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Old 27th May 2010   #1
HSG
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Default Rosie Mercado: Face of FFFWeek


It remains to be seen what the quality of the models at this year's Full-Figured Fashion Week will be like. Will any Judgment of Paris favourites make an appearance? Ones hopes so, but only time will tell.

At the very least, however, in setting its minimum size requirement at a 14, the event is worlds ahead of the usual plus-size fashion shows with their meagre size 10s and 12s. And we do know that FFFWeek will be pushing the industry's faux-plus boundaries in a very particular way--via the official "face" of the show, one Rosie Mercado.

Rosie, we are delighted to say, is a size 20 on top and a size 26/28 on the bottom. She has attractive facial features and an opulent, luscious physique. This distinguishes her from the various size20+ B-list celebrities (from horrible punk singers to "performance artists") who have appeared in fashion magazines, ad campaigns or runway shows. As the images in this thread will demonstrate, Ms. Mercado is absolutely gorgeous, and her proportions are delectably curvaceous.

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Over the course of her young career, Rosie has built up an impressive portfolio of test images, of which it is our privilege to share a generous selection in this post. The following picture shows her adopting an alluring, direct gaze. The colours are striking, with the fuchsia head scarf playing off against the blue of the swimming pool. The wardrobe styling is gorgeous, showing off the model's limbs and shoulders. Notice how seductively soft and untoned her arms appear.

This indoor headshot, featuring the model in the same outfit, is a marvel of sensuality. The image highlights the broad expanse of her neck-and-shoulder area, which appears breathtakingly soft and full. The detail of the delicate strap slipping off her shoulder is a wickedly alluring touch.

Of the various hairstyles that Rosie sports in her tests, this is our favourite by far, a voluptuous, feminine do that accentuates the rich beauty of her features rather than downplaying her facial softness, as the straighter styles tend to do.

This particular test series is also praiseworthy in how it showcases the gentle beauty of her face. In other tests, her facial features lack some of the opulence that they exhibit here. In these images, her face displays an almost childlike plumpness.

An outdoor shoot from the same photographer finds Rosie in a stunning natural landscape, a dramatic vista of sky and earth, with mountains rising in the background. This photograph teases the viewer with a suggestion of the model's well-fed figure, but doesn't offer a clear view, owing to the distorting effect of the lens. Nevertheless, one perceives the model's full bust and lavishly generous waist. Her skyward glance is most effective, suiting the drama of the setting.

A close-up highlights the witchiness of her hairstyle, a wild yet feminine look. It also captures the model with an adorably petulant facial expression.

A tighter shot shows the model with an even poutier look. She creates an exciting persona in these images, that of a spoiled beauty used to getting whatever she wants, and displeased at even the slightest check on her desires. How thrilling to imagine her as a vain, greedy young woman whose self-indulgent tendencies have endowed her with her sumptuous figure.

A moment later, though, she revisits a more pleasant demeanour. This too is an especially lovely headshot, perhaps the only image that captures Rosie with a gorgeous curve under her chin.

The last image in this series is another figure "tease." By brightening it, one can almost perceive the soft swell of her waist. But despite the lack of a clear figure view, it is nevertheless a striking photo, distinguished by the vista of the sky and landscape, by the model's bewitching hairstyle, and by her playfully smug look.

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* * *

Many fans have remarked on the quality of the cosmetics artistry in Rosie's images, and with good reason. Ms. Mercado is, in fact, a professional makeup artist, and it shows in her work. The downside of this being Rosie's profession is that, alas, the majority of her images are headshots. While her facial features are certainly beautiful, one would dearly love to see more views of her sumptuous size-26/28 physique.

Nevertheless, her headshots are consistently remarkable. Among our favourites are the following pair, showing Rosie in a lush, tropical environment. There is something almost overwhelmingly sensual about these images, an effect that only a model as impossibly lush as Ms. Mercado could achieve. Even though her figure is not seen, one senses the decadent fullness of her body, her lavishly indulged physique. Her neck-and-shoulder area appears alluringly soft and pillow-like. Her glance is enticing but gentle.

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These images suggest a world of tropical delights, of unrestrained pleasures of every kind, inhabited by a goddess who thrives on constant food and constant love. The effect is almost hypnotic. It is the same atmosphere that Sports Illustrated swimsuit images attempt to create, but with minimal success, because they lack a model who is so abundantly well fed.

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* * *

By now, fans will be dying to see more figure shots of this gorgeous model, and the following image is perhaps the most sensual that Rosie has ever created. The dress lingers over every sumptuous curve of her body, defining its opulent shape. The model's pose adds to the effect. The way in which she leans heavily against the wall creates an alluring sensation of weight. The picture showcases the generous contour of her hip and the roundness of her midsection in a sculptural manner, demonstrating the rich beauty of her swelling curves.

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The languishing look in the above image is far more effective than the smile in the following picture--a photo that is otherwise quite lovely, showing the model in the same figure-baring dress. This pose effectively highlights her buxom contours. Note an especially sensual detail--the crease of soft fullness displayed by the model's left arm at the shoulder area.

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* * *

The next set of photos, a headshot series, may be Rosie's all-time best. The model possesses a keen theatrical sense, an ability to create dramatic personae, and nowhere is that ability more evident than in the following photo, in which she becomes the most gorgeous of all Indian princesses. Observe the dramatic makeup, lavish jewellery, voluptuous hair, and rich wardrobe. She is positively soaked in opulence--a vain, greedy princess who adorns herself in the costliest jewels to further augment her innate magnificence. Her expression is thrilling--the nakedly hungry look of a woman whose appetites (for wealth, for food, for pleasure) are insatiable. No one could resist her; no one could deny her anything. Ms. Mercado's lavish proportions give her a tremendous aesthetic advantage, for no faux-plus model could ever create so regal a persona.

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In another image from this series, Rosie's Indian princess adopts a gentler, subtler facial expression, yet charges the photograph with sensuality by daringly disclosing an expanse of her bare flesh. She is like a metaphysical antithesis of the Virgin Mary, a carnal seductress from a culture that is physical rather than spiritual, earthy rather than heavenly, given to self-indulgence rather than self-abnegation, to sin rather than salvation.

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Here, intriguingly, she tones down the carnality even further. This is a yet-gentler shot, one in which the model adopts a rare vulnerable expression. The image is still seductive, but in the subtlest of ways. Even the jewellery is not as ornate. Consider the narrative progression of this series, which is as accomplished as a top-quality magazine editorial--one which tells a discernible story.

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The last image in this series is truly mysterious. Here the model is seen behind a veil, like Ayesha in H. Rider Haggard's She. Her heavily-lidded gaze and parted lips are still alluring--she still possesses the same rapacious, greedy nature that was apparent in the first of these Indian-themed photos--but now she keeps those dark passions in check. The carnal seductress of the first image has absorbed a touch of spirituality, and reformed her wicked ways, perhaps taking the vows (or at least taking a husband), like Kundry being saved by Parsifal. Still, even behind the veil, one senses the banked-down fire that smoulders within those ice-on-fire eyes.

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* * *

One cannot bear to go too long in a discussion of Ms. Mercado without returning to photos that acknowledge her lush figure. Though the model's dress in the following image is black, this picture nevertheless comes closer than any other to exhibiting the sumptuous fullness of her midsection. The swell of her waist and the curves of her hips are visible beneath the fabric. The setting of the image is highly effective, with the sculptural pieces--the vase and the column--giving it a Classical quality, confirming Rosie as a goddess on earth, an Aphrodite who has surrendered to her penchant for self-indulgence, but who knows that her beauty is more glamorous than ever with her richer figure. The model's hairstyle is straight, but still dramatic and alluring, and her expression highly effective.

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The dress in the following image is an acquired taste, with some fans not being overly fond of the material that forms its lower half, but this is nevertheless a striking picture of Rosie, one that communicates a sense of power, from her commanding expression to her dramatic doorway entry. Imperfect though the dress may be, it still emphasizes the roundness of her midsection in a highly alluring manner.

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The next photograph gives a fine sense of the overall proportions of the model's figure, indicating how substantive her physique truly is. The image inspires a mixture of desire and awe. The bow on the dress is a nice touch (although one wishes that the gown were in a colour other than black). Her bold, confident expression is thrilling. She seems to be daring the viewer to deny her imposing, statuesque beauty. One sense that Rosie loves every inch of her magnificent figure.

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* * *

The next trio of pictures begins with an image that is yet another contender for the title of Rosie's all-time best. This photograph was undoubtedly created as part of the same test the produced the two "tropical" images seen above. However, whereas those photos were emerald-themed, this one is an explosion of pinks and fuchsias. Any professional model would be lucky to create a headshot this stunning even once in her career. The vibrant, blooming flowers harmonize with the model's own blossoming beauty. The wind catches her tresses, causing them to billow in a dramatic manner.

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The next image is similar in every way but one--the expression. Once again, a serious look from Ms. Mercado (seen in the previous photograph) yields more dramatic results than a smiling demeanour (seen here). Nevertheless, this too is a gorgeous photo, conjuring visions of a tropical land of fun and play, a world of year-round vacation and pleasure inhabited by an enchanting island princess.

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The concept behind the following photograph, showing the model immersed in a still pond, surrounded by colourful water lillies, was truly insipired, but the execution could have been a tad better. If the model had raised herself somewhat higher out of the water, her soft neck and shoulders would have been visible, which would have rendered the image intoxicatingly sensual. Even as it is, though, it is a lovely, idyllic, dreamlike photo.

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* * *

The news that Rosie would be photographed full-length in a white dress would undoubtedly come as a godsend to her fans, who would be looking forward a visual acknowledgment of her ample figure. Alas, such expectations would fail to allow for a photographic "cheat"--the dreaded overexposure effect, which camouflages a model's curves.

Nevertheless, the following image is highly alluring, and does intimate the rich proportions of the Rosie's physique. The wrap style is a perfect dress choice for such a shapely goddess, especially since it bares her neck-and-shoulder area and round arms. The model's expression is captivating--a teasing, come-hither glance.

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Another full-length shows the model appearing boldly assertive. What a pity that the lighting has blended her into the white background. Very fine styling, though, with the bracelets and necklace.

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A closer shot with less aggressive illumination offers a better view of the fabric of her dress, which has a flattering design at the bust. Rosie's abundant curves make her a terrific mannequin for showing off the beauty of any garment.

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Though still overexposed, this image does intimate the rounded swell of her waist--an intensely sensual detail--and showcase the fullness of her arms. No faux-plus model could make this goddess-style dress look half as beautiful as Rosie does, with her robust physique.

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* * *

Offering so many fine images in a single thread may, unfortunately, yield sensory overload. Were FFFWeek further away, we would devote individual posts to each of Rosie's photo sessions. But as it stands, we wish to give Ms. Mercado the most effective introduction possible, and that means showcasing all of her best work at once.

If the "Indian Princess" series showed how effective Ms. Mercado is at creating images of exotic splendour and historical beauty, then the next set illustrates the exact opposite. This "neon" series is very futuristic, yet its style is appealing because it remains guided by principles of beauty, not ugliness. Indeed, this first photo is hauntingly memorable. The fuchsia lip colour plays off against the model's crystalline eyes. The props, a clever touch, resemble coloured icicles, like shards of Superman's fortress of solitude. Note too the subtle glimpse of her decolletage.

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A tight close-up focusses the viewer's attention on her rich, fuchsia lips, which look irresistibly luscious and kissable. Rosie's cosmetics wizardry should never overshadow her remarkable modelling talent. Her gaze in this photograph is mesmerizing--engaging, but not aggressive.

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A profile shot offers a fascinating study in colour, with what appears to be a translucent blue/green model of a DNA helix playing off against the red light that illuminates Rosie's tresses. Her hairstyle is wild and dramatic, but still feminine and attractive. The eye liner gives her a hint of the exotic.

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Does the following rather striking image seem oddly familiar? It should. Eagle-eyed readers will observe that it is the very same photo that FFFWeek is using in its "Face of Full-Figured Fashion Week" advertisements. This, literally, is the "face" of the event--and what a captivating face it is. The show's organizers chose very well when they selected this as their emblem. Rosie appears to be offering her lips for a kiss, yet holding herself back as well, as if teasing the viewer by showing him the delicious rewards that he will forever be denied, and can only dream about. The model's languishing gaze heightens the tantalizing effect.

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A final image in this series offers another lovely profile view.

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* * *

Alas, we have run out of professional figure photos with which to intersperse the model's headshots, so let us turn to a pair of tests that are distinguished by their effective lighting. In this image, Ms. Mercado displays her remarkable gift for adopting sensual poses and expressions. The hair flowing over one eye adds to the seductiveness of the look. Rosie could not possibly create such provocative images without a vain awareness of her own beauty, an appealing tendency towards self-adoration. These qualities are essential in all full-figured goddesses, but especially in ones as replete and opulently proportioned as she.

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The next image has a comparably dramatic use of lighting, a film-noir effect showing early morning sunlight (or even moonlight) streaming in through half-opened blinds, illuminating the model's face. Ms. Mercado adopts the ideal expression to go with this gentle lighting, a soft, vulnerable gaze.

Click to enlarge

* * *

Of Rosie's many cosmetics-oriented headshots, this one strikes us as being paritcularly lovely, owing to its dramatic use of blue. The model's soft demeanour complements the pacific eyeshadow and necklace hue. In keeping with the tone of the colouring, her expression tends towards innocence rather than seductiveness--although that innocence is in itself extremely enticing.

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Anyone who has browsed the FFFWeek site may have come across the following photograph, sans text. However, we prefer it in this cover version, where the skin tone is rendered in a more natural shade. The peacock-feather accessories are a symbolic touch, as the peacock is the emblem of vanity--a quality that Rosie (deservedly) possesses.

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* * *

We end off on two behind-the-scenes candids from the "peacock" photoshoot that are as gorgeous as any of Rosie's more polished images, because they offer enticing hints of her figure. This photo indicates the luxurious fullness of her midsection, as well as her buxom curves and the soft shapeliness of her arms. Note too that the models' face appears fuller (and therefore even more attractive) than in the processed headshot, above.

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Speaking of processing, observe that these candids are free of the overactive Photoshopping that besets some of the model's images. Rosie's complexion is so innately flawless that she would have looked every bit as stunning, yet more natural, with less digital smoothing. But what truly distinguishes this picture is the round fullness of her gorgeous, plump arm, as well as her buxom contours. She is at once both elegant and opulent, refined and well-fed, classy and lavishly indulged.

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* * *

Over the course of her young career, Rosie Mercado has accumulated an impressive body of test images, many of which are so accomplished that they would be the envy of the industry's leading models. That she possesses more headshots than figure shots may be a consequence of the fact that she is a professional makeup artist. However, those images that do show Rosie's proportions demonstrate that her size-26/28 figure is absolutely gorgeous. She is shapely and curvaceous, with a sensually soft, feminine physique. Her well-fed body is far more effective as an emblem of size celebration than that of any faux-plus model.

Bravo to Ms. Mercado for becoming the face (and figure) of Full-Figured Fashion Week. She is a marvellous choice to represent this event. Hopefully, her visibility will push the industry in the direction that it needs to go--the direction that the public wants it to go--and that is, to embrace fuller-figured, more beautiful plus-size models.

- Rosie's Web site, ''Miss Bellissima''

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Old 27th May 2010   #2
MelanieW
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Default Re: Rosie Mercado: Face of FFFWeek

Rosie has an amazing portfolio. These images vividly prove that fuller-figured models can be just as good at creating fashionable photos as their thinner rivals.

My very favourites are probably this one, because it shows her gorgeous figure:



This one for its idyllic mood:



And this one for the exoticism and opulence:



Lets not forget a very important fact - the "Face of Full-Figured Fashion Week" was determined not by a committee, nor by agents or bookers (thank God), but by a popular vote. The majority of the public chose a size-26/28 model, electing her over her thinner rivals, because they found her to be more appealing than any of those skinnier candidates.

That should tell the industry something - something that it should already know, based on the anger that the public expresses about the use of faux-plus models. People are dying to see true plus-size models, and would much rather see someone of Rosies size (and beauty) than size 8s or 10s.
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Old 3rd June 2010   #3
Courtney
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Default Re: Rosie Mercado: Face of FFFWeek

She is absolutely exquisite! A perfect choice to represent full-figured women at FFFashion Week. I'm thrilled and proud!
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Old 4th June 2010   #4
Suzanne R
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Default Re: Rosie Mercado: Face of FFFWeek

An absolutely perfect face (and figure)! Wow!!
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