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Old 16th September 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

Earlier today, stunning plus-size goddess Katherine Roll (MSA Models, size 18) shot a test with photographer Cheyney Barrieau, and the preliminary results are even more astounding than Katherine's consistently exemplary work could have led one to expect.

Fortunately, the test was not shot in a bare studio, but outdoors, in the streets of a small town in Connecticut. The images capture all of the idyllic charm of New England, a picturesque setting that effectively frames the effervescent beauty of this fair-haired angel.

For now, we have two enchanting preview images to share with the public, which Ms. Barrieau has posted online. More will be coming in the near future, but these initial images already establish Cheyney's shoot with Katherine as one of the most delightful tests that we have ever seen.

In the headshot, which the photographer captions "Honest Laughter," Katherine exudes pure joy. Her peaches-and-cream complexion, pink lips, and fair hair create a soft pastel palette which is robustly balanced by the vibrant emerald greenery and the rich, royal blue of her top. The lighting is a miracle--a cool natural light that gently illuminates the model's features in a soft, even manner. (No studio flashbulbs could duplicate this delicate outdoor radiance.)

The big, open-mouthed smile is a fashion staple, but many models appear unconvincing when they attempt it, as if the laughter were forced; but in Katherine's case, the expression is completely natural. The pose showcases the adorable prettiness of her facial features, and (to adopt a familiar expression) she smiles with her eyes. Her beauty is matched only by her limitless talent.

Click to enlarge

A second teaser image will thrill Katherine's many fans (who adore her for her luscious, size-18 figure) to the point of delirium. This is body-love taken to a whole new level, an irresistible degree of self-adoration beyond anything that any other plus-size model has thus far generated. And yet here too, the emotions are convincing and believable, arising effortlessly out of the model's own nature.

The outfit is girlish and pretty, yet highly alluring in how it lovingly embraces her figure, defining her buxom curves and accentuating her womanly hips. The touch of ruching in the skirt enhances its doll-like femininity, and the close fit delineates the rich, rounded contours of her nether-hourglass. The model's walking pose is graceful (a testament to her catwalk prowess), yet highly effective in exhibiting her perfect proportions.

Click to enlarge

Most of the sharp colour-contrasts that one sees in fashion styling today juxtapose incongruous hues, but Katherine (who also styled the shoot--and did so with her incomparable genius) shows how colour contrasting should be done, bringing together colours that set each other into relief but still form an agreeable complement. The sunny yellow, lively red, and royal blue together comprise the primary colour palette, while the leaves framing Katherine and fairly crowning her in an emerald canopy add the final touch, a dash of vibrant green. The cobblestone street provides an ideal neutral shade against which the colourful outfit stands out vividly.

The boldness of the colours also contributes to the story that Katherine tells in this image, the exciting persona that she so effectively creates. Any goddess who dresses in such eye-catching hues and in styles that embrace her curves so adoringly clearly delights in her own appearance. She has no doubts about her gorgeousness--she knows that she is the the loveliest angel that human eyes have ever seen. Katherine utterly eradicates the hide-and-disguise, self-effacing fashion indoctrination that is foisted upon full-figured woman, brainwashing them into negating their own beauty. Instead, she fascinates and captivates: "Look at me," her outfit tastefully yet irresistibly proclaims. "You can't take your eyes off me," it affirms. She loves the attention that her attractiveness earns her; she veritably feeds off the worship that her beauty generates.

Click to enlarge

Katherine communicates this sensation with her flirtatious pose--the fingers that run coyly through her tresses, making her even more enchanting, as if she were playfully chiding "Oh, you," to the ardent worshippers who have just vocalized their admiration of her loveliness (but an "Oh, you," that secretly invites them, "Praise me more"). Observe that most seductive of all physical details, the sensual dimples at the model's knuckles. Her warm expression radiates the supreme pleasure she experiences in being so avidly complimented--perhaps even a hint of a flush, as if, no matter how much self-adoration she possesses, even she never realized that she could inspire such unbridled adulation. She feels the power of beauty, and she likes it; and in her full-bodied vanity, she becomes even more irresistible.

Click to enlarge

For an extra-special styling detail, observe the opulent earrings that Katherine has added to this ensemble, a welcome touch of vintage elegance for an outfit that is otherwise contemporary (though extremely feminine).

* * *

With her luscious physique, so boldy and attractively defined by her pretty outfit, with her boundless self-satisfaction, and with her peerless, innate beauty, Katherine sets a body-positive standard for the rest of the industry to follow.

This test seems to have arrived from a better reality, a reality in which full-figured women love their natural curves and recognize that they represent the epitome of beauty itself; a world in which society as a whole acknowledges the timeless ideal.

If this world is ever going to approximate that superior, alternative reality, it will be because a model like Katherine Roll, in a gorgeous photoshoot such as this, has dreamed that better world into being and made it a tangible, visible, flesh-and-blood possibility.

We eagerly look forward to more images from this breathtaking shoot.

* * *


Photographer: Cheyney Barrieau
MUA: Tara Abate
Hair: Marlem Cardoso

(Click images to view larger.)

- Barrieau Studios

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Old 16th September 2011   #2
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

Originally Posted by HSG
Katherine utterly eradicates the hide-and-disguise, self-effacing fashion indoctrination that is foisted upon full-figured woman, brainwashing them into negating their own beauty. Instead, she fascinates and captivates: "Look at me," her outfit tastefully yet irresistibly proclaims. "You can't take your eyes off me," it affirms.

I agree. Katherine's images are always body-positive, because of her generous, size-18 figure, especially when the fit is so close, but here she achieves something even more size-celebratory.

I remember once reading an essay on this site that linked the frequent lament that full-figured women express about feeling "invisible" to the horribly negative fashion advice that they get: "hide," "disguise," "minimize," etc. -- all words that basically tell the plus-size woman to erase herself out of public view. How can any curvy woman not feel "invisible" if she follows such a curve-hating fashion philosophy? The entire premise of such self-hating thinking is to be invisible, to efface the physical self out of existence with camouflaging clothing.

Katherine's vivacious outfit achieves the exact opposite. Not only does it delineate her beautiful curves, but the rich colours draw every eye. The close fit defines the contours while the bright hues attract fascination. This is the plus-size body made irresistibly visible, like ripe fruit on a tree.

This is the new fashion philosophy for curvy women: to love yourself, to love yourself so much that when people look upon your curves, you enjoy the experience, because you know that they adore every inch of you -- as you yourself do. Don't make yourself invisible by dressing to be invisible. Flaunt your beauty and let the adoration pour in.

Katherine communicates this pro-curvy spirit better than anyone.
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Old 16th September 2011   #3
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

Originally Posted by Tanya
I remember once reading an essay on this site that linked the frequent lament that full-figured women express about feeling "invisible" to the horribly negative fashion advice that they get.

Here's the essay in question. It delivers a very empowering message with its mantra, "Don't be invisible. Get noticed."

It comes illustrated with a picture of another size-18 model, so in many ways, Katherine Roll, with her gorgeous test, is making the long-awaited hope for a more celebratory vision of full-figured fashion a reality.

I adore the outfit, which is fun and flirty; but really, it's the model herself who makes the image come to life. She energizes that beautiful apparel. It's the sparkle in her eyes, the playfulness in her expression, the grace of her pose, and the jaw-dropping beauty of her face and figure, that makes the picture so exhilarating. Looking at the photo gives a sense of pure, unadulterated happiness, of freedom from any trace of self-doubt or insecurity, just effortless pleasure in one's own skin. No faux-plus model could deliver such beauty or inspiration.

Any curvy girl looking at that picture will want to have, not only the pretty outfit that Katherine is wearing, but also the infectious self-adoration that goes with it. But the wonderful thing is that while the clothing needs to be purchased, the spirit of Katherine's beauty is free -- free for any girl who admires Katherine's gorgeous pictures and is open to being inspired by them.
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Old 17th September 2011   #4
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

That's one of the prettiest skirts I've ever seen, and it looks particularly attractive on Katherine's phenomenal figure. Not only is it feminine and beautifully fitted, but I love how abbreviated it is as well. The image sends the message that curvy girls can feel proud of their shapely legs and show them off. And the yellow top is such a happy colour that I can't help but smile when I look at the photo.

Is there really a town in New England where a girl as curvy and beautiful as this walks down the street, looking so confident and self-assured? If so, it must be the luckiest town in America. But this should be the way all full-figured girls feel and present themselves.

As for color, I also notice the touch of purple from the flowers at the left side of the photo, which plays off of the green elments. The picture is a rainbow of beauty.

I can't wait to see the rest of the images from this test. Katherine looks stunning.
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Old 18th September 2011   #5
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

I adore how Katherine is stroking her tresses. It's a beautiful, preening gesture, as if a random stranger had just offered her a bouquet of flowers and she were delighted at this tribute to her.

What I generally love about the photo, in addition to what everyone else has said, is that it offers a vision of what ideal plus-size model images (whether editorials or tests or campaigns) can be. Instead of going for the self-conscious ugliness that blights so many grungy fashion magazines, this picture celebrates full-fledged, radiant beauty - all-out attractiveness, without any reservations. Who would want grim, boring deconstruction or utilitarian minimalism when they can have this shining, sunlit maximalism - with a model who is maximally beautiful and who is dressed so gloriously?

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Old 29th September 2011   #6
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

At last, we are privileged to share further results from Katherine's recent test with photographer Cheyney Barrieau.

The following headshot is especially effective, with the focus of attention being the model's azure eyes. Never before have we seen Katherine's crystalline blue eyes so arrestingly highlighted. The even, natural lighting illuminates the fairness of the model's complexion in an exquisitely soft manner. Her expression is fascinating--a gaze that has a measure of intensity, yet deftly shops short of intrusiveness. The vividness of the glance makes the image intimate, inescapable. The viewer feels in thrall to the model's presence. Yet the golden profusion of her tresses, framing the model's face and providing the border to the image, perfectly balances the effect, for whereas the gaze is mature and direct, the flaxen hue of the model's hair--a delicate iridescence associated with childhood--injects an element of youthful innocence in the image and softens the overall impression.

Click to enlarge

The most size-positive image in the series is the following, which celebrates the model's shapely arms. From the beginning of her career, Katherine has attracted an avid following among the general public due to the fact that she is not a mere faux-plus model but is authentically full-figured, at a size 18. Her soft, rounded limbs are among the most acclaimed aspects of her beauty, so it is wonderful to see an image that highlights the luscious fullness of her arms in such a celebratory manner. The lavender hue of her top plays off against the rich greenery of the trees in the background. (Kudos to the photographer for framing the image in such a way as to incorporate this foliage for the benefit of colour contrast.) The scoop neckline offers a modest glimpse of the model's generous décolletage.

Click to enlarge

If we view the image at a slightly larger size, we see the natural softness of the neck-and-shoulder area, a key trait of beauty among the world's most popular authentically curvaceous models. The model's clavicle is wholly submerged in soft fullness. Katherine is at once an aspirational beauty and a flesh-and-blood woman, and it is the harmonious reconciliation of these two qualities that makes her such a perfect representative of the full-figured population: She is both ideal and real. The sheer pleasure that she takes in her own opulent beauty is captivating, making her a beacon of self-adoration for all curvy girls.

Click to enlarge

Continuing with the "joy of beauty" theme that pervades this particular test, Katherine appears especially fresh and ebullient in the following headshot, an image that particularly benefits from a well-timed breeze that wafts her golden hair to the side in a dramatic manner, like the tresses of a Botticelli Venus. As in all of the images in this shoot, the setting immeasurably enhances the picture, opening up the background and giving it depth and impact. The location also gives the image a context, for the viewer imagines what a thrilling experience it would be to sit at a café opposite this radiant beauty as she chuckles at a witticism and tosses her hair, allowing her tresses the fly freely. This could easily be a frame from a cosmetics TV ad ("Maybe she's born with it"), for any woman seeing an image such as this would long to possess some measure of the model's loveliness.

Click to enlarge

In a second view of Katherine in her colourful yellow/red ensemble, the gentle sunlight illuminates her blonde tresses, giving her an angelic radiance. Though her gaze is earnest, there is an attractive undercurrent of vulnerability in the eyes. Compare this with the model's intense look in the first headshot in this post, above. Katherine demonstrates the many different moods that a model can create just by varying the subtlest aspects of her facial features. If the previous serious expression appeared more mature, then this one is more youthful, with a hint of neediness in the gaze that is utterly irresistible. Although this test is more about creating an overall impression than delivering a narrative, one can assign a storyline to the series, with this image as the most revealing. Whereas the other photos variously demonstrate the model's bravura or self-confidence, this unguarded image reveals tenderness. This glimpse of defenselessness plays off against the other, more self-assured images, giving the series as a whole a richer complexity, and imputing to the model a sensitive, feminine demeanour that is truly irresistible. "You must be confident and self-assured to make your way in the world," the series as a whole suggests, "but for a goddess to admit that she needs protection and worship is the most attractive quality of all."

Click to enlarge

We end the series as we began, with a relaxed, fun headshot, one that suggests that the troubled times are over and all is right with the world. The model's complexion appears dazzlingly fair, as fair as we have ever seen it, while the rich blue of her top highlights, by contrast, the "plump and pink and flaxen" attributes of her beauty (as Charlotte Brontë would describe them). The lush foliage invigorates the image, its emerald richness harmonizing with the model's own fresh vitality. Katherine gives the image an especially playful quality by gazing slightly upwards, creating the persona of a dreamer, a carefree, light-hearted soul.

Click to enlarge

Bravo to Katherine for such a fine test, a session in which she exhibits the pure joy of plus-size beauty, even as she explores other complex emotions which add to the richness of the overall effect. Miss Roll's opulent attractions often earn the lion's share of praise in any discussion of her images, but her modelling craft is second to none.

And kudos to photographer Cheyney Barrieau and her team for shooting the series in an attractive location, rather than in a studio setting, and for showcasing Miss Roll's beauty in such an effective manner.

Although the fashion industry's adherence to faux-plus models continues to dismay the general public, models such as Katherine are slowly but surely affirming a place for genuinely full-figured goddesses--the kinds of models whom plus-size customers actually wish to see. A model such as Miss Roll possess all of the technical expertise of her underweight rivals, but couples that with a legitimately full figure. As a result, her every shoot advances us further towards the aesthetic restoration.

(Click images to view larger)

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Old 29th September 2011   #7
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

Oh, goodness, I was hoping to see the rest of the images from this shoot. They're stunning! For pure size celebration, my favourite is the image that showcases the model's gorgeous arms, but for uniqueness, it's the headshot showing Katherine's ice-on-fire eyes.

Originally Posted by HSG
The following headshot is especially effective, with the focus of attention being the model's azure eyes...whereas the gaze is mature and direct, the flaxen hue of the model's hair--a delicate iridescence associated with childhood--injects an element of youthful innocence in the image and softens the overall impression.

Click to enlarge

Yes, there really is something to this. Katherine's features are soft and gentle - the fair eyes, hair, and complexion - but her expression is dark and mysterious. I never imagined that a fair-featured model could generate such an enigmatic, sensual look, which is a quality that's usually associated with raven-haired models.

A haunting, even dangerous look from a model whose features are soft and light - this is true artistry. Is she the good angel, or the ice princess? The image allows for both possibilities. I'm captivated.
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Old 29th September 2011   #8
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

I love the entire shoot, but this is definitely my favourite picture by far. It communicates the most body confidence of the entire shoot, and has Katherine comfortably, flirtatiously showing off her curvy arms. I know for a fact that many women used to feel self-conscious about their figures before images of plus-size models started showing them that they could not just accept by love their full-figured physiques, and this is exactly the kind of picture, showing pure self-satisfaction, that makes such newfound confidence possible.

It's like Katherine is laughing at the very thought that anyone could be so foolish as to try to make her, or any curvy woman, diminish her beauty. It's pictures like these that make her one of the most exciting and affirmative plus-size models.
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Old 1st October 2011   #9
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

I have to agree with Renata's choice for the most pro-curvy and beautiful image of the shoot. Nothing is more important for advancing size celebration than having legitimate plus-size models showing off their shapely figures with real, visible pleasure, as Katherine does.

In terms of outfits, though, my favourite is the yellow top/cranberry skirt combo. That may be the cutest skirt I've ever seen, and it looks fantastic on Katherine.

For expressions, I do adore the ice-blue-eyes headshot. Those pretty eyes are hypnotic. But the expression I admire most is the vulnerable gaze in the second yellow/cranberry photo. It's such a gentle look, and with her blonde hair flowing over her shoulders, the effect is magical.

Several of the photos are now a part of Katherine's MSA Models portfolio:
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Old 7th October 2011   #10
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Default Re: Katherine Roll: The Joy of Beauty

I have returned to this thread multiple times, and every time I find myself inspired by the sight of Katherine in her pink skirt. It's so adorable, showing off her gorgeous legs and indicating her womanly hips. Everything about that picture is appealing, especially the model's love-me attitude. She looks so relaxed and secure.

And to look at the icy-eyed headshot takes my breath away. Katherine's natural colouring is fresh yet gentle- I adore her fair features- but the gaze is electrifying. She's flawless.
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