Karen Vermeiren's biannual campaigns for the Zizzi denim line ZJ invariably cause a sensation because they show the gorgeous size-46 model (in European sizes) looking her voluptuous best.
And the latest campaign is no exception.
If anything, the new promotion is an advance over past ZJ shoots. This time Ms. Vermeiren is not shot in incongruously industrial locations, but simply against a backdrop of coloured lights, as if the session had taken place in a dance club.
Also, the new Zizzi fashions look somewhat prettier and more feminine than the company's past offerings. There is still only so much that one can achieve in the way of girlishness when it comes to denim, but within those parameters, ZJ does what it can.
Note, for example, in this profile shot, not only how buxom Karen looks, but also how unapologetically curvy her waist appears. Both
figure features are attributes of feminine seductiveness. The visible fullness of Karen's body is what makes her attractive, and Zizzi deserves praise for celebrating her rondeur.
Another image, this one in a sitting position, is even more alluring. Here the generous expanse of the model's waist is prominently displayed, yet it is exhibited with pride, with a consciousness of its attractiveness. Her arm looks shapely as well.
But the real draw of the image derives from how it showcases the fullness of Karen's facial features. She looks very well fed in this picture, her features displaying the intoxicating opulence of self-indulgence. There is a particularly rich, robust look that goddesses acquire in their face as their maintain or augment their weight, and Karen's face possesses that sensually decadent, well-nourished look. Her neck has a sinfully fleshy appearance as well, without a trace of a visible clavicle. Notice also Karen's expression. It is a look of comfort, of supreme self-satisfaction. She is clearly very much at ease with her appetitive nature, and enjoys her lavish lifestyle.
A more playful image shows Karen decked out head-to-toe in denim. Unlike the model's previous poses, this one is not designed to exhibit curves, but to allow the figure to fall in on itself, somewhat minimizing its fullness. One does, however, perceive a generous waist and womanly hips. Note too how the fabric stretches taut against her figure, as if it can barely encompass her curves. The pose is not ideal, but the picture is nevertheless size positive.
Although the length of this dress is somewhat excessive, Zizzi deserves credit for its sleeveless, open-necked style. Such design elements are still quite progressive in Europe, which lacks a Torrid experience, and has not yet embraced the romantic aspects of the "new femininity" in fashion.
The image is extraordinarily passionate. Karen's arms look soft and shapely, her hair floats around her head like that of a Victoria's Secret
nymph, and her expression is pulse-poundingly appetitive.
In fact, Karen has never revealed her rapacious nature as nakedly as she does here. She seems to be a goddess of insatiable desires--for food, for love, for all that life has to offer. The sumptuous fullness of her neck, shoulders, and facial features testifies that she has indulged herself greatly, yet still craves more. Her eyes smoulder through the camera lens. Her vanity is evident--she knows that all she needs to do is to reveal her desires, and she will have all her cravings fulfilled, thanks to her lavish beauty. Only a true plus-size model could create such a steamy headshot. A faux-plus or straight-size model could never generate even a tenth of this frisson,
not even if she were wholly disrobed.
To turn down the temperature a little (for higher it could not go), here is Karen in a softer, gentler pose, and more modest attire. Yet even in this picture the model's seductiveness cannot be concealed. The generous shape of her reverse-view curves, and her coy, not-so-innocent smile betray her.
Although it doesn't bind closely, the dress intimates the model's alluringly full waist. Karen cannot help but present herself as a sensual being.
Returning to an image with a more overtly seductive expression (because no one can resist Ms. Vermeiren when she adopts this vixenish mien), here she is gazing to the size, again in the club environment.
Her look is utterly fascinating, and shows Karen at her imperious best. Her open-mouthed expression is passionate, but the mix of emotions is riveting. Her appetitive nature is evident, as it always is in her best pictures, but she also seems...perturbed. It is as if a suitor whom she has decided to favour has suddenly turned his attentions to a different, less deserving, possibly less curvaceous nymph.
But the model's vanity will not permit this. She, and she alone, must be the centre of attention at all times. She cannot countenance any rival, or even the possibility of a delay in getting what she wants. There is a strain of wickedness mixed with greed in this picture, and the combination makes her more alluring than ever.
Once again, after such a hot-blooded image, one needs to turn to a more playful picture to steady the heart. Here Karen looks winsome in an attractive purple top. The colour looks terrific on her, and she appears relaxed and carefree.
Indeed, for a promotion based on a dance-club theme, this is the only image in which Karen actually appears to be dancing. Her buxom charms are evident.
The best images in this campaign explore aspects of the model's vanity, and next we turn to the third of the shoot's most intoxicatingly intense images. Observe how the romantic hairstyle has been arranged to be as seductive as possible, flowing over her bare shoulders, just as the fitted, sleeveless top has been chosen to show off the model's voluptuous figure. To follow the narrative of the previous intense image, this time Karen flauts her beauty more openly, expecting (and needing) to vanquish any rivals in the beauty department.
One senses here the heaviness of the model's body, the graceful indolence of her movements. But what is especially notable is Karen's expression. She is clearly looking to see the effect that her beauty is having upon her audience, and is obviously pleased with the results. "Look at me," she seems to say, "Look at my face, my arms, my figure, and worship me." She seems to crave the attention, hunger for the flattery, to need it as much as she needs food and love.
It is one of the most irresistible traits of truly beautiful women--their desire for constant adoration, and how they seem to feed off the worship of their beauty. The look of satisfaction and pleasure in Karen's expression makes her doubly attractive.
Once more, we vary an alluring, serious image with a fun picture--this time showing Karen in a sportier outfit standing beside what appears to be a colossal medicine ball. The sphere is an effective visual prop, as it visually reinforces the rondeur
of the model's figure.
A closer view offers a prominent display of Ms. Vermeiren's voluptuous charms. Her expression is quite effective--fun, but still self-possessed, and with a slightly superior, aristocratic element that belies her casual attire.
Most of the images in this shoot achieve exciting results by illustrating the model's sinful, wicked nature, but Karen achieves equal frisson
in the following picture, in which her top, her hairstyle, and her stance make her seem almost girlish.
Here, Karen resembles a young girl dressed in a nightshirt, her long hair having been brushed out for the evening. However, the model's face betrays considerable amusement. She is self-consciously playing a part; adopting an innocent guise purely for the effect that she knows this will have upon her admirer. Both goddess and suitor know that she is far from the innocent girl whom she portrays--but oh, pretending is fun . . .
A last bit of silliness appears in this behind-the-scenes photo of the Zizzi stylists arranging Karen's wardrobe for the erotic dress image discussed above.
The facial expression is a too affected, but note the beauty of the model's fingers in this picture. They look soft and plump and full, as do her limbs. The traditional custom of gentlemen kissing ladies' hands undoubtedly arose from the desire on the part of men to be able to admire the luscious digits of well-fed beauties like Karen.
The following image is cropped from a larger photograph showing one of the Zizzi's least successful fashions; therefore we will restrict it to a headshot--showing the model's lovely cheekbones--and allow viewers to see the full image for themselves at the link provided below.
And finally, here is one more quasi-dance image.
The expression is not successful, but notice the sumptuous curve of the model's waist, which is visible through the delicate fabric of the top.* * *
All in all, this is a standout campaign for Zizzi, and another triumph for Karen Vermeiren. With her size-46 (Eu) figure, she remains a rare example of a true plus-size model in faux-plus-dominated Europe, and more importantly, one of the most gorgeous models in the industry.
In this shoot, she created a persona that enabled her to explore some of the dark passions that are archetypally associated with full-figured goddesses, and those exciting emotions (vanity, greed, appetitiveness) raised the calibre of her work to a higher level.
We look forward to her future shoots.
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