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The Face’s Naomi Campbell: “I Am Different. I Am Before Tyra.”

Last night, stars Naomi CampbellCoco RochaKarolina Kurkova and the artist formerly known as America's Next Top DreamhunkNigel Barker came out for a red carpet event celebrating their new Oxygen Media modeling showThe Face.

The first episode of the seven-part season will air next week on February 12. The format pits Campbell, Rocha and Kurkova against each other as model coaches, competing to see who can better mentor young women hoping to carve out careers in the modeling industry. "Helping people" is not commonly the stuff of competition, so kudos The Face!

The show's competition occurs on two levels: 1) Twelve contestants compete along the conventional reality modeling show lines of, I don't know, challenges and eliminations in hopes of becoming America's next top model the "next supermodel," as the PR copy puts it and winning an ULTA campaign; 2) The three modeling industry icons test/display their mentorship skillz.

This format is one of the main reasons why, when asked how she would differentiate The Face from America's Next Top Model and herself from Tyra Banks during a publicity conference call on Monday, Campbell thought there shouldn't even be a comparison:

I am different. I am before Tyra and I have a lot of respect for Tyra and what she’s done with America’s Next Top Model and taking it all over the world and what she’s done for young women out there who want to be in the fashion industry. I don’t like to compare anything that I do. This show is a completely different type of format. I’ve not really watched it.

Campbell doesn't like to compare anything she does, but Nigel Barker's role as host of The Face will make it difficult to set aside the comparisons. The photographer owes his celebrity primarily to an eighteen season/nine year tenure as a judge on ANTM, but was fired last year as part of a big rebranding effort. His departure had many longtime viewers (like this one) pledging to never watch America's Next Top Model again. If The Face's contract with the former ANTM judge was an attempt to woo disappointed former fans of Tyra's I-guess-let's-call-it-pioneering modeling competition, it's not a bad move — but it does make the comparison mandatory. 

Image via WENN

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Vancouver’s Ashley Diana Morris: The New Face of Guess

Sex kitten is a term thrown about a lot these days, typically when talking about a woman who exhibits a sexually provocative lifestyle or an abundant sexual aggression. Rawwwrr! But despite its provocative and liberal connotations, the term was first coined in the conservative 1950s to describe French starlet and pouty nymphette Brigitte Bardot, circa And God Created Woman.

Each subsequent decade has since spawned its own version of a sex kitten — Lauren Hutton, Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss, Giselle — and now Guess' Paul Marciano has found his next iconic femme fatale, who just so happens to be Canadian.

On the heels of Guess' 30th anniversary celebration, the fashion house has, in its own words, "undiscovered a fresh face" as the new Guess girl of 2013. Ashley Diana Morris hails from Vancouver and is being touted as having the stunning good looks of Anna Nicole Smith (pre Marshall v. Marshall affair), the poise of Claudia Schiffer, and being labeled as the next Brigitte Bardot of our generation.

The 5'9 bombshell was discovered in her hometown by photographer Odette Sugerman (Guess, Vogue) and, after finding out she had never modeled before, Paul Marciano flew the young beauty to Los Angeles, met with her and knew right away he had found a star — his next muse. 

"This feels like I won the Super Bowl of modeling. When Paul Marciano said that I will be one of the most recognized faces in the world because of Guess, I felt like I was following in the footsteps of women who I dreamed of being like since I was a little girl. I'm still pinching myself it's all so surreal," says the buxom blonde Morris.

Not long after that surreal meeting, she was presented with a multi-figure modeling contract with the clothing brand, which has previously made megastars out of the likes of Kate Upton, Adriana Lima and Jessica Heart. As the latest in the line of It girls, Morris is coming onto the fashion scene with the Guess lingerie and bikini campaigns, some of which you can see below. Oo la la.

Images via Guess/Odette Sugarman

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Is Carine Roitfeld Doing a Good Job at Harper’s Bazaar? Part 1

Harper's Bazaar has just released the first images from Carine Roitfeld's debut editorial as the magazine conglomerate's Global Fashion Editor. The feature stars Roitfeld favorites like Lara Stone (above), Stephanie Seymour (below) and Joan Smalls in looks highlighting spring trends.

In a statement sent around today, Bazaar's publisher, Hearst, said the shoot will run in 26 international editions of the magazine, which altogether have a circulation of 11.3 million across 44 countries. 

The former Vogue Paris editor and photographer Kacper Kasprzyk cut out all the frills and just showed models wearing great clothes. At first, it seemed like a little bit of a letdown (who knew Roitfeld's return to the world of corporate glossies would be so unprovocative?), but after a bit of thought, I decided it was unfortunate that this kind of straightforward approach wasn't more common to fashion editorials. And I guess Roitfeld had to show A LOT of restraint in other areas of the feature to justify styling Stone in that metallic Comme des Garçons bandage sack-dress thing. 

Harper's Bazaar has made the feature available online here

Images courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

 

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Miranda Kerr Adds to Her High Fashion Portfolio with a Racy Spread for Jalouse

Seamlessly transitioning from default global ambassador of coconut water to real life Barbie doll, Miranda Kerr shows the true meaning of ‘versatile’ in a perfectly plastic shoot for French fashion mag Jalouse.

Let’s start with the cover itself, on which Miranda sports heavy eye makeup and a rose that, if you cross your eyes slightly, makes her coquettish stare look a bit like a high fashion Glasgow smile. Underneath her name appears the phrase ‘Poupée Renversante,’ which translates to ‘Stunning Doll.’ 

In the spread we are given a good look at the physical benefits of a Victoria’s Secret angel workout coupled with an 80/20 diet. Miranda is flawless in 60s makeup and a wardrobe supplied by Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin, striking a series of beautifully stiff poses captured in black and white by photographer Sebastian Mader. Even when things veer towards nipple territory she looks every bit the impossibly perfect French hipster pinup. Who needs the Miracle Bra when you have a body like this?

With spreads for Russh and Vogue Italia also added to her portfolio over recent months, Miranda seems to be taking a detour from the safe route of expensive lingerie and Lipton iced tea commercials. We’re loving the new direction.  

 

Image: Jalouse's Facebook

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Should I Feel Feminist Shame for Finding ‘Rapey’ Superbowl Commercial Hot?

This morning I settled in to watch a few Superbowl commercials, not being one to tune in to the big game (#teamDownton). The Doritos commercial was cute, I was grossed out by GoDaddy, and I found the following Audi commercial to be cute, fun and kind of sexy.

I specifically thought that the kiss was kind of hot, and felt what was surely the commercial's intent as the kid drove away gleefully with a black eye: that he was a bad ass. The tagline reads: "Bravery. It's what defines us." We're meant to be rooting for the underdog. The single, less popular kid (who nonetheless is still conventionally attractive) got to kiss the beautiful prom queen, who appears to be dating who we presume to be the Alpha male prom king.

Then I happened to see a local columnist's column on sexist Superbowl commercials and how conservatives rush to defend them. I was curious which commercials he would call out, and was pretty surprised that the Audi commercial was the centerpiece of his commentary, in which he defined it as 'rapey.'

Uh oh. I'm of the brand of feminist (and human) that likes to tout "enthusiastic consent," which is the idea that a person should obtain explicit permission before making a sexual advance. How did I miss all the red flags in this commercial? It's pretty much the type of situation enthusiastic consent was created for — not a scary rape by an attacker in a dark alley, but a nice guy the girl knows taking liberties she may or may not be comfortable with, without finding out first.

Phillymag.com's Joel Mathis described it thusly

"Here’s what we know about the kiss in this commercial, based entirely on the information given us onscreen:

• The young woman who receives the kiss chose to be at prom with someone else.

• Our “hero” forcibly turns her around and jams his mouth to hers almost before she can identify him, and certainly without any permission being sought or given. What’s more, this is a demonstration of his new, Audi-fueled power.

• He leaves prom without her—suggesting that she still chooses to be at prom with somebody else."

It may be an exaggeration to term the commercial "rapey." Mathis defends that word choice in the comments section of the piece linked above. But the situation does speak to the point of a lot of rape culture prevention. If we address these small instances of impropriety and boys feeling "entitled" to acts of aggressive sexuality then perhaps we as a society would be less permissive of rape in general and there would be less victim shaming, as there has been in the Steubenville case. 

How does a woman resolve that with the fact that a lot of aggressive sexuality is attractive? Not all women would find a kiss like that in the commercial attractive, but I also think a lot would. This is part of the confusion that makes it so easy to coerce girls into situations they're not comfortable with, that they only later identify as violating. How can we advise on avoiding those situations if adult women are still confused by some of the same internal and external signals? Does that mean it's just part of life?

So, do I fail feminism? Or as critics have said, is the idea that this commercial is rapey a humorless overreaction?

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Link Buzz: Allison Williams Gets a Skincare Contract; Kate Moss for i-D

  • Allison Williams is the new face of Simple skincare. A skincare contract is pretty much the highest compliment out there. [BellaSugar]
     
  • Olivia Palermo modeled Oscar de la Renta's Outnet collection because alliteration is in. [FabSugar]
     
  • i-D takes lots of cover of photos of Kate Moss because isn't that what you'd do if you had the chance? [Fashionologie]
     
  • Pantone's Fall 2013 color palette makes me feel good about the year ahead. Really. [SheFinds]
     
  • If you missed Beyonce at the Super Bowl yesterday, I bet you're never gonna get another chance to see it. Haha just kidding just click. [Earsucker]
     
  • How much is the estate fictionally known as Downton Abbey worth? More than you can afford. [Starcasm]

Image via WEEN

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