A celebration of Valerie

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Posted by HSG on November 06, 2004 at 04:24:00:

Valerie Lefkowitz's countless fans will be delighted to know that this Holiday season brings them many new examples of their adored model creating gorgeous images of plus-size beauty. Valerie's most devoted admirers acknowledge that their very favourite images of the model were created when she was perhaps a tad fuller-figured than she is today (the Junonia appearance is widely regarded as her loveliest "look" to date), but the degree of ardour that this model continues to inspire remains quite extraordinary.

First of all, there is the following awe-inspiring new image at Fashion Bug, in one of the company's fittingly-titled "What's Hot Now" promotions. (And, as one of our visitors recently pointed out, no advertising slogan could be more appropriate for accompanying Valerie's work.) Although she is simply modelling "active" wear in this image, Valerie nevertheless manages to convey the sense that she is a true Goddess Incarnate. The look in the eyes, the facial expression, intimate an audacious pride in her own allure, and--to excitable fans--even a suggestion that she fully expects to be worshipped as the deity that she is.

Once again, the model deftly mixes several emotions in one pose. There is an exhilarating touch of vanity, but there is also a "melting" quality in the gaze that adds a touch of vulnerability.

We should also compliment the photographer who created Fashion Bug's extraordinary Valerie series, because he/she obviously had a keen understanding of the model's talent, and a profound appreciation for her mesmerizing beauty. The results of their collaboration are consistently brilliant:

Second, Valerie currently appears on the Isaac Mizrahi landing page at target.com. Keen observers will note that this same image appeared as an ad in a recent issue of Marie Claire magazine. However, in a travesty that was too upsetting to mention at the time, Valerie's figure was digitally distorted into a narrow shape, to make her resemble a straight-size model (very much as Raven-Symone's image was disfigured in the "Emacia" episode of her television series). However, since Valerie's true proportions have been restored in this online version of the image, we are delighted to post it for all to see--especially since that skirt provides viewers with a fleeting glimpse of what one reader called "the most beautiful legs in the industry."

And finally, to mark the Holiday 2004 season, Dress Barn Woman has just released an absolutely gorgeous new circular which rivals the current Lane Bryant magalog for the opulence of its aesthetic. Valerie appears on the cover and throughout the flyer, accompanied by Jordan Tesfay (Wilhelmina). Although every image in the booklet is a visual delight, we admire this page in particular:

The decor is sumptuous but warm, with an inviting, "lived in" feel. Valerie's princess-like golden curls suit the rich ambience perfectly. Her expression is serene but intense, with a sense of a banked-down fire smouldering deep within. And, as if denoting this personality trait, her hot pink top stands out vividly against the muted golds, and beiges, and warm earth-tones of the decor, suggesting a "wild side" lurking just below this surface of wealth and elegance and refinement--an ardent nature, barely restrained.

The image also invites a narrative framework. Has the goddess we see here perhaps stepped away from a social gathering in a grand old home, and made her way to an empty upstairs room? And is she turning at this very moment that a would-be suitor--who has been admiring her beauty all evening, and can restrain himself no longer--has entered this room, after her? She fixes him with a steady gaze, her look challenging him, daring him to act. "Here we are," she seems to say. "Now--what are you going to do about it?" She does not actually speak--she doesn't need to. That gaze--and yes, even that hot pink top--intimates to him that her angelic beauty belies many hidden passions, waiting to be unleashed . . .

* * *

Who says that commercial work can't be every bit as exciting as an editorial layout?

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