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Old 5th April 2010   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Barbara: Bon-Ton's earthly paradise

It may be rather late to be posting images from a 2009 promotion, but Barbara Brickner's agencies only recently released the following scans from last year's autumn Bon-Ton catalogue, which we somehow missed when it was originally published.

(Fans of plus-size models, please, do let us know whenever everyone's favourite goddesses appear online or in print.)

This is an absolutely stunning campaign, a gorgeous catalogue of images worthy of a magazine editorial. The settings are beautiful, the photography excellent, and Barbara has never been more attractive.

The fashions are a matter of taste, but the images surpass any limitations of the clothing. Even the ordinary items look appealing, thanks to the superlative beauty of the model and the locations.

On the cover page, Barbara is shown against the backdrop of an elegant, Mediterranean-style mansion, one that possesses a formal garden in an Antique style. Note in particular the Classical ornamentation on the stone bench on which Barbara reposes. With its Ionic embellishments, it resembles a pedestal--and what could be more fitting than situating Mrs. Brickner, a living goddess, on a plinth, as if she were a Classical sculpture come to life? Her seated position is especially appealing, as plus-size models become particularly desirable when they are shown in states of ease and indolence, avoiding any exertion. Barbara's tresses are long and voluminous, adding greatly to her beauty. The glint in her eyes speaks of her bewitching vanity and self-satisfaction.

Several pages in the catalogue exemplify the principles that we noted in our Natural Ideal post. Verdant, natural settings are ideal locations for plus-size-model shoots, as the lush beauty of the foliage harmonizes with the goddesses' own robust, blossoming bodies. The grass and leaves glow with a "celestial light," giving this image a divine radiance, as if the setting were an idyllic paradise. The top acknowledges the model's buxom curves.

Another stunning image shows the model deeper in the teeming greenery of this Arcadian dreamscape. Barbara's sumptuous curves aid the impression that this is a land of limitless pleasure, a world of perfect beauty, of which Barbara is the feminine embodiment. Note the Classical stone bench at the left. In this secluded, private space, enclosed and protected by the abundant verdure, it could be the perfect spot for a romantic interlude, where one might enjoy a stolen kiss from this well-fed damsel, this Venus made flesh.

The romantic moment having passed, the next image returns the model to her Mediterranean manor. Observe how the image places her alongside towering Doric columns, emphasizing her identity as a goddess incarnate, a living successor to the Classical beauties of Antiquity. Consider how regal and majestic is her bearing. She stands there, allowing herself to be admired, as if she were in a Temple of Beauty devoted to the worship of her. The voluptuous volume of her tresses takes one's breath away. They flow dramatically around her visage, framing its exquisite beauty.

The final image brings the fantasy back down to earth. Yet even in this picture, in such heavy apparel, the model's curves are evident. The belt is well positioned so as not to compress the waist and hips, but to accentuate these womanly contours, just as it emphasizes the model's buxom curves. Only a true plus-size model such as Barbara could possess sufficient fullness to give such an outfit an attractive shape. The beret is a chic touch, and the setting communicates an aristocratic sense of wealth, elegance, and serenity.

Bravo to the Bon-Ton for producing such a stunning catalogue for 2009. What a pity that so many companies shoot their promotions in flat, studio-bound backdrops, when the rewards for producing campaigns in gorgeous, natural locations such as this are so obvious and so dramatic. Barbara's own beauty, like the appeal of the outfits that she exhibits, is vastly increased by the elegant settings in which the Bon-Ton situated her.

Still, the most important factor in this spectacular success of this campaign is Barbara herself. The effect of the images would have been completely negated if they had featured a faux-plus girl (let alone a waif). By utilizing a true plus-size model, the Bon-Ton created a harmonious impression of timeless beauty, a preferable alternative to the minimalist, modern world in which we live.

We should all do whatever we can to restore the Classical ideal that these images represent.

- Barbara Brickner: An Encomium

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Old 8th April 2010   #2
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Default Barbara Brickner in swimwear!

Perusing the Bon-Ton, I found something absolutely fantastic -- the first new Barbara Brickner swimwear campaign in several seasons.

She looks stunning! She always was the perfect swimwear model, and continues to be, with her ideal, Classical figure.

The full bust, the womanly hips; no waif could compare to her -- nor any faux-plus model either.

Playing with her hair, in a coquettish way:

In animal prints, she looks ferociously curvy.

Voluptuous as she is, I love the fact that she's not just buxom. You can see a round abdomen, curvy hips, full thighs. This is a woman -- a true goddess.

More teasingly demure here.

The images aren't too large, but if you click on the product pages, you can use the "zoom" feature to see them at a much bigger size.

I prefer the swimsuits to the swim dresses, but Barbara gives even these outfits an exciting shape.

What a fantastic campaign from the Bon-Ton! Between their stunning outdoor catalogue, posted above, and this exciting new swimwear shoot, they're outdoing themselves in promoting plus-size beauty.

Barbara is more gorgeous than ever. Like Kelsey Olson, Katherine Roll, Charlotte Coyle, etc., she gives the sense that this is what a plus-size model should look like. This is a sexy, desirable, self-confident, well-fed beauty, unapologetically curvy and proud to show off her figure. What fantastic images.
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Old 11th April 2010   #3
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Barbara: Bon-Ton's earthly paradise

To see Barbara Brickner modelling swimwear again is a thrilling development. It was Mrs. Brickner's swimwear editorials (along with Shannon Marie's angelic images) that defined Mode magazine at its height, and made it the subversive magazine that it was. Those editorial images brought timeless beauty to life in the present day, and proved, once and for all, that a Classically curvaceous figure was far more attractive than the androgynous form prescribed for women today.

How extraordinary it is to see that now, so many seasons later, Barbara still possesses the curves that prompted fans to dub her "the most perfectly proportioned woman in the world" (or, as Mode put it less discreetly, "the sexiest body on Earth").

By far the greatest image in this series is the following, which shows Mrs. Brickner in the most appealing of Bon-Ton's swim designs, one with an attractive pink floral motif. What distinguishes this picture from the rest in this series--fine as they all--is that Barbara has not been turned herself to the side to minimize her width, but stands proudly, boldly positioned forward (as she does in the Venus-come-to-life Mode page that appears on the cover of our site).

Click to enlarge

Observe the stunning proportions that she possesses. Yes, she is richly buxom--a must for swimwear models--but what makes the image so womanly is that her midsection is more generous in circumference than her bust; furthermore, that her thighs create yet-more-expansive outward curves. This defies the distorted look of modern swim-waifs, with their artificial busts unconvincingly affixed to skeletal ribcages and emaciated frames. Barbara's voluptuousness looks entirely natural and proportionate, thanks to the still-greater abundance of her nether-hourglass regions.

Click to enlarge

Generally, Judgment of Paris readers are not fond of animal prints, but Barbara has always been the exception to this rule. Somehow, animal patterns look intensely attractive on this model. Perhaps it has something to do with her look. She is gently beautiful rather than "edgy" (code for "ugly"), yet she also possesses a feline quality. Something about her eyes has always brought to mind the notion of a big cat: mysterious, bewitching, carnivorous; exerting themselves only to devour their latest kill, then enjoying long periods of sensual indolence.

Click to enlarge

The animal prints imply a hidden touch of wildness in her character, a raw side that few are ever privileged to see, and that is belied by her sweet disposition and graceful manner. Emily's phrase, "ferociously curvy," is highly apt, and makes one think of the model as possessing a secretly rapacious side. Why should one hesitate to think about the prospect that she could have a "ferocious" appetite, a tendency towards voracious self-indulgence, and that this, after all, is what has endowed her with her opulent curves?

Click to enlarge

Barbara chose well in adopting this side-profile pose to show off the following swimdress, for the garment's skirted design does not cling as lovingly to her sumptuous midsection as do the other swimsuits, but unfortunately flows loosely around her hips. In the absence of a display of those rounded nether-curves, how might a brilliant model maintain the sensual appeal of the outfit? As Barbara does--by turning to the side, almost in profile, thus emphasizing those curves that the item does show off--her buxom charms.

Click to enlarge

Mrs. Brickner also turns up the heat by adopting that most coquettish of gestures--playing with her tresses. (Indeed, her hair is quite long in these images, and Barbara's beauty always increases in direct proportion to the length of her tresses.) But the most seductive visual element of all is the curve of softness along the model's side, which swells over the edge of her swimsuit. Sensual details like that are not "flaws," as the androgyny-worshipping media would deceive women into believing, but the most alluring aspects of feminine beauty, testifying to the well-fed fullness of a true goddess.

Click to enlarge

Each of the Bon-Ton swimsuits has an attractive neckline, but by far the most flattering design for Barbara's well-endowed figure is the deep V cut, which offers a heady display of her voluptuous contours.

Click to enlarge

Another size-positive aspect of these images is their unretouched nature, which preserves natural features like the traces of "dimpled flesh" that are visible on the model's thighs. (We previously commended Swimsuits For All's campaign with Lindsey Garbelman for similarly displaying such characteristically feminine traits.) The more often that society is exposed to images of indisputably gorgeous models exhibiting normal, pretty qualities like dimpled flesh and swelling curves, the sooner women will reject the plastic-looking artificiality of the modern media standard, and will learn to love such features in their own figures.

Click to enlarge

The final image that we will showcase in this thread shows Barbara again adopting her direct-towards-the-camera stance, thus showing off the sensual fullness of her hips, abdomen, and thighs. How ironic that these are the features that the fashion industry resents, and attempts to hide, in its blatant curve-o-phobia, when these are the very qualities that define Classical goddesses and constitute their greatest visual appeal.

Click to enlarge

Only someone who isn't attracted to women in the first place could fail to appreciate the allure of Barbara's full-figured physique. Her tremendous presence, her self-confident bearing, everything about her bespeaks how satisfied she is with her appearance, the delight that she takes in her own well-fed body. All plus-size goddesses should feel similarly pleased with their luscious, natural beauty.

Click to enlarge

Bravo to the Bon-Ton for such an extraordinary swimwear campaign, one that further confirms the proposition that the curvier the woman, the better she looks in swimwear--moreover, that true plus-size models are far more effective at showcasing swim attire than faux-plus girls.

(You may click on the images to view them at a larger size.)

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Old 24th April 2010   #4
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Join Date: November 2008
Posts: 417
Default Re: Barbara: Bon-Ton's earthly paradise

While nothing can compare to images of Barbara modelling swimwear, I discovered a nice collection of her images in the "Tops" sections of the Bon-Ton site as well and thought I'd share. I figure that any company that shoots a Barbara swim campaign deserves every promotion it can get.

Lace trim tank:

Ruched scoop-neck tank: do

Henley tee. Very cute hairstyle here.

Applique tee:

Paisely tee. I don't care for the print, but I love the pose.

Striped tee:

Watermelon tee.

Knit tee.

Embroidered top. She manages to give even this outfit some curves.

Here too:

A simple shirt, but she does look beautiful in it.

Looking adorable.

And a whole host of other items, most of them unremarkable, but I've listed them for devoted Barbara fans.

Not appealing:
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Old 3rd May 2010   #5
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 441
Default Re: Barbara: Bon-Ton's earthly paradise

The latest flyer from the Bon-Ton features several new images of Barbara that are quite lovely, especially for an advertising circular.

It is remarkable how much beauty a flower in the hand can add to a picture. Such a simple touch, yet it immediately injects youth and femininity. Glorious, sunny smile from Barbara, and, as everyone has been saying, the longer tresses contribute much to her attractiveness.

I have always considered hair bands and hair scarves to be especially attractive accessories, especially on Barbara. Nice touch.

And here is one of those entertaining image comparisons showing an underweight waif alongside a plussize model. These always vividly demonstrate how much more gorgeous the figures of the bigger models are. Notice how Barbara emphasizes the curve of her hip to indicate her shape.

The Bon-Ton has put itself on the map like never before with its campaigns featuring Mrs. Brickner. I hope that we continue to see more of this exciting new model/client partnership.
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