|12th May 2012||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
Tara Lynn in Vanity Fair (Italy)
The establishment fashion industry usually gets it so very wrong when it comes to shooting plus-size models in editorials for mainstream magazines that one is pleasantly surprised, even shocked, when it gets things so very right.
A new story in the May 2012 issue of Italian Vanity Fair constitutes the most altogether successful full-figured editorial since the "Belle Vere" spread in Vogue Italia, June 2011.
(How interesting that it is the Italians, the nation of Botticelli and Titian, who consistently demonstrate the finest aesthetic appreciation for plus-size beauty.)
Indeed, the present editorial, titled "Grande Bella e Tosta," closely follows the precedent of the Vogue Italia story both in casting and in theme. The model in this layout is, once again, the lovely Tara Lynn, size 16, and the setting is an opulent salon which echoes the posh hotel suite that featured in "Belle Vere." Bravo to Vanity Fair and photographer Pascal Chevallier for adopting this Old World sensibility, the ideal aesthetic for showcasing such sumptuous feminine beauty. Note, too, the shoot's ideal choice of wardrobe, a mixture of ultra-feminine, body conscious gowns and enticing intimate apparel.
Her hairstyle is as voluptuous and magnificent as her figure. The couch on which she reposes has a Classical look, its plump cushions and pillows echoing the softness of her own physique. One imagines the model as the consort of a Roman emperor. The delectable pink confectionery in the foreground is the pièce de résistance, intimating the model's generous appetite--a penchant for self-indulgence which has given her the well-fed beauty that the image so lovingly displays.
Many of the images in the editorial show Tara Lynn in sensually recumbent positions, creating the alluring impression that even the exertion of rising is too labourious for the model, and that she prefers lounging indolently.
In the following picture, the model turns even a plush chair into a de facto sofa, while positioning her body in such a way as to afford the viewer the greatest opportunity of admiration.
One of the ways in which this editorial surpasses its Vogue Italia predecessor is in the fact that many of its pages appear in colour rather than in black and white. Nevertheless, the monochrome look of the following image is quite effective, convincingly giving it the look of a Victorian photograph.
Once again, Tara Lynn finds a way to lounge in the most sensual manner imaginable, sinking heavily into the soft cushions. She deliberately opens her garment to exhibit her voluptuous richness. The chair is a work of art in its own right, its canopy creating the impression of an infant's crib turned vertically upright, a visual that plays off richly against the model's mature seductiveness.
Rather than standing upright, the model leans her generous weight against the fireplace mantle in the following image, provocatively accentuating her reverse-view curves. Observe how the leopard wallpaper corresponds to the model's animal-print dress, creating an impression of ferocious wildness.
The green stalks in the vases accentuate this theme, bringing to mind the tall grasses of the jungle. Fashion writers sometimes offensively advise women to "tame" their curves, but the beauty of this image is that the model's curves are so very much untamed and unleashed. The picture has a primal quality, for all that it is set in a refined space, and the model's feline gaze and luxurious mane heighten this effect.
The gesture by which she adjusts the hem of her dress is consciously provocative, while the abbreviated length of the garment affords a stunning look at her full, shapely legs. She seems to sink out of her chair, as if, cushioned as it is, it still isn't soft enough for the model's comfort.
Finally, as if exhausted by the mere exertion of posing, the model collapses onto the sofa, in a green dress that wraps close to her curves. Her hypnotic eyes convey a look of invitation, a gaze that is passively appetitive. The persona that she creates is of a goddess who knows that she need but express a desire, and her every want will be satisfied. Observe the shapely fullness of her arms.
The magazine also comes with a profile of the model, which will be of great interest to Italian readers of the site.
International viewers, however, will be especially captivated by the extra image that appears on the second page of the interview.
It shows the model with the most alluring variant of her hairstyle, in which a thick lock of hair tantalizingly shades one of her eyes. Her limbs appear soft and full, her buxom curves disclosed by the V cut of her dress. With her raised leg, she indicates the sofa, as if to implant a suggestion in the viewer's mind. Most daringly of all, the photograph features further delectable desserts in the foreground, at the bottom left. As we have often noted, the association of plus-size models with tantalizing foodstuffs is marvellously subversive, communicating to curvy girls that they should embrace and enjoy their generous appetites, for such self-indulgence is the pathway to beauty.
Bravo to Vanity Fair for a note-perfect plus-size model editorial, ideal in the choice of model (a size 16), aesthetic (Old World opulence), and wardrobe (pro-curvy femininity). We hope that more mainstream fashion magazines will begin featuring girls size 16 and up, and when they do, that they adopt the principles of timeless beauty that this layout exhibits.
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