Brooke Shields Swims For Us All

Brooke Shields Swimsuits For aAll“After 50 years in the spotlight, I can confidently say that my ‘Power Suit’ is being in my own skin, showing my body and not hiding it.” Brooke Shields tweeted this announcement alongside a picture of herself in the new Swimsuits for All campaign, appearing this week. The 52-year-old mom of two is part of the “Power Suit” bikini campaign.

The superstar model and star of Suddenly Susan freely admits being insecure about her looks for a very long time. In a “People” interview Shields said for years she felt “disconnected” from her body. Hard though that it might be for fans of her work, or just those of us who assume models are always so sure of themselves.

Brookes is not the only famous face (and body) featured in the body-positive swimsuit brand’s size-inclusive Power Suit campaign. She joins four other women-professional swimmer Pat Gallant Charette, reality star Angela Simmons, nurse practitioner Katie Duke, and fellow super model Ashley Graham. Graham has lent her face and body to Swimsuits for All’s campaigns plenty of times in the past. Showcasing as much a diversity of body type, professions and ages-the ladies here range in age from 30-67-Shields is front and center of the new ads, wearing a power red bikini.

Just two months ago Shields hit Instagram with some black and white bikini pics that set the blog o’sphere on fire. She was vacationing on Harbour Island when she revealed her willowy frame and tight tummy for the world to see. But really, this stunning lady has been catching our eye since her teen years modeling for Calvin Klein in some controversial (at the time) jeans adds, as well as her turn as a 12-year-old prostitute in the movie Pretty Baby.

There seems to be no stopping Brookes Shields, no matter what age she is and regardless of what she is wearing.

The Biggest Fashion Trend For 2018

Ashley GrahamWith women size 14 and up occupying nearly 70% of buying power in the US-and their market consumption up to 20 billion-many a designer jumped on making clothes for this demographic last year. Bigger might actually be best when it comes to the most important fashion trend coming upon us lately.

Though he wasn’t making latex, he was leather, but very soon Jeff Cafone realized he was seeing more plus-sized ladies ordering his jackets. Now bigger gals are part and parcel (larger parcels certainly) of his All67 label, as he makes plus-sized leather jacket exclusively.

Spearheaded by net star bloggers Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg, their Premme label is selling to ladies size 12-30. Here there is less haute couture though and more color and wild style designs, from velvet pants to glittery pink.

These two women are obviously having a very good time indeed.

Who says that string bikinis are only for women of a certain body type? In the last year the Curvy Beach label showed the world that plus-size sexy suits are certainly sellable. In fact, the models for the brand are embarking on a “Curvy Beach Babes” meet-and-greet tour round the US. And talking about plus-sized models, has anyone, big, small, tall, thin, plus-sized-ever had made such an impact as Ashley Graham? Into everything and posing across every magazine and video imaginable, the lady is simply a super model, no longer just a plus-sized one.

Not that we might see plus-sized women strutting across a Victoria’s Secret show anytime soon (we do need to take baby steps here after all) but there were plenty of sexy wear and lingerie ads along with swimsuits showing larger-sized ladies in 2017. The trend will no doubt continue as one of the most popular in the world of fashion alongside digital rendering and 3D imaging.

Here comes 2018.

LOVE Magazine Advent Calendar Makes Models Sweat

ashley_graham_by_phil_poynter_loveadvent2017-mp4-00_00_21_01-still003Sporting a #StayStrong hashtag, LOVE magazine has taken quite a different tack on their annual sexy calendar offering. This year we get famous models sweating while exercising in the Phil Poynter-directed video for the annual LOVE Magazine Advent calendar.

Super models making the cut this year include Gigi and Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Doutzen Kroes, Teyana Taylor, Kendall Jenner, and Ashley Graham. Graham, who just revealed her new “Swimsuits For All” collection, is the first lady revealed in LOVE’s semi-daily release of sexy video for this year. After a supposed workout at NYC’s The Dogpound gym, Ashley takes to the street, wearing just sneakers, a crop top and little shorts. Ashley as much gives a quick clap to her generous derriere, as well as pulls a sledge down the street.

Sexy stuff, in stylish black and white, indeed!

Stylist and Love Editor-in-Chief Katie Grand met Graham at The Dogpound and came up with the idea of a fit and sweaty video for this year’s calendar. As she says:”…it’s everything we love about women enjoying being women, on their own terms.”

Following the feminist-empowerment-via-working-out theme, Emily Ratajkowski eats spaghetti in a carb-loading vignette. Kendall Jenner manages a tribute to “Rocky,” complete with raw egg drinking and shadow boxing. And Irina Shayk manages a work-out ‘throwing’ clay.

This video offering from LOVE is entering its 7th year as a much-watched holiday tradition; last year LOVE’s Advent Calendar enjoyed 84 million viewers. With haute couture sponsors such like Agent Provocateur, Coach, and Marc Jacobs Beauty and models like those mentioned above, and an empowering message to women, how can LOVE miss, really?

Less we forget though, this year or any other before, LOVE’s Advent Calendar is first and foremost pure commercialism bolstered by sexy images of beautiful women.

But who would want it any other way?

Gisele Bündchen squares off against Kendall Jenner

kendallFor nearly a decade-and-half Gisele Bündchen was the most profitable, highest paid model on the planet. During this unprecedented run the Brazilian beauty, for whom the term “Ubermodel” was created, amassed a small fortune and also used her growing popularity for humanitarian efforts. For this she was acknowledged by the U.N. as well as named a Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment by UNEP. But according to Forbes’ Highest Paid Model report released this week, Kendall Jenner takes the lead for earnings in 2017. Earning $22 million as opposed to Bündchen’s mere 17.5 million for the past year (yes all of our heart’s are bleeding for Gisele’s monetary downturn!), Jenner is presently the high-paid model on the planet.

Jenner poked her way into the Forbes Highest Paid Model list two years ago; she made $4 million in 2015. But with 85 million Instagram followers, connections with brands like Adidas and Este Lauder, and walking every haute couture runway that matters Jenner now tops the list. Gisele made the #2 spot this year, while Chrissy Teigen made the Forbes list for the first time, at #3, with an estimated earnings of $13.5 million.

Ashley Graham became the first plus-size woman to make the annual Forbes list, in 10th place. Graham actually seems to be a model acquiring lots of ‘firsts’ in the past few years.

If Kendall Jenner can retain her highest-earner spot into the next year, let alone if she could hold on to the crown of Forbes’ top model for fourteen years, is anybody’s guess. The moda world is a different one these days than it was at the beginning of the decade when Gisele was staking her claim. For this year though, Jenner is queen and will no doubt see her fortunes, and popularity (not to mention Instagram followers) increase in 2018.

In total, the world’s 10 highest-paid models earned $109.5 million in 2017 before taxes and fees.

Models and Magazines Celebrate Icons Marilyn Monroe and Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ashely New York Magazine Fall Fashion Issue CoverA good icon never goes out of style. Be it a movie, a movie star, an iconic fashion like Jackie O’s “Pillbox Hat,” that ending refrain of “Hey Jude,” if its good, its good. The great stuff sticks around, is copied, referred to, influences us all in ways that we often do even realize. And in fashion, we see the iconic trotted out again and again, referenced on runways, in haute couture shoots, in a model’s look, in even a whole theme of a magazine.

Two magazines are featuring some iconography in their latest issues.

First there is the November 2017 issue of “Harper’s Bazaar,” The famous fashion magazine has put together a Star Wars photo feature with Kendall Jenner, and Gigi and Bella Hadid. Yes, we will be seeing lots of Star Wars stuff in the ramp up to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming December 15th (just a little more than a month away! get on line!). But this shoot, which enlisted the talents of Star Wars’ illustrator Brian Rood, saw the infamous Millennium Falcon make an appearance, as well as the Jedi weapon of choice, a lightsaber, in the shot with the ladies. Â

Paying tribute to arguably the biggest female actress icon/sex symbol of all time, Ashley Graham dressed and posed as Marilyn Monroe for “New York Magazine” Fall fashion issue. Across various pictures the most famous plus-sized model channeled many a Miss Monroe look. Ashely wears wore blonde wig, white gloves and sparkles in one shot. In other pictures-the cover most notable-she poses with red hair while wearing a leopard print. In yet another shot she dons black shorts, white blouse and rocks back dangling a sailor’s cap on her toes.

Star Wars to Marilyn Monroe. Culture surely brings us the tropes we all come to consider and fashion certainly steps back to pay homage to, time and again. “Harper’s Bazaar” and “New York Magazine” picks their influences well, it seems.

Ashley Graham on the cover of Vogue Is Just Wrong, Say Critics

Ashley GrahamFalling well into the “social-media- addicts-nitpick-cause-they-can” category, there came a backlash this week over how Ashley Graham is posing on the cover of Vogue’s March issue. Standing alongside six other super models, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, Graham is being called-out as being the only lady in the picture to have her hand covering her thigh. Instagram body sleuths are saying the larger-figured super model purposely put her hand that way (the rest of the ladies have their arms bent and horizontal as they stand chest to back in a line) because she is standing next to smaller-sized ladies. There has even been accusations leveled from sartorial spies that Vogue might have even photo shopped Hadid’s arm so it extends over Graham’s stomach.

This is Graham’s first Vogue cover-albeit with other women-and as much as she has been criticized before for photo shopped pics, it seems whenever this particular popular model shows her classic curves she is sure to see criticism. But Ashley assures us all in online comments about all this that: “I chose to pose like that…no one told me to do anything.”

It truly makes one wonder that if those of us in the moda world or even slightly interested fashionistas really have nothing better to do with their time. This kind of trumped up (not a Trump) controversy doesn’t even fall into the classic “small world vs big world” conundrum…all this brouhaha seems to be about really nothing at all. Yes, there is photo shopping done at every step of the modern fashion picture taking process, Ashley Graham is a bigger women in a typically smaller-woman game but people on the web really can’t seem to stop talking.

More photos were released via Instagram showing Graham and the others frolicking on the beach where the cover photo was shot. The ladies didn’t seem to be courting any controversy between themselves.

The Biggest Fashion Story Of 2016: Following Ashley Graham

ashley-grahamFashion is a fickle mistress. She comes and goes with the capriciousness of the wind. Celebrity too, is often hard won but just as fleeting, especially in this Snapchat age. What then can we say was the big story in the pop/entertainment/fashion world? What set the blogs a’poppin’ and viral video to viral? Beyond the U.S. election taking up most of the news and the outcome still stunning to some, here at Von Gutenberg, we think we have figured out the biggest story for our particular sartorial concerns. The trending news of 2016 for fashion seems to be…female body size championing, as particularly championed by Ashley Graham.

This week the plus size super model and body size activist penned an essay for British Vogue online in which she expounds on being the cover girl for that magazine’s first issue of 2017. Ashley says:

The most rewarding part about the honour of being British Vogue‘s January cover girl is knowing how many lives we are changing. I’m hearing from thousands of women that they don’t feel invisible anymore, that they now feel that they have gotten their seat at the table. I feel even more inclined to continue my mission of beauty beyond size with the support of Vogue.

In her past few years of work, Ashley has paved the way for a modern day, much-evolved consideration of female body types. A new Ashley Graham Barbie Doll has been created (with its thighs pressed firmly together) and the lady has graced the inside of The Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue as well as its cover  (the first plus sized model to do so). To be fair, she’s not single handily beating back the body size paradigm, but Ashley Graham is certainly leading the way of the hottest story of 2016 as far as we are concerned.

Who knows what 2017 will bring?

Christian Siriano Speaks His Truth

0117-gl-talk03-01_sqIt’s not that we haven’t been hearing lots of positive body comments battling back all the recent body shamming. We’ve certainly seen models like Ashley Graham having her say, designers championing diversity and Sport’s Illustrated and even Barbie getting with the recent pop female size paradigm shift. But now an honest to goodness fashion designer star, Christian Siriano, has had his say, in a big fashion magazine actually, Glamour, about plus-sized models and body positivity.

Siriano certainly does not want to take credit for his forays into the fight for size diversity. As he relates in the essay published last week, he is simply doing what he feels he wants to do. But there is no denying the fact that he has cast plus-size models in a recent runway show, that he collaborated with Lane Bryant this year and that he infamously came out to dress Ghostbusters star when many other designers publically turned down the chance to dress the lady for her movie’s big premier.

Siriano, who first came to name prominence on “Project Runway” simply says of the women he dresses: “I don’t think about a woman’s size when I dress her. I ask myself, ‘Am I a fan?’” This is the only criteria the man seems to need.

SIriano claims that being gay, a “little guy” growing up in a military background made him feel like an outcasts and he took to people who broke with conventions from an early age. From Lady Gaga to America’s soon-to-be ex first lady (and so many others)there doesn’t seem any end to who this young man will dress.

When it was just announced this week that a bunch of designers refused to provide wardrobe for Ashley Graham bracing the cover of British Vogue’s first issue of 2017, one sees Siriano’s words as quite refreshing.



Men’s Plus-Size Modeling: IMG Signs Zach Miko

Zach MikoIt might not exactly be a man’s world when it comes to fashion, but in the very trending attention on plus-size models, it seems men are now in the mix for more than just ogling: this week IMG announced their signing of first-ever plus-size male model Zach Miko.

‘Brawn’ is the label the superstar modeling agency has created for their “big and tall” guys’ new plus-size men’s division. The first model signed here, actor/comedian/writer Zach Miko has already modeled for Mossimo Supply Co. on Target’s e-commerce site. He is six foot 6, sports a 40-inch waist, and is the perfect label mate to IMG’s infamous plus-size female model, Ashley Graham.

Diversity in male and female bodies both showing off fashions, really what is the world coming to? But really, as Graham has repeatedly asked now with her new rise in fame and attention, aren’t her curves (and Miko’s 40 inch waist to a six and half foot height) more proportional then plus size? In fact, in America, the average height of men is five foot nine inches tall, with a 39.1 inch waist. It seems Miko represents more of the population of guys then now.

Surely there are certain hard fashion facts that come into play here. If one is modeling latex couture or swimsuits, and the model (guy or girl) is of a bigger frame, sports curves or a belly, there will be a certain ‘look’ to any pictures or runway. If a designer embraces this styling (as Swimsuits For All has with Graham modeling their suits) and plus-size buyers plunk down cash for these wardrobe items made for them, more companies will employ bigger-sized men and women to model their wares.

It is simply supply and demand here, as it always has been in the world of fashion and overall commerce.

The last word on all this should go to IMG’s president Ivan Bart who told TODAY:

“On the heels of the success we have witnessed with Ashley Graham, Precious Lee and others, expanding our expertise in curve into brawn for men felt like a natural next step. IMG Models seeks to inspire people to feel body positive, no matter their size, color, or age.”

Ashley v.s. Cheryl: Super Models ‘Weigh In’ Over The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

ashley-grahamPlus size model Ashley Graham, who made quite the news sporting a cutout red dress by Bao Tranchi at the Vanity Fair’s After-Oscar’s party, has finally come out against Cheryl Tiegs. Commenting on Graham landing one of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, Tiegs said that the larger younger lady was “glamorizing” an unhealthy lifestyle by being so curvy. Graham hit back with a response to E! News.

“I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, ‘Oh, whatever, another one of these ladies,’” Graham said and added: “The fact that she said it — it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry.”

Tiegs blames a media brouhaha that took her comments too far. In an open letter on the Huffington Post, she writes: “My answer was based on health concerns because of our nation’s increasing problems with weight linked to diabetes, heart issues and cancer. At no time was I thinking of a specific person…what has ensued is yet another ‘manufactured media feud’ that is needed to feed websites and empty air time.”

28 year old Graham and 68 year old Tiegs have the distinction of making plenty of news being SI swim suit models.

Tiegs was:

  • The first model to appear twice on the magazine’s cover.
  • She created a stir by wearing a infamous white fishnet suit in the 1978 S.I. Swimsuit issue.
  • In 2004 she was inducted into the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’s 40th anniversary “Hall of Fame.

Graham is:

  • One of the first plus-size models to appear in the pages of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as she did in a 2015 swimsuitsforall #CurvesInBikinis campaign add.
  • She is the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue with the newly released 2016 issue.

Seemingly hedging their bets over the BBW controversy they just knew had to ensue, S.I. is releasing the new issue with three cover options. Beside Graham in her blue and gold bikini, readers can avail themselves of a Hailey Clauson or fighter Ronda Rousey cover.