Several months ago, fans posted links
to Kailee O'Sullivan's runway videos for SimplyBe.co.uk, which are possibly the most exciting clothing videos that any plus-size model has ever filmed. Kailee's walk is so feline, her expressions so alluring, her every movement so graceful. Each video is a masterpiece.
However, when they are asked to model clothing for a television audience, plus-size models do not always have the benefit of a runway to walk, or of such pretty apparel to wear. More often than not, their wardrobe is dull (even unattractive), and their movements are restricted to standing in place for minutes at a time.
What is a model to do then?
Our answer comes in the form of a series of videos from the Home Shopping Network featuring Courtney Hanneman. Long-time readers of this forum will remember Courtney from her popular Bealls campaigns several seasons ago, and from a series
of photographs that appeared on this forum titled "Voluptuous Ballet."
In the first video, Courtney (who is mistakenly called "Heather" by the show's host) models a reasonably pretty, if formless, set of gold metallic pajamas.
Watch how the model varies her stance from moment to moment. At one point, she adopts a standard hand-on-the-hip pose,
then clasps her hands behind her back,
then demonstrates some clever business involving the outfit, like playing with the collar. Note too how she deftly flips her hair to one side (an alluring touch).
Although big smiles are the stock-in-trade for commercial modelling, watch how Courtney alters her demeanour, occasionally exhibiting an elegant, sophisticated expression, like the one seen here.
The highlight of the video appears when the model does a 180-degree turn. Observe how gracefully Courtney performs this action--no doubt benefitting from the dancing expertise that she showcased in her ballet images (linked above).
Formless as the outfit is, the shots of the model in profile display her luscious, plus-size curves. Note how her tresses flow luxuriously around her head while she moves.
- Click here to watch video #1 (55 Mb) 3:31* * *
The second item exemplifies the wardrobe challenges that a model might face in bookings such as this, and how she can overcome them. Although the pale yellow of the top half of the sweater is a nice colour, the circus-tent lilac trim is appalling. Nevertheless, Courtney presents the sweater as if it were the most gorgeous item in the world.
She seems completely at ease with herself, thereby suggesting the comfort of the item. Although the sweater is too loose, Courtney's sumptuous proportions nevertheless give it a fine outline. In this image, one senses the model's substantiality, the luxurious weight of her figure.
At one point, the model casts a dramatic, faraway glance. Such motions retain viewer interest, especially over a longer segment.
A close-up shows the model's extraordinary beauty, which may seem incongruous with the prosaic outfit, but lends a dignity to the item that it otherwise wouldn't possess.
Again, the highlight comes as Courtney does her graceful turn, showing off her sensual contours. Notice that the sweater comes in a host of sizes, but HSN wisely showcased it on a genuinely full-figured model, knowing that only the body of a lush goddess could give the item an attractive shape.
Watch for a particularly lovely moment as Courtney completes her turn and looks at the camera with a gentle, youthful smile. Her facial features appear particularly soft and lovely here.
- Click here to watch video #2 (38 Mb) 2:25* * *
In this still from a display of the third item, note the business with the item's belt--again, a clever way to add visual interest for the viewer over a longer segment.
This video is particularly appealing to Classical-beauty aficionados because the sweater fits closer to the model's figure than do the other items. When Courtney shows her profile, her lavish proportions are clearly visible.
The turn even provides a glimpse of her reverse-view curves.
Notice the appealing contours of the model's shape. They offer a womanly sense of weight. These are the proportions of a figure that blossoms naturally, enhanced by sweet self-indulgence, not sculpted with artificial materials.
The soft fullness of the model's figure is evident, and particularly appealing when seen in conjunction with her pretty facial features.
- Click here to watch video #3 (47 Mb) 2:59* * *
The fourth video begins with a rare view of the set sans promotional slate.
Compare the above image to this one, and notice how much more attractive Courtney appears when she stands in this fashion, prominently displaying her buxom charms. Again, this is how a true plus-size model can endow even the most formless of outfits with sensual appeal.
Here, in a clever bit of business, she presses her collar close, like a winter coat, making herself look adorable in the process.
Consider too the dress forms in the background--how curvaceous they are, how much fuller and more feminine their proportions appear than those of the narrow, Olive Oyl dress forms that one sees on shows like Project Runway. If designers employed dress forms such as these, their thinking would be transformd, and their garments would be tailored to the naturally large female figure.
As ever, the most memorable images come as Courtney does her turn.
Watch as her reverse-view proportions coax the garment into conforming itself to her curves, creating a feminine shape where none would exist on a faux-plus model.
Incidentally, this video also includes several shots of the model's beautiful legs. Like Lindsey Garbelman's recent images for Lane Bryant, these clips show a model with luscious thighs--characteristics that all full-figured women should feel comfortable with, despite media brainwashing to the contrary.
- Click here to watch video #4 (117 Mb) 7:33* * *
The final video only shows Ms. Hanneman for a moment, but don't miss the terribly funny exchange as the host (who has been calling the model "Heather" throughout the broadcast) discovers--to her mortification--that her actual name is Courtney.
- Click here to watch video #5 (22 Mb) 1:26* * *
Ms. Hanneman earned quite a few fans before she put her career on hiatus. These videos are fine testaments to her beauty and to her modelling talent, and provide excellent object lessons for young models puzzled about what to do with themselves while standing in front of a shopping-network camera for minutes at a time.
With her genuinely curvaceous proportions, fair complexion, and abundant tresses, Courtney is yet another model whom we hope to see return to the industry in the near future.