Really excited about the fashion shoot I just did with photographer Adam Pass.
Photos are in the editing stage… just 1700 frames to look through!

Fashion Model Paula Patrice photographed by Adam Pass (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved

Rebuilding a modeling portfolio is a process, especially after 15 years of success as a “brunette” brand.

Photography by editorial visionary Roberto Ligresti.
Hair and makeup by the Internationally-renowned Livio Angileri.

Paula Patrice Photographed By Adriana Curcio 2014

I had a photoshoot with a fabulous team recently and they turned my Joe Dirt-style mullet into Calvin Klein circa 1980s. I love this classicly styled portrait. 

Details, as always, are shared on my Facebook along with a few Ziggy Stardust jokes.

You learned how to Smize in a previous post, smiling with your eyes. It’s an emotional connection that a model makes with the camera lens.

Here, NYC fashion photographer Peter Hurley teaches the art of the “Squinch”, a physical trick that gives the perception that a connection is made. That a model isn’t blankly gazing but is engaging.

Watch, learn and practice. You’ll look cooler in your Instagram photos.

Paula Patrice Louise Brooks Style

size0-2

It isn’t the first time I’ve seen this “selling strategy”. What happened to advertising for the average woman? 

Many argue that the average American woman is a size 12 and using that average woman in clothing catalogs isn’t sensible for an advertiser. Ok, I get it. Advertisers don’t want too much reality.

I’m all for aiming ads at the ideal average woman’s size, call her a “Perfect 6” or a “Curvaceous 8”.

Where designers have lost their marbles is not in Magazine Editorials or Look Books, where we all know images are retouched and models pose under unrealistic circumstances. In a catalog, where images are supposed to speak to the consumer, I’m calling WTF on this trend of retailers using 5’9″ models wearing a size zero (actual screenshot above). Not only can we not envision how that dress will look on anything wider than a hanger, but it makes me wonder: Are your clothes so poorly cut that you can’t hang them on an average body and still have them look decent?

At some point in this vanity game retailers and designers need to face the fact that only two things can come of an unrealistic sales display of garments:

1- We aren’t buying clothing that only looks good on stick figures, so your sales drop.

2- If we take a leap of faith and buy, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a high rate of returns. Your sales still drop.

So tell ya what… How about we start using models with body types that are, at the least, appealing to female shoppers in these online catalogs.

Because I’m a lot of things, but I’m nobody’s Size 0.

Tyra Banks Smizing

Models work hard to perfect their camera gaze. Photographers often instruct “Give me more.” But what’s more to give?

Tyra Banks coined the phrase “smizing”, when a model smiles with their eyes. Here’s a quick tutorial; now grab a mirror and start practicing.

bad photoshop

I won’t name the retailer using this image on their homepage, but YEEGADS

The most important advice for clients is this: 

If you’re spending all that money on a photoshoot, make sure you spend as generously on the post-production.

A lot can be done in post-production Photoshop to save an image if the color is off, the lighting went wrong, or the clothes are wrinkled. A good retoucher with retail experience knows how far to take an image while maintaining the integrity. But there are bad retouchers who can destroy all the hard work that goes into a shoot with a few clicks. 

As seen here:

Lady In Red is sitting… on thin air. They removed her stool.

There must’ve been a shadow to the left. It’s blue, white, and ghostly. WTH?

Lady In Blue has a pointed shoulder blade and abnormal waist. Somebody went all Barbie on her.

We won’t even discuss Lady In Red’s expression. Caught at the wrong moment by the camera… Really, there wasn’t a better shot to choose from?

Every model’s nightmare. How did this get approved??? Epic Fail!

Photo Credit: Eroteme.co.uk  celebrity social network pictures

Photo Credit: Eroteme.co.uk celebrity social network pictures

As I dragged myself out of bed this morning I felt pretty accomplished, mentally listing my tasks for the day (morning production meeting for client website updates, confirm details of upcoming photoshoot with agent, afternoon casting at Hearst Magazines, prepare for tech client meeting on Friday, send pitch deck to prospective investors, stop by UPS, buy shrimp for dinner...).

I pulled up my usual NYPost.com Page Six news and grabbed a double espresso… And there it was *smack*! A photo of Gisele, Supermodel Mom in hair and makeup being prepped for a photoshoot while breast feeding her daughter. Cue ego deflation.

In a world where Moms write satirical blogs like “People I Want To Punch In The Throat” there was surely exasperation at breakfast tables everywhere. Moms already have a lot on their plates running their household and putting elves on shelves. Do they really need to see an apparently-staged photo like this that makes them feel inferior, like they should be parenting in a ball gown? 

I’d feel the same frustration if I hadn’t met Gisele. She’s the real deal.

It’s hard to feel hatred and jealousy when you know someone is successful as a result of hard work. When I modeled with Gisele in the Louis Vuitton campaign this scene was real. After her routine 5am meditation she attended to her newborn and reported to set for an 8am call time, newborn in tow. She was vibrant. Outgoing. The brightest light in the room.

There was no personal assistant. There was no entourage, just a quiet family nanny who only took baby Vivian Lake from her mama to allow the styling team space to prep their model for the day’s shoot. There were no special riders to her contract or diva attitudes. Gisele was as kind to the caterer as she was to Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs. She was as grounded as any yogi mom I’ve ever met.

Careful not to exploit her children on social media, I’ve noticed that Gisele’s Instagram contains only carefully-obstructed photos of her family moments. That’s good parenting. While she’s working she’s making travel arrangements for her family, making sure they travel together and aren’t victims of success. She’s juggling kids, husband, supermodeldom and – did you know this? – the businesses she’s invested in. Yes, this #SuperModelMom also owns legit businesses like Unreal Candy. She took the time to make a healthy-alternative candy for the rest of us, including your children. Side note: the Peanut Butter Cups are ammmmazing, and I obsessed over them without knowing she created them.

The saying goes “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Don’t hate success, either.

My point to this story: Women come in all shapes and abilities, and we juggle the responsibilities of the life path we’ve forged. It’s never easy, just different. Some of us have taken on more than others, and we need to celebrate those women that are boldly setting a successful SuperMom standard. 

What do I see in this photo, really? I see a mom in her bathrobe, caring for her child while juggling her job. Just like everyone else.

 

Modern Mom tweet

eye bling piercing heart

On today’s “what is this world coming to” list is the new cosmetic procedure implanting shiny jewelry into the eyeball. C’monnn, really??

 This only goes to prove that if you’re willing to pay, there’s a doctor on Park Avenue willing to oblige. Until someone loses and eyeball and sues. And we wonder why medical malpractice insurance is so high? 

Want something permanent that’s painful to remove? Get a tattoo. Leave your eyeballs au naturale. Your mother will thank you.

It’s as if Raybans have a 5-on/10-off fashion lifecycle… a half decade hot, then a decade not. Late 80’s yes, but in the late 90’s they felt outdated. 

Guess they’re back in fashion, cuz a model friend was wearing this pair that conveniently folded down to fit in her tiny pocket. I borrowed, I posed, and I must have a pair!

From an angle, this frame shape looks good on everyone.

Model Tip: turning your head at a slight angle to the camera is more forgiving than shooting straight-on.

Paula Patrice Raybans

GET THE COMPLETE LOOK

 The Eye | The Lips | The Nails

It’s the look of the season.
Not too smoky, not too bare… Kinda like you just don’t care.

But ohhh we do care!

In “The Devil Wears Prada“, one of my favorite movie scenes ever gives truthful insight into the “creative flow” of trends. It’s harsh, but true.

Meryl Streep (loosely based on Anna Wintour) ends her rant with “…then trickled on down to some Casual Corner where you no doubt fished it out of a clearance bin…”

Ummm what’s wrong with Casual Corner? HA

There’s an unspoken-about gap between high fashion and consumer fashion, as if high fashion wants to pretend that it could exist without consumerism, but it couldn’t, at least not in the economic materialism sense. There is no superior value to a $4000 limited-edition designer coat than a $300 private-label department store coat, provided both are made of quality materials that will keep the wearer warm.

The material value is set by our individual values: softness, uniqueness in the market, innovation of design. The more unique an item is, the less it will sell to the masses, which means a designer needs to mark up the price to maintain a high profit margin and stay in business, since they won’t be selling high volume. The craftsmanship of these garments meets the standards of certain consumers’ values, thereby validating the price, at least in their minds. They want to acquire something people don’t have yet and they’re willing to pay for that item that “controls” the market.

The trickle down effect is that the unique item, now quantified by sales in the marketplace, will be copied, though in a generic style, to be sold to the masses. And therein lies the symbiosis.

If you’re interested in modeling, fashion, styling, magazines, Vogue, and/or runway GET THIS MOVIE for its educational value!!!

 

Karl Lagerfeld

Special appearance by Karl @ the 1:01 mark.

And that’s model Ashleigh Good in there too.

So artsy. I totally need those Chanel bowtie wrist cuffs!

A Google search for “Vogue Lady In Red” can bring you up to speed on the conspiracy theories surrounding my inclusion in this otherwise-übercool editorial featuring Daria Strokous and Caroline Trentini.
 
Has Steven Meisel lost his mind? No, I’m pretty sure he’s just exercising his sense of humor!

I find this editorial to be brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed. Working with Steven Meisel was an honor; I love that he allowed me to be myself without trying to “cool me up” and I am proud to have a role in the creation of his art.

Re: The Story:
The women who patronize teleshopping channels save up for that $300 gold pleather jacket payable in 3 Easy-Pay installments because for them, it is their Christian Lacroix. Teleshopping carries everything from frumpy knits to “designer” goods, making the higher priced designer items the equivalent of a middle-America Chanel.
 
Fashion is subjective; your cool may not be my cool. Real women from Texas to Tuscany covet clothing that they can wear in their everyday lives, inspired by haute couture runways but made wearable by mass market designers. It’s the trickle-down effect from runway to ready-to-wear to private label.

Re: The Casting:
I think Steven again makes a statement. Watching Joan Rivers on QVC, she overshadows her guests, the models and the merchandise. It’s the Joan Show and the customers call  Keep Reading »