Kelsey Olson, SWAK, and Michael Anthony Hermogeno have done it again.
From the photographic team that has consistently created the plus-size industry's most intriguing campaigns comes an exciting new look book which pays tribute to James Bond--the most enduring franchise in cinematic history--and specifically, to that celluloid embodiment of vixenish femininity, the Bond Girl.
A lethal beauty if ever there was one, Miss Olson embodies the Bond Girl archetype better than any actress since Ursula Andress. Her soft, sinful flesh spills out of her low-cut black dress, even as she grips a formidable pistol, reminding the viewer that Kelsey's fair loveliness is a calculated deception, guaranteed to pry state secrets out of even the most dedicated secret agent.
Kelsey's weapon (i.e., her firearm, as opposed to her dangerous beauty) in the above image closely resembles the Walther LP-53 that Sean Connery wields in the publicity stills for the greatest of all Bond films, From Russia with Love.
The most gorgeous image of this look book appears next, showing Miss Olson with her celebrated fair complexion, blue eyes steamy and mysterious, lips parted in a felonious pout that suggests greed and desire, fair tresses flowing over her bare shoulders, glittering jewellery indicating her opulent tastes, white skin fleshily unbroken by any trace of a visible clavicle, naked to the border of the frame (the rest of the model's well-fed figure classified top secret).
How fitting that the first Bond movie to which SWAK pays tribute is the aforementioned From Russia with Love (which we have noted on this forum before)--that definitive Cold War thriller, with its exotic locales and nail-biting intrigue, which also distinguishes itself above every other Bond film by featuring the most desirable of all Bond girls, the vulnerable Soviet agent Tatiana Romanova. Nothing could ever be as alluring as the sight of this "black choker wrapped around Kelsey's swan-like neck," as SWAK describes it, in a prose passage worthy of Ian Fleming himself.
Kelsey perfectly captures the languid sensuality of this Nordic princess. To have Miss Olson portray this Russian temptress is truly an instance of dream casting, for, as she relayed to us in her interview, Kelsey's family descends from the Germans who accepted the invitation of Catherine the Great to settle in Russia in the 18th century. If her forbears had remained in that wintry land, Kelsey would surely have been recruited by the KGB to seduce secret agents aplenty, leaving them shaken, stirred, and utterly at her mercy.
What makes From Russian with Love's Soviet spy the definitive Bond girl is that, unlike the female agents who followed in her wake, (whom the movies attempted to make ever-more-disagreeably "tough,") Tatiana is portrayed as being soft and vulnerable, quintessentially feminine, even childlike at times. It is a mistake to create Bond girls who are "equal" to 007. Rather, the most effective Bond girls are those who offer the greatest contrast to the archetypally masculine British agent, as does Miss Romanova--as well as the softly sensual Miss Olson.
Although Roger Moore played 007 in an overly lighthearted manner, the 1970s/80s Bond films do boast a sheer inventiveness that dazzles the senses. Moore's most celebrated outing as Bond was in the 1977 thriller The Spy Who Loved Me, in which the British agent traded in his Aston Martin for a white Lotus Esprit. The Bond girl in this film was also 007's antagonist, a more assertive (though still feminine) Russian spy dubbed "Triple-X"--her code name, not her rating.
For these images, Miss Olson appropriate portrays a far more overt sensuality, transforming from a double agent into a Double-D agent in this scorching dress, her buxom voluptuousness overspilling the slinky fabric, her luscious hips clearly visible. Though her heavy, blonde curls suggest doll-like girlishness, discerning secret agents will be able to take one look at this carnal vixen and know that she is bad. So very bad. But so irresistible as to make betraying one's king and country a negligible concern.
In this gorgeous black dress, with its scoop neckline promising voluptuous riches, Kelsey projects her steamiest sensuality, exuding a thrilling blend of babylike softness and minx-like allure. Not even the most intense MI6 training could endow a secret agent with the ability to resist caressing those soft blonde tresses.
In the final panel of the look book, SWAK's "director" offers an intriguing reminiscence about the origins of this campaign:
I've often wondered if we would ever see a curvier, more Rubenesque Bond Girl grace the screen. Till that happens, we've created our own – a soft, sensual icon of feminine beauty
Indeed, Kelsey more perfectly embodies the archetype of the Bond Girl than any actress who has ever portrayed the role on film.
However, that final page also indicates that Sealed with a Kiss had a singular opportunity to make this promotion even more memorable than it already is:
Many thanks to Brittany who talked me out of painting Kelsey gold.
Oh, no! How could SWAK have suffered such a missed opportunity? The most iconic of all images in the entire 007 series is surely the unforgettable sight of Jill Masterson, the Bond Girl of Goldfinger,
killed by said film's antagonist by being painted head-to-foot in gold:
The mind reels at the thought of how unspeakably gorgeous Kelsey Olson--a "golden girl" par excellence--would have appeared in this richest of all makeup looks:
Alas, it wasn't to be.
Nevertheless, SWAK's latest look book is an astounding tour de force, demonstrating once again that plus-size goddesses surpass even the most celebrated beauties of the silver screen for sheer feminine allure.
Bravo to Michael Anthony Hermogeno for his cinematic photography, to Sealed with a Kiss for creating this visual marvel, and to Bond Girl Kelsey Olson: size celebration's secret weapon in its war against the modern world.
Click the images to view full size, and peruse the entire campaign at the SWAK site, linked below:
- "Lights, Camera, Fashion"