfortable, yet not formless, which is a fine guide for fitting plus-size fashions. Tops such as these are most attractive when they gently embrace the body, particularly at the waist, but without any compression from form-disfiguring "shapewear," or from excessively wide belts. Barbara's expression and pose are appropriately carefree and playful, in keeping with the outfit and hairstyle, and the business with the scarf is a brilliant touch.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy40.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/happy40a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The Happy-Size fall campaign is another remarkable testament to the beauty and talent of the most gorgeous and popular plus-size model of all, and a stunning example of how seasonal themes and natural settings can immeasurably enhance the appeal of a fashion promotion. We look forward to seeing more such campaigns in the future.
(You may click on the preceding images to view them at a larger size.)
6th October 2006, 16:43
Barbara looks lovelier than ever in these images, always fresh and original, and I adore the countryside ambience of the campaign. The timing is perfect, because the Canadian Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest are taking place this week/weekend -- dates that mark the height of the autumn season. I'm not generally fond of European plus-size fashions but the lace top/skirt combo is very nice. The prettiest image of all is still the first one, with the wicker basket. That does feel like an updated version of a Baroque painting -- "Fall's Bounty" could be the title, or "Fruits of the Season."
Natural settings add so much to the beauty of a fashion campaign, that I'm surprised every retailer doesn't employ them.
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