[Originally posted on the Judgment of Paris forum on December 16th, 2004.]
At the moment, it is nothing more than a tiny graphic on the lanebryant.com home page, but the following image--bearing the caption "Spring Preview"--raises the possibility that Lane Bryant's next campaign will be one for the ages.
Art lovers will immediately notice how this image, showing Crystal Renn standing against a stone balustrade, in a figure-embracing outfit, with a gorgeous landscape stretching off into the distance behind her, echoes the paintings of great Victorian Classicists such as John William Godward--whose work we have often praised at this site.
Throughout his career, Godward painted compositions similar in nature to the Lane Bryant image, such as his canvas titled Ionian Dancing Girl, pictured above, or this one, called Reverie:
Godward's intention in creating his masterpieces was to depict an idyllic dream-world of Classical harmony, and to suggest a kinship between the beauty of his models and the beauty of the natural world.
This notion of the organic harmony of ideal beauty permeates Western art, as we see in Titian's Renaissance masterpiece titled Venus and Cupid with a Partridge (1550), from the Uffizi Gallery:
If Lane Bryant's preview image is a taste of things to come, then the forthcoming Spring 2005 campaign could be the finest that this company has ever produced. It could well and truly establish the identity of plus-size models as Classical goddesses brought to life, and it could define an ideal of beauty to which full-figured women can aspire, without feeling any need to alter their naturally curvaceous physiques.
We cannot wait to see the results . . .
- John William Godward at the ARC: