Image via The Cut
The whole retouching debate is never far from the headlines. Back in June the American Medical Association made it clear that they plan to take a tough stance on retouching, particularly with brands appealing to teenagers, and Coco Rocha announced that her Jacobs campaign will not be retouched. And now the issue is in the press again but this time Maybelline and Lancôme are in the hot seat.
Christy Turlington and Julia Robert's respective campaigns have been banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Agency for being 'misleading' due to an alleged over-retouching. When asked about Robert's Lancome campaign, the ASA said:
On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques.
While I applaud the ASA's strong stance, I'm not convinced that their position will help improve the situation. Over-retouching and depicting an unattainable ideal is something that has become entrenched in advertising practice making it naive to think that this could be bypassed so easily. That said, we have to start somewhere.
After Kate Moss' big appearance at the fall 2011 Louis Vuitton show back in March, we were all expecting that the star would appear in the brand's ad campaign. For the fall 2010 campaign Marc Jacobs chose supermodels like Christy Turlington, Natalia Vodianova and Karen Elson but this season he opted for fresh faces.
Of the six models chosen - including Daphne Groeneveld and Anais Pouliot - the eldest was Gertrud Hegelund aged 20. So does this suggest a movement away from the credit crunch? Over the last few years brands have taken a conscious step to cast the 'supers' and big money models like Gisele in order to appeal to 'mature' women who were amongst the few who still had a disposable income during the downturn. With that in mind, does the reversion back to fresh faces signal that all is well in the luxury world?
The last few seasons have witnessed a big shake-up with advertising campaigns. Gone are the 16 year old girls fronting the big brands. Instead, designers reverted back to using the 'supers' like Gisele Bundchen, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, who all seemed like money well spent in today's climate in order to appeal to older women who are not the only ones with a disposable income. Case in point: last season Talbot chose Linda Evangelista to front their campaign, which marked the start of a relaunch for the brand.
However, the brand has just announced that Evanglista will not appear in their Spring/Summer 11 campaign. "Julianne Moore. I've been dying to say those two words for two months," said Talbots chief creative officer Michael Smaldone on the announcement of the new face of the brand. Many expected Evangelista to stay on at the brand for longer but it looks like Smaldone wanted something different for next season. "A lot of women recognized Linda Evangelista as a woman they knew," he explained. "The reaction was tremendously positive. We wanted it to be dramatic — we wanted it to turn a lot of heads, which it did. We were more severe on purpose … I think Julianne Moore will soften our look."
Earlier this year we revealed that Liu Wen was the first Chinese model to be signed by Estee Lauder and it looks like the move towards a more diverse representation of beauty has continued. This week it was announced that Chinese model Shu Pei will join the Maybelline family which currently includes models such as Christy Turlington, Julia Stegner and Erin Wasson.
Does this signal a sign of things to come?
Christy Turlington's modelling career has spun more than two decades but it looks like she's never been a real fan of it. Turlington, who is currently promoting her new documentary 'No Woman No Cry', recently spoke to the Telegraph who seemed more interested in finding out about her modelling career than the documentary aimed at supporting maternal health in developing countries.
The Cut pulled these interesting quotes from the feature:
On whether she considered her looks a curse:
"I used to think so, but I don't any more. When I was 18, and my looks were what I was - and all that I was - it did feel very limiting. It got to the point where I wondered what I was doing. But modelling gave me the kind of confidence that a lot of girls in their teenage years don't have. In the end, I think that the industry saved me from having to be self-conscious."
On charity work versus modelling:
"[T]here's nothing rewarding about modelling. It was a fun opportunity that allowed me to see the world but spiritually and intellectually there is nothing rewarding about the profession at all."
"We were this oddity that occurred in pop culture at that time. But I don't think we created anything; I think we just happened to be there at that moment... Maybe there haven't been that many at any one time again, but just think of Gisele [Bündchen] and Daria [Werbowy]. And look at Kate: I met her when I was 18. Her father worked for Pan Am and so did mine, so we had that in common. She was always funnier than everyone else, and savvy. What has kept her going all this time is the fact that nothing takes her over; it's she who takes over."
Models: Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Meghan Douglas
Magazine: Vogue Italia
Issue: March 1994
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Model: Christy Turlington
Photographer: Raymond Meier
After Vogue Italia’s webcam and YouTube issue back in January 2007, Steven Meisel has always moved with the times and has never been afraid to take risks with content and covers - remember the black models-only issue this summer? This month we’re treated to more of-the-moment topics with an issue devoted to Twitter and Twitpic.
The December 2009 cover features Gisele Bundchen, Lara Stone, Christy Turlington, Kasia Struss and Natalia Vodianova in photos they took themselves in an ode to Twitpic, hence the spread name, MeiselPic. We love it, just a shame we're never going to look this good in our own Twitpics!
Ad campaigns, catwalk shows, magazine covers, even commercial newsstand value: The Daily Beast has assessed all the aspects of a model’s “visibility and success” to determine supermodel superiority and has ranked them as a top-10 list.
“We considered four tenets to illustrate a model’s visibility and success — multi-year contracts, advertising campaigns, runway appearances, and magazine covers. Those with retail licensing deals, including Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen, got credit for those estimated annual earnings, as well. Annual income from contracts, primarily negotiated by large cosmetic companies and Victoria’s Secret, were weighted 40 percent because they are the most difficult to get, bear the largest salaries, and indicate a very high level of success.”