Former Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn's First Vogue Cover Shoot

Formerly the most sought-after plus-sized model in the world, Crystal Renn shows off her new body on the cover to Vogue Mexico this month. Having been between a size 10-14 for most of her career, the press nearly fainted over photos that were released last summer that showed a dramatic weight loss. Renn has always been open about her battle with anorexia as a teen model, so it came as a shock when she appeared to be just as thin as when she had an eating disorder.
Crystal Renn as a teen and the controversial shoot in 2010

Read more and see Renn's Vogue editorial after the jump

At the time Renn denied having undergone such extreme weight loss, saying the images were Photoshopped, and candid photos revealed that this was indeed true. But in her editorial for Vogue Mexico, which harks back to the days of the true 90s supermodel, it's apparent she had been losing weight. Renn cited her own health concerns as the reason behind it, not industry pressure.

Crystal Renn from Harper's Bazaar Australia in 2009

What I'm curious about is this: By taking away what set Crystal Renn aside as a model, how will the industry now view her? Renn is undeniably stunning, but how long can she coast on her previous reputation as a high-fashion underdog is up for debate. With her thinner body, her face is now what defines her and she doesn't seem to fit any of the popular model categories, like the little girl doll face or the harsh Nordic sexbomb, or the androgyn. She has a classically beautiful face that couture has overlooked for at least the last ten years. Her weight gave her that edge and not that it's gone, she's sadly one of many universally beautiful woman (oh how awful!) that is better suited for lingerie or Sports Illustrated than runway or, well, American, French, Italian, or Japanese Vogues.

Perhaps slimming down is just financially prudent since she can be up for more traditional campaign work and that generally pays the best. Unfortunately, her competition would also increase dramatically since she's closer to the average fashion model's size. But in the end I'm sure being a human "shock value" gets old after a while. Renn may be perfectly happy to be just another face in the line-up and not a name assosicated with heavy-set women. Luckily she is in the good graces of longtime supporters like designer Jean Paul Gaultier and photographer Steven Miesel and has even published a book on her struggles with eating disorders, so she won't be out of a job any time soon.

Watch the making of Crystal Renn's Vogue Mexico shoot:

What do you think about Crystal Renn's weight loss?

A Look Back At Carine Roitfeld; Her Uncertain Future

What can we say about Carine Roitfeld? After a much publicized leave from her coveted Editor-In-Chief position at French Vogue, now Roitfeld has been banned from fashion week. Jonathan Newhouse, Condé Nast's International Chairman, sent a letter to designers requesting that they not invite Carine to their shows because "it might send a confusing message" having both her and her replacement Emmanuelle Alt there. I haven't seen a high fashion fallout like this since Rachel Zoe pulled a "bigger than Jesus" with Anna Wintour. But Zoe certainly won that battle now with her top-rated Bravo show, QVC line, fashion news site and of course, the $10,000 per styling gigs. Still, Wintour always wins the war.

But back to Carine. It's not clear what she will be doing now that she no longer wields the Vogue saber (rumored to team up with Hedi Slimane to direct YSL if current creative director Stefano Pilati leaves). Designer consultation was one thing she had been doing while still at Vogue, although the conflicts of interest made it one of the reasons Roitfeld left. In the end we cannot deny her talent in any fashion venue. Here is what I think is a stunning example of Roitfeld's abilities, starring model Lara Stone and shot by Mark Segal from a 2007 issue of French Vogue. Amazing how her styling then still resonates today--and the baby jaguar certainly helps.

More photos after the jump:

Britney Spears' Jell-O Novella Shoot for V Magazine

Popstar Britney Spears glosses the cover of this month's V Magazine suspended in a color gel filtered shoot that reminds me of dying eggs on Easter or those Jell-O cakes with fruit pieces in them. Britney would definitely be less apples, more cherries. Shot by top photographer Mario Testino, his approach is really genius: backlighting makes the body look thinner, shrouds and softens the face and gives an innocent glow that we so fondly remember Britney once having, the gel filters bring colors, textures and flaws into uniform (makes photoshopping easier) and who doesn't love a wind machine? This shoot really belongs on the cover of a drugstore romance novella (is that a horse she's sitting on?). I'm fairly certain V is completely aware of this and is just reveling in the camp of the whole thing. Love it.

More photos after the jump:

Read more about Britney Spears in V plus an interview with Brit at

An Immodest Irina Lazareanu For Cover Magazine

The one comment about model Irina Lazareanu that always resonated with me was what Michelle McCool (not the WWE wrestler), Fashion Director of Cosmopolitan said: "It's all about the hair and her flatness. I love that she has no boobs." Aerodynamics is certainly a good trait to have in the modeling world. Lazareanu brings skin-baring warehouse cavorting to Danish fashion site, Cover Magazine. Photographed by Rasmus Skousen and styled by Emelie Johansson, the looks are quintessential every-night urban party girl outfits... who happens to have Bottega Venetta, Burberry Prorsum and Lanvin mixed in with her Topshop and vintage.

More photos after the jump:

Raquel Zimmerman Vogue Nippon

The 70s prevails, even in this fashion editorial inspired by classic screen legends Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire for Vogue Nippon. Model Raquel Zimmermann and choreographer Stephen Galloway make for a vibrant spread of flashing gowns from Marc Jacobs, YSL and Ferragamo. Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh with styling by George Cortina. In the styling, I don't see much relation to the original dancing duo besides the slick tuxedo and billowy hems, but a few smiles from Zimmermann and more demonstration of Galloway's dancing ability would've make Fred and Ginger proud.

More photos after the jump:

Get In The Mood: Valentine's Day Inspiration

I've been super busy the past week as the mild-mannered Assistant Editor for Yahoo! Music, so I haven't been able to update much since it's been Grammys week. But I don't want to leave you hanging on this of all days for love. Love of music, love of fashion, love of chaos, Valentine's doesn't have to be about the love between people. Indulge your fantasies today.

Sovereigns of the Pleasuredome: Dita Von Teese in Thierry Mugler Spectacular

Living in Los Angeles, a run-in with celebrities is inevitable. After most of a lifetime of these run-ins, they just become part of the city's landscape, not much more exciting than seeing the cute boy from school. But there are those few that really excite you, and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese was one of them. I first heard of her years ago when she made the cover of Playboy’s December 2002 issue, which was passed around in my friend's college dorm room one casual evening. I sincerely believe it helped one particularly tomboyish girl come to terms with her sexuality as she quietly flipped through the pictorial for the entire get together. At that time Dita was mostly known as “Marilyn Manson’s wife,” but since the divorce she’s only become more of a fashion icon, regularly seen in fashion week front rows, magazines and celebrity events. She arguably brought burlesque back to single-handedly to mainstream media.

A few weeks back, Dita showed up at my friends’ monthly “polysexual hard partying” events called A Club Called Rhonda. She was up in the balcony overlooking the dance floor justing LIVING the music. It was dark, lights were flashing, you can just barely see her, but I still couldn’t help pointing her out to everyone I knew.

But what makes me like Dita the most is that she's not a "beautiful" woman--she says that herself. Her appearance on CSI confirms it: her teeth are awkwardly big, her face kinda puffy and without the perfect hair, bedazzled lingerie and flawless makeup she's really quite plain. In my mind it's encouraging, meaning any plain girl with the right styling and attitude can look as amazing as Dita. It's the styling that's the tough part, people rarely take to a look as much as Dita took to retro and burlesque. And trying to get her banging bod is a whole other story. (Note: I saw her perform an exclusive sneak preview
 show up close one night, and yes, she has cellulite like everyone else. But that makes her no less amazing.)

Dita and hyper-diva designer Thierry Mugler joined up to manufacture a glamor-meets-Gattaca editorial for the latest issue of FLAUNT. While the Mugler A/W 2011 menswear collection is a refreshing, yet far cry from Mugler's established aesthetic, this spread is a celebration of what Thierry does best on one of the most coveted bodies in the world.

See more photos and read the interview here.

Rising Model: Aymeline Valade Goes Punk for Interview Magazine

A face hard to forget, Parisian model Aymeline Valade is making a huge splash since suddenly popping up in Balenciaga's spring 2011 runway show. Recently she was selected to star in Alexander Wang's highly coveted "image pieces" i.e. ad campaigns. Craig McDean, who shot Wang's campaign, shot this color popping 90's punk-come-Hackers spread for the latest issue of Interview. Valade might just be the next incarnation of frequently tomboy'd model Freja Beha. Her strong facial features allows her to oscillate unemcumbered between hyper feminine and hyper masculine looks. I don't think Freja could've pulled off this shoot as powerfully as Valade does, though I'm sure a video of the shoot would look just SO laughably awkward. But really, what shoot isn't kind of absurd in it's making?

More images after the jump:

The Death Queen for Post'age Denim by Zak Krevitt

Fabulous fashion photographer Zak Krevitt (who shot our Collection 4 Lookbook feat. Kelli McKee) shot the javelin-nosed Death Queen of unknown origin for the latest collection from Post'age Denim. I've seen her once before whilst exiting a Nylon Magazine party last fall. The elevator opened and out stepped this creature in the most incredible red military band jacket, silver hair, long legs and of course her extreme nose accessory. I'm loving the unusual choice of model for a denim shoot mixed with a very feminine 50s pin-up girl updo--a pin-up girl for 2011.

 More after the jump:

JOYRICH at Los Angeles Fashion Weekend - POOF!

Edit Oct. 24th: I actually found the photos! They're all here for you to enjoy, so don't mind my bitching!

I am DEVASTATED! All my photos from last Friday's LA Fashion Weekend event are poof gone somehow. Poof are the photos of cute Japanese fashionistas, icy models-types, stylists, photographers and this stunning woman who was dripping in gold dome studs with red lips and a tight high bun that I was obsessed with (and her generic boyfriend was dismayed by). But I do have a few iPhone photos of the night's activities at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. Chevy Volts were parked outside for perusing/making out in, there were a few designer vendors selling their quasi-interesting wares, but of course everyone crowded the open bars.

I came thinking this was a runway show only for the LA via Japan streetwear line JOYRICH's SS11 collection, whom I reviewed a few months ago for Style In Progress magazine. So I was confused to see droves of older, stylistically typical LA "clubbing" crowd at the event. Turns out it was a medley show with labels JL Marks and Balthaczar, both of which I found to be uninspired and have poor quality craftsmanship--figures. Joyrich on the other hand was hot mess of 90s throwbacks with acid washes, moto and denim jackets in mustard leather, leopard and floral, printed leggings and bodycon dresses with a touch of 50's rockabilly/Rosie the Riveter takes the war effort to the beach. The collection was cohesive, exciting, clearly well-made and just much more my personal style. And doesn't hurt the designers had confetti cannons to complement their walk-on applause. Now I feel like I need confetti canons at all times.

More after the jump:

Since I lost 90% of my photos from that night, I'll instead regale you with my Twitter commentary:

LA fashion week(end) won out. Currently sitting w/ the freaks at Sunset & Gower Studios waiting 4 Joyrich show
Watching Carson from Queer Eye interview girls on the red carpet whom I have nooo idea who they are

@joyrichla killed all others tonight. Real style, real quality & real FOINE male models. Dying for a moto jacket

Lovin watching the other designers squirm in their seats
Things to take away from their SS11 collection: moto jackets are timeless, America fuck yeah and PAISLEY IS BACK.

Click through for more photos

Lara Stone for Interview Magazine - Sept 2010

Lara Stone is the Brigitte Bardot fantasy Barbarella of this century, no question. I love this shoot because despite her incredible body, there's a strange other-worldly kinda plasticine/marble feeling to her. Some get this girl to a French art film director, quick!


The Chronicles of Lara, shot by Mert & Marcus

Tavi Styles Christine Staub for Blackbook

Fashion blogger phenom Tavi Gevinson of the much-lauded Style Rookie put her discerning eye towards styling her first editorial shoot for BlackBook Magazine's August 2010 issue--at just 13. The styling is befitting for Tavi, bringing her
characteristic vintage-come-grandma-come-clashing child craft aesthetic to the look and feel of this shoot.

Having just seen the two Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion shows, I'm fascinated with 16 year-old model Christine Staub, daughter of the show's villain Danielle Staub. Christine was chosen for Tavi's BlackBook shoot after Chloe Sevigny dropped out. With a mother who is razzed all over the media for being a pathological liar and psychopath, one can't help but feel bad for Christine, who was lucky enough to inherit some pretty good genes (and hopefully none of the bad ones).  The title, "Nobody's Daughter" certainly fits the cause as Christine outshines her mother with an interrupted innocence reminiscent of a young Muriel Hemingway.

Beauty of Seville: Jessica Stam in Harper's Bazaar

My favorite model Jessica Stam goes capering about Seville, Spain in the August 2010 issue of Harper's Bazaar, shot by Alexi Lubomirski. This editorial makes me want to revisit Seville in the summertime, I was there last year in December. The city was still gorgeous with it's Christmas embellishments, but not as vibrant and lively as it is in warmer weather when people flood the streets.

I'm loving the rich colors and lush, flowy fabrics in this shoot that create a fantastic melange of both modern and traditional Spanish style.