1. Model season: New Icons.

    As all successful models, agencies, photographers, editors and even fashion writers will know in order to triumph, a model’s look must be their own. Now more than ever models are using influences from previous icons and superheros of the modelling world but are also adding emphasis on their own quirks and what has previously been considered in the industry as their flaws and using that as their stamp upon the covers of Vogue, Elle and names too huge to mention. Models.com offer a selection of the 50 top models this week showing just how competitive the industry truly is (also look into the agencies each model is with.) Here are some favourites of this week’s top 5;

    1. Lara Stone. (above)

    The gaped Goddess, one of my favourite supermodels, her fashion story portrayals are both haunting and divine. Her wispy golden hair and the angelic contores of her face suggest stereo-typical blonde bombshell. However, with that pout revealing tombstone teeth generously spaced apart she adds intrigue and even controversy to a cover or campaign. 

    2. Natasha Poly.

    The Russian models heavy brows and piercingly harsh, hazel eyes add an attitude to her button nose and pretty big lips. The shape of Poly’s slim eyes draw attention to the angular aspects of her face and in particular those almost alien cheekbones.

    2. Freja Beha Erichsen (Joint 2nd.)

    (So much love for this woman.) She sprung into action as one of Karl Lagerfeld’s muses and has dominated nearly every fashion show since 2010. Erichsen’s controversial look teamed with her open sexuality spurred the trend of masculinity for 2011 and 2012. Those deep chocolate eyes and that smoldering smirk send shivers down the spine of any reader.

      

    4. Joan Smalls.

    The heavy under-lids of her eyes are so unusual and give her a wise, worldly look. They also off-set her eyes perfectly and literally make them pop at the camera. The angry brow and signature crinkled nose are adorable yet give her one of the most powerful looks of the moment.

    So girls, if any of you are thinking that once you’ve booked a job that’s it, you’re set for life, you are very wrong. You need a strong and determined attitude to match an equally as enduring look.

    LAURA KENNY. 

  2. Model season: H&M Body Con!

    News of H&M’s decision to use CGI bodies with model’s heads attached to the image has repulsed me and as an adoring anorak of fashion am finding it difficult to see the raw beauty in the industry anymore.

    H&M claim they are using such a technique as it shows off the garments better and that This is not to be seen as conveying a specific ideal or body type, but merely a technique to show our garments.” Nicole Christine told ABC News.

    As it now model season I feel it is important that FMA’s models and all of the rest of you guys are aware of such misleading imagery. As if the pressures put upon models isn’t bad enough in such a harsh industry H&M are now placing unrealisitc ideologies (desired thoughts) into the minds our vulnerable aspiring models and even the image conscious consumer.

    The fashion industry is not shy to admit models are often used simply to add life and even realism to a garment and therefore this new technique of editing completely contradicts itself. As I mentioned in a previous post (feminism) women are loosing their identity and individuality more and more as the industry narrows the margins of an acceptable image and for me this move from H&M is a step too far. Stand against it!! Girls make sure you are always aware of how a photo shoot is going to edited before hand. Self respect is and always should be your number one priority, especially in such a fickle industry.

    LAURA KENNY.

  3. "Freedom and the playfulness in which you can play with fashion here is really inspiring."  For those who are just being enlightened by such wonderment, The Sartorialist is one of the most renowned fashion blogs coming out of New York created by Scott Schuman. After stepping back from his role as a director of men’s fashion at his showroom he began to carry his digital camera around with him everywhere which resulted in an opening of his mind to ‘real people’ and real fashion.

    The beauty of The Sartorialist is both the exploration of cultures and genuine insight into living fashion and how both individuals and countries interpret trends. Schuman’s approach to fashion photography is simply about capturing the true essence of a situation and how clothes are portrayed in a more natural and fluid environment as opposed to the sometimes painfully analytical shoots we often see. "I don’t really have to pinpoint the exact reason why I want to take the photograph, I just let myself react."

    The beauty of a photograph is the nature of the present situation in which the image is shot. Tokyo is one of the most quirky and rule breaking fashion capitals in the world. It plays with masculinity and femininity, colours, culture and has fun with fashion. This is something that provokes a fresh excitement for fashion and amongst the often bitchy and critical aspects reminds us of the reason we devote ourselves to it. 

    For inspiration from other cities such as Moscow and Istanbul check out his website; http://www.thesartorialist.com/

    LAURA KENNY.

  4. ROCK RAVE PHOTOS!!

    Reliving last Friday night again with this collection of amazing photos, courtesy of ADVaughan.

  5. ROCK RAVE 2011 !!

    After Rock Rave’s massive take over of Newport Center Friday night it does not surprise me why it is one of the biggest events of the year for Urban Circle Productions. The buzz from that night is still being felt and it is all anyone is talking about. Guys, it was amazing! Friday was my first ever experience of Rock Rave and I left there with such a sense of community, achievement but most of all pride due to the phenomenal amount of genuine talent that is in secret South Wales, something even my aching feet couldn’t spoil. 

    All acts mezmorized the audience and to be honest thoroughly surprised them at just how professional they were and how high the quality of each performance was. There are too many to name but just to give you a flavour of the night Rock Rave featured the likes of Hype-On’s Tobias Robinson and Evander K along with Innovence fresh from their performance at the Royal Albert Hall, Here Lies the Enemy, Our Tomorrow and Corey Sanders and Matthew Wilson. 

    Not only did Rock Rave feature musicians this year but again showcased the creations of Crosskeys College fashion students and UCD dance crew. FMA’s models got some of the biggest hype of the night as they showed off the skirts and jeans created by first year students.

    After interviewing various models and designers from both FMA and Crosskeys College and musicians you can really tell how much U.R.B.A.N have done to support them and they all feel there is now an opportunity for young people to feel motivated to express themselves and to build confidence.

    We will be doing many more follow up posts including a video report featuring Flow Dem, thanks to Newport City Radio’s Lara Stace and Jason Reilly. Flow Dem are one of the biggest acts to come out of U.R.B.A.N Circle and for them to say how they are willing to help however they can to keep the organisation because it has inspired them and they want to offer such amazing opportunities to other local, normal young people like themselves gave me goosebumps. 

    Photo’s By: ADVaughan

    LAURA KENNY.

  6. Modelling and feminism.

    The fashion and modelling world are anti-feminist. There is no escaping this as a present fact, but maybe it doesn’t have to be a future actuality. Campaigns such as ‘Dove - Evolution Commercial’ (sorry couldn’t upload) have inspired me to look at the fashion industry differently and with a more critical over view of expectations placed upon ‘the beautiful people’ by designers, photographers and even the general public. Photo-shopping and editing in small quantities may be acceptable in order to  make a PRODUCT appear more attractive, but should not be used to such an extent we see used on models today. 

    After regularly working and speaking with models, (female), I have become increasing aware how they are often tempted to pose or walk provocatively not always through choice or intention but just through ideologies as a result of our ‘sex sells’ society. 

    I am not a radical, violent feminist, in fact quite the opposite. I feel that feminism is often used as an extreme way for women to moan about men and their own insecurities and 21st century women have lost an understanding of it’s true meaning. However, I do believe the media industry need to reconsider its portrayal of the female body as it is causing models as young as twelve or even younger to worry intensely about grooming, appearance and even personality. i.e. Gap Kids and other designers who have begun following the trend of creating collections for a younger audience. 

    This personality aspect of the industry is becoming more and more important and has begun to shock me. Shows such as ‘Top Model’ have been more frequently criticising models for either being too timid or too garish, even if they fit the specific physical criteria clients are looking for. The reason I would consider this feminist is because female models are no longer able to just be themselves, even off set and this is something that has been forced upon them by the views of men and even women who have been influenced by magazines and other forms of media we see every day.  

    Any models reading this should feel empowered to stand against this criteria forced upon them by such views of perfection and stand against society’s conformist (to fit in, to be normal) expectations and embrace their female beauty without enhancement.

    LAURA KENNY.