Here's an introduction that's long overdue.
Lovely, fair-featured Lily Cummings has earned many plaudits for her recent photo shoots with plus-size beauties Katherine Roll and Kelsey Olson. However, in addition to being a budding photographer, Miss Cummings is a successful full-figured talent in her own right (represented by Dorothy Combs Models), distinguished by attractive, Anglo-Saxon features.
One picture alone should enshrine Lily as a paragon of timeless beauty: this breathtaking portrait showing the model with blossoms in her hair, in the manner of an Angelo Asti enchantress, the pink flowers accentuating her femininity and her fair features:
Beyond that, the course of Lily's progress as a model is rewarding to trace, as we will endeavour to do, below.
Miss Cummings first emerged on the Dorothy Combs board with a series of headshots that emphasized the fair freshness of her Nordic facial features, and showed her adopting a haunting, expressionless gaze.
Note the close similarity of these two portraits, the previous instance exemplifying a more casual, daytime look, the latter a more glamorous evening visage, with dramatic red lip colour, along with one particularly pro-curvy detail: the sensual creases of fullness at the model's neck.
Another photo in the latter outfit highlights the ruddy glow of the model's well-fed features, a visage that is attractively rounder rather than oval.
An experiment with curls also yields interesting results, with the cosmetics artistry exploring delicate hues of pink, yielding a strawberry/vanilla ice-cream mixture. The model's gaze is lyrically soft, her hands lifting towards her face as if to caress it, just as the viewer would long to do.
Consider the model's ever-so-pretty mouth, the focus of many of her headshots, with appealingly wide lips that look naturally shaped (not overly full) in the Saxon manner--so different from the collagen-bloated horrors that disfigure far too many of today's models.
However, it is in the fresh outdoors, out of the confines of the studio, that Lily's appeal is truly perceived. Observe how the sunlight gilds her tresses and gives her fair skin an almost luminescent quality.
One seldom associates tweed fabrics with ultra-feminine models such as Miss Cummings, but these natural fibres, in their distinctive U.K. patterns, underscore the model's Saxon heritage.
Also, if one is going to showcase clothing such as this, one absolutely must display it on a model with gentle, babylike features such as Lily's, to soften the effect.
"Yes, her visage is lovely," say the fans of plus-size beauty at this point, "but what of her curves?" As this stunning swimwear image indicates, Miss Cummings is a legitimately curvaceous model, with gorgeous hips and a feminine figure. And while fans do wish that she were a tad curvier still, there is nothing faux-plus about her.
One of the most memorable of Lily's early images is the following unique presentation. With her curly blonde hair, black outfit, and vibrant pink makeup, she dramatically recalls the aesthetic of the neon-pink 1980s, the time of supermodels such as Kim Alexis, who often shared Nordic features such as hers.
The most sensual of Lily's early portraits is the following masterpiece, in which the model appears vulnerable and yielding, with her outfit provocatively slipping off her shoulder, baring a heady expanse of her soft physique, particularly her buxom richness and the seductive fullness at her neck. The way in which her fair hair falls over her face is captivating, resembling the golden locks of a little girl, while the steamy, languishing look in her eyes is irresistible.
Before we consider the second phase of the model's career, an interlude brings us the following three photographs. Lily's outfit is unremarkable--a loose blue shirt, slacks, and hair pulled back . . .
. . . but oh, the ornate magnificence of the wooden panels, the marble wall, and elaborately wrought ceiling provide all the fascination that one could ever want. And while the shirt is forgettable, its pale-blue hue brings out the cyan accents in the ceiling.
The lesson being this: Even if one is photographing conventional clothing, there is no limit to how much beauty and interest a photograph can derive, simply from being set in an unmodern, attractive location.
So what was the supremely significant development which launched the second phase of Lily's career, the point at which her beauty rose to a still-higher level?
Miss Cummings seems to exult in her newfound blonde mane, here seen tossing her fair hair in a wild, witchy manner.
Even in her outdoor photos, Lily gains added loveliness from her long tresses, which flow down her back as she allows the strap of her dress to slip coyly off her shoulders, her beauty outdazzling even the light of the late-afternoon sun.
In a remarkable testament to the model's talent, observe how enchantingly needy she appears in the next image, vulnerable and in need of protection.
For a completely different effect, the following photograph shows her tresses mysteriously and tantalizingly draping over her face, as if betokening her contemplative mood, as does the ivy growing behind her.
Returning to the blossoms-in-the-hair look of the initial image in this thread, Lily creates the impression of a nymph of the sea, moodily opening the curtain of her hair, the ocean rolling in behind her, her green nail colour adding a touch of fantasy to her persona.
The final series of images in this introductory post about Miss Cummings comprises the results of a recent test that she shot with Stanley Debas (famous for having photographed Katherine Roll in what remains arguably the finest test of the model's career).
Lily's tresses look bewitchingly wild in these latter-day "sweater-girl" pictures, with the model dressed in outfits that bare her luscious thighs.
A behind-the-scenes photograph shows more of the location, with its mid-century New Jersey buildings and 1970s-era land cruisers evoking qualities of mafioso moviemaking.
The sheer, unapologetic size and mass of these vintage automobiles harmonizes with the model's own luscious appearance, both betokening an era of untrammelled indulgence.
If one can pull away one's eyes for a moment from the sight of Lily's stunning legs, notice her witchy, blood-red lip colour. Like the model's provocative stance, it creates the impression of danger and wickedness.
Our favourite photograph in the series is the following, which shows Lily's womanly hips defined and embraced by fitted white pants, and accentuated by her sinuous body movement.
A closer view highlights--for the first time in one of Miss Cummings's photographs--a hint of that most gorgeous of all facial features, a curve under the chin.
The viewer almost grows dizzy with desire at the sight of the voluptuous, weighty mass of the model's blonde tresses, so thick and abundant and heavy. Her peach sweater may accord with her innately angelic qualities, but the expression, the pose, and the cosmetics effect all make her appear more naughty than nice.
A final photograph from this series is a intriguing study in contrasts, with the model returning to one of her more characteristically gentle expressions, and even her sweater appearing soft and fuzzy. Her gaze is dreamy and longing, while the sky opens out onto an endless vista.
Though Miss Cummings does a fine job of photographing the beauty of the industry's top plus-size models, such as Kelsey Olson and Katherine Roll, she is a goddess in her own right, and deserves to be in front of the camera as well as behind it.
Re: Lily Cummings
The car, by the way, is a 1973 Buick Electra, the most luxurious Buick of all. Buicks of the early 1970s are quite curvaceous and have styling details that recall equally voluptuous Buicks of the 1950s and 1960s. In other words, timeless beauty and sumptuous elegance -- a very fitting carriage for a model such as Ms. Cummings.
Re: Lily Cummings
Lily's photographs are all beautiful, but I first took note of her when she appeared in a gorgeous promotional video for L.A. Models last year. Titled Theatre de la Beaute Classique, the video features Lily and several other models in the opulent Parisian guise of the Belle Époque, portraying showgirls (or even ladies of the evening).
Although several models appear in the video, Lily is clearly the star, with the most screen time. Watch how she sits apart from the group at 1:21, admiring her own reflection in the mirror, and notice that her images close the video. The rest of the models are darker complexioned, but Lily is exquisitely fair and has a rounder face. Beautiful.
Re: Lily Cummings
The video that M. Lopez linked features some marvellous visuals which richly reward a second look.
Miss Cummings first turns up in a brief behind-the-scenes shot. She appears at the left of the frame.
Then, the entire cast appears in a group shot, all in their period outfits. But notice that Lily, the fairest of the models, sits enthroned in a position of prominence, somewhat removed, off to the right of the screen, wearing a more elaborate headdress than the rest. Without question, she is the princess of the group, the queen bee. The other girls are all turned in her direction to look at her, and she herself is obsessed with the same agreeable sight: her own beautiful countenance, as viewed in a mirror.
The other participants in the shoot adopt a light-hearted mood, but Lily genuinely inhabits her 19th-century persona, richly relishing the sight of her own loveliness, as voluptuous Victorian vixens such as Georgiana Reed or Ginevra Fanshawe would have done.
Nothing is more desirable than a goddess who is in love with her own appearance. Throughout history, iconic depictions of the beauty-goddess Venus have presented the fair immortal as gazing upon her own reflection. Observe the alluring self-involvement that Lily exhibits in her scenes.
A moment later, she lids her eyes heavily, adopting the most seductive of all gazes and exuding those most archetypally feminine of qualities--greed, selfishness, vanity--with the highest intensity of allure. Note too the soft fullness at the model's neck area.
The camera cannot seem to get close enough to this vision of carnal self-adoration. She luxuriates over every portion of her beauty, perfecting the kind of haughty glance that, she knows, is sure to ensnare any man's heart.
An instant later, however, in an unguarded moment, Miss Cummings chuckles in unaffected delight. Note that most sensual of all facial features, the luscious curve under the model's chin, testifying to a well-fed opulence of person that complements the ornate richness of the attire.
A subsequent scene in the video features the shoot's photographer ensconced amid the girls. Notice the effective styling: unlike the other models, Lily wears a pink/berry outfit that harmonizes with her "plump and pink and flaxen" attributes, her snowy-fair complexion. Note too the attractive roundness of the model's face.
The finest presentation of the beauty of Lily's facial features appears a moment later, in a still showing the model wearing a different yet equally fabulous headdress. Her face is round and full, gorgeously so, and her impassive expression darkly alluring. Note in particular that acclaimed mouth, so carnal with its dark cosmetics, the lips naturally shaped (not collagen bloated), turned down in an expression of bewitching cruelty.
What makes Lily so effective at adopting these dark looks is that her skin tone is so delicate and fair, procelain with just a hint of flush at the cheeks, a Victorian-doll quality that softens the effect of her wicked expressions.
A close-up highlights very effective cosmetics artistry. Lily's skin tone makes her an ideal canvas for a variety of compelling looks.
Lily's third look for the shoot is the most expressly cinematic. How fitting, then, that we first glimpse it in black and white. In another era, Miss Cummings would have been a starlet of the silver screen.
Yet it is in colour that the model's true beauty is revealed, exhibiting, as this shot does, the fresh fairness of her skin, a spun-sugar look of exquisite delicacy, which effectively plays off against the mature, sensual attire.
Lest there be any doubt that Miss Cummings is the star of this short film, the final shot consists of a slow, lingering close-up of Lily's facial features. It begins with a glance at her softly creased, fleshy neck, against the plumpness of which the hard jewellery seems almost threatening.
Next, the camera lingers on her pink cheeks and golden curls, and her exquisite profile.
And finally, with that sensually expressionless gaze which is her trademark, Lily fixes the camera with a haunting look, her blue eyes crystalline, ethereal.
The video effectively sets the model's Lillian-Russell-like beauty back amid the opulent trappings of the 19th century, in which context her rich loveliness--so fair and fleshy, so sugary soft--appears especially gorgeous.
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