The order of the issues should have been reversed.
The September/October edition of Figure
is the first, from the magazine's new production team, to enjoy wider distribution, and to appear on news-stands nationwide. However, the current offering lacks an editorial to match the gorgeous "Romantic Lines" spread from the July/August issue, so it's a pity that the Figure
team didn't use the summer edition to re-introduce their magazine to the world.
However, to be fair, the Old South editorial from the last issue was one of the most beautiful layouts that any plus-size magazine has ever produced, so it may be unreasonable to expect that kind of magic every time. Even Mode
produced some forgettable numbers, in its later years. And the latest issue of Figure
is, on the whole, reasonably good.
Photographer Kathryn Gamble, who shot "Romantic Lines," also gives us this issue's most appealing layout--a feature titled "Country Comfort," starring one of the Dorothy Combs agency's most popular and attractive stars, Nadia Peņa
. The fashion in this spread is a little on the prosaic side (casual sweaters), but Nadia does her best to make it beautiful, and the lovely natural setting gives the editorial a warm, inviting mood. Nadia is wearing her hair longer now, which increases her allure considerably.
Here is the most memorable page in the layout, and indeed in the entire issue--a dreamlike image of timeless beauty, with a comfortable-looking Nadia glancing over her shoulder, and the viewer gazing longingly back at her. "Well, of course you adore me--just look at me,"
the model seems to be musing.
Another fine image in this editorial is the following. Nadia's proportions are among the most opulent of any girl in the industry, and her figure endows even this casual sweater with shape. The model's curvaceous arms and womanly profile are clearly visible.
The issue also contains a Liis editorial, but it doesn't do the model justice.
Of the magazine's ads, the prettiest is a Fashion Bug page showing Valerie Lefkowitz in an eye-catching romantic blouse. Her blonde tresses flow freely, her pose is graceful, her expression soft and gentle. One wistfully remembers how glorious her every campaign once was . . .
Wyinnetka's Fashion Bug images from this season have also been quite attractive.* * *
Despite recent news articles that warned of a "matronly" direction for Figure, the magazine is actually doing far more right than wrong. It thankfully contains no diet ads or weight-control stories, its banner proudly proclaims "Celebrating the plus-size woman," and it continues to use professional models who are genuinely full-figured (size 14 and up)--and even some, such as Nadia and Valerie, who are youthful as well. This adds up to a commendable publication. Although it may not be Mode, the magazine is infinitely more positive than any other glossy that is currently in print. It deserves the support of every admirer of timeless beauty, even as one continues to hope that its future editorials will be yet more gorgeous.
Incidentally, we encourage readers to visit the Figure magazine site, which reproduces the issue's second-best layout (owing to the model), a hit-and-miss denim story featuring a youthful, fair-haired beauty. Her identity has not yet been confirmed, but if we were to hazard a guess, we would say that she is Jessie Williams, a fresh face at the Dorothy Combs agency. Miss Williams is a little on the thin side, and would be more remarkable at a curvier size, but she is quite photogenic. She might also be the model in the "Hot Cocoa" babydoll top, on p.42, but we cannot say for certain.
- "Moody Blues" at figuremagazine.com