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.

no fear graphic

You can’t hide from defeat without also hiding from greatness. 

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.

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

When we change the way we look at things, things we look at change.

lagerfeld-my-pony

You’re made into a My Little Pony!  

Or in this case, My Little Lagerfeld created by artist Mari Kasurinen.

Loves it!  Next up… a Lagerfeld Chia Pet?

paula patrice photo by ron contarsy

We’re starting to see some photos from the new Steven Meisel for Louis Vuitton campaign in the UK Vogue & Harpers August issues, and in Vanity Fair and W Mag in the USA. Stay tuned… 

 

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!!!

 

So cute! They also have buck teeth pacifiers, mustaches… I’ve never seen these before but I’ll be buying them as gifts!
I have my eye on this outfit for the Fall. Also, I want this model’s hair