More Bangs For My Buck, I Say

(pictures from Kingdom of Style)
I'm not a massive fan of most models . I wasn't fond of the glamazons (Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista et al- stunning women, but I probably extrapolated my dislike of the clothes of their time into a distaste for the women who wore them) and the Young Aliens (Gemma Ward, Jessica Stam, Lily Cole and co.) of today are beautiful, but so many pairs of wide-open blue eyes made the average fashion magazine circa 2004 start to look a bit like Children of the Corn. But every once in a while, like maybe about once a year, I discover that I really like the way some girl wears the clothes . And for the last year and a bit, the young lady in the pictures above and below is someone whose work I have actually loved looking at. Kate Moss might not have done anything nearly as groundbreaking as what she pulled in the years of her collaboration with Corinne Day, but picking Irina Lazareanu as the model for the editorials in her first post-coke scandal stint as guest editor of Paris Vogue was nothing short of genius. Aside from the slightly kooky appearance (not so much anymore since every post-pubescent female with even the slightest pretensions to a liking of fashion started cogging her hair by cutting in the fringes they'd previously begged their mummies to let them outgrow, but that doesn't mean they have automatic entry to the Good Fringe club*), she's too bloody skinny (someone get a look at her modelling that v. pretty white dress on the Kate Moss for Topshop site, she looks practically childlike there), and she isn't even conventionally pretty, but despite scouring a year's worth of pictures of her in adverts and editorials, the only conclusion I could come to was that she has je ne sais quoi in spades. The quality in question is supposed to be beyond definition, but I wonder if being slightly older than normal (in a field of work where the average age on getting your first break seems to be about fifteen) has something to do with it. Or the fact that, in the only interview of hers that I've ever read, she actually sounds intelligent. I hate to be stereotypical about models, but given that most of them start as young as fourteen (some even younger) and never finish school, they don't often seem like the brightest bulbs in the box. It's no fault of theirs, but having a brain and not hiding it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that she has hellishly sharp personal style- possibly influenced by Le Moss, but well-dressed girls in my immediate surroundings, no matter what my friend Girlface has to say, are so rare that I'm grateful for the sight of one anywhere. Even if that somewhere happens to be a computer screen. She's still pretty fascinating, though. And any female who manages making an 80s perm (not pictured here) look something other than ridiculous deserves my respect.
So what if I have a soft spot for a well-cut, or more importantly well-worn, jacket? Sue me, I say. And the days of sharp might just be numbered, since Hedi Slimane** quit Dior Homme and a new chap who likes baggies is now captain of the ship.

* previous members of the Good Fringe club-i.e. those who wear/wore it with panache- include Louise Brooks, Amélie Poulain (yes, I know she's fictional and it's actually Audrey Tautou, but still), Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Marianne Faithfull, Penelope Tree, and Jean Shrimpton. Oh, and Ms L above.
**he of the trousers so skinny, Karl Lagerfeld went on a baby food diet so he could fit into them. Also He Whose Style Icon Was Pete Doherty And Whose Suits Were Worn By Franz Ferdinand and who inspired the style of most halfway-sharp looking boys in the world, musical and real (even if they didn't know it), between 2004 and now.


QM said...

Great post. I really love her because she is so unconventional. She flaunts many rules as to what's considered attractive - small forehead plus a fringe is generally regarded as a no-no, she has very small, unpouty lips, a reasonably large nose - none of these are traditionally considered attractive 'qualities'. I suspect she's the type of model you either love or hate, but I can't imagine anyone being indifferent if asked for their opinion about her appearance.

Yohan said...

Wow. I'm starting to realise that you really know the fashion world! How long have you been into it?

Kudos for starting a geek blog though. My music blog is sort of half-assed when it comes to information. And I daren't make a blog on any of my other geek interests.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Waaaait, is that one of the Queens up there? Thank you for coming here and not wanting my head off! I completely agree about Irina, she's not one of the forgettables. In some ways she's a bit like Kate Moss herself, same spirit I think, only younger.

@Yohan: I've been into it for as long as I could remember. Possibly starting from my extreme opinionatedness over my clothes as a kid. But I didn't make first contact with the world of fashion till about 1993, when I encountered my first copy of Vogue. And info is easy to come by, I'm kind of half-assed about this myself. And Zonuts does a good job with that, I think.

QM said...

Indeed, you have had a Royal visitation...As a clearly well informed and deliciously opinionated loyal subject, I felt it necessary to give you the Royal seal of approval. We don't chop off the heads of people with intelligent commentary (or funny - we like funny). Well done m'lady.

Oh and I feel it necessary to point out this Queen actually makes quiet visitations to your blog rather often...and I am most amused.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Queen M (is it Michelle or Marie?): I am deeply, deeply honoured- not only do I have a visitor from an actual fashion blog, it's a royal visit no less! (I'm grateful to have any readers at all)
I now have to go and be beheaded by a less benevolent despot than you, and thanks to the Royal Seal of Approval, this subject is off to it with a smile.

QM said...

Tis Queen Michelle. I grant you the Royal wave goodbye and I shall make my presence known again in a timely manner. Good day to you m'lady.

Yohan said...

Hee hee. Damn funny, this visitation!

ambika said...

Absolutely agreed on all of the members of the good-fringe club--and Irina's membership in it, as well.

TheModistas said...

hello floppy. I work in a fashion retail company and i can assure you that a model personality is reflected in a photo. I made a campaign with the dumbest model, and the campaign was a disaster, she had ONE expression.... worsti ever did. I ve proved that the best photos include a cool girl. im sorry about my english, its quite rusty..
kiss from buenos aires

Yohan said...

I think this blog will soon be world famous!

Meg said...

Carina Pichler also wears a fringe like nobody's business.
Irina has quite an androgynous face at times but she carries it off quite well. She reminds me of the girl everyone wants to know at a party.

Re: You actually live in India?

Blue Floppy Hat said...

@ambika: Hello! I just realised, none of the good fringe girls I named (except for Irina) are contemporary figures.. but her look has become really popular, quite a few new girls on Hint Magazine's Model Mania seem to have the heavy blunt fringe. But Georgia Frost is the one who really rocks hers, though being blonde and looking very different automatically saves her from being an Irina clone.

@themodistas: hello, and welcome! (don't apologise for your English, it's just fine). I'm amazed to hear from people who actually work in the field, I'm a law student so I know really very little about the fashion industry itself..

@Yohan: I hope not, I mean it'd be kind of disappointing for visitors if it was when all I'm doing is shooting off my mouth.

@Meg: Yes, I do actually live within the geographical boundaries of India. And Carina Pichler, from the few pictures that I looked at after seeing your comment, does look cool, though I haven't seen any of her print work.

I actually did a great injustice to the aliens back in the post, I'm quite a fan of Sasha Pivovarova and Lily Cole (if one is an artist and the other got herself a place at Cambridge after cracking her A-levels, it's probably fairly safe to assume they're not part of the Dumb Model club). Their editorial work is almost always stunning.

TheModistas said...

all the published stuff is from one of our fashion weeks, i was reviewing it. i wish i hd moe time to make interesting posts... meanwhile i am learning from ya all experienced bloggers

Yohan said...

Shooting from the lip is what every writer/blogger does. It's just that some people fire blanks! (And you're not one of them.)

Blue Floppy Hat said...

@themodistas: I'm hardly experienced, I've only been two months into this blogging business...and I'm quite fascinated by that cape/dress (??) with the circles.

@Yohan: thank you for saying that, and also for putting up with the oestrogen pit this place must look like at times.

Yohan said...

Hehe. "Oestrogen pit". I like that!
And it's a unique experience, considering that my life has been one long stag party. A fun party, but a stag party nonetheless.

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