|28th November 2011||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
Sophie Sheppard: Galeria Kaufhof
The fact that the plus-size industry generally limits itself to a faux-plus standard instead of featuring genuinely full-figured models constitutes, without a doubt, a missed opportunity of epic proportions. If the industry were to field truly curvaceous goddesses in all of its campaigns, then its thousands of standard catalogue images would instantly become delivery devices for the aesthetic restoration. Full-figured women would be surrounded by an advertising environment in which they saw models with their own naturally curvy physiques (albeit with aspirational facial beauty). This steady stream of Classical curvaceousness would inoculate girls against thin-supremacist media propaganda and give them a newfound confidence in their own appearance. As the images disseminated into mass consciousness, the general public would soon rediscover the true shape of feminine beauty. Size celebration would become the norm (as it should be) and not the exception.
An ideal example of what this pro-curvy advertising world would look like comes to us in the form of the brand-new winter campaign from the German retailer Galeria Kaufhof (the continental equivalent of Sears or J.C. Penney), featuring Europe's most gorgeous plus-size model, and perhaps the most beautiful full-figured goddess in the world today, the stunning Sophie Sheppard (Milk/Okay/Bella).
Because Miss Sheppard is legitimately curvy, at a U.K. size 18, and because she is so dazzlingly beautiful, her work for this client transcends the usual limitations of catalogue photography and constitutes the boldest and most attractive commercial depiction of Classical femininity that any plus-size label has produced all year.
In her headshots, Sophie looking like a living angel, with apple cheeks, fair tresses, and azure eyes. Yet even in these closed-cropped images, the alluring characteristics of genuinely full-figured beauty are evident, such as the soft fleshiness at the model's neck, which gives her a well-fed appearance that is truly intoxicating.
But it is when the camera pulls back to grasp a full view of this top that the luscious beauty of Miss Sheppard's soft, shapely figure stands revealed. Sophie has won universal acclaim among plus-size-model aficionados for the untoned femininity of her gorgeous physique, and this image comfortably displays her alluring 38.5" waist. To see a girl whose beauty puts Doutzen Kroes to shame exhibiting such a sensually soft figure generates an instant transformation of thought, validating and prioritizing the plus-size ideal.
Beguiling though it is, the above photograph doesn't even represent the most subversive imagery of this extraordinary campaign. To celebrate Sophie's curves from every possible angle, Kaufhof offers four distinct views of each of its products (front, a full-length, reverse, and profile), and in each case, it is the latter variant that yields the most pro-curvy perspective. In the following profile view, the model comfortably shows off the sensual fullness of her waist, secure in the knowledge that her midriff curves make her breathtakingly beautiful, thereby encouraging all plus-size girls to feel the same way about their naturally full figures.
The red version of the same top also yields a captivating headshot which presents Sophie as an angel in human form, yet gives her an appealing, real-world quality, given the visible fullness in her face. (In real life, Miss Sheppard's complexion is every bit as immaculate and flawless as this image suggests; the physical perfection is no trick of the camera.) Her clavicle is attractively submerged in soft fullness. Her golden tresses exhibit a sensually weighty quality, bound loosely in such a way as to suggest the model's own seductive languour, drooping heavily on one side of her face and seemingly unbinding themselves out of a thick braid on the other.
Again, it is the profile view that yields the most subversively seductive display of the model's figure, with the top embracing her shapely arms and the silhouette acknowledging her reverse-view curves. Sophie's expressions are joyous and inviting but laced with a glimmer of mischief, which suggests the model's rich inner life.
The logo on this red top accurately identifies the sensation that Sophie's beauty generates among her fans. She exudes the fresh robustness of a young college student. The close fit of the top acknowledges the gorgeous curves around her middle, while her tresses twine themselves over her shoulders in thick, golden waves.
The corresponding profile view offers the most alluringly pro-curvy image of the entire campaign. The soft, sensual contours at the model's waist are lovingly exhibited, while the model beams at the camera with a look of sheer delight in her own beauty, a delight that she knows her audience earnestly shares.
At the tender age of 22, Sophie is still young enough to experience modelling as a novelty, and has not yet been jaded by industry cynicism. She communicates this freshness in every image, particularly in these photographs of the black counterpart to the previous top, while still exhibiting lovely, natural curves around her middle.
Even when Sophie's profile images fail to disclose the appealing curves at her waist, her rich silhouette still generates a size-positive effect, in this case indicating abundant reverse-view curves.
Such stunning demonstrations of the model's physique do much more than communicate a spirit of body love--laudable as that effect certainly is. They also add a narrative component, inviting archetypal associations that capture the viewer's imagination. For example, in this close-up of the model looking radiant in an animal-print cardigan, she embodies angelic qualities, with her apple cheeks, smiling eyes, and the fair tresses tumbling down her back.
However, when the camera pulls back to reveal a half-length view, which shows the model's sinuous S-curves and soft, untoned physique, she takes on the feline allure of a predatory cat, a jungle carnivore with a rapacious appetite and sensual bodily contours.
The cardigan embraces Sophie's figure like a second skin, and the model plays up the feline associations of the print, deftly giving her body a killer twist to accentuate the curves along her back, subconsciously recalling the flexing motions of a cheetah's spine as it stalks its prey. Brilliant model that she is, Sophie doesn't just display the garment, but gives customers a sense of how sinfully seductive they will feel while wearing it. One may be sure that this item sells thousands more units as presented by Sophie, with her delicious curves and sensual poses, than it would on any meagre, faux-plus girl.
The front-view image is more conventional, albeit still gorgeous, yet it includes a visual element that is overwhelmingly sensual: the sight of the fabric tugging the buttons at the model's waist, as if the cardigan can barely encompass her figure. This is a subtle yet beguiling detail, one that generates compelling frisson with its suggestion of the richness of the model's proportions.
The greatest works of art yield multiple reactions depending on whether they are viewed from afar or nearby. A Gothic cathedral, seen from a distance, is imposing in its sheer massiveness and volume of stone, yet when it is viewed up close, it reveals myriad exquisite details of such intricate loveliness as might distinguish the most refined jewellery. Likewise, thanks to her stunning curves, her preternatural beauty, and her sheer modelling prowess, Miss Sheppard generates images that are so compelling that they invite multiple framings. From a middle distance, the sight of Sophie in this top is intoxicatingly alluring, communicating a heady sense of the fullness of the model's figure, especially her generous, reverse-view curves. The image epitomizes the plus-size aesthetic at its finest.
A closer view dazzles the senses, with the model's fair tresses cascading loosely down her back and her robust facial features beaming with well-fed fullness. Sophie's delicate gesture is visually poetic and emphasizes the roundness of her upper arms.
The closest view, however, allows for a long, lingering look at the soft fullness at the model's neck, a sensual characteristic that only true plus-size goddesses possess. Whereas minus-size models must display themselves in the most vulgar manner, practically unclothed, to attract even a trace of attention from a public weary of cadaverous waifs, a full-figured beauty like Sophie can inflame desire with but a glimpse of her bare neck and shoulders.
The front view of the image is less obviously alluring, yet even in this more conventional view, the model's angelic facial features transform the photograph into a captivating visual. Among the many fine presentations of Sophie's lovely face in this campaign, this picture is one of the most dreamlike.
Kaufhof offers two tops that are produced from the same material and print, but cut very differently, and a comparison of the two demonstrates the superior appeal of a closer fit in adorning the plus-size body. To be sure, Sophie looks utterly gorgeous even in this looser variant, given that her opulent curves shape the fabric into a feminine outline, showcasing buxom contours and reverse-view curves. Plus, a floral pattern is inherently feminine, and any image in which a model's facial features are as gorgeous as Sophie's is bound to be highly appealing.
However, notice the greater pizzazz that a more body-conscious cut offers, in this fitted style which celebrates the model's voluptuousness and the seductive S-curve of her physique. Both items are attractive, but the tighter fit is far more desirable.
While this top would better have been paired with a skirt, the following image offers a rare hint of the shapely fullness of the model's thighs, so closely defined by the pants. Plus, the hair-teasing gesture is extremely appealing, betokening a deserved touch of vanity on the part of the model.
Speaking of hair, close-ups of Sophie modelling these two outfits show her adorned with an especially attractive hairstyle, with one of her eyes partially shaded by a thick curtain of gold. The sight of fair tresses partially obscuring a model's facial features is beguiling on a primordial level, adding touch of mystery, but in a girlish manner.
The close-up of Sophie garbed in the looser top actually finds her tresses styled in an even wilder manner, with a touch of extra curl in the hair, but still preserving the alluring eye-shading feature.
For evening soirées, and any other festivities of the holiday season, Kaufhof offers the following decorative top. While fans generally prefer full-figured models to be dressed in colourful hues, the velvety look of this fabric, with its gilded ornamentation, makes this a very chic item.
What makes each of Sophie's profile images so seductive is not merely how luscious and full her figure appears, but the effortless confidence of her poses, the sense that she adores every inch of her stunning physique and recognizes the power of her well-fed beauty. Once again, Sophie does more than merely describe the outfit. She evokes how customers will feel when they wear it. In this case, she demonstrates that at any social function, a curvaceous goddess in this top will have all eyes upon her and will be the most avidly desired girl in the room.
While plus-size models are far more attractive in bright colours than in blacks or greys, grey is a prominent feature in this holiday line. Thus, Sophie is called upon to model many items in grey, and thanks to her blossoming beauty, the results are anything but colourless. In this front-view image, for example, the sight of a soft, lovely curve along the model's side creates a captivatingly sensual impression. Once again, we see how the use of a true plus-size model rather than a faux-plus fraud can transform every image into an expression of size celebration. If the entire industry were to favour models like Sophie, instead of skinny size 12s or 14s, then every campaign would become an implement of pro-curvy transformation. The hair-teasing gesture is extremely fetching.
The reverse-view photograph likewise celebrates the model's curves--and at this point, one needs to applaud Kaufhof, not merely for booking Sophie in the first place, but for faithfully exhibiting her womanly contours from every perspective, instead of Photoshopping her figure into oblivion.
The profile view yields another dazzling headshot of the model, showing the soft fleshiness at her neck and communicating the gentle warmth of her smile.
Of the many reverse-view images in the present campaign, this is by far the most sensual, exhibiting as it does the seductive curves along the model's back--a physical trait that uniquely distinguishes the most attractive plus-size goddesses, testifying to their soft, natural physiques.
The top in question exhibits a curious construction, a modernist pattern common to European labels. Yet even in this item, Sophie's stunning curves form the fabric into an attractive, womanly shape, with a visible fullness at the waist. Her facial features appear youthful and pretty.
The following grey top subtly invites sensual appreciation, gently embracing the model's curvy waist and indicating her voluptuous curves.
Even a dash of colour, as offered by the magenta piece underlying this grey pullover, helps to enliven an otherwise colourless outfit. The sweater seductively embraces the model's middle, showing a halo of Botticelli-like roundness.
The profile view is yet-more seductive, prominently exhibiting fullness at the model's midsection and clearly indicating her reverse-view curves. Sophie's expression smoulders with a banked-down fire, constituting the knowing gaze of a goddess who senses the power of her seductive allure.
Exhibiting another patchwork style, this top may have little to recommend it in fashion terms, but oh, what a stunning image Sophie creates, with the visible curve at her waist and her beguiling, hair-teasing pose.
Kaufhof also offers a black vest to cover up this odd piece. The sole appeal of the following image derives from the model's angelic facial beauty and the curvaceous outline of her physique. Were this outfit displayed on any other model, it wouldn't warrant a second glance, but Sophie literally makes every item look attractive, however minimal its intrinsic charm.
In this case, the reverse view exhibits the greatest pro-curvy allure, with the vest embracing the model's figure closely enough to define the soft, sensual contours along her back and to indicate her generous proportions.
Inevitably, any mainstream retailer's holiday collection will include at least one shapeless article of clothing that not even a size-18 physique can form into a womanly silhouette. However, when the model in question is the breathtaking Miss Sheppard, one is still left with a view of captivating facial features, with masses of golden hair pouring over the model's shoulder, and a sensual fleshiness at her neck.
While career wear is the least agreeable mode of clothing for plus-size goddesses, Kaufhof's offerings in this area are better than most. Or perhaps--as is more likely the case--the appeal of these items is due to the alchemical power of Sophie's beauty, which transforms fashion lead into gold. Whatever intrinsic appeal this top may possess (or lack), the model's buxom contours and reverse-view curves makes it attractive. As if to compensate for the conservative nature of the outfit, Sophie spices up the image with a mischievous, Cheshire-cat grin.
Miss Shepard's look in the front-view image is more direct and matter-of-fact, although it still showcases the radiant beauty of her facial features. From this angle, one sees how the top attractively exhibits the roundness at her waist.
Another professional look, this time in a stylish cardigan, is even more beguiling, perhaps because it recalls the attire of Catholic schoolgirls, in their ever-so-cute uniforms. The curvaceous femininity of the model's figure is not to be disguised by this modest outfit. If anything, the formal attire enhances her sinful allure.
We end with two outerwear offerings. This vest has a certain appeal, given that the fabric is still thin enough to display the lovely curves of the model's figure. Yes, it is possible for a goddess to stay warm while enticing viewers with her shapely physique.
And finally, while the following jacket is standard winter fare, it yields a headshot of Sophie that may be the loveliest in the entire campaign. Her visage appears especially full and rich in this photograph. She exudes a quality of passive self-satisfaction that is utterly entrancing. Everything about this image communicates easygoing lassitude, from the placid, gentle look in the model's eyes to her thick, heavy tresses, while flow lazily around her face. Her lips appear especially plump and luscious, but plump in a natural way: "so red that one could only think of cherries or some other delicious crimson fruit in looking at them," in Kate Chopin's immortal words. Sophie's replete, fed look makes her completely irresistible.
Congratulations to Okay Models (Hamburg) for booking Fräulein Sheppard for this client, and a round of applause to Kaufhof for selecting such a breathtakingly beautiful model. With a 38.5" waist (as listed by Okay) and 48" hips (as noted by Milk Management), Sophie is a rare example--especially rare in Europe--of a gorgeous and genuinely full-figured model working for major clients. She is the curviest and loveliest overseas model--possibly the loveliest in the world--and certainly the most significant. German labels are especially notorious for resorting to meagre, faux-plus types for their campaigns, so this company's decision to enlist the services of a far more attractive, fuller-figured model puts Kaufhof light years ahead of its competition.
Last edited by HSG : 28th November 2011 at 01:55.
|29th November 2011||#2|
Join Date: June 2011
Sophie Sheppard: Bella Models profile
These images are everything full-figured women are asking for from the plus-size fashion industry, in terms of the marketing that is directed at them. The model surpasses any superwaif in facial beauty, and she actually looks plus-size. Her curves aren't hidden but confidently showcased. No hiding, disguising, or photoshopping -- and no shapewear-deforming of the body either; just a faithful, beautiful depiction of Sophie's soft, full curves.
It's so true that the fact that Sophie's figure is natural rather than "toned" is just as important as her size, a size 18. Both the softness and the fullness of her physique make her a perfect plus-size model. Pray heaven, let no one try to change this about her or diminish her beauty in any way.
Incidentally, Bella Models, Sophie's Australian agency, just released a profile of the model, and the Q&A is simply delightful:
Here are some of the questions, but the link is a must-read, as it comes with a personal photo of Sophie.
I love the fact that Sophie's dad calls her "Princess." She is! If there has ever been a living, breathing princess, it's Sophie.
I also find it cute that she's experimenting with cosmetic looks. She's so quintessentially feminine and girly. It's part of what makes her so adorable, and so relatable to young, curvy girls.
As for the idea that typing "the perfect Aussie girl" into Google images would first bring up an image of Sophie, well, if that's not true, then it certainly should be!
|29th November 2011||#3|
Join Date: July 2005
Re: Sophie Sheppard: Galeria Kaufhof
I can hardly believe what I am seeing. A British size-18 model actually photographed in such a way as to celebrate her sumptuous curves instead of camouflaging them? This is amazing. These images reflect the approach that the plus-size industry should take in every commercial shoot (let alone in editorials and tests and other special projects). The most basic, essential, vital role of full-figured fashion is to showcase the beauty of visibly curvaceous figures. This Kaufhof campaign exemplifies how it should be done. Sophie is a true goddess, and by far one of the most gorgeous and exciting models in the industry.
I loved her Bella profile and was arrested by its opening tag:
Simply Be? Has Sophie shot for Simply Be? How wonderful! What a triumph for Miss Sheppard, as in the past, Simply Be has too-often resorted to faux-plus girls who do not demonstrate how the clothing will look on curvier bodies and do not materially challenge the thin-centric fashion standard. But by publishing images of Sophie, Simply Be will take a significant step into the world of size celebration, with Britains most gorgeous plus-size model. I cannot wait, and I just hope that Simply Be adopts the pro-curvy approach that Kaufhof did with these photos.
It would be even more thrilling if Simply Be were to shoot runway videos of Sophie, as it did with Kailee several seasons ago...
|30th November 2011||#4|
Join Date: May 2010
Re: Sophie Sheppard: Galeria Kaufhof
This is so true. The images showing the swell of fullness at Sophie's neck are incredibly sensual.
It reminds me of something that has been pointed out before, on this forum, about the beauty of the hands of plus-size goddesses -- such hands exhibiting dimpled knuckles, due to their soft fullness. The point was made that the tradition of tenderly kissing a lady's hand arose because the sight of a plump hand with dimpled knuckles was a very sensual characteristic, impelling a kiss, but that as women starved and tortured themselves into androgynous emaciation, their bony hands no longer prompted kissing.
Something very similar is likely true about the tradition, in historic romance, of a lover tenderly kissing the neck of his beloved. When beautiful women were full-figured, their necks exhibited soft fleshiness, as Sophie's does, and this feature compelled loving kisses from a suitor. But as the standard of appearance has diminished to the point of cadaverous, corpse-like boniness, the soft sensuality of this characteristic too has disappeared, and with it, the tradition of a soft kiss at the neck.
Those wonderful scenes in old movies where a leading man would tenderly kiss the neck of his beloved once generated far more on-screen frisson, just by such a seemingly demure gesture (but actually a very passionate one), than modern films can produce in all of their unclothed vulgarity.
In this way, the displacement of full-figured femininity by modern androgyny has directly, sadly, led to the coarsening of the culture.
|2nd December 2011||#5|
Join Date: July 2005
Re: Sophie Sheppard: Galeria Kaufhof
I almost can't believe these images exist, they're so gorgeous. Sophie's influence is truly spellbinding, because her beauty somehow magically compelled Kaufhof (which, like any regular, mainstream retailer, is not usually known to be a source of revolutionary sentiment) to completely set aside the fashion industry's usual straitjacket thinking about curvier women's bodies and to showcase and celebrate Sophie's curves in all of their gorgeous fullness.
I imagine the Kaufhof advertising team looking at the stunning photos that Sophie created for them and saying to themselves, "No, we cannot alter these; she's perfect."
Because she is. She has the face of an angel and the figure of a goddess, and these images show how sincerely confident she is in her beauty, without a care in the world. I could look at these photos all day.
All of the close-ups of her lovely face take my breath away, but I love these most of all for pure size celebration:
So now Brazil has Mayara Russi in stunningly pro-curvy campaigns for Duloren and Glamur Fashion, and Europe has Sophie Sheppard in this gorgeous Kaufhof promotion. It's time for some visionary client in North America to import them! Or to enlist some of our own curvy goddesses, like Katherine Roll and Kelsey Olson, and shoot them in a campaign that similarly showcases all of the gorgeous curves of the plus-size female figure.
|16th December 2011||#6|
Join Date: January 2010
I agree. Never has a girl had a more fitting nickname bestowed upon her. If you had asked anyone, in any century prior to the 20th, to define their image of a "princess," they would have immediately imagined someone exactly like Sophie -- with her sweet, angelic face, her fair eyes, her long golden hair, and most especially, her soft, curvaceous figure. She is young, angelic, aristocratic -- every quality that Western culture has always admired in its princess ideal. So soft, so pretty, so gorgeous; she's the epitome of timeless feminine beauty.
No one has ever embodied the Classical ideal as perfectly as Sophie.
Also, I love the fact that when you visit Sophie's profile at Milk Management, she's now listed as a full U.K. size 18 (whereas before she was numbered a 16/18). As long as no one foolishly tries to get Sophie to diminish herself, as long as she retains her authentically full figure, she will be the most gorgeous and significant model in the industry. If anyone can persuade the fashion world to accept true plus-size models, if any model can prove that curvier goddesses are more beautiful than faux-plus frauds, it is the stunning Miss Sheppard.
|20th December 2011||#7|
Join Date: August 2005
Re: Sophie Sheppard: Galeria Kaufhof
I'm practically addicted to these stunningly size-celebratory images of the delicious Sophie Sheppard. I've been visiting the Kaufhof site ever since this thread was first posted, and I'm delighted to say that I have discovered a new item modelled by Sophie, one which hasn't been posted before.
The most pro-curvy view is, of course, the profile image. The top is a bit loose, but that actually helps to create an attractive impression of the fullness of the model's figure.
Miss Sheppard also looks gorgeous in the front-view image. Some else that's very appealing about this top is the wide neckline, which exhibits an expanse of bare flesh.
Sophie's clavicle is attractively hidden in soft fullness, a sensual trait that is often praised on this forum. I love the princess-like hairstyle, with her heavy golden tresses draping lazily over her neck.
It's phenomenal to discover that anyone could possibly be as gorgeous and legitimately full-figured as Sophie. Her every beautiful, size-positive photo helps to change the world for the better.
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