on 5 October 2010
Let me say firstly that I collect Vogues, the issues with the best 1980's and 90's supermodels. I know them by heart and fully appreciate how much they have contributed to Vogue and fashion photography.
I was eagerly anticipating the release of this book and bought it full price down in London. I wanted to pick a mint shrinkwrapped copy whilst I browsed the display copy and read some of the content.
The models are alphabetically presented, from our era, to the supermodels era to the old days prior and during the Twiggy years.
I know they might have been limited in how much they could put in, but this is not a very thick book and it should have been!!! It isn't even thicker than "VOGUE COVERS" yet it would have been much more representative of each model had it been an added 200 pages at least!
The most pages a model get is 4 pages, that is for the most famous ones (KATE, CHRISTY, HELENA, TWIGGY, CLAUDIA, LINDA, CINDY, NADJA, DARIA...). Some models only get one photo and text on opposite page. I find all this very limiting and frustrating especially when the selected photographs could have been more thought through.
Take the book cover for instance, Kate Moss has posed for dozens/hundreds more artistic and beautiful portraits over the decade that would have made a stronger cover (VOGUE COVERS' cover was the perfect choice in comparison)....LINDA EVANGELISTA's section feels they picked the photo in a hurry, I can tell you that she has posed so beautifully for so many years there was a better pick. Don't even get me started...
Buy it if you collect like myself fashion photography and supermodels but don't expect too much. It is superficially put together and the girls deserve much better.
I recommend: 10 WOMEN By Peter Lindbergh, where he put 10 supermodels into chapters. A better approach although also too small:)
on 10 December 2010
I've only started to read this book but what I've seen so far has been really good. It's not just the models who are currently at the peak of their profession, but rather a who's who of fashion models since the concept of using live models to, ahem, "model" clothes was started. These women were initially known as "mannequins" which seems to me to dehumanize them, but looking at the photos (excellent reproduction by the way) of the early models/mannequins with their haughty, sneering looks for the camera, I can see that they were giving expression to an ideal of high fashion and perhaps in that sense the word mannequin is apt.
There isn't a portfolio of pics for each model, sometimes there's only one photo and the accompanying page of text. However, the text is masterfully written and gives real insight into the model as a working woman and an individual with her own interpretation of what the work means.
I've enjoyed every item about each model, even the ones that I have never heard of, and particularly the ones that I only know a little bit about because now I have a better idea of who they are as a person and not just an image on a page.
Of course, it's also lovely to read about the more modern models and see pictures that I have already seen in the pages of Vogue and know that I have these images in my magazine collection.