" Perhaps perfection is not what attracts us to others. I have always admired Kate because she goes against the grain and everyone loves her for it. When I was growing up ,a woman sitting with her legs spread and holding a cigarette was immediately labeled "easy". I am always trying to fight against these stigmas, which, at the time, were the result of dogmatic Christian thinking. At the end of the day I like the idea of a woman being like a man: strong, self-assured, equal.'
Mario Testino in his Obsessed by You" Philips de Pury and Company exhibit
Kate's heading back to town. What will Kate wear to the Met? Where's Kate going to party afterwards? Can you believe a place at the table is 10K a pop and Vogue still has to vet who's allowed to attend? Can you imagine the shame of the club that can't manage to have hundreds of models in the house that night?
These are the not deep issues roiling through the modeling and nightlife industry in NYC right this minute. Shallow it is but at least you don't stand to drown. What really is impressive is the way the Vogue empire has evenly distributed various platforms and spotlights to assuage all the great egos involved. The May cover went to today's New generation. The monograph cover goes to Linda. Hosting duties are carried by Kate. And there...the balance of power is nicely distributed . Naomi most probably would have loved one of those spotlights for herself but the hiss is she's planning to out shimmer and outshine every mannequin in sight that night.
What has become very interesting to watch is the way that these icons( all moving closer to 40)are making serious moves to ensure their place in history and to lock the brand value of their names. After decades of watching their managers use their faces, bodies, reputations and images to move tens of millions back and forth on their behalf , the true supermodels knows a thing or two about business, PR and the power thereof. Its been said that Top Shop Kate is the greatest publicist in modern fashion and that's without even trying. But she always has a story running somewhere, somehow. The narrative never lacks for drama.
I find the hype and marketing behind the Model As Muse exhibit to be particularly ironic and moving at a time when the modeling industry itself seems to be sagging , not only from the recession, but from a general malaise related to the futility of trying to manage girls anymore. So many girls...so little time for any of them. You say "no" to a client for whatever reason and 15 girls of equal measure are standing in line for the job. Can any girl be packaged and presented to editors, photographers and designers as essential...as something they MUST have? The general note is...not anymore. But a large part of that lies in the lack of passion on the part of today's models regarding their livelihood. With Kate and Naomi and Linda and Karen and Kristen, modeling never seemed like a livelihood...it felt fast and fabulous and privileged and dangerous. It wasn't a job...it was a lifestyle. Those icons looked the part in the movie called Fashion. The girls of yore... lived the part, dressed the part, dated in character, catwalked off the catwalk and showed an insane love for what they did. So we pray for just one girl...who despite the mob of girls who will show up ..we pray this one new generation girl will arrive shimmering with the message I LOVE FASHION on Monday night. Punters have dubbed Gisele the Last Supermodel and it is true...La Gisele could carry her impressive rates for another 10 years yet...should she want to. But after Gisele...le deluge? Met Ball night let's see which of those New Generation will step into that spotlight like they deserve a place in the pantheon.