As a fashion lover, former model & life-long fan of Vogue I was so excited to purchase Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion. I couldn’t wait to tear into the book once I got it (which happened at 3 am). I marveled at the photos, many of which I’d seen when they came monthly to my house. One of the few constants in my life has been my Vogue subscription! As I thumbed through the book I delightedly saw my favorite models like Linda, Christy, Suzy Parker, Dovima, Jean Shrimpton, Amber Valletta, Anja, Giselle, the GODDESS Kate Moss yet something was amiss. OK there is Iman. And there is my darling Naomi Campbell. But something was missing… Then it hit me! Imagine my shock as a “person of color” to find that the only 2 Black models included were Iman & Naomi Campbell. Yes, both are true legends but as you thumb through this collection of models you see the inclusion of much lesser models (Elise Crombez, Georgina Greenville, Cecilia Chancellor). Some who actually are more clearly identified with other mags (Kirsty Hume is much more a Harper’s Bazaar girl).
Where is Veronica Webb, muse to Bruce Weber & Herb Ritts who is one of the few Black models ever to receive a cosmetics contract? I remember when Revlon chose her and her gorgeous 1st campaign. I also remember reading in her book Veronica Webb-sight, the story of her being replaced by Halle Berry. Or Liya Kebede, a favorite of Steven Meisel, who was hand picked by Tom Ford to open & close Gucci. Liya is one of the current faces of Estee Lauder and had an entire issue of French Vogue to herself (Belle Du Jour). Or Beverly Peele who appeared in the now legendary spread with the feuding Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. Yeah Bev hit some hard times of late but the girl worked her ass off in the 90’s & was a constant Vogue face. And what of Tyra Banks? The model as mogul! Few models have been more successful than Tyra! From British Vogue to a runway career that rivaled only Naomi’s to the pages of Victoria’s Secret and a cover of Sports Illustrated Tyra is truly a model’s model.
Or LEGENDARY Donyale Luna the 1st Black woman to appear on the cover of British Vogue back in 1966! OR Beverly Johnson for goodness sake! As the 1st Black woman on the cover of American Vogue Beverly broke down racial barriers that still exist even today.
There are so many omissions in this book it’s almost egregious. It’s borderline racist. It’s… Well it’s stupid. How can this have happened? Alek Wek, Kara Young, Gail O’Neill, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Karen Alexander, Chanel Iman… The list goes on and on.
Shocking omissions! I almost want to send this book back. Or write my own! M*
While shooting a fashion layout for Rage a very wise man (Dan Deutsch of Dan Deutsch Optical Outlook) said to me “eye wear helps define who you are.” He told me this while handing me a pair of vintage pink sunglasses worn by Elton John during a concert tour in the 70s. Now everyone can’t pull off pink, but what I learned that day from Dan is true: Sunglasses are jewelry for the face. And just like you change a necklace or a watch, one should change up their glasses.
This is September and I’m supposed to be excited about Fall/Winter ’10 Fashion. Honestly I’m not inspired. The shows echoed the same trends they have the past 4 seasons. 80’s, 60’s circa Mad Men, Classicism, Knitwear. Don’t get me wrong I love fashion & I have already purchased a new pair of boot cut trousers! (Yea! They’re back!) But isn’t there more?
Recently I saw Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts (Mediocre, spent too much time in India, Julia is luminous as always, Viola Davis & James Franco’s talents are wasted.) and it started me thinking. Everyone’s journey isn’t about finding yourself chanting to a cold looking Indian woman while flies swarm around you. Some of us want to Eat, Pray and Love in other ways. Since this is my blog we’re going to CONSUME, WORSHIP & STALK with joie de vivre!