[Originally posted on the Judgment of Paris Forum on October 20th, 2004, in response to a thread started by Melanie about a new Lane Bryant flyer espousing the theme of "softness."]
Lane Bryant deserves our greatest accolades for this Holiday flyer, which is a complete triumph, distinguished by its elegant settings, stunning photography, and uncommonly attractive fashions.
Below is a capture of the image to which Melanie referred, which not only shows a more regal side of Crystal than we have ever seen before, but also qualifies as one of the greatest images that Lane Bryant has ever created. If we knew the identity of the photographer, we would gladly give him due credit for shooting this haunting masterpiece.
The image has a truly mesmerizing quality, exuding silver-screen glamour, but with lavish colours and an ornate setting. The model's languid expression--and of course, her luxuriant figure--contribute to the intoxicating richness of the picture. This is as perfect an expression of "twenty-first century opulence" as we have ever seen.
Miss Renn may have begun her career posing for self-consciously modernist fare in the straight-size fashion glossies. But as a plus-size model--first in her splendid Knot Magazine bridal layout, and then in her American Vogue editorial--she has shown herself to be singularly adept at creating the kind of full-blown, sumptuous imagery with presents plus-size beauty at its very best.
Let us hope that the fashion world never again lures Crystal down the dark path of self-deprivation, but that she retains--or even augments--the intensely feminine allure that she now possesses.
A goddess for our time--and for all time: