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HSG
10th September 2006, 18:29
<br>The order of the issues should have been reversed.

The September/October edition of <i>Figure</i> is the first, from the magazine's new production team, to enjoy wider distribution, and to appear on news-stands nationwide. However, the current offering lacks an editorial to match the gorgeous "Romantic Lines" spread from the July/August issue, so it's a pity that the <i>Figure</i> team didn't use the summer edition to re-introduce their magazine to the world.

However, to be fair, the Old South editorial from the last issue was one of the most beautiful layouts that any plus-size magazine has ever produced, so it may be unreasonable to expect that kind of magic every time. Even <i>Mode</i> produced some forgettable numbers, in its later years. And the latest issue of <i>Figure</i> is, on the whole, reasonably good.

Photographer Kathryn Gamble, who shot "Romantic Lines," also gives us this issue's most appealing layout--a feature titled "Country Comfort," starring one of the Dorothy Combs agency's most popular and attractive stars, <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia.htm" target="_blank">Nadia Peņa</a>. The fashion in this spread is a little on the prosaic side (casual sweaters), but Nadia does her best to make it beautiful, and the lovely natural setting gives the editorial a warm, inviting mood. Nadia is wearing her hair longer now, which increases her allure considerably.

Here is the most memorable page in the layout, and indeed in the entire issue--a dreamlike image of timeless beauty, with a comfortable-looking Nadia glancing over her shoulder, and the viewer gazing longingly back at her. <i>"Well, of <strong>course</strong> you adore me--just <strong>look</strong> at me,"</i> the model seems to be musing.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/figure02.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/figure02a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Another fine image in this editorial is the following. Nadia's proportions are among the most opulent of any girl in the industry, and her figure endows even this casual sweater with shape. The model's curvaceous arms and womanly profile are clearly visible.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/figure03b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/figure03c.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The issue also contains a Liis editorial, but it doesn't do the model justice.

Of the magazine's ads, the prettiest is a Fashion Bug page showing Valerie Lefkowitz in an eye-catching romantic blouse. Her blonde tresses flow freely, her pose is graceful, her expression soft and gentle. One wistfully remembers how glorious her every campaign once was . . .<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/vlfigure06b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/vlfigure06c.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Wyinnetka's Fashion Bug images from this season have also been quite attractive.<p><center>* * *</center><p>Despite recent news articles that warned of a "matronly" direction for <i>Figure,</i> the magazine is actually doing far more right than wrong. It thankfully contains <strong>no</strong> diet ads or weight-control stories, its banner proudly proclaims <i>"<strong>Celebrating the plus-size woman</strong>,"</i> and it continues to use <strong>professional</strong> models who are <strong>genuinely full-figured</strong> (size 14 and up)--and even some, such as Nadia and Valerie, who are youthful as well. This adds up to a commendable publication. Although it may not be <i>Mode,</i> the magazine is infinitely more positive than any other glossy that is currently in print. It deserves the support of every admirer of timeless beauty, even as one continues to hope that its future editorials will be yet more gorgeous.

Incidentally, we encourage readers to visit the <i>Figure</i> magazine site, which reproduces the issue's second-best layout (owing to the model), a hit-and-miss denim story featuring a youthful, fair-haired beauty. Her identity has not yet been confirmed, but if we were to hazard a guess, we would say that she is Jessie Williams, a fresh face at the Dorothy Combs agency. Miss Williams is a little on the thin side, and would be more remarkable at a curvier size, but she is quite photogenic. She <i>might</i> also be the model in the "Hot Cocoa" babydoll top, on p.42, but we cannot say for certain.<p>- <a href="http://www.figuremag.com/articles/2005/figure_article5.asp?page=1" target="_blank">"Moody Blues" at figuremagazine.com</a>

MelanieW
12th September 2006, 20:14
Nadia is a gorgeous model, and I applaud Figure for its model selections. Overall, the magazine isnt as exciting as it could be (no "love affair" yet), but considering some of the horrible choices that previous incarnations of this magazine (or its predecessors) made about editorial content and ads, I think we have to be grateful for what we have, and just hope for better in the future. At least it is out there, showing the public plussize imagery that it wouldnt otherwise see.

I also appreciate the magazines choice of locations. The use of lush settings is helping to make plussize fashion campaigns more attractive all around. I just came across this beautiful image at The Bon Ton, showing a curvy-looking Maiysha in an idyllic landscape.

http://www.bonton.com/catalog/images/Products_Large/24529.jpg

The mix of a visibly full figure and a rich, abundant landscape makes for a harmonious image of natural beauty.

vargas
17th September 2006, 01:14
It takes a woman with the proper curves, like Nadia, to really fill out sweaters like that. They truly would look prosaic being modeled on someone skinny.

I look forward to more great spreads from Figure. The one of the Old South rivaled anything you could find in Vogue!

HSG
3rd October 2006, 03:54
<br>A new Fashion Bug ad featuring Nadia Peņa appears in the current (Oct. 2006) issue of <i>Latina</i> magazine, and, as the posted scan indicates, it is quite a stunning image. It follows in the line of Venus-and-Mars photography that has appeared in several recent fashion promotions and magazines, and most closely resembles the current MXM campaign featuring Kailee O'Sullivan, right down to the model's lacy, romantic blouse.

This may be the loveliest of the lace blouses that plus-size models have sported this fall (from Kailee's, to Valerie's (above), to Yanderis's, in the summer issue of <i>Figure</i>). Or perhaps this item simply looks most attractive because Nadia has the most generous proportions of any of the models who have exhibited these items. Let anyone who clings to the myth that "clothes look better on rail-thin frames" try to maintain that absurdity when they see this image. It is precisely the <i>fullness</i> of Nadia's size-14/16 figure that makes the blouse so attractive. On a thinner model, it would altogether lose its allure.

Nadia's expression is appropriately steamy in this ad, in keeping with the romantic context. Wearing her hair longer, as she does in this image, adds so much to her look, and her facial features have never been more beautiful. The photographer wisely positioned the male model <i>behind</i> her, and garbed him in black, so that Nadia entirely dominates the image. (He effectively becomes a fashion accessory, just like Nadia's attractive bracelet, earrings, and necklace.)

The pairing of a plus-size model with a GQ type always sends a positive message, reminding viewers that the Classical aesthetic ideal consisted of warrior males and soft, full-figured goddesses (never skeletal nymphs). Such images also communicate the essential nature of gender relationships which that Classical ideal betokened, whereby women can allow themselves to be feminine, self-indulgent, and vulnerable, if their suitors have sufficient strength of character. Furthermore, it shows modern women of size that need never "settle" when choosing romantic partners, but can have any man they want.

It really is an eye-catching ad, and we earnestly hope that it represents the leading edge of a larger campaign for Fashion Bug, featuring the gorgeous Ms. Peņa.

(Incidentally, we decided to post the image here, rather than creating a separate thread, because <i>Latina</I> magazine is as riddled with mixed messages as is any issue of <i>Glamour</i> or <i>Marie Claire.</i> Leafing through its pages upon pages of body-shame articles reminds us that, for all of its aesthetic limitations, <i>Figure</i> is still the only size-positive magazine in North America, and deserves our wholehearted if qualified support.)<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/fb01.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/nadia/fb01a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center>