|8th June 2010||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
Justine: Clin d'Oeil July 2010
Over the past year, plus-size models (or, in most cases, faux-plus models) have appeared in a variety of magazine editorials, many of which have been unremarkable, disappointing, and sometimes even ugly. This had led to the grim realization that simply having curvier models earn a place in "mainstream" fashion does not, in and of itself, guarantee the greater visibility of truly full-figured bodies (or of a more feminine, beautiful aesthetic).
To put it another way, having a size-10 model in an ugly, modern editorial with freakish makeup and no visible curves is hardly any better than having a size-2 model in such an editorial. It might even be a liability, for if the size 10s fill up the rare "plus-size" slots, then that leaves true plus-size models (16/18s) more marginalized than ever.
This predicament makes the unique examples of plus-size editorials that get it right extremely welcome. And in the case of the July issue of Clin d'Oeil, the Quebec fashion magazine got it very right, creating one of the most beautiful full-figured fashion layouts ever produced, equal to early Mode and to the very best of Figure.
Judgment of Paris readers will recall the name of this publication from the fact that its March 2010 issue featured Justine Legault on the magazine's cover, and even included a brief interview with the model. But for July, Clin d'Oeil has gone much further, giving Mlle Legault a bona fide eight-page editorial. This is far beyond anything that Glamour or Seventeen have ever done for a model size 14+.
And what an editorial! Perfect in every detail, this layout incorporates: (1) a setting that exhibits the principles of the natural ideal, (2) wardrobe and props that exude 21st-century opulence, and (3) a model who possesses rich, Classical proportions; then blends the three elements into a harmonious presentation of timeless beauty.
Let's proceed right to the centrepiece of the editorial, one of the finest images of Justine's career and a spectacular depiction of plus-size femininity. Observe how luxuriously full and opulent her midsection appears--truly that of a goddess of Antiquity. Her limbs are round, yet soft and delicate, without a trace of unattractive muscle tone. Her pose is graceful and lyrical, like a leisurely, sensual dance movement. She appears completely relaxed about displaying her shapely curves; vulnerable, yet wholly at ease with being so unguarded, for she knows that her well-fed figure makes her completely irresistible. Her attire is ultra-feminine, with a definite vintage element--true vintage, like something out of the 19th century, something that Lillian Russell might have worn. Notice the armlet just below her elbow--armlets being the most attractive of all fashion accessories. The sunlight gently illuminates her curves, and the lush greenery in the background harmonizes with her fecund beauty.
The second-finest page in this breathtaking editorial finds Justine in an excitingly abbreviated skirt, showing off her gorgeous legs. This image shows more of the forest setting, an environment that gives the layout the quality of a dream world, an Arcadian paradise of ideal beauty in every detail. Note the Rococo-curved well-upholstered chair, which introduces an element of elegance and sophistication into the image, taking it away from the rustic and toward a more aristocratic effect--entirely in keeping with Justine's own upper-class appearance. Yet the fabric of the chair, like the muted hues of Justine's top, blends harmoniously into the wooded landscape.
A closer view offers a better look at the model's shapely legs. Justine possesses what may be the finest legs of any current plus-size model, soft and full and sensually untoned. The skirt with the lacy trim, like the top that Justine wears in the first image in this thread (above), straddles the line between lingerie and outerwear, making it seductively feminine, and adding a touch of delicacy to the model's robust look. Here, her top is a tad loose, but it benefits from an eye-catching plunge at the neckline. Observe how her chic necklace complements the black skirt.
The next image shows Justine sensually reposing in the same soft, cushy chair. She sinks heavily into its plump cushions, seemingly exhausted by the mere effort of posing. The effect is overwhelmingly alluring, as it suggests the persona of an indolent, pampered princess used to a languorous lifestyle of generous self-indulgence, free of any exertion. Like a majestic queen, she passively expects tribute to be bestowed upon her, vassals to worship her stately beauty and enact her every whim. Note the seductively spoiled look on her face, a look that would seem cruel on a less prodigiously gorgeous model, but on her lovely visage appears captivatingly appetitive.
The Clin d'Oeil photographer took every advantage of this stunning natural landscape, here situating Justine in the midst of the foliage, making her seem half real, and half like a dream vision that has materialized before the eyes of a forest wanderer. Justine's attire is not rustic, but because of its natural hue it blends in well with the setting, even as its elegance creates an intriguing juxtaposition with the wild environment.
Notice that, although the garment is loose, it still offers a sensual impression of the model's full-bodied proportions. The viewer perceives her generous bust and reverse-view curves, even a sumptuous midsection. Like the other outfits in this editorial, the garment resembles refined sleepwear--intimate apparel that has been transformed into daytime attire, yet still retains its suggestiveness. (The model's bare legs amplify this effect.) The off-the-shoulder styling again introduces a sense of Justine's alluring lassitude and indolence.
In the next image, Mlle Legault adopts the most direct, arresting gaze that she exhibits in the entire layout. She seems greedy and rapacious--yet calmly so, languid even in her cravings. Her pose is elegant, graceful, and sculptural. (Justine is remarkably adept at positioning her body in a highly feminine, attractive manner.) The sunlight illuminates the leaves of the trees, creating the transcendental "emerald light" that we discussed in our "Natural Ideal" post, a magical hue that gives the images a paradisaical quality.
Looking closer, we notice the luxurious fullness of the model's midsection. Her garment doesn't sink inwards at her waist, but retains a sumptuously filled-out appearance. Her gaze is thrilling--a nakedly hungry look, an unabashed indication of her penchant for self-indulgence. This closer view also provides the best opportunity to admire the exceptional makeup artistry of these images. We seldom discuss the topic of cosmetics, but in this image the makeup adds a great deal to the overall seductive effect. The smoky eyes are intensely dramatic, yet in a way that is opulent and elegant, not costumey or "Gothic." Similarly, the dark-red lip colour is perfectly suited to the faux-aged hue and vintage design of the top--like the wine-coloured red of a wax seal on a historic parchment. The black nail colour also subtly signals a dash of wickedness on the wearer's part. The lacy detailing on the top gives it a lingerie-like quality (though it is clearly daywear), and the glimpse of decolletage is tantalizing.
Observe how effectively the model's camisole and handbag blend into the setting in this gorgeous image. Yet the effect is not that of "camouflage," but simply an impression of the articles' natural hues. The elegant black night-table again introduces an aristocratic element into the composition, as if this were actually the interior of a great castle or palace that, in a dream, became transformed into an enchanted woodland; yet not all of the castle's furnishings have vanished, as if both visions, the palace and the forest, have been superimposed upon one another, and the model inhabits both. The dappled sunlight contributes to the lyrical mood.
While these pants may be the most contemporary items that Justine wears in the pictorial, they are still very attractive, for they seductively embrace her waist and hips and define her womanly rondeur. The camisole is an intensely alluring piece thanks to its sheer fabric, which daringly discloses the model's buxom curves. Also, notice the sensual double-strap effect, whereby both the thin straps of the cami and those of the bustier beneath are visible--this being an absolutely irresistible visual.
Another profile shot features a unique composition--a contrast between the sublime and the beautiful, with the former represented by the ancient, towering tree to the left of the image, and the latter embodied by the model herself, who adopts a canted pose to parallel the woods. Notice how the dark hue of the tree plays off against the model's light-coloured raiment, situating the masculine and the feminine in a complementary pairing.
Justine's top in this image is one of the loveliest items in the editorial--a delicate, lacy affair composed of a negligé-like material that is sheer, almost ethereal, like the fabric of a 19th-century wedding gown. The pattern also has a touch of the folkloric, with its elaborate embroidery. It gives Justine an irresistibly fragile look--that of a soft, needy, vulnerable creature whom one longs to protect and take care of and provide for. Yet even in this finespun top one perceives the model's buxom curves, testifying to her self-indulgent nature. It is the blend of the two qualities--delicately vulnerable, yet robustly appetitive--that makes Justine's images so captivating, especially in this photoshoot.
We end at the beginning--with the lead-in page of the editorial, which gives it the title "Fiction Pulpeuse" ("pulp fiction"), a phrase that seems inapt for this artistic story. However, notice the caption in the bottom-right corner: "Erotico-pudique" ("discreetly erotic"). We have never before dared to use the word "erotic" on this forum, but if Clin d'Oeil itself advances the term, then who are we to argue? These images surely are erotic, from the delicate, lacy wardrobe that so closely resembles intimate apparel, to the soft fullness of Justine's figure, to her alluring makeup, to the hot, steamy environment. Notice how the setting is rendered in this particular image: as an impressionistic haze of leafy fronds and warm woods, almost as much a jungle as a forest. The background seems to represent an externalization of the goddess's own sensual tendencies, the smouldering passions that she barely keeps in check. The sunglasses in this image (which add the "discreet" element in "discreetly erotic") make her appear refined--a contemporary woman. Yet her lacy, sleepwear-inspired apparel is much softer than any career or casual attire. Though she inhabits the modern world, her femininity is overpowering, and in this luxuriant dreamscape her natural passions are given free reign.
Perhaps that, then, is the narrative behind this fashion story--a symbolic tale of a contemporary woman who frees herself from modern trappings and releases the essential femininity within her, acknowledging her taste for wealth, for food, for love; whereby even her clothing is transformed into the most delicate raiment. It is an escape from modernity in every respect, and a restoration of timeless principles of beauty.
|14th June 2010||#2|
Join Date: July 2005
Re: Justine: Clin d'Oeil July 2010
This editorial seems to be tailor made for this site. Gorgeous! This is a holistic presentation of timeless beauty in every detail. Justine truly has supermodel glamour, yet she is also softly curvaceous. She is by far one of the most gorgeous models in the industry.
The clothing is perfect for a fuller female figure. No waif could do justice to these attractive fashions. They look almost like museum pieces, yet also contemporary and wearable. The outfits are so truly romantic -- and Justine's loveliness heightens their romanticism.
This editorial is the very essence of femininity, and Justine herself -- elegantly sensual, softly rounded, aristocratically secure in her delicacy, yet also well-fed and robust -- is what a feminine woman should look like.
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