Non-Celebrities Making Comeback on Fashion Scene

While the models on OneModelPlace.com wait for their turn to shine in the spotlight, they can take heart in the news that traditional models are gaining in popularity these days over the more recent rash of celebrity covergirls and spokesmodels.

As reported by Susannah Frankel for “The Independent,” models may soon reclaim their dominance over celebrities in the high-profile world of fashion.

According to the article, “This time last year – and as presciently as ever – the Prada Group sent out a press release to accompany the launch of its new women’s wear campaign for Miu Miu stating, in the opening paragraph, that it marked ‘the return of the model as opposed to the celebrity’ to fashion’s most hallowed frontline. Shot by the super-fashionable duo Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott, the images established just that, featuring an array of painstakingly sought-out new models remarkable for their fresh personalities and entirely unrecognisable faces.

“In February this year – in a move that was equally unprecedented – Marc Jacobs very publicly rid his catwalk show’s front row of the formerly requisite A-list contingent, telling the influential American Vogue website Style.com that his love affair with celebrity was over.

“Given that Prada and Jacobs are two of the most influential names in international fashion, it’s small wonder that the rest of the industry is now following suit. And so it is this season, with the big autumn campaigns almost unanimously casting bona-fide models centre stage. These aren’t models of the “super” variety either – the likes of Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell are all household names and have long had celebrity status in their own right. This time around, the women chosen, while they may be well-known and even celebrated within the fashion industry, are united by their anonymity outside of it. Sceptics may argue that this development is at least partly attributable to budgetary constraints – it’s no secret that big names require big salaries to match. But there seems to be rather more to it than that, prompting many insiders to wonder: is fashion’s long-running love affair with celebrity finally over?

“What I need to focus on is attitude, and this comes from a great, experienced model,” the designer Stefano Pilati told Women’s Wear Daily in April, of his decision to cast the 26-year-old Daria Werbowy for Yves Saint Laurent’s latest campaign. “[Models] can feel the clothes and make them relevant from a fashion point of view.” But while it is true that a model’s experience of the way clothing performs may be more extensive than that of an actress, there is also a certain suspension of ego required – and this is not often acknowledged – in order to put fashion, as opposed to mere vanity, first.

“I think it’s a very contemporary approach,” says Frida Giannini, the creative director at Gucci, which has chosen another experienced model, 27-year-old Raquel Zimmermann, as its leading lady. “The other issue with celebrities is that they are characters who are often associated with a certain film, for instance. I prefer a strong, generic face that’s not related to any particular world – whether that be music or Hollywood.”

“So there it is: the model as blank canvas, knocked off her pedestal for many years by more immediately recognizable actors, is making a return. And while this approach is in some ways more elitist – there are those who will inevitably argue that the unfamiliar is somehow also intimidating – there’s something to be said for allowing people to project their own dreams onto an image. That is something that using an actor as instantly identifiable as Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow, say, inevitably precludes.”

To read the full article, visit The Independent website

Photo: Getty Images

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