Although it was a bigger story in Australia than in North America, some of you still may have heard of the controversy that ensued a few weeks ago when a judge on Australia's Next Top Model
defended the show's ridiculous policy of excluding fuller-figured models by claiming that there was "no market for plus-size models in Australia."
In fact, plus-size modelling is doing exceptionally well down under--so much so that Darrianne Donnelly, the director of the BGM Models agency, came out with a polite but emphatic statement indicating that the Top Model
judge didn't have a clue as to what she was talking about.
We've known Ms. Donnelly for many years, so it didn't surprise us a bit to see her break a lance on behalf of her girls. Indeed, her reaction (and a note about the whole controversy) was even posted
by the notorious Perez Hilton.
The whole messy affair prompted us to take a fresh look at Darrianne's BGM Models agency--which, coincidentally, has just debuted a revamped Web site
that is very clean, professional-looking, and easy to navigate. Within the pages of this new site we found quite a few lovely models whose work deserves a mention.* * *
Long-time readers will already be familiar with our favourite BGM girl. In fact, we posted about her well before we were cognizant of her identity. Her name is Courtney Maxwell, the face of CityChic.com.au, a luscious U.S. size 16 with truly goddesslike measurements: 45-38-47.
Courtney first came to our attention in a popular CityChic campaign that reminded us of some of the better Torrid promotions of past years. It was fun, yet sensual, and Courtney (the girl in the provocatively unbuttoned black dress) was the undisputed star.
Miss Maxwell also appeared in our recent "Natural Ideal" post, in a dress that showcased her opulent figure.* * *
Tenille Roberts, our other BGM favourite, is only a U.S. size 12, but she more than makes up for it with her exciting height: 5'5. What a delight it is to see a petite plus-size model, and one who is so enchantingly pretty. (Test photos by Natalie Wakeling.)
Of all of the BGM models, she is the one who most clearly exhibits timeless beauty, with her long, fair tresses, adorably round facial features, and a look that is gentle and innocent, but with an undercurrent of sensuality. She is Kelsey, Kailee, and Chloe all mixed into one.
This tear sheet shows her playful side. How appropriate to see this princess-like model in a cute, doll-like dress with a pink sash tied in a bow at the front.
Tenille can also do more elegant and sophisticated looks, as this image shows.* * *
For our third BGM talent, we turn to another model who, along with Miss Maxwell, won a CityChic modelling contest. Blaise McCann (size 14) boasts some of the prettiest tears that we have ever seen. Not only does her figure look alluringly soft in this image, with a sumptuous fullness at the waist, but note the enchanting styling detail of the garland in her hair. Consider how much gentler and more attractive this picture is than the typically coarse images of models in unmentionables. The model's expression is a bit bashful, but it works with the her demure persona, which creatively belies the photo's sensuality.
Another image from the same spread shows the model a bit bolder, but still exhibiting that attractive fullness at the waist. Bravo to this publication for choosing a model with a soft, natural figure, rather than an unappealingly "toned" physique.
A third picture from this girlish editorial (a bit high school, a bit college dorm) shows the model wide-eyed with glee. Her curly hair is oh-so-cute, and the image still displays the soft curves at her midsection. Terrific styling all around--just right for giving the layout its theme and establishing the model's persona.* * *
A young size-14 BGM talent with the delightfully Slavonic name Saskina Czubowski has a portfolio full of stunning swimwear images that show off her lush curves. The flower in the hair is a wonderfully feminine touch.
Sakina's images, by Zara Jones, lean towards the sensual--and with a figure as rounded as hers, how could they not? This bedroom image is intensely seductive without actually being revealing. The pose, the white carpet, the bed in the background, and the attractive sleepwear are suggestive, yet mildly restrained. Very fine colour coordination between the set and the wardrobe.
The outfit in this image is casual, but the effect is powerfully alluring, with the model's flowing tresses drawing the eye down toward her decolletage. Sakia's Slavonic facial features are round, full, and very attractive.
On the other hand, Sakia is just as effective--and just as intoxicating--in more formal attire, posing here to display her buxom curves and womanly hips. Fine choice of background too--an ornate door that gives the image an Orientalist quality.* * *
Size 14 Kate Erin has more than a few dramatic images in her book, but none more attractive than these elegant photos by Gianluca Santoro for the Embody Denim line, which feature the model dressed in an attractively fitted grey top that defines her soft figure. (Note in particular the sensual curve along her side and back.)
The top offers a dizzying view of the model's decolletage, and the Old World setting harmonizes perfectly with the model's traditional feminine beauty. The lovely round arches in the brickwork, and the building's sense of warmth and age, provide a highly appropriate backdrop. Together, the model and the setting create a marvellous depiction of timeless beauty in the present day.* * *
At least one more BGM girl deserves notice here--a fair beauty named Roxy Jurgens. Roxy could certainly stand to be fuller-figured, but she possesses a number of attractive images in her book, particularly these lyrically beautiful bridal pictures.
The sight of a plus-size model with long, fair tresses in bridal attire always creates an angelic impression. The washed-out colours of the photographs, while a tad artificial, contribute to the overall impression of softness.
The tiara in the hair plays up the identity of the model as a fairy-tale princess. Her expressions are dreamy and ethereal.* * *
Contrary to what some Top Model judges may think, plus-size modelling is doing very well in Australia, and its agencies boast numerous models who are gorgeous, youthful, and genuinely full-figured. It is particularly encouraging to see beautiful models over a size 14, and under 5'6, carving out promising careers. This indicates true industry progress.
We wish Australia's antipodal goddesses every success at restoring the Classical ideal of beauty to public consciousness.
- Click here to view the new BGM Models site