According to the Wall Street Journal, weird-looking models are out thanks to The Great Recession, and we’re supposed to start worshiping the girl-next-door look. Forgetting for a moment that the Supers, i.e. the walking mannequins who netted “$10,000 just for waking up,” have always been smokin’ hot and not awkward looking at all, we decide to examine the trend. Flipping through the September glossies in search of front-of-book mega ads, we deduced the following in the ugly/pretty model debate.
Jennifer Connelly shot by Steven Meisel for Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2009. Connelly may be one of the most gorgeous women on the planet, but the death-like pallor and fetishized pose do not look an invitation to come over and bake pie. Verdict: Edgy.
Prada Fall/Winter 2009, also shot by Steven Meisel. Despite the bleached eyebrows and stark posing, the five girls featured in Miuccia Prada’s latest campaign share the same wide-eyed,delicate facial structure. Verdict: Pretty.
Givenchy FW10 campaign, featuring newcomer Ranya Mordanova. Mordonova is a Russian with a fierce stare and an even fiercer bowl cut. And her lady friends look like maneaters. Verdict: Edgy.
Steven Meisel shooting Kristen McMenamy for Lanvin F/W 2010. We have spooky cats, a grey pallor, an absence of flowing locks or heaving bosoms, and the return of 42-year-old modeling veteran McMenamy. Verdict: Edgy.
Madonna for Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2010. A plasticine bunny with an outdated logo bag. Verdict: Neither pretty nor ugly, just scary.
From empirical data we can only conclude that the Wall Street Journal is overblowing the case of the pretty, palatable model. However, Steven Meisel did shoot an awful lot of the edgier-skewing ad campaigns this season, so maybe he’s the real tastemaker. What do you think — have you noticed more classically pretty babes gracing fashion editorials this season?