What a pleasure it is to see the legendary Barbara Brickner headlining a new European campaign. Most continental clients are notoriously stuck in their faux-plus mindsets, so to find a European label represented by a genuinely full-figured goddess like Mrs. Brickner is most encouraging.
Having said that, this specific client, Borgelt, can boast a more impressive track record than its continental competitors when it comes to choosing models. Last season it enlisted the services of British beauty Grace Brackstone, so for the company to move on to an even curvier model is a natural progression.
Better still, from a photographic standpoint, Borgelt's campaign is utterly breathtaking, featuring some of the most gorgeous locations that we have seen in ages. Borgelt commendably took Barbara to an exotic locale for this shoot, and the result is a host of pictures that evoke the idyllic, Bahamian spirit of Mrs. Brickner's legendary swimsuit editorials for Mode
Any skeptics who question the significance of locations to the success of commercial campaigns will forever change their minds when they see these paradisaical images. The sight of the warm blue ocean stretching off into the distance, the rustic cabana in the background, and classically curvaceous Barbara in the centre of the frame, like she's the reason it all exists, gladdens the heart.
These pictures bring to life everyone's fondest dream of a paradise on Earth--an idyllic, tropical retreat and a luscious, well-fed goddess to share it with.
Although the images open out onto glorious ocean vistas, they also communicate an appealing sense of intimacy--as if the viewer were alone on a Pacific island with Barbara, where he could have her all to himself, away from the cares of the world, with breezy days and balmy nights spent in fun and frolic, pleasure and play.
These are the delightful sensations that Mode magazine evoked in its finest pages--a sense of a world apart, a tropical playground inhabited by plus-size goddesses with nothing for them to do but relax and eat and be beautiful. Borgelt's spring/summer 2011 recaptures those pleasurable sensations, especially because it showcases the model who was most closely associated with Mode's Caribbean fantasies.
Obviously, Mode's editorials had one distinct advantage over this Borgelt campaign: they featured Barbara in form-fitting swimsuits that displayed her abundant curves, rather than in loose casual styles that covered them up, as do the Borgelt designs. But no matter: Between the lush scenery and the model's own stunning beauty--not a whit diminished from her Mode days--these images evoke the same halcyon spirit of a secret paradise.
A number of the Borgelt photos feature Barbara set against the backdrop of huge palm fronds rather than at the beachfront, yet these pictures are no less effective. The teeming greenery harmonizes with the model's own luscious fecundity, as if she and the palm trees together exemplified the ideal beauty of nature. Also, Barbara beams with happiness, as if she were truly in her element, living the kind of carefree, pleasurable life that such a goddess deserves.
We adore big hats on plus-size models, and these citrus colours seem perfectly appropriate in this verdant environment. Barbara is keeping her tresses longer these days, and the extra length adds immeasurable to her beauty.
Two of the Borgelt images show Barbara against the backdrop of a magnificent, million-dollar yacht (presumably the ship that transported this goddess to her South Sea paradise). The two go together very naturally, the opulent model and this pricey craft. This visual juxtaposition reinforces the idea that such is the life that a curvy goddess deserves--a life of wealth and abundance, where all of her wants are provided for, all of her desires gratified, where she lives in the lap of luxury to which her beauty entitles her.
Much as these yacht images contribute to the campaign's irresistible fantasy, they also offer a sobering reality. They remind every viewer who dreams of winning the heart of a girl as alluring and generously proportioned as Barbara that he must be affluent enough to give her the lifestyle that she deserves. Any woman as gorgeous as this will (rightly) be as greedy as she is beautiful. Her appetites will be in direct proportion to her loveliness, so to have her for his own, a suitor must possess sufficient wealth to make her dreams come true.
Two of the Borgelt photos are reproduced at a larger size, although unfortunately, these show Barbara in the company's least interesting outfits. Nevertheless, the stunning location, and the model's own incomparable attractiveness, still take one's breath away. Wherever a viewer may be when he first sees these pictures--whether imprisoned in an office cubicle or toiling away in a musty library--he will immediately long to be there, in the world of this picture, with Barbara, worshipping her, while soaking in the unbounded freedom of this exotic escape.
Let this be a lesson to all art directors: No bare studio settings or urban environments can bring a client's fashions to life as effectively as tropical wonderlands. Exotic retreats are worth every penny that it takes to bring a crew and a model to the location.
Kudos to Borgelt for creating one of the finest commercial campaigns of the year, and bravo to Barbara Brickner, whose beauty never diminishes, but remains as eternal and luscious and unspoiled as the enchanting paradise all around her.
(Click first image in thread to view larger.)
- Studio Borgelt/Donna Lisa