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.

Jumpin’ Ship and Fake Tics @ The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

VS 2017The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has become a culture ‘light’ fashion institution. From the yearly reveal of the highest-priced bra in the world, pop music performances, and the Instagram-able moments of V.S. angel’s preparations, even those of us with no interest in lingerie hear of the show. Here is the latest news about the upcoming 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, to be held in Shanghai this year.

And none of this news is particularly positive.

It seems that now two infamous model/personalities will not be walking the V.S. runway this year. If you haven’t been keeping up, at the end of the summer Kendall Jenner announced she’d not be in the show this year. Jenner signed a multi-million dollar deal with V.S. rival upscale lingerie company La Perla. And in that signing she had to agree to a non-compete clause. But one of Kendall’s besties, Gigi Hadid, just announced that she wouldn’t be going to China either. Hadid wrote: I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!! Can’t wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can’t wait for next year! :) x.

Has this year’s Shanghai location halted Hadid, or did she suddenly realize she really couldn’t be an angel without Jenner?

In more bad news-and certainly caused by the location change-models Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva, Irina Sharipova, and Dasha Khlystun, (Russia and Ukraine ladies)-were just denied Chinese visas and won’t be attending the V.S. show either.

Lastly in the V.S.F.S troubles (at least for right now) it seems a bunch of ticket buyers have gotten scammed on thousands of tickets for the show. Actual tickets for the event are free and given out by invite only. But a Chinese eBay-like company was offering tickets-for a minimum of $7000.00 (plus an after-party for 35k)-for the November 28 show.

Will there be more bad news coming The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?

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.

The Continuing Controversy over Kylie + Kendall T-shirts

K+K TupakProving that every idea you may have is not an idea you need run with and that Instagram is not always your friend, Kylie and Kendall Jenner brewed up a bunch of controversy this week. The sisters attempted to ‘appropriate’ some classic rock/pop/rap images for T-shirts they were looking to sell (for $125.00 a piece) at their Kendall + Kylie store. But the Jenner sisters came under volatile criticism for superimposing their images and the K+K logo over images like Pink Floy’s prism from the band’s classic Dark Side Of The Moon cover and pictures of rappers Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur. In fact, it was their use of a Tupak image that now sees them being sued.

Photographer Michael Miller, who shot the photo of Tupac, is suing the Jenner’s for copyright infringement. Miller’s attorney issued this statement: “Miller at no time sought to associate his work with Kendall or Kylie or any of their companies,” yet they “have misappropriated and wrongfully exploited at least two original photographs of late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, slapping the iconic photographs on garments and overlaying them with dubious imagery and text.”

An official July 5th apology from Kylie + Kendall over this faux pas and the online criticism from it, stated in part that: “These designs were randomly selected and not well thought out. The brand would like to apologize, especially to the artists that have been featured in the series.”

The shirts were pulled from the Kendall + Kylie collection and pictures of them taken down off of Instagram.

Voletta Wallace, mother of Notorious B.I.G. wrote this about the Jenner’s liberal use of her dead son’s image: The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt.”

Rankin presents Le chaise ironique

RankinOne can’t say that the moda world doesn’t have a sense of humor when it comes to how is portrayed on film. Models and designers appeared in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter. Just recently we saw many famous fashion faces in both Zoolander 2 and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. And there was the scathing The Devil Wears Prada. Presently photographer and editor Rankin is showing his humorous side, making himself the butt of the joke, in his fashion “mockumentary,” short, Le chaise ironique.

Working now in the digital space as much as he can, in his new short film Rankin plays a heightened version of himself, fretting over his weight (sweating too much) and a model mix-up, snapping selfies in an onsite booth and getting up close and personal with a chair. He even mocks Vogue UK editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman and how she doesn’t like him.

As he says of his persona in the movie, “I’ve been that person screaming at someone because they haven’t told the model she’s going topless — which is the concept of the shoot — or because the makeup or hair isn’t right.”

He curses what he calls “glam prisons,” where he has been exiled waiting for hair and make-up people to work on models. And he even calls out Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial controversy in Le chaise ironique..

The short movie really is a self-deprecating gem and makes one instantly just love Rankin.

In actuality, it is said Rakin keeps a fun and productive atmosphere to his shoots. And he adores the models he works with.

While he might indeed try his hand at another short fun film, a full length movie is not something Rankin is considering. And in fact he prefers less structure then more in his films, intimating his next (if he makes one) might even be improvised.


The So Sad World Of Kendall Jenner

Kendall Vogue IndiaAppearing at the Met Gala in a basically nude La Perla Haute Couture that garnered her lots of attention. Starring in Pepsi’s “Live For Now Moments Anthem,” to some controversy. Getting wrapped up in the aborted Fyre Festival. And lastly criticized for her just released Vogue India cover, one might say Kendall Jenner is not having such a good few weeks.

At the Met Gala surely the model was well turned out. But with these nude wardrobe choices, slits-that-are-basically-half-of-the-gown openings, one wonders how much is too much of seeing all this much of our best and brightest.

The Pepsi Commercial, where Jenner is in the middle of a photo shoot only to come face-to-face with protestors and police, has been considered by many of the Black Lives Matter movement as distasteful. The shots in the video were said by many to be too similar to those of Ieshia Evans, a protestor of the Alton Sterling shooting in Baton Rouge.

That Fyre Festival, which we reported on before, saw Kendall and a bunch of super models basically ‘selling’ a high-priced concert weekend on a secluded island…that never happened.

Now the Vogue cover (shot by famous photographer Mario Testino) has been gaining traction in the worst way. Vogue India’s social media page has been slammed with queries of why the magazine did not put an Indian model on its cover. Though, why anyone would need an explanation why one of the world’s most visible, social media star celeb modes would appear on the cover of Vogue India, seems rather silly. But critics claim Indian ladies like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone would have made the grade and been more acceptable.

Many of these instances where Kendall Jenner has been in the middle of controversy or questions, seem to be about her work and overall presence as a social celebrity and super model. Isn’t she supposed to be making the news?

The 2017 Met Gala

RiRi 2017 Met GalaOnce again NYC hosted celebrities of all types, showing off their finest wardrobe choices, at one of the biggest fashion events of the year; The 2017 Met Gala.

From Madonna’s camouflage, Selena Gomez in her Coach dress and Behati Prinsloo rocking white cutouts and Harry Winston jewels, a wide swatch of A-list celebs revealed their perfect bodies in A-list designer creations on the red carpet last night.

By all accounts a certain handful of show stoppers made the grade as net news worthy. Among them: Kendall Jenner in her nearly naked sheer black La Perla Haute Couture gown, with its 85,000 crystals, a slit that ran from her shoulder across her torso to her waist, and sheer back pretty much revealing all of her butt. Katy Perry in a red wool coat draping a matching tulle-and-silk chiffon gown, with a headpiece/veil and the word “witness” written across her forehead in silver. RiRi in a poof-y layered Comme des Garcons. Jaden Smith all in slimming back from head-to-toe, and holding his just cut…hair? Cara Delevingne not holding her hair (though she recently shaved herself bald) but decorating her head by painting it silver. And model Bella Hadid, not to be outdone by Kendall, wearing a skintight catsuit with a very low cut back.

Not to be outdone by all he outrageousness there were the usual round of elegant gowns, well-tailored suits, haute couture. In fact, Ansel Elgort, sporting a Tom Ford white tuxedo jacket, white shirt and black bow tie, accessorized via Tiffany & Co., arguably made the best showing of the night.

As with all these celebrity gatherings, it comes down to those who want to shock for recognition, as much as those who prefer to appear as calm-cool-collected-classy as they can to make Instagram and Twitter feeds.

The 2017 Met Gala did not disappoint in presenting the full range of what is possible.Hadid back 2017 Met Gala

What Happened to The Fyre Festival?

fyre festival modelsBlogger extraordinaire and cultural pendant Bob Lefsetz said it best: “when someone says if you just pay enough you’re a member of the club, know that the club is not worth joining or you’re not getting inside.” He was speaking about the belly-up Fyre Festival models Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Chanel Iman, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin sold to their fans via social media. A music event that is not going to happen.

Rabid Instagram fans/Twitter followers threw down $250,000 for a music weekend promising acts like Blink 182, Rae Sremmund, Skepta, Desiigner, and Pusha T. prompted by an urging of the hippest models in the world. Back in November Vanity Fair ran a piece about the show’s head honcho’s Ja Rule and Billy McFarland flying a gaggle of models to the island for a promotional shoot, which opened the door for our best/young/most beautiful to urge fans to come to the show. Social media being what it is and these women having thousands of followers apiece, the Fyre Festival was a see-and-be-scene the hippest simply couldn’t ignore.

But fans arrived at the private Bahamas island to find chaos, and even on the airline getting there, bad food.

Kendall Jenner felt the social media backlash the worse. Coming on the heels of her problems with a recent Pepsi add, she deleted all mention of the soft drink and the Fyre Festival off her social media feed. This of course raised red flags and with news of the actual festival being a bust, the gaggle of models as well as the festivals promoters are being taken to task.

The “two transformative weekends” of music, fun and a private (=expensive) hang on Fyre Cay will not happen, but the world is well aware who set it all up and who advertised the event.


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.