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Old 14th January 2010   #1
HSG
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Default V Magazine: Indulge


As everyone is aware, today is the day that V Magazine's "Size Issue" hits the stands. For those of you who don't particularly care to wander from bookseller to bookseller looking for the print edition, the entire magazine is online for the ridiculously low price of $2.00.

Yes, they are practically giving it away--which isn't really that extraordinary, since magazines make the larger part of their profits from advertising, not issue sales.

At any rate, purchasing the issue is well worth the meagre $2.00 outlay, if only to commend V for publishing the magnificent "Curves Ahead" editorial--of which Candice's image is the acknowledged masterpiece. What a thrill it is to see this image in print.

Click to enlarge

- Click here to purchase "Size Issue" online

As far as a review goes, the magazine needs little comment from us. Most of the editorials have already appeared online, attracting endless discussion, much of it not particularly enlightened. For our part, we simply acknowledge V for what it is--a modern fashion magazine with modern tastes and, overall, a modern aesthetic. *Sigh.* It is tailor-made for those who appreciate that aesthetic.

But nothing changes the fact that right there, in the middle of the issue, in the "pole position" as the very first editorial, is the acclaimed "Curves Ahead" layout. By now, everyone realizes that this is the editorial that matters, the one in which V indisputably got it right. No freakish makeup, no vulgar themes, just timeless beauty in casual contemporary clothing, with the models' soft curves liberally on display.

When other magazine turn to this issue for guidance on how to do their own plus-size editorials, one hopes that it will be Solve Sundsbo's images from "Curves Ahead" that they reference.

Having said that, several other items in the issue merit praise, and help mollify the reader as he skips over pages upon pages of grotesque modern fashions and countless advertisements featuring anorexic models.

For one thing, the "Size Issue" has no diet ads. None. Glamour cannot make such a boast. Between this fact, and the indisputable beauty of "Curves Ahead," there is simply no competition as to which magazine is the more size-positive. This issue of V leaves every Glamour of the past half-year, along with each of Vogue's "Shape Issues," completely in the dust.

Mind you, one could argue that every V ad with a straight-size model is a de facto diet ad. But there is no getting around that problem. Even Mode featured perfume and shampoo ads with underweight girls. The important thing is that this issue contains no explicit exhortations for body diminishment. Kudos for that.

Better still, V features positives in place of negatives. Have a look at these lovely two pages from the issue:

Let's ignore the fact that this is footwear, and regard these pages as V's commendable attempt to link fashion with decadent indulgence. Could there be a more positive, more daring, more exciting notion? V is completely changing the fashion paradigm. Instead of revisiting well-plowed themes linking fashion with narcotics, debauchery, and starvation, V is boldly associating fashion with appetite, with a distinctly and traditionally feminine surrender to sweet cravings.

There could be no better theme to introduce in the "size issue." Indeed, one hopes that more than a few readers view these images with pleasure, then see the pictures in the "Curves Ahead" story and realize that indulging freely in such desserts will help them acquire the luscious womanly figures exhibited by the editorial's gorgeous models.

But the issue's merits don't end there. Louis XIV may be a controversial king, admired for his absolutism yet despised for burning every German castle along the Rhine, but the issue has a piece about his own decadent love of food that, one hopes, will similarly whet the appetites of the issue's female readers.

The magazine also contains a tastefully erotic excerpt called "Noctural Love Feast" from an early 20th-century cookbook--another fine pro-indulgence element for the "Size Issue."

Furthermore, one of the fashion articles examines the career of Mark Fast, who famously sent several slightly curvy models down the catwalk for London Fashion Week in form-fitting knits. Bravo to the V team for giving the fullest of the models who appeared in that show--the only one even close to looking plus-size--the largest illustration in the article.

* * *

All in all, the weaknesses of the "Size Issue" are no more than what one might have expected, including its relentlessly modern aesthetic and its extensive use of minus-size models. But the issue has many strengths that we did not anticipate. For avoiding any diet-starvation and exercise-torture ads, for including unexpectedly daring pro-indulgence articles, and especially for publishing a brilliant layout that gives the high-fashion seal of approval to the depiction of visibly plump curves on models, V deserves considerable praise.

Here we offer one more of the "Curves Ahead" images that have been seen worldwide--a double featuring the issue's two most attractive models, Candice Huffine and Tara Lynn:

Click to enlarge

Note the lovely curve along Candice's back, and see how the Baroque painter Cesar van Everdingen depicted the same characteristic in his Vertumnus and Pomona of 1640, below. By adopting the size-celebratory aesthetic of pre-modern Western art, the photographer introduced an element of timeless beauty that is in no way undermined by the contemporary denim attire. Let us hope that other magazines will follow suit.

Click to enlarge

- Click here to purchase "Size Issue" online

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Old 15th January 2010   #2
Emily
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Default Re: V Magazine: Indulge

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSG
we simply acknowledge V for what it is--a modern fashion magazine with modern tastes and, overall, a modern aesthetic. It is tailor-made for those who appreciate that aesthetic.

I bought my copy. Much as I appreciate V for featuring plus-size models, and for creating one beautiful editorial, the above is why I really can't get too excited about this issue. I wish I could. I definitely hope that Sundsbo's pictures will popularize the use of youthful, beautiful plus-size models photographed to show off their curves. I respect the magazine for producing this issue. I applaud them for avoiding any diet advertising. I welcome the articles noted in the above review. But I can't abide the rest of the content. It is just not to my taste. At all.

The magazine advertises itself this way:

Quote:
V is a magazine about fashion with a capital F and all the things that go with it: art, music, film, architecture...you name it

Well, you know, that could be the recipe for a great magazine...if it adhered to the aesthetic of timeless beauty rather than modernity.

Instead of bizarre, urban, punk fashion, if it focussed on gorgeous feminine style.

Instead of ugly modern art, if it spotlighted Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, etc. art -- the great paintings and sculptures of Western history.

Instead of modern noise, if it focussed on classical music.

Instead of weird "avant-garde" film, if it focussed on historic cinema, period films, and even popular contemporary movies.

Instead of grotesque modern architecture, if it celebrated buildings of great beauty, and advocated for the return of timeless principles of design.

In short, the magazine's topics are all great -- better than those of Glamour or other "women's magazines" -- but the aesthetic is all wrong. It's the precise opposite of what I want to see, hear, and read about.

If you took the above recipe and followed it in the creation of a magazine with an Old World aesthetic, one that would feature plus-size models showcasing full-figured fashion, "and all the things that go with it: [historic] art, [orchestral] music, [popular] film, [classical] architecture," then you'd have a perfect magazine, and one that I would look forward to reading every month. Plus, then the aesthetic of the rest of the magazine would harmonize with the timeless beauty of the curvaceous models.
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Old 19th January 2010   #3
M. Lopez
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Default Re: V Magazine: Indulge

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSG
Note the lovely curve along Candice's back, and see how the Baroque painter Cesar van Everdingen depicted the same characteristic in his Vertumnus and Pomona of 1640, below. By adopting the size-celebratory aesthetic of pre-modern Western art, the photographer introduced an element of timeless beauty

Perhaps the best legacy of this V editorial is that it gives plus-size retailers the courage to start photographing models in more size-positive, curve-adoring ways.

Here's Tara in the new Torrid Valentine's lookbook. I love the fact that the photographer shot the model's bare back and left in her lovely curves.



It will be very empowering for young girls to see images like this, and become comfortable with their own soft, plus features.

I miss Kelsey, though. She is my favorite Torrid model, and her Valentine's promotions are always gorgeous.

http://www.torrid.com/torrid/store/...D=1263920440741
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Old 20th January 2010   #4
Chad
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Default Re: V Magazine: Indulge

Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Lopez
Here's Tara in the new Torrid Valentine's lookbook. I love the fact that the photographer shot the model's bare back and left in her lovely curves.

I miss Kelsey, though. She is my favorite Torrid model

That's so interesting that you should say so, because when I saw that image of Tara, the first thing I thought of was not V Magazine, but actually one of my all-time favourite Kelsey pictures - this outtake from her shoot for the 2009 Flawless calendar:



Notice how there's even a belt-like item around both models' hips, and the way their tresses tumble down their backs. Kelsey is smiling, Tara isn't, but I do think Kelsey's picture was the inspiration for this Valentine's shoot.

I hope Torrid features her again. She's so gorgeous.

http://www.judgmentofparis.com/boar...read.php?t=1480
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