Vogue

The Best Lingerie-And Lingerie Models!- Come in All Sizes and Shapes

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Vogue’s latest bra shoot features five gorgeous plus-sized models. Shot by Cass Bird, the editorial titled“Give me a D! Give me an F!” Because Gorgeous Bras Come in All Shapes and Sizes” features well-known models Ashley Graham, Inga Eiriksdottir and Maquita Pring. Both high fashion and shopping mall brands are featured in the shoot, making the bras modeled accessible to all women. Most notably, high fashion brand L’Agent by Agent Provocateur is featured in the shoot. In the editorial, the models discuss how they have felt purchasing lingerie over the years, and how they feel about all different types of bras.

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This come at a time when the fashion industry is facing changes in the definition of plus size models. With the array of criticism that the industry is receiving over-photoshopped image and the health of sample-sized models, this shoot is refreshing.

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The best part of the whole shoot is that Vogue makes no reference to the women’s size, and instead focuses on the beauty of the clothes, just like they would if sample-sized women were used in the shoot. Vogue states, “when it comes to gorgeous undergarments, there is no such thing as cutting corners—and if the cup fits, why not make sure it’s pretty?” By treating these women like they would their normal models, Vogue is setting an important precedent. They are saying that all women are beautiful and deserve to be treated the same way. That is a concept that the rest of the fashion industry needs to grasp.

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All images courtesy of Vogue

Vogue’s Afropunk Hair Portraits Show There Is More To African-American Hair Than Just Relaxer

It is clear that hair plays a large part in African-American culture. Throughout history, you can argue that hair plays a more important part in African-American culture than any other culture.

Many historians believe that since the beginning of African civilizations, hairstyles have been used to convey messages to greater society. As early as the 15th century, different styles could “indicate a person’s marital status, age, religion, ethnic identity, wealth and rank within the community.” Unkempt hair in nearly every West African culture was considered unattractive to the opposite sex and a sign that one was dirty, had bad morals or was even insane. In Yoruba culture in West Africa, people braided their hair to send messages to the gods. The hair is the most elevated part of the body and was therefore considered a portal for spirits to pass through to the soul. Because of the cultural and spiritual importance of hair for Africans, the practice of having their heads involuntarily shaved before being sold as slaves was in itself a dehumanizing act. “The shaved head was the first step the Europeans took to erase the slaves’ culture and alter the relationship between the African and his or her hair.”

During the slave years, many African-Americans were not able to be focused on their hairstyles. Due to the grueling and inhumane conditions they were forced to endure, they simple had no time, energy or product to use in their hair. During this time, survival was much more important than hair.

But, after the slave trade was outlawed, many African-Americans were able to focus on their hair, as they entered society for the first time. It was during this time period that hair straightening became popular. Hair straighteners suggest to blacks that only through changing physical features will persons of African descent be afforded class mobility within African American communities and social acceptance by the dominant culture” (Rooks 1998: 177). At the time, wig manufacturers were the only companies that advertised an African American standard of beauty.

Madam C.J. Walker was beginning to make her fortune through the success of her hair products. Through this business, she was able to become the first female self-made millionaire in America.

This was a time when Blacks were creating their own successes in society and staking out a niche in the northern cities such as Chicago and Harlem. Part of their personal success at this time, however, was their perceived ability to assimilate, which is portrayed by unnaturally straight hair.

Even in Winold Reiss’s Brown Madonna, which was painted during the post-slave era of the early 1900’s, the Virgin Mother is shown with straight hair. Painted toward the beginning of the New Negro movement in 1925, the work showcased the sense of racial pride popular during the 1920s and 1930s. This classically white symbol of purity and virtue was created with dark skin, asserting the value and respectability of the Black race.

The Afro, which hit its stride in the 1960s, was an expression of pride, connection, power, revolution and differentiation. African-American’s began to use their hair as a way to showcase a link to their African ancestors and Blacks throughout the diaspora. The Afro, in conjunction with the Civil Rights movement, was helping to define black identity (Byrd and Tharps 2001: 51).

The Black Is Beautiful movement began during this era as well. It aimed to dispel the notion in many world cultures that African-American natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair are inherently ugly. The movement also encouraged men and women to stop trying to eliminate African-identified traits by straightening their hair and attempting tolighten or bleach their skin.

Hip Hop culture in the 1980s created a slew of new trends, one being the “fade” for men. The fade is a hairstyle worn predominantly by black men in which the hair starts off short at the bottom and lengthens as it reaches the top. This style afforded the wearer an opportunity for individuality, as people often cut designs into the back and sides or added different colors to the topHip Hop also had an influence on young black women. Asymmetric cuts like wedges, stacks or finger curls were popular during this time.

In current culture, the variety of hair styles that can be worn by an African-American are used to showcase a unique personal style. No longer are “relaxers” the only type of hair style. By using weaves, braids, hair-coloring, and a variety of different techniques, every African-American can come up with a unique aesthetic that fits their individual lifestyles.

Recently, Vogue ran the AfroPunk Hair Portrait spread on their website. It showed a variety of young African-Americans, all proudly displaying their unique hairstyles. The wide range of colors and styles clearly shows that many young people today are embracing their natural hair and using that hair to create an overall look that expresses their exact personality. Never again will these African-American’s feel the need to be boxed into one particular hairstyle. Even those who choose to use relaxers are just as beautiful as those who choose to wear their hair naturally. The pictures below show that all hair is beautiful and unique, especially in the African-American community, where the hair varies across a large spectrum of hairstyles. Check out the pictures of these beautiful individuals below, who all have beautiful hair. Additionally, check out the rest of the hair portraits by clicking here.

All Photos below are Courtesy of Vogue
All Portraits Attributed to the Artist Awol Erizku

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2013: The year in which models are finally treated fairly

British Vogue was the first glossy magazine to agree to Equity’s “10-point Code of Conduct for the treatment of Models during photo shoots in studios and on location”. Some wonderful provisions of the code are stated below:

1. Working Hours and Break: “A working day shall consist of a maximum work period of ten hours Monday to Sunday…It is expected that the Model shall not be required to work more than five consecutive hours without a break of sufficient length…and that within a four hour working period at least one short break of no less than 15 minutes will be provided.

2. Respect and Dignity: The Model will be treated with respect and professionalism and all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the safety, health, well being and dignity of the Model is protected and maintained at all times. No one will ask or impose upon the Model any action or activity which is dangerous, degrading, unprofessional or demeaning to the Mode.

3. Change of Appearance: The Model cannot be required to make permanent or long lasting changed to their appearance during a photo shoot, for example by cutting hair, unless such change is agreed by the Model at the time the photo shoot takes place.

4. Nudity/Semi Nudity: The general nature of the photo shoot will be explained in advance to the Model and their agent before the contract is agreed and any nudity/semi-nudity will be personally approved by the Model before the shoot takes place. 

5. Changing area/Bathroom facilities: A private changing area will be provided for the Models to use. The models will have access to adequate bathroom facilities including hot water in studios and on location wherever it is reasonably practicable to do so.

6. Insurance and prompt payment: During the contract period the Model must be provided with appropriate insurance cover adequate to cover all liabilities and risks. These must include adequate cancellation insurance, public liability insurance, Employer’s Liability insurance, travel insurance…and any other necessary insurance. At the end of the contract period the Model will be paid promptly and in any even in accordance with the agreed payment terms.

7. Use of Models under 16 years of Age: Models under 16 years of age will not be used in photo shoots representing adult models. If a model is used who is under 16 years of age, there will be no nudity or  semi-nudity required. The model will be accompanied throughout the photo shoot by a Chaperone that has a CRB clearance or parent. Any work will be in accordance with, where relevant an applicable with the Statutory Regulations that apply to Child Entertainers and Models.

There are 3 more requirements regarding meals, travel and transport and temperature/working conditions.

The fact that British Vogue signed the resolution is amazing. Kudos to them for being the first to take a step that needed to be taken a long, long time ago. Models are not treated with the same basic human respect that is given to others with different careers. The fact that it takes a signed resolution to ensure that models are treated with “respect and professionalism” is ridiculous. Every HUMAN regardless of their profession should be treated with “respect and professionalism”. If someone at a Fortune 500 company was not treated with “respect and professionalism” they would be able to voice their complaint and make a change within the company. If a Model voices the same complaint, she/he would most likely be fired. These provisions are necessary! It is outrageous that this needed to be signed to for a model to be alerted of and approve “any nudity/semi-nudity…before the shoot takes place”. Once they have completed their job, they should be paid. With this contract, any model who works for British Vogue will not have to worry about whether or not they will get payment. Like any other employee, they will get paid on time and respectfully.

The clause that was added to protect child models is equally as wonderful. These models deserve the same respect and accommodations given to child actors or singers.

Hopefully other glossy’s will follow British Vogue’s lead and thus give all models a safe and productive work environment. This resolution is a step in the right direction and British Vogue deserves applause for implementing it.

Vogue Ukraine

Ukraine has debuted their own Vogue, become the 21st international edition of the magazine.

“Ukrainian clients are very important for all of the major European brands,” Masha Tsukanova, the editor-in-chief told the New York Times in the bar of the Hôtel du Louvre on March 13. The Times reported that she was in Paris to introduce the magazine to designers, models and photographers, as an ambassador for the developing luxury market in Kiev.

Ukraine is expanding, with its own luxury-shopping street in Kiev. There are two and there are two Fashion Weeks held there. Many magazines have produced Ukrainian editions over the past years.

Tsukanova will join the ranks of the other Vogue editors, famous faces such as Anna Dello Russo (editor-at-large of Vogue Japan), Franca Sozzani (edior-in-chief of Vogue Italia), and of course, Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of American Vogue).

Tsukanova told fashionista.com “ I hope that the experience which I gained from newspapers will help us not only promote the beauty but also the brains of Vogue Ukraine.”

“In a couple of years, Ukrainian fashion will have its own face,” Ms. Tsukanova told the New York Times “And Vogue Ukraine is going to help this industry develop.” The magazine will differentiate itself from others (especially Vogue Russia, which is also available in Kiev) by focusing on local designers and culture. It will focus on trends that occur in Ukraine and the styles of the typical Ukrainian women, which Tsukanova believes are very different from the styles worn by Russian women.

“We try to pick as many local heroes as possible,” she told the New York Times, adding that syndicated versions of international titles usually feature the same global designers and stories.

The magazine will focus on the issues that are important to their readers, as well as provide a unique fashion perspective, individualized for the Ukrainian women.

0311MASHA-articleInlineThe first issue of Vogue Ukraine

Courtesy of The New York Times