Whatever Wednesday: Amy Winehouse, Marquita Pring and L’oreal Controversies & more

It’s been some time since I’ve done a “Whatever Wednesday” themed post but today seemed like the perfect day to bring it back.  There is a lot to think about…

Photoshoot: Too Brightly Burns by Remi Rebillard

This imagery will undoubtedly be a bit startling to some but its message is quite timely.  The unbearable pressures that go hand in hand with fame and greatness often overwhelm our most talented leading them to search for freedom in the most unlikely of places… all too often that freedom is found in the form of substance abuse.

Too Brighly Burns by Remi Rebillard (Image via Fashionising)

As soon as I saw the image above, by photographer Remi Rebillard, my thoughts turned to the recent loss of  Amy Winehouse.  The photo paints a very stark and disturbing picture of the destructive nature of addiction.  Regardless of whether or not you were personally a fan of her music there is no denying that the world lost a great talent the day she died.  I hope you’ll take a few moments to check out the rest of the photoshoot (some is NSFW) and think about what could have been.

Banned in the UK: Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for L’oreal

It appears that Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington weren’t able to escape the effects of photoshop.  According to the The Daily Mail, the UK Advertising Standards Authority has banned the latest L’oreal-brand advertisements featuring the two women on the grounds that they are misleading due to their digitally altered skin.

Images via UK Daily Mail

Julia Roberts is featured in an ad for Lancôme’s Teint Miracle foundation which states that the product “recreates the aura of perfect skin.”   The Turlington ad, meanwhile, actually made me giggle because the product in question is Maybelline’s “The Eraser” foundation.  (Note to those who may not have photoshop: “the eraser” is a photoshop tool!)

I think it is safe to say that photoshop will definitely erase any imperfections giving you the aura of perfect skin.

What do you think of this news?  Do you think more advertisements should be banned on the grounds that they are misleading or do you think some photoshopping is to be expected?

Wanted: Curvy Models (Bring your own padding)

Let’s briefly revisit the topic of curvy/plus-size models.   Marquita Pring is fast becoming one of the top curvy/plus models of the day.  She has walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier, appeared in campaigns for Levi’s, and was recently shot by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia.

Marquita Pring by Sølve Sundsbø for V Magazine (Image via models.com)

WWD sat down with Pring for a telling interview published yesterday… an interview where the size 12/14 model admits that sometimes she pads her own body to meet a client’s needs.

Yes.  You read that right.  She pads her body to make herself appear heavier/curvier/whatever:

“I don’t know if we should reveal this secret!  They’re pieces of foam. So I just lay them flat on each hip underneath [hosiery]. They’re like a solid inch and a half thick. [The pads] make you seem all around wider. I mean, from the side you look kind of weird — and it feels weird. Like every now and then my arm gets caught on it and I’m like, wait, this isn’t me. But it’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.”

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  While I like that this means a model doesn’t have to change her weight, I wonder why her clients don’t just hire someone who is the size they are looking for.  I am sure they exist.

What are your thoughts?

And the latest new fashion designer is…

Giuliana Rancic!  According to WWD, the E! News anchor is getting ready to launch a clothing line.  Pieces in her collection will reportedly run around $50 and include a fake leather deconstructed jacket and three handbags.  Rancic is known for her eye for style – both onscreen and off – but does that make her designer material?

Image via Google Images

Lately it seems like every celebrity with a remote interest in fashion is entering the designer ring.  Rumors were recently floating around that Emma Watson, whom I admittedly adore, was considering designing a line of her own but her reps have shut that down.  It’s only a matter of time before someone else decides to try their hand at it.

What do you think of this new celebrity-designer trend?

Tom Ford: Interviews, Runway shows and More!

Image via Grazia Online

In case you missed it earlier, I have moved my coverage of all things Tom Ford to my new blog: Full Time Ford.   Read about his thoughts on Galliano and McQueen here, check out the F/W 2011 Ad Campaign here and read about the possibility of a full runway show in London here.

Most importantly, don’t miss this wonderful interview with The Talks where Tom gets extremely personal… and tells us that no one will flirt with him (obviously he hasn’t met me yet!).

Inspiration: Jessica Hart wears Gucci for Elle Spain, August 2011

Finally, I just wanted to share this image with you because I adore everything about it.  Photographer Santiago Esteban shot Jessica wearing all Gucci for this shoot, and while I like them all, this shot is by far my favorite.  You can check out the rest at ZAC Fashion.

Also, while we are on the subject of Gucci – make sure you check out this post on Grit and Glamour for a look at the F/W 2011 Collection shoppable video!  Yes, I said shoppable video.  How sexy is that?!

Jessica Hart by Santiago Esteban for Elle Spain, August 2011 (Image via ZAC Fashion)


So… what is on your mind this Wednesday?


{ 27 comments… add one }

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  • GRIT & GLAMOUR August 14, 2011, 9:05 AM

    Thanks for the mention, B!

  • Jamillah August 2, 2011, 11:01 PM

    I’m going to read that interview with Marquita right this instant that is fascinating!! I honestly don’t really have a problem with the padding situation. A model really is more than her body, it’s her image, her ability of coming to life ect.

    I am ecstatic about the L’Oreal ads…honestly I’ve worked in advertising for years now and the UK ad guidelines are notoriously really really liberal in their substantiation claims from UK produced advertising are often taken completely out b/c the support is so flimsy. So I’m actually really happy about the ads being taken down.

  • Jenmarie July 29, 2011, 1:08 PM

    I’ve never heard of someone using padding to add more curves. It’s really just like the models who wear certain bras to make themselves look bigger, or as Steph mentioned photoshopping to make someone look slimmer or bringing their face to perfection. It’s all lies and I don’t think it’s right. The sad thing is a lot of people get sucked into them. Everyone is all about altering, when is it going to be about accepting?

    Loved reading through the post!

  • THE-LOUDMOUTH July 28, 2011, 9:51 PM

    Wow! Lots goin’ on here. Props for putting together such an informative round-up of current happenings…

    First off, isn’t the padding thing to make someone seem wider similar to photoshopping someone to making them seem slimmer? I’m not saying either of those is okay, but I’m not too shocked that the padding is happening.

    And the celeb designers… it’s interesting because if they weren’t celebrities, would they even have the desire to design? Or are they doing it for more self-promotion, to have another project going on? It doesn’t seem innocent to me.

  • Marissa July 28, 2011, 4:31 PM

    The padding trick is just bizzare! Not only could a brand just hire a larger model, but what is wrong with featuring an average-size model?! We see the thinnest of the thin and the curviest of the curvy, but rarely do we see anything in between. How can the fashion industry claim to embrace “real” bodies when we only see two ends of a spectrum?

    • THE-LOUDMOUTH July 28, 2011, 9:52 PM

      The age-old question! People have told me I should model, and I’m like… I’d either have to gain 40 pounds or lose 40 pounds. There’s no room for an “average” body.

  • Tamra {walkswithBella} July 28, 2011, 3:53 PM

    Thanks for the headsup on the Tom Ford interview. I heart him. So happy to have discovered your bloggie!!

  • V July 28, 2011, 9:25 AM

    That first photograph is so striking, beautiful, yet terribly looming, I can’t get it out of my head! I find it so appropriate to the public tragedies we’ve seen over the last year — or I guess in different degrees throughout recent history in the light of any great strike of fame. There’s a reason Gaga called it the “Fame Monster”

  • A Brit Greek July 28, 2011, 2:20 AM

    Cor, there definitely is a lot to think about today.
    That photoshoot by Remi, is just a tad disturbing, some of the models in one shot look completely out of it. What are people supposed to think when they see this? Inspiration/that it’s cool to get high? Hmmm, i think not.

    I also picked up the DM article yesterday and also had a chuckle to myself about the ‘eraser’ tool, oops i meant foundation! Perhaps Photoshop is definitely expected by consumers these days, but I do think it’s wrong when it’s misleading.

    The curvy bit, ok, i’ll admit i’ve worked on shoots where the company has hired a model who was a UK size 16, but she was a lot slimmer, but only in the legs. The stylist padded her out as the shoot was for a prestigious denim range… other times on diff shoots it’s been padding on the hips and bottom. It is a tad insane, but it happens in the crazy world of fashion. In contrast to that, clothes on skinny models get cinched back with bulldog clips or taped back (and later photoshopped)… interesting… I think Marquita is stunning though!

    Think you already know my thoughts on the Celeb designing thing, ugh! I also read about Geri Halliwell – Ginger spice launching her own collection: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2019110/Geri-Halliwell-launches-line-red-carpet-ready-gowns-Next.html

    Tom Ford bit, hello, how exciting???? Your own blog dedicated to man!!! Did you see that documentary on OWN? Let me know if any good?

    Brilliant post B.

  • Amanda Gordon July 28, 2011, 12:55 AM

    I am so glad to hear about this. It is high time companies stopped advertising using fake doctored images. These ads conjure up a picture perfect image of the model/actress which is completely divorced from reality. I am very happy that attempts are being made to put an end to such sharp practices.

  • Courtney July 27, 2011, 11:56 PM

    I was very encouraged to see the news come across the wire today about the L’Oreal controversy in Europe. However, I doubt that would ever happen here. What a shame.

    I don’t think I would ever buy anything from Rancic’s line. I think she’s good at what she does at E!, but she’s never struck me as particularly stylish. It just seems like another way for her to capitalize on her name.

  • Natasha (One Womans Style Evolution) July 27, 2011, 11:08 PM

    This is a really great post! Fist bump to the UK for banning the ads. I wish our people would do the same here. Too much body issues going on here. On that model padding her body.. .There is quite a few beautiful naturally curvy models. Why not use them? Not surprised about Rancic. She was all over my Spiegel book.

  • Heather Fonseca July 27, 2011, 10:28 PM

    Oh wow! Lots of things to think about for sure.

    I remember years ago reading about plus sized models who lost weight for health reasons and then couldn’t work anymore. They weren’t thin enough to be regular models, and not plus enough to be plus sized models. I feel like we should get to a point when models are just models of all sizes, but in the mean time if that beautiful girl needs to pad her hips to get work so be it.

    As for actresses and celebrities working as designers, I kinda wish they would just stay actresses unless the REALLY want to switch careers and design clothes. I have a feeling they aren’t doing the designing anyway, just lending their name and look to a brand. It feels kinda fake to me.

    Great post!

  • Cate July 27, 2011, 9:29 PM

    am i the only person in the world who can’t stand depandi-rancic? she BOTHERS me. for completely irrational reasons.

  • Casee Marie July 27, 2011, 8:10 PM

    So much here I want to comment on. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a novel!

    That photoshoot paints a very real picture of a very real problem in our society, and Amy was such a tragic loss to it. Russell Brand actually wrote something about it (a blog post, maybe? I just saw it quoted on Tumblr) and it was quite motivating and honest. I was shocked at how many comments on Twitter and Facebook I was seeing that gave voice to thoughts like, “No one should pity her” and “It was her own fault”. Someone even said, “No one was feeding her the drugs”. I guess they’re all legitimate statements, but do people really have that little respect and compassion to offer others? It’s sad.

    The L’oreal adverts, I’m really quite glad they were banned. I think it’s about time somebody cracked down on all the airbrushing ridiculousness. I think Photoshop (or a similar program) is vital for all media publications to some degree, but there’s so much more to it than just airbrushing. I think it doesn’t hurt to enhance the overall aesthetic of a picture, and it’s possible to do that without actually altering the subject.

    The curvy bit…gosh, that’s disappointing. Sometimes I wonder what models – of the curvy, straight or petite variety – think of their impact from a body image standpoint. It seems like so many of us look to them for some sort of validation, but if we’re brutally honest with ourselves it’s not a model’s job to quell our shape/size insecurities. One could say that Marquita is willing to alter her appearance to best suit a job in the same way an actress will wear a wig, etc. I guess instead I’d fault the brands that are willing to take part in that.

    Okay, and Giuliana as a fashion designer, totally not feeling that. Emma Watson did do her little collection for People Tree and I thought that was a great move because she undoubtedly introduced a lot of people to the prospect of fair trade, and of course Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have done so well in the industry, but I don’t think any celeb can just become a fashion designer. And every time they try – especially someone like Giuliana who surely doesn’t have ample time on her hands to put into overseeing the manufacturing – I think about Kathie Lee Gifford and everything she went through with her line. How many celebs will innocently agree to put their name on something and be completely oblivious to how it’s made?

    And I’ll stop now. I can’t tell you how long I’ve sat here writing this comment, trying to condense and thinking through my thoughts. You always know how to do some serious thought-provoking!

  • Tanvi July 27, 2011, 7:53 PM

    That’s a very hard-hitting photo shoot. Amy is still on my mind. Hope she rests in peace.

    I am glad UK is banning such ads. You have get them the message that they cannot sell products by photoshopped celebs. Same standard applies here, as does with the curvy issue, hire someone the right size/skin tone. And if it doesn’t exists then change the campaign and instead of selling false.

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

  • Terri July 27, 2011, 7:44 PM

    The first bit about addiction gave me pause…an issue I’ve been chewing on since I heard of Amy’s passing. I have this vague sense that my admiration of her talent (and purchase of her music) is somehow at fault for her troubles… It is a feeling I can’t quite shake and can’t quite articulate.

  • Piper Alexander July 27, 2011, 6:45 PM

    RE: Curvy Models (Bring your own padding) – It sounds to me like she’s only padding certain parts of her body, namely, her hips. Maybe they can find someone with bigger hips, but will she have the same size waist then? It seems weird in general to me. They don’t pad “regular” models, do they?

  • blahblahbecky.co.uk July 27, 2011, 5:18 PM

    Great post, it’s like you’ve literally rounded up the thoughts in my head this week!

    So sad about Amy still. I hope she’s at peace now.

  • fuyume July 27, 2011, 5:04 PM

    While it’s true that fame can have a detrimental effect on some and lead them to abuse substances im not sure if that was the case with amy winehouse. I was watching a docu on her just last night and it seems the root of her drug taking was her obsessive love of blake. He was the one who pushed the drugs onto her and encouraged her to take more and more. Apparently before she met him she was staunchly anti drugs. The pressure of fame probably was to blame for her not being able to stop though.