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Old 30th August 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Melissa King in sunlight

As an all-too-rare example of a genuinely full-figured model (size 16 according to Wilhelmina, size 18 per the model herself), Melissa King has consistently garnered praise on this forum for her many campaigns, most notably for Penningtons.

Unfortunately, once their careers take hold and they begin to shoot commercial work on a regular basis, many plus-size models test with decreasing frequency. This is extremely regrettable, as even the most attractive commercial campaign are seldom as artistic or size-positive as accomplished tests.

Mrs. King, for example, hasn't appeared in a substantial new test series for quite a while. Thus, we were delighted when, late last week, Wilhelmina New York finally published the results of a new photo session with this curvaceous model.

Of the six the images in the test that warrant notice, the finest is the following enchanting masterpiece. The model's long, golden tresses flow freely over her bare shoulders. She wears a pretty, girlish top that has a vintage femininity about it, rather like dream-clothing (for the image as a whole resembles a tableau from a waking dream). Though the picture does not showcase the model's ample figure, the close fit of the ruched fabric hints at the generous roundness of her waist. Her expression is gentle, even delicate. The light is dazzling, bathing the model's hair in a golden radiance and creating a natural halo. The lush greenery in the background harmonizes with the model's own fecundity, together constituting an ideal celebration of natural beauty. Only the fact that this is a photograph, not a painting, identifies this as a contemporary image. In every other respect, it could depict a lovely damsel from another time, perhaps a harvest maiden from a rustic village or a plump princess reigning in a storybook castle.

Click to enlarge

Perhaps a few more images celebrating the model's size-16/18 physique might have enriched this test series even further. But given that Melissa's Penningtons campaigns consistently showcase her luscious curves, the opulence of the model's proportions is well established. The following photograph comes closest to acknowledging her sumptuous contours. The close fit of the attractive top defines her buxom voluptuousness, while the model's contrapposto stance accentuates her generous hips.

Click to enlarge

In other discussions on this forum, we have noted that models with round, doll-like faces can successfully employ any facial expressions, even mean/angry looks, because the innate girlishness of their visages always softens the effect. However, models with faces that are not as fleshy and rounded benefit from adopting soft and gentle demeanours rather than glowering expressions, to avoid looknig harsh. Melissa, not being a round-faced model, falls into the latter category, and one of the factors that makes this test series so accomplished is that in her finest close-ups, she employs gentle, vulnerable, delicate expressions. These softer looks greatly enhance her beauty--the following photograph being a case in point. The model's countenance appears open and tranquil, her gaze comfortingly docile and non-threatening. Even her blonde tresses appear relaxed, cascading softly over her shoulders. The yawning neckline intimates the model's own open-hearted nature. The image as a whole is sensually reassuring.

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While the following full-length is certainly an imposing portrait, note the superior appeal of model's expression in the previous photograph to this rather stern gaze. Nevertheless, the image has a statuesque nobility about it that demands respect.

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Ah, but how welcome it is to escape from the cold studio and return to the halcyon outdoors with Melissa, again seen here in her white feminine blouse, and exhibiting a softer expression. This image is not as dreamlike as the initial picture in this thread, for the model appears less ethereal and more fleshily real. The perspective is wider, situating Melissa amid venerable bungalows and not, as the initial outdoor image suggested, in the midst of an enchanted forest. The setting sun provides a radiant, golden light, though not illuminating the model's tresses as before. Nevertheless, the picture finds Melissa looking appealingly demure, with the wide-open neckline introducing a touch of sensuality, a glimpse of bare skin. Her tresses cascade languidly over her shoulders. The mood is warm, safe, and pleasant--the epitome of domestic bliss.

Click to enlarge

In the final image in this series, Melissa exude more intense emotions, her romantic passions echoed by the lush, verdant surroundings. She seems to be lost in rapture, stroking her tresses as if she were reliving the memory of a past caress. Even her earrings have an organic quality, like husks of wheat, contextualizing the model as the harvest princess of an Old World village from another time. The finest plus-fashion photography perform just this sort of magic, transporting the viewer to a different time and place, a healthier milieu with nobler values than our own, a richer, more traditional culture than the urban degeneracy into which we have been born.

Click to enlarge

Bravo to Melissa King for such an accomplished test series. We wish that she, like all plus-size models, would test more often. If there is ever to be an aesthetic restoration, it will be because of artistic images such as these. In testing, therefore, full-figured goddesses not only enhance their own portfolios, but bestow great gifts upon the world.

(Click images to view larger.)


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