Friday, February 3, 2012

I Was Given Just One Wish

One thing I get more than just about anything else since taking up this blog (and indeed, prior to it as well) is questions concerning Freja's musical interests. Regrettably, I'm hardly in her Highness' inner circle, so my guess is as good as your own. I make a point of suggesting bands and songs to readers via post titles because of my own adoration of the art of organized noise, but there's nothing better for you lot than the real thing, I reckon.

Freja recently made another contribution to the totes brill SHOWstudio, giving them her best music hit mix. It's a list of ten songs, and seven bands, which you will all want to check out. Present (of course) is her beloved PJ Harvey, wicked Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire (who are amaaaaaaze live, btw), and newcomer Anna Calvi, who I don't doubt she picked up from Karl Lagerfeld (last I checked, he had shitloads of copies of her eponymous debut record). Oh, and some Radiohead, cos how could you not?

I'll post Youtube links of the album versions of these so you don't need to scour the net. Also, here's the link to the SHOWstudio page in case you want to check out some of the other lists (Frigaciak fans will be pleased to note Frida's suggestion of Sweden's Fever Ray made it on to Jac's top 10, and Abbey Lee kicks it old school with some Lou Reed, ACDC, and Rolling Stones). Enjoy!

1. "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic

2. "Morning Light" by Anna Calvi

3. "White Chalk" by PJ Harvey

4. "All I Need" by Radiohead

5. "Silence" by PJ Harvey

6. "Wasted Hours" by Arcade Fire

7. "Grinnin' In Your Face" by Son House

8. "Ready To Start" by Arcade Fire

9. "Angel" by PJ Harvey

10. "The Road" by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

* "What Else Is There?" was the third single from Norwegian duo Röyksopp's second record, The Understanding. It features lyrics written and sung by Sweden's Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife and Fever Ray fame.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thunder Love Has Struck Us Again

The darling Anders Christian Madsen (@anderscmadsen) has supplied with previews of the editorials appearing in the upcoming 10th Anniversary issue of DANSK Magazine, and this gives us a second look at what Freja's been up to with model/photographer, Christian Brylle (@c_brylle), who's hair is always trippin' and who's abs are always rippin'. Styling credits go to Anders Sølvsten Thomsen (@anderslondon), who was also on hand for both covers and several of the editorials in the issue. 

I am really looking forward to seeing Freja back in DANSK after such a long time. Hell, I'm looking forward to seeing Freja in an editorial in general. When was the last time she got artsy, anyway? I swear, it was like the last time I wrote a bleeding blog post or something... 

Anyway, here's the preview shot, drool over it before bed tonight, or before breakfast this morning, or whatever time it is wherever you are. And repeat. I shan't be analyzing this until the full editorial has been released, but until then, please bask in the awesomeness of Scandinavia. 

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

Photo courtesy of

* "Apparitions" was the second single from Raven in the Grave, the fifth record by The Raveonettes. Sumptuously dark and broody, these two Danes have one of the most seductive soundscapes in music today. Fans of the recently popular Warpaint, take note.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Come Back Round, You Sun of a Gun

In the north, there are some winter days when you wake up to find tumults of rain ravaging the snows you so adore. The pillowy frostings melt away before your very eyes from their bleached perfection until the still-green grass breaches the surface. When the rains stop, naught is left of your wonderland but the bleak and translucent patches of ice and hardening slush, hard to the touch, mottled grey with all manner of impurities. The moment is sad, but the grass is green.

It is not unlike the feeling of waking up to Freja Beha, who has finally done something. 

You see, on my phone yesterday, I alighted upon a tweet from a favourite of mine, by the name of Anders Christian Madsen. You may not know him, but he and his delightful sister (Susanne) are who my fashion world revolve around. The two partners in crime are fashion writers for the impeccable DANSK Magazine (of Denmark, don't you know), and also hold the positions senior editor and fashion features director, respectively. 

Now, said tweet was of enormous significance to my every day life, mostly because the last thirty-odd every days of said life have not been occasioned by posting on this blog (some of you know why, but the rest of you will find out all in good time). Precisely what it intoned is that our ever beloved Freja will be appearing on the cover of DANSK's S/S 2012 (10TH ANNIVERSARY) issue. Trigger: a smile that explodes.

What this means is that the magazine itself will be contemplative of a myriad of things of import, notably Justin Bieber (he had a Christmas record), Kristen Stewart (Breaking Dawn and all), and Freja, over whom I project the two will be squeeing just as much as Anders does over his weekly dose of CW tween dramas. This is because beyond simply being "dictators of taste," or whatever we are calling the fashion voices these days, these two Danes are fans of fashion and culture, and that never fails to shine through in the pages of DANSK. 

So without further ado, allow me to present to you, Freja Beha Erichsen by the phenomenal Christian Brylle for DANSK S/S 2012. 

I know right. It's fucking awesome.

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

Image courtesy of

* "Sun of a Gun" is the lead single from Oh Land's sophomore record, Oh Land. The former ballerina took the indie scene by storm last year with the record's release stateside after enjoying critical acclaim at home in Scandinavia with her debut, Fauna. Owning the full set, I assure you that you and Alice have never seen (or heard) a Wondøland quite like this.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

If There's A Chance She'll Break, She's Gonna Smash It To Pieces

Hi pretty people! Please accept my deepest apologies for being absent lately, university can be a witch of a different letter. I advise you all to rethink that extremely snarky email you write to a teaching assistant that falsely accuses you of plagiarizing yourself. Though hilarious in its witticisms and wordplay, it may not come off as endearing to some individuals.

This is a roundabout way of telling you that I will be addressing my inbox of praise, marriage proposals, and vicious spam over the holidays with sugar, spice, and/or bitchy delights. Happy farking Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

More importantly, these last couple of weeks have been oddly eventful for Freja, with the announcement of three campaigns and a couple other odds and ends. First up was an appearance in V Magazine's model issue (aka #74, Winter 2011). She was shot by Terry Richardson for the spread, and then cropped into the shot by means of photo shop. Not the most artistic of endeavours, but they put her beside Daria, which is almost too much gorgeous northern starry-ness to handle at once.

We also have a collection of the photos Terry took of Freja for this shoot, courtesy of the man's insistence on documenting every moment he spends with anybody awesome, which is just about everybody he spends moments with. Say what you want about his morals and ethics, but that's one thing that we can be thankful for. (Dear Lady Gaga, I hope you can see how very hard I am trying here. Like really trying.)

Yeah, so that happened, and the Europeans were like "yeh yeh yeh...", and the Americans were like "Gaga, pass the cranberry sauce," and then everyone was like "FREJA HAS BREAST CANCER! THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!". And I, sitting at my computer reading emails in a place that looks a lot like Sweden, just with snow, decided that Freja fans had officially won the Non Sequitur of the Century Award, narrowly beating out everything Jo Thornley has ever said. I mean seriously you guys, what the fuck.

All of this was spurred on by what should have been like really happy news, being the reveal of paparazzi photos of Freja and Arizona Muse in matching Chloe dresses somewhere in California, which was later identified as a shoot for the French fashion house's spring 2012 campaign. But you know, it was an honest mistake by worried fans, so don't worry about this time too much. Just keep in mind that the moment you believe one rumour, the less likely you are to see the next one coming on the horizon.

The moral of this story is that Freja has armpits and a Chloe campaign, not mammogram scars.

So getting back to important business, what do we think about Freja bagging Chloe? Any Sigrid fans totally pissed off? While I commiserate with my second favorite Frenchie, I'm pleased that Freja has gotten another Chloe campaign: she's always been able to carry off the minimalist 70s look rather charmingly.

Finally, we also learned that Freja will be starring in the S/S 2012 campaign for HUGO by Hugo Boss! All that has been released thus far is a solitary photo of her playing at 30 seconds with Sean O'Pry, but there will surely be more along shortly with the German fashion darlings being so promotionally driven.

Well, that's it for now, but I'm sure I'll be back with more news in a mo... If you're feeling  particularly bored between this and the next post, you can play "I spy with my bionic eye something referring to Melanie C" with this post. In the meantime, I hope you all have an excellent Christmakah/Ramadan/Kawanza/Festivus/etc!

Peace, love (actually), and floating,
Gill Ford

P.S.: Hats off to Atlantic Canada for being an excellent Christmas destination. City of Lakes for the win!

Photos courtesy of, terrysdiary, and tFS user Bigmax

* "Think About It" is the lead single from Melanie C's fifth studio album, The Sea, just released the past September. Written and recorded in Copenhagen, it probs would have been even more successful if she released the remixed version (a la "I Turn To You"), but we love the Katy Perry-esque track anyway. The Sea has been quite well received by critics, and is probably one of her better records to date. You should buy it. Not just because it's great, but because Mel is an absolute sweetheart, and we were BFFs at a German airport once in 2007. Sometimes, I'm jealous of me too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The World Tied in the Palm of Her Hand

Never let the doubt get you down friends. It was only a matter of days ago when everyone was proclaiming the end of Freja's professional relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, but to say such preconceived notions of demise were premature were obviously, well, premature. I think it's time we all surrendered ourselves to the fact that in the Kaiserchief's band, Freja is the metaphorical cowbell, and we just can't get enough (re: we just can't get enough).

All of this is a roundabout way of retelling you all how the Great Dane is now featured in the newest Karl-shot campaign for French luxury department store, Printemps. I'm sure you will all be pleased to hear that Freja is bedecked in the glory of Chanel for the campaign, so that connection seems to remain semi-stable as well.

The Christmas campaign, which is visible even now on Printemps' website, depicts Karl's eternal muse holding the world, like every other heavily-depended-upon individual, in the palms of her hands. If you didn't catch the subliminal message I projected there, the moral of the story is that Karl thinks Freja's awesome, Printemps thinks Freja's awesome, and the advertising world thinks Freja's awesome, so I still have a job, and you lot still have orgasms. What seems to have been lost along the way are Freja's pants, but that's okay, because it means I can mention Lady Gaga in what is becoming a stream of pop music/culture references.

If any of you are interested, Karl is also designing the store windows for la grand magasin. You can have a peek at the frightful results (I'm not going to be judgmental, but there are dolls. So I judge "psychologically disturbed".) and Vanessa Paradis (who is there for no apparent reason, beyond being a pretty, French lady, or a pretty French lady) over at the linked website, or by clicking here. You can also rock on over and check out the windows for previous seasons, which were more fun, and will inspire less mental distress.

But for those of you only here for Freja, here's the making of for her side of the campaign. It is documented proof of everything I have said in this post. It's also always interesting to see the interactions between model and photographer. Personally, I was expecting Karl's instructions to be much more descriptive, as opposed to whistling and to-the-pointedness, but the man is German, after all.

So given the theme of the campaign (globe-trotting and stuff), what are you all doing for Christmas/the holidays? Any big plans? Please keep in mind that if you are leaving your present location for the tropics in order to avoid the snow, I will have no choice but to think of you as less than a person. Even Karl's evil little clone dolls like snow.

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

*"Spirit" is a totes brill song from Eric Burdon & War. It is one of the few songs in history that should never be criticized for a lack of cowbell. Incidentally, if you haven't heard of War, it will be declared upon you. Here's a Copenhagen performance from 1971, because we love Denmark so much.

Photos courtesy of

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Via, Via, Vieni Via Con Me

I've received a few requests to review Freja's spot for Valentino's Valentina fragrance, so I suppose that is what I'll do now in this spare minute. Directed by the incomparable Johan Renck, it's totes brill. But first of all, you lot should watch it, seeing as you probably haven't already. If you like, you can interpret that as a generalized slight at your collective inability to find shit on your own without my help. Now SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTHS, Paolo is singing:

I especially like the 49-second segment where they shout "VALENTINA!" with varying amounts of vocal and auditory strain. Not only did they save money on script writers, they ensured that viewers went away with a solid memory of what the product was called, which is more than I can say for those various commercials concerning erectile dysfunction. Now, we can split hairs about how I can probably relate more strongly to an admirably rebellious birthday girl than I can to a depressed man with a broken penis, but in the grand scheme of things, we're talking about good advertising here, not semantics.

Sorry for the crude language, I haven't met my Sunday quota.

What I think is particularly interesting about this commercial is that as opposed to selling just a product, Valentino is clearly marketing a lifestyle, or personality, if you will. With many brands, we see the discrimination between the product and the individual who is selling it to us; in this case, Freja is playing the role of a girl named "Valentina". So what we learn from the commercial is that buying the Valentina fragrance is like buying the essence of this girl we see ditching the public celebration of her birthday for a night out with friends. She's wealthy and glamorous, but she's not phased by running about through Roma in her heels. She's fun, she knows what she wants, and she will bloody well get what she wants when she wants it. Even if she has to leap out a window.

But I'm not too snazzy when it comes to advertising. The blatant stuff, anyhow. Preferring the more artistic side of things, I have always been a little dismissive of campaigns, with the exception of the odd one that is just beauteous. This one is wonderfully shot, with the dark tones vibrant with a warmth that you feel with the elevation of yellow tones as opposed to blues (which would provide a much darker atmosphere.

Camera views are dynamic, which allow the viewer to feel like they are trotting along through the entire sequence. But this is an important thing: We are always following Valentina, always viewing things from the perspective of someone who isn't quite on her level, whether it be tracking her from above on a terrace, or from across the street. We see her progress, but we are not a part of her world. And what does this do to us? It makes us want to be (I use "us" loosely, because most of the people reading this already wanted that anyway. But I'm just saying, Valentino covered their bases excellently.).

You wanted my opinion. Well that's all I have to say. So I'll throw in Freja's as well. She probably says something about it being "rock 'n roll" (because honestly, doesn't she always?), but I'm sure you will appreciate her perspective as well.

Yeah, so what she said, and what I said, that's all that's been said. So what are you lot saying?

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

"Via Con Me" is a song by an Italian fellow name Paolo Conte. We like him. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

O! How The Mighty Hath Fallen!


Yeah, I'm just kidding. The news was released yesterday via Tweety Bird and fashion journalist Jim Shi that Freja "Face of Chanel" Beha will NOT be the face of Chanel for 2012. Well, he didn't say so explicitly, but he didn't really have to. Whatever, here's the tweet:

I'm guessing you are all well pissed off right now right? Like on a Richter scale, you're the equivalent of that earthquake in Turkey? And to think, you're all just walking about, ready to explode at any unsuspecting stranger...

Well. I understand the anger, truly, I do. Freja has been the Chanel girl for what, the last five seasons? It has become a constant, expected thing. Some of you might not have been there at the beginning of fashion season, but I was, and this is what happened:
Naive Person: "Will Freja open Chanel? Will she close? Will she be in the campaign?"
The Voice of Reason: "Uhm derrrrrr; is the Pope a Catholic?"
Naive Person: "I think he is, actually, yeah."
Of course, the rest went down in history like The Flintstones and now everyone's wondering what the shit just happened. This is the part where I confess that I have NO idea. But somehow, I'm not worried.

Freja has been the Chanel girl for ages, but I think it is really important that we don't become reliant on that single image of her. Despite what advertisers would have us believe, Freja and Chanel are not synonymous. They can exist in unison, or independent of one another harmoniously. It's not as if Freja's career is now over; in fact, I would almost argue that it is quite the opposite: now that Freja is not entirely tied to Chanel, it opens up the opportunity to work for a wider variety of haute couture clients.

Allow me to elaborate on this brilliant little seed germinating in my mind.

For the last two and a half years, the fashion world has been fixated on this notion of Freja being Karl's muse. She is involved with just about everything he does, whether it be magazine editorials, shows, campaigns... even one of those calendars where you strip down and don a strategically-placed yamaclaus as Ms. December in the name of charity. Except that this one had a more artistic spin and was sold to make money for a wealthy tire company in Italy, instead of the children in third world countries.

Golden cod pieces aside, my point is that Freja and Karl have been nigh inseparable for this whole period of time. The problem this poses is that the implicit associations between Freja and Karl, or Freja and Chanel mean that no matter what brand name is on the ad, we will see Freja's face and immediately think "Karl" or "Chanel". I dub this the Lara Stone Conundrum.

For those of you who don't know, Lara Stone is BIG. Big boobs, big lips, big tooth gap. Big eyes that will stare into your guilty little soul. (She used to have a big forehead too, but then her eyebrows rematerialized.) Big attitude: a girl was loitering in front of her once during a show, so she shoved her out of the way. Of the incident, she replied "It was only a few stairs." Lara Stone, to be completely blunt, is sex appeal. And until extremely recently, she had a monopoly on almost EVERY campaign Calvin Klein produced. You used to think "Brooke Shields" or "Kate Moss" when you thought of Calvin Klein, but now it is "Lara Stone".

Fortunately for CK's bank account, this genius marketing ploy goes both ways. If you see Lara somewhere, you don't think "Prada" or "Versus". You think "Calvin Klein". This will take time (and perhaps the new found eyebrows?) to change. So Tom Ford, until further notice, is doing free advertising for Calvin Klein. Just so that you know.

Fortunately for Freja, she has not been as pigeon-holed as Lara Stone. Where the terms of Lara's contract essentially meant she was promoting ONLY Calvin Klein each season, Freja has been busy with campaigns for other labels, not just Chanel. A strong relationship with Valentino has been developing for the last few seasons, as well as a string of H&M and Harry Winston campaigns. Freja is even setting up shop with Denmark's oldest luxury jewelry label Georg Jensen, not just as the company's face, but also as a designer. Earlier this month, she even became a philanthropist, which was totally rad (do we want a post on this?).

Suddenly, Freja and Chanel are looking more like biffles than conjoined twins, am I right?

So in response to the frantic emails pouring into my inbox even as I type this, no, I am not worried. Freja's career will live on for many years, whether she continues to appear in Chanel ads or not. (In fact, chances are that she'll pop up in the eyewear campaign, or maybe even a perfume ad?) Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a single-girl campaign for F/W 2012. If Freja and Chanel are done forever, I will happily eat a bolt of tweed, but I hardly think that that is the null hypothesis in this situation.

I, for one, am happy for the girls who did get the campaign. Saskia has been getting a lot of hype the last two seasons, and I am looking forward to seeing how this all turns out for her. And Joan Smalls? When was the last time Chanel had a black girl in their campaign? Racism has been a huge topic in fashion for such a long time, and I think it's great that we are beginning to see some of these barriers broken down.

This is my take on it all, but I know there's a wide range of opinions on this particular subject, so I'll leave the rest to you. If you agree, or disagree, or differ in opinion, I would love to hear what you have to say, and I'm sure everyone else would appreciate another perspective. So please take full advantage of the comment section below!

If you're not comfortable with discussing this at the present time (for whatever reason: shyness, anger-induced silence, carpel tunnel, lack of fingers, whatever), I'll leave you with this: If you can't be happy for Saskia and Joan, be happy for the bright future Freja has ahead of her. She's facing the sun now, but she's definitely not casting any shadows.

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

P.S.: I'm pleased to see that you are taking full advantage of my email address, and encourage you all to continue to do so as you feel the need. I'll do my best to answer any questions you have, whether they be Freja-related or otherwise. If I'm stumped, I'll try to refer you to someone who's smarter than me (I keep tabs on all three of them) so you can get your business sorted. Today I dealt with some fun issues that included anorexia, lesbians, and what I did on Vladimir Putin's birthday. So you know, anything goes.

P.P.S.: I'm also aware that the night is dark and full of terrors, and you were all left in it for the last five months. So if there is anything that you know happened, or suspect might have happened while you were flailing about like headless chickens, give me a shout and I'll wiggle my fingers about with some scented candles and tea leaves and we'll see what happens.