Modelinia’s Weekend in Tribeca with Coco Rocha!


We understand you miss us over the weekend. That’s why this Saturday, May 2, Modelinia is hosting a booth at the Tribeca Family Festival on Greenwich Street between Hubert and Chambers streets. We’ll have fun gifts like Modelinia notebooks and “Spiked Heel” stickers, plus a photo booth where you can practice your poses. All the pictures will be available for download on And at 2 p.m., Coco Rocha will speak on the Franklin Stage about empowering youth to reach their full potential, and answer questions about her experience in fashion and the modeling industry!

Even More Model Muses at the Met and Their Designer Pairings!

Can you contain yourself? The Met’s Costume Institute Gala themed “The Model as Muse” is so close. There have already been so many fashion updates to report that it needed a Part One and Part Two.

But there are a few stragglers! Magdalena Frackowiak is joining Hilary Rhoda and donning Thakoon, Marni will dress Guinevere Van Seenus, Doutzen Kroes is wearing Phillip Lim, and Iman is donning a Donna Karan design. Sasha Pivovarova is attending with Giambattista Valli, but sadly Carolyn Murphy won’t be coming to the party.

Everyone’s new love, Dree Hemingway, will be sitting at the Tod’s table. Will she wear red lipstick?

And then there’s Chanel Iman, who told us at St. Jude Design Cares that she’s keeping her dress a secret until she walks down the runway. So we’ll just have to wait to find out!  

History of Models: Evolution of Modeling

1930s to 1950s: Society Girls and Hollywood Glamour
by Camilla Morton

Throughout history, there has always been a face that inspired, embodied, and influenced unique points in time. From Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, to Cleopatra, the monarch who seduced an empire, its emperor, and inspired Shakespeare. With the emergence of the first designers and photographers, models quickly followed, helping to shape our ideals, culture, and fashion since the earliest days of the industry.

Lets travel back to the Age of Innocence, a time that began with high collars and even higher morals. From the Titanic to the jazz era, The Great Gatsby to Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich to Greta Garbo, the boom to the crash, and both World Wars—every era has an image, and every trend its muse. The face of this changing time was one of elegance, grace, and ambition.

A studio portrait of  Anita Colby circa 1935. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

A studio portrait of Anita Colby circa 1935. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

When Max Factor first launched his makeup line in the 1920s, only those onstage or onscreen—or of ill repute—wore it. But it wasn’t long before every woman wanted to add a touch of glamour to the grit of her everyday life. Women had just received the right to vote, and that endorsement was followed with a need to challenge societal views of women’s appearances as well. Women like Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein created beauty salon empires with products that were as accessible as they were empowering. Coco Chanel is responsible for putting women in pants. Elsa Schaparelli mixed high society with fashion and art, while Madame Vionnet innovated the bias cut to flatter the figure. These designers revolutionized women’s silhouettes, style, and established women in the front line of the fashion business.

During this period, Anita Colby was the highest paid model, appearing on billboards and in magazines. She earned $50 an hour, modeling as a sideline to selling ads for Harper’s Bazaar. The Society Girl era of modeling really began when Vogue produced its first color cover in 1932. To be the cover girl became the ultimate prize, and modeling began to be seen as a career rather than a side job.

After appearing in the film Cover Girl in 1944, Anita was hired by Hollywood producer David O. Selznick as “feminine director” of Selznick Studios. Her job was to teach his leading ladies—including Ingrid Bergman and Joan Fontaine—poise, beauty, and publicity. Grace Kelly, model turned actress, seamlessly transformed from onscreen star to real-life princess when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Never before had modeling promised such a “happily ever after” future. Women were now turning to fashion influenced by the silver screen, and the Hollywood Glamour era of modeling emerged.

Revlon's 1952, two-page "Fire and Ice" ad featured Dorian Leigh in an icy silver-sequin dress wrapped a fiery scarlet cape.

Revlon's 1952, two-page "Fire and Ice" ad featured Dorian Leigh in an icy silver-sequin dress and wrapped in a fiery scarlet cape.

But the line between actress and model began to blur. Actresses like Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe could smolder onscreen or in the front row, though fashion was craving its own stars. By the time Christian Dior’s New Look line debuted in 1947, fashion had become news and designers wanted their own muses and models to bring their designs to life. The fashion illustrations like those of Erté and Rene Gruau that were popular during the post-WWII years now seemed outdated, as Paris salon shows went from being sketched to photographed, attracting private clients and inviting the press. Photographers Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn at Vogue and Richard Avedon at Harper’s Bazaar were proving to the world that girls were more than just a pretty face. It was their lenses that turned modeling into a business, and model agencies and the model were born.

When Dorian Leigh Parker began modeling in 1944, her father asked her to drop “Parker” from her name, as he did not approve of her profession. Model Carmen Dell’Orefice, who began modeling in 1945, once described Dorian as “so sexy without saying a word.” Dorian went on to land seven Vogue covers in 1946 and would appear on another 50 covers over the next six years. Her “Fire and Ice” campaign for Revlon in 1952 remains iconic today, and she was rumored to be the inspiration for the character Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When she signed with Eileen Ford’s newly created Ford Model Agency it was on the condition that they also sign her younger sister, Suzy Parker. (Their father’s consent to use his surname is testament to the legitimization modeling had gained as a career.) Dorian opened the door to a sister who would ultimately go on to eclipse her success. Suzy, with a cameo role in Funny Face, became Avedon’s muse, the face of Revlon, and the first model to earn $100,000. This was not only sibling rivalry, this was business.

Lisa Fonssagrives appeared on the cover of TIME in 1949.

Despite the successful careers of Dorian and Suzy, the undisputed face of this era was Lisa Fonssagrives. Coined as the first “supermodel,” her iconic spirit and elegance would be the inspiration, decades later, for John Galliano’s Dior haute couture Fall 2008 show. Lisa appeared on the covers of TIME, LIFE, Vanity Fair, as well as Vogue, and went on to marry one of the greatest fashion photographers, Irving Penn, in 1950.

It didn’t take long for the world to become fascinated with fashion; the designers, the drama, the new looks. Avedon was even immortalized in the film Funny Face as Dick Avery (played by Fred Astaire; Audrey Hepburn was his cover girl). His character asks, “What’s wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?”

The quest had begun.

Chanel Overload

In love with Edita Vilkeviciute? You’re in good company because so is Karl Lagerfeld. And Vogue Australia—she’s gracing the cover of the June 2009 issue, shot by Patrick Demarchelier. Sure, it’s a reprint from her Vogue Paris March 2009 editorial “Le Sac,” but that’s no reason to love it less. Inside she poses for an editorial, called “Old Glory,” full of Chanel archive pieces from 1991 to 1995 while Carmen Kass models for “L’Art de Vivre,” shot by Glen Luchford, which was originally in Vogue Nippon March 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

Supermodel Trekkie

For Thursday night’s premiere of Star Trek at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, Heidi Klum had a last minute lesson on the classic “Live long and prosper” sign. Since she didn’t grow up with the space travel phenomenon, the Vulcan salute was new to her. On the ride to the event, she was taught just how to place her fingers, and then stepped onto the carpet in a Jasmine Di Milo dress, Christian Louboutins with Martin Katz jewels, and showed off her newfound talent!

Fashion & Models: The Cosmic Connection

by Aurora Tower

As fashion has changed its perspective and evolved through the 20th century, so have the models who have both presented and inspired these styles. But was it blind luck that certain models became icons at certain times, or was there a cosmic connection?

From an astrological perspective, there have been some very strong trends—and overlaps—in the fashion and modeling industries that can help us decipher why certain models were hot when they were and who will be the next be thing.

There are several ways to break down the 12 zodiac signs. One way is to divide them into the four elements (fire, earth, air, water); another is to divide them into the three qualities (cardinal, fixed, mutable). Looking at the three qualities, though, is where some strong patterns emerge.

The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, and they are concerned with initiation, movement, momentum, activity, and new breakthroughs. Fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are people who have a very strong, consistent “fixed” sense of self and let very little change their direction. Mutable signs are the final group, made up of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, and they are the most changeable, interested with incorporating and integrating what is happening around them.

A cursory glance over the history of fashion shows that for most of the 20th century fixed signs reigned supreme! Modern fashion, especially in it’s earliest incarnations, celebrated designers who had a very clear, consistent perspective and style like fixed designers Leo Coco Chanel, Leo Yves Saint Laurent, Aquarius Christian Dior, Taurus Halston, Aquarius Cristobal Balenciaga, and others. It would make sense, then, that the first models to become very famous were also members of the fixed signs. These models include Taureans Lisa Fonnasgrives, Dorian Leigh, and Veruschka; Aquarians Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Janice Dickinson, and Gia Carangi; Scorpios Lauren Hutton and Jean Shrimpton; and Leos Iman and Inès de la Fressange.

By the 1990s, fashion had become more adventurous and fast-paced, about movement, momentum, innovation—just like the cardinal signs. Cardinal sign designers like Aries Marc Jacobs, Libra Ralph Lauren, Cancer Oscar de la Renta, Libra Donna Karan, and Capricorn Olivier Theyskens took over. So the cardinal models also became the biggest models during that time as well. Famous cardinal faces of the time include Capricorns Christy Turlington, Angela Lindvall, and Liya Kebede; Arians Elle Macpherson, Paulina Porizkova, and Tatjana Patitz; and it has been Capricorn Kate Moss and Cancer Gisele Bündchen who have taken the two übermodel titles of the recent era.

As for the famous mutable sign models, they are very adaptable and thus they have taken their modeling career into interesting entrepreneurial directions, integrating modeling in a larger way. Pisceans Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, and Niki Taylor; Gemini Heidi Klum; and Sagittarius Tyra Banks have become extremely successful at business and branding, expanding the modeling industry to a larger audience. In the 1990s, the “original supermodel” dream team of Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington included three mutable sign models (Virgo Claudia, Pisces Cindy, and Gemini Naomi) and it was indeed this group that culturally propelled modeling into a sphere equivalent with famous musicians and entertainers.

With Scorpios Daria Werbowy and Gemma Ward; Taureans Lily Cole and Jessica Stam; and Aquarians Doutzen Kroes, Erin Wasson, Lily Donaldson, and Agyness Deyn most popular today, it appears that fixed-sign fashion—and models—are on top once again!

A New Model Turned Journalist

Images via WSJ.

Here’s some model weekend reading for you: the brand-new issue of WSJ.

Hilary Rhoda traveled to Miami to shoot the May 2 issue, posing for “Assets Covered.” Not only is she the main face of this editorial spread, but the magazine named her a contributor for the issue as well. We so approve of the WSJ’s statement with this issue. Models are way more than just pretty faces. They speak out for charities, help their communities, and have their own opinions and ideas about the world, in addition to being fun, down-to-earth girls who just want to enjoy life. Bravo, WSJ.

Tarot Cards Scents and Models with D&G


Images via WWD

What’s better than one fragrance by a design house? Five, all of which are inspired by tarot cards and each with its own distinct model face.

D&G just launched their Fragrance Anthology: Le Bateleur 1, L’Imperatrice 3, L’Amoureaux 6, La Roue de la Fortune 10, and La Lune 18, starring Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, and Eva Herzigova. “We choose Claudia, Naomi, and Eva for the iconic value they have in the minds of everybody,” said Dolce. “They are icons,” added Gabbana, “not just for young women but older women too. Sometimes they are better known than actresses. People need to create icons, to see people they recognize.”

Mario Testino shot the campaign, along with a television commercial to pair with the images. Of the five scents, Claudia represents La Lune, which is the moon; Naomi models as the L’Imperatrice’s visual, the empress; and Eva poses for La Roue de la Fortune, the wheel of fortune. Three male models joined the campaign as well: Fernando Fernandes (who poses with Eva), Noah Mills, and Tyson Ballou.

These will be available in Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s stores as of July 25, but the line will expand to include two more scents in the coming year.