Through the lens of Mr. Debas

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Posted by HSG on April 03, 2005 at 19:45:02:

Many of us miss the artistic test images that Douglas B. used to produce with the top New York plus-size models. Not only was the work of this "prince of darkness" bold and innovative, but it was simultaneously guided by principles of timeless beauty, rather than modern ugliness. The results enabled us to see plus-size models in an entirely new way, and Douglas B.'s images are largely responsible from bringing the New Femininity to plus-size fashion.

We are always on the lookout for photographers who similarly manage to create images that are both daring and beautiful, and model Gabrielle Tabler recently drew our attention to the craft of Stanley Debas (, a photographer with whom she has tested, and one who might make a significant contribution to size celebration.

Mr. Debas affirms that he views plus-size models as "goddesses" (his word), and his images testify to this appreciation.

The model in the first image, Lenka from ClickNY, is perhaps on the small side of plus, but this is a splendid image nevertheless. The styling is first-rate: the very feminine dress accentuates the model's curves, the accessories enliven the ensemble, and the hairstyle exhibits that "measured messiness" that suits full-figured beauty so well. The positioning of the model, as if she were placed on a pedestal, makes her seem like a living sculpture, and invites the viewer to appreciate the image as a genuine work of art.

Here is Gabrielle herself in an outfit that has a Japanese feeling. The wall hanging in the background is a fine detail, and the colours endow the image with an autumnal quality, even as the subtle green of the model's outfit contrasts well with her hair colour.

We look forward to a time when more photographers express not just a willingness, but a preference for working with plus-size models . . .

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