Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Post to End the Year

It's been quite a year! As we come to the end of 2009 and the end of the 21st century's first decade (who else remembers all the fervor over Y2K? I feel so old), I just want to say thanks for reading and for making this blog what it is. I truly appreciate all the comments, the e-mails, the encouragement, the criticism, and the support. Before I sign off for the year, just a few things of note:

-Freja's made it onto a few more "best of" lists. She's one of the 30 models that defined the decade for Vogue France. And she's number eight on Vogue Nippon's Models of the Year 2009 list. What a nice way to cap off an impressive year that saw Freja return to a level of pervasiveness not seen since her early days.

-We have our first look at the SS10 Chanel ad campaign thanks to tFS member Northern Star. Not much to really say yet so I'll reserve my judgment for when more images come out.

-Thanks for the link love models.com! I'm totally flattered, and also kind of embarrassed that people who actually work in the industry could be reading my amateur musings. Anyway, thanks for the kind, completely unexpected words.

It's been a great year for us Freja fans. We've been witness to lots of new work (Meisel!) and changes both personal (NY!) and physical (long hair!). If anything has remained the same, it's our fascination for this blog's namesake. I love being a part of this little community of Freja fans and I hope 2010 will bring more of the same. Whether Freja continues to work at her current pace or whether she decides to slow down, all we can really hope for is that she's happy and healthy. So, I wish her and all of you exactly that as we count down the days until the end of the aughts. Wherever you are when the clocks hits midnight, I hope it's in the presence of good company, good food and a great celebration. Cheers!

Image Credit: Scanned by a.t. @ tFS and Northern Star @ tFS

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Naked Purple

We have something to look forward to in the new year. It looks like Freja has done one of the infamous "Purple Naked" editorials for Purple Magazine shot by Inez and Vinoodh.

"Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin photographed 22-year old Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen, whose unabashed androgyny is living proof that you can be one of the most important models in current fashion without having to hide your tattoos or your sexuality, and without having to conform to a stereotypically female look--just like the tattoo on her right arm: 'Serendipity is Life.'"

Other notable models who have participated in this regular feature include Angela Lindvall, Lara Stone and most recently, Dree Hemingway. All were shot by Inez and Vinoodh in the same black and white, stripped down, nothing left to the imagination style and I can imagine that the same will be true for Freja.

These editorials are always so gorgeous to me because they show the pureness and rawness of the human form without pretense or judgment; just the body in all it's unabashed, natural glory. And because our society is so prudish, it's rare that we get the chance to see images like this and to appreciate the wonders of one of the most beautiful and complex forms on earth. (Side Note: I still can't understand why people were so mad about Janet Jackson's nipplegate during the Super Bowl a few years back. For crying out loud, it was just a boob and we all have them to varying degrees of size. Get over it people. Frankly, I think the world would be a much happier and better place if we all saw a little more boob-age on a daily basis.)

And maybe since the nudity is always so unashamed and proud in this Purple feature, it kind of becomes de-sexualized to my eyes and instead transforms into a work of pure art. Does that make sense? I don't know...that could just be my way of viewing things like this. I'm pretty sure my perception is slightly skewed because I don't even bat an eye anymore when I see nudity in fashion photography. Often times it's one of the last things I'll notice because I'm too busy paying attention to all the other elements like the model, the poses, the perspective, etc... You know you're abnormal when Lara Stone looks stranger clothed than nude.

Anyway, this Purple Naked editorial is interesting news. I'm excited to see Freja get more work of course, but I'm also kind of afraid of the reaction this will elicit from all the fans. I just think this could be more fuel for the fangirl fire in a bad way, but I know I'm speaking too soon because we haven't even seen the final product yet. I will say that I'm disappointed this editorial will focus once again on Freja's androgyny. That's such an old meme. But perhaps at this point it's what she's known for and her trademark, so I should just get over it and accept the fact that it will be impossible for people to separate the two. At least she's consistently getting work right?

Though, I ask you this: Is it better to be famous for one thing to the point where it becomes a handicap, even though you owe your longevity to it? Or is it better to be malleable even if it means you'll fade away? I don't think it has to be either or and I'm just waiting for someone else to think the same way.

This is getting insanely long so I'll leave you with two more things to mull over. We'll undoubtedly see a full frontal nudity shot, so does this mean we'll finally get to see what the infamous 15th tattoo looks like? And this is the closest that we've ever gotten to official confirmation about Freja's sexuality so I wonder, why now? Why in this way? Oh Freja. Just when I think I have you all figured out, you go and do something to show me that the only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing at all.

Image Credits: purple-diary.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From the Side

Sometimes I think we focus so much on the view from the front that we miss the beauty of seeing something from the side. These profile shots of Freja are a perfect example of this.

Maybe I'm just weird, but one of my favorite things about Freja is her profile. (Now that I've admitted this, I can just picture you telling yourself to slowly tip-toe back from the computer screen and away from the crazy person. It's ok....the fact that I even started this blog should have already been enough of a tip off to my strangeness.) The sloping lines are graceful and distinctive; simultaneously strong and cute.

In something as simple as this view from the side, I see a microcosm of the characteristics that make Freja captivating as a model. You could say that her brow and sharp nose are masculine and her defined lips are feminine. Even if you don't agree with my assessment, my point is that it's these two polar gender concepts working in tandem that give her an edge in the modeling world. She can toe the middle line or go in either direction on the spectrum.

Sadly, most people only seem to focus on the masculine side when it comes to Freja. Just look at her recent Twin editorial or the SS10 Chanel show. But we must remember that the attractions of androgyny cannot be appreciated without a background impression of femininity, for the two are mutually dependent. The complexities and beauty of one do not exist without the counter balance of the other, and I think we'd all be the better for it if people kept that in mind this upcoming year. Let Freja show her range!

Ugh, sorry for the disjointed ramblings tonight. I'm currently in a location devoid of any real mental stimulation so I've turned to this blog as my outlet. Point of this post: Freja has a pretty profile that I like a lot. I hope that people will stop pigeonholing her as the masculine, androgynous model.

Anyway, merry Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, whatever you celebrate at this time of year! I hope it's a good one!

Image Credits: stylesightings.com

Friday, December 18, 2009


Whew! Just wrapped my last booking of the year...Freja Beha Erichsen for Spur ...coming sometime in Spring 2010. I must be mum and not preview too may of the choice looks (it was a personal style story) or unveil too many of of Freja's disclosures before the story runs but suffice it to say it was a lovely sitting with the coolest girl around. A fast shoot in a real location instead of another sterile studio...a ruthlessly efficient team tracking the strict briefs from the Tokyo office ... mid-70's rock n roll vibrating from the speakers...you have to love a calm, laid back gig like this. Now if only fashion could be like that EVERY day.
Thanks to the The Imagist, we have info on some upcoming work. Personal style story eh? Should be interesting to see how that works out considering that Freja's style as we know it is pretty basic and black. But you know how they always like to gussie things up for features like this. So maybe we'll see more designer labels? Perhaps some Yohji, Junya, and Comme des Garcons? That would be fitting considering the publication's country of origin.

Speaking of, any readers out there from Japan? If so, wanna send me a copy when this comes out? I'll be eternally grateful. Onegai shimasu? I'm actually being kind of serious here because I have no idea where or even if Spur is sold near me.

Anyway, I'm excited to see how this story turns out. And it's always nice to hear news that reinforces the perception we have of Freja as cool, laid back and easy to work with. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about this girl. Have you?

And before I forget, happy holidays everyone! I'm officially on vacation until 2010, but will try to update as much as I can provided that there's news for me to update on. After all, fashion and Freja need vacations too. :)

Image Credits: theimagist

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview Editorial

Tomas Maier
Interview Magazine December/January 2010
Ph: Craig McDean

Just when I think Karl has a stranglehold on Freja's career, she goes and works with Meisel and Craig McDean. Always expect the unexpected when it comes to Freja. Lesson learned. Anyway, it's just one shot but at least it's something different. To my knowledge, Freja has only worked with McDean once before back in 2006 for an editorial in Vogue Paris, which resulted in this one shot:

A La Ligne
Vogue Paris September 2006
Ph: Craig McDean

And for reference, here are the rest of the shots from the Interview ed:

It's a beautifully simple and straight forward editorial, photographed with an emphasis on the clothes. As it should be since the accompanying article is all about Tomas Maier, designer of Bottega Veneta. Nevertheless, I'm a bit disappointed that all of the shots are solo ones because I was really looking forward to seeing how Freja, Hanne and Kasia would photograph together. Perhaps another time, as I think Hanne and Kasia are two of the most dynamic, newer presences both on and off the page.

Lastly, another thing I found of interest is that Michelle Lee at KCD did the casting. As past interviews show, she favors strong girls and she is responsible for casting many shows during fashion month--most notably Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Hopefully this means we'll be seeing Freja on those runways again come February. It's safe to assume Michelle is a fan, and unless Freja decides to retire in between now and then, I don't think we'll be disappointed.

Image Credits: artandcommerce, my scans from Interview Magazine Dec/Jan 2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Sense a Pattern

Backstage at Burberry Prorsum SS10

Backstage at Fendi FW0910


Backstage at Marni SS10

Backstage at Prada FW0910

Ok, maybe a less obvious pattern for this second set, but I just wanted an excuse to post the Prada picture again. :) I can't wait to see what the upcoming season will bring.

Image Credits: eastnews.ru, fashionmag, fashionactive, stylesightings, my scan from US Harpers Bazaar Dec09

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On Success and Street Style

Craig Arend of Altamira has a really interesting interview with Faith Kates up on his site. As far as modeling goes, Faith is a pretty important figure in the industry considering that she started Next Model Management. Next is home to models like Abbey Lee, Karmen, Anja, Anna J, Catherine and Karlie, so it's definitely one of the heavy hitters agency wise.

The interview is a very good read if you're interested in models and how their careers develop. There isn't an outright mention of Freja, but while I was reading some of Faith's comments Freja did come to my mind:
"...I think that in our world...when a girl starts, if you have one of the three or 4 really important photographers behind you, that's the girls that are making it. So if you have Steven Meisel, you have Mario Testino, you have a Craig McDean, you have a David Sims... you have one of those guys behind you, you're in."
"The photographers and the magazines have all the power. Designers are important, don't get me wrong. They are very important. But I think it goes first with if you can get to the photographer. There are some girls that are really photographers girls."
One of the reasons I admire Freja so much is because she's managed to become successful without the huge support of a major photographer. On her level of modeling, she is the only girl I can think of who's the exception to the rules Faith speaks about above. Coco, Daria, Stam, and Elise all had Meisel's blessing. Catherine was a Testino girl through and through. But Freja? I really believe she built her career by staying true to her own individuality, knowing her strong suits, and playing off of her physical strengths. Yes, Karl is a huge supporter of her now, but at the very beginning of her career Freja made a name for herself on the strength of her modeling abilities. I know I'm biased, but I think that even to non-fans, her charm and appeal are undeniable and her face is truly gorgeous. Her androgynous characteristics merely heighten her appeal in that they provide a complimentary (and perhaps contradictory) contrast to her feminine beauty. Most girls are lucky enough to get the backing of top photographers, but only once in a blue moon is a girl lucky and talented enough to get to where Freja is without their help.
"You don't have to care about clothes...I don't think you have to love clothes. I don't think you have to dislike clothes. I just think you have to know how to wear clothes and know what feels good and right on you."
Reading this brought to my mind Freja's street style. To be frank, I'm bored with the way she looks off the runway because she's utterly predictable. Black, leather, black and more black. But even though I feel this way, I still think Freja looks good every time I see a new street style pic. And it's because of what Faith refers to above. Freja absolutely knows what is right for her and she sticks to it with unwavering loyalty. She doesn't experiment like Iekeliene, Irina, Kinga or Hanne because that wouldn't fit with her modeling persona. She wears clothes that look right on her and probably feel good to her. And she's most definitely mastered the art of minimalist chic with an androgynous flair. This might sound cliched and frivolous, but I really believe that when you feel good and comfortable about the clothes you wear those feelings translate to other parts of your life, and people are innately drawn to that.

I think that if I ever saw Freja wearing a dress off the runway I would laugh. But oddly enough, she looks perfectly normal wearing a dress on the runway. Go figure. It's amazing how much the context can impart the meaning in a situation. Anyway, what do you think about Freja's street style? Why do you think Freja's been able to attain her level of success? Sometimes I think I can be so biased that I lose all ability to even conceive of a different viewpoint, so yours are welcome.

Image Credits: altamira.blogspot

Friday, December 11, 2009

What's in a Name?

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the name Freja? Copenhagen Cycle Chic lets us know that there's more meaning to "Freja Fridays" than just the happenstance of consonant accord.
The name for the kickoff day for the weekend in English originates with a Norse goddess, Freyja or Freja. Freja's Day became Friday.

Freyja is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility and was described as blonde, blue-eyed, and beautiful. The fairest of all the goddesses, according to Norse mythology, people prayed to her for happiness in love.
How appropriate on so many levels. Talk about living up to your name, right? Happy Freja Friday. If you've adopted the concept and want to be linked like you see to the right, e-mail me or leave a comment with your blog.


As we near the end of the year, it seems that everyone likes to make lists. I suppose it's only natural to want to sum up the preceding year's occurrences into an easily digestible and archivable format. I know these lists can get trite, but I always look forward to them at the end of each year. Movies, CDs, TV shows, news worthy moments, influential people, you name it and I eat it up.

So now we can add a models list to the list. I stumbled across fashionising.com's list of Top 10 models for 2009 and Freja lands at number 10. Oddly enough the list is presented in youtube format as a narrated video of picture stills opening and closing to the accompaniment of music that recalls early 1970's porn. See and hear for yourself:

All that aside, I think the list is pretty good. Maybe I'd play with the numbering (Miranda at #3? Too high. Karlie, queen of US Vogue at #9? Too low), but I think the model choices are pretty solid and reasonable. Although they need to work on their fact checking because we all know that Freja has more than 12 tattoos. Anyway, I wonder if there are any other sites that do year end fashion Top 10 lists. I can't recall any right now. After all, a year in fashion seems like it would be a lot harder to categorize and summarize as opposed to a year in CDs or movies. Regardless, it's nice to see Freja getting recognition after her mini-comeback and stellar year full of great work. And it's nice that this Top 10 list appearance is buoyed by her fifth place position on models.com's Top 50 list.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

London Again?

It feels like the SS10 shows just ended, but it's already time to start thinking about the FW1011 season just two short months away! And Burberry starts things off with the news that their runway show will again be held in London instead of Milan.

When I heard about this move last season, I was a bit skeptical as to whether Freja would walk in London. I knew she was a Burberry runway regular (and I'm convinced that if she were British she'd already have a campaign under her belt). But in nine seasons on the runway circuit she never once made it to London. Nevertheless, she surprised us all with a strong debut season walking in 6 shows, which makes me wonder if she'll repeat her performance for the upcoming season?

Freja started working like crazy halfway through 2009 with tons of editorials, campaigns and her strongest runway showing in a while. So if she keeps this up my guess is she'll be making the London stop again. But at this point it's all conjecture. You never know about the runway prospects of established models like Freja. One season they're everywhere, the next season they're gone...I'm looking at you Raquel Zimmermann.

Image Credits: style.it

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

For me, one of the more notable things to emerge from this past fashion season was the blossoming friendship between Freja and Karmen Pedaru. I've been a fan of Karmen's for quite some time now, and have even tried sneaking her onto this blog multiple times. ;) Needless to say, I was thrilled when I started seeing two of my favs hanging out backstage this season. Before this September, and to the best of my knowledge, Karmen and Freja had not been photographed together before, even though they initially met all the way back in September of 2006. Yes, that's right--September of 2006, nearly three years ago when they both walked the Marni SS07 show where they had looks 45 and 46 right next to each other.

When I realized this, I was quite surprised as I've always thought of Karmen as a newer girl. Her breakout season was only just during FW0809 when she was named a Top 10 Newcomer by models.com, so I just assumed that she's only been around since then. But it turns out Karmen started hitting the high fashion runways only three season after Freja did. So this got got me thinking about the perspectives we have that go into defining a new model, an established model and the role that success plays.

Freja made her runway debut in February of 2005 when she walked for Prada in Milan. Karmen made her debut in September of 2006 when she walked for Christopher Kane in London. Karmen only started a year and half after Freja but I believe most people think (like I did) that she's one of the newer, younger models on the scene because her career seems to be taking off only now. She's definitely not as well known and she doesn't have any major covers or blue-chip campaigns on her modeling resume yet. When you compare her to Freja, the differences are so stark that it's hard to believe they started only three seasons apart.

Yet, things are finally beginning to happen for Karmen after all this time. More people are recognizing her as I've never seen so many new people posting in her tFS thread. She recently starred in the Gucci Eye Wear campaign for FW0910 and she was a semi-exclusive at the show in September. I don't want to jinx things, but being an exclusive is great and usually indicative of future campaign prospects.

I guess if you can take anything away from this, it's that time is only one factor in determining a model's success. Unlike more conventional jobs where you nearly always climb your way to the top by putting in years of work, I would argue that modeling is more dependent on other factors like agents, trends, the whims of photographers and designers, the look of the moment, and good old fashioned luck. I think the career trajectories of Freja and Karmen speak to this. Freja became successful nearly overnight with a Prada exclusive in Milan and bookings at all the top shows in Paris during her first season. Karmen was more of a late bloomer and worked her way through her first three seasons by walking mostly in London before she finally broke through.

Freja and Karmen traversed on two different paths to success, and I think it's interesting how these paths can affect the perspectives we have on each one's experience level and status within the industry. Even though both have been modeling for a few years now, I still think of them in entirely different ways. To me Karmen represents a young, fresh model full of untapped potential. Much like the brands she's modeled for (Y-3, Jill Stuart, Derek Lam, M by Missoni), she's well-respected but definitely flying under the radar. On the other hand, Freja is the established veteran who I feel has been around for so long that I can't even remember a time without her, much like the brands that she's modeled for (Balmain, Balenciaga, Chanel, Gucci, Chloe).

They are both successful in their own rights, and both seem to have career longevity in that they've been around longer than 2 or 3 seasons. When they started hanging out this season I thought it was so cute that Freja was hanging with a newbie instead of just the other vets like Lily and Heidi. Well, my perspective was a little off and after some adjustment, I now see both Freja and Karmen as veterans and true colleagues in every sense of the word. Now I only wonder what took them so long to become friends....

Image Credits: models.com, imgmodels.com, style.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fans in the UK

Out of all the major Vogue publications, Vogue UK has definitely been the most ardent in featuring Freja in it's editorials. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that their art director, Jaime Perlman, is a Freja Fan. The list of fans who work in the industry is growing larger, isn't it? Freja already has the designer market cornered with Alex, Marcus and David, and Stella. Now the magazine sector seems next to fall captive to Freja's undeniable allure.

In addition to her post at Vogue UK, Jaime is also involved in a new online venture called Test. It's "a visual platform that fuses a combination of new and established artists on a constantly changing series of image-led projects." It seems pretty cool so far and already includes a smattering of models like Myf, Katie Fogarty, Daul, Tiiu, and Maggie Rizer. Maybe one day we'll see Freja featured there too. And maybe one day we'll finally see Freja on the cover of Vogue UK as well. Jaime, work you're influence! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Clearing the Air

I debated on whether to post about this, but I just had to get this off my chest and clear the air. Someone made a comment on this old post I wrote, and it has really been nagging at me ever since. The fact that there might be some people out there who don't think I appreciate the readers of this blog really irritates me. However, looking back now, I can see how my tone and intent in the last paragraph of that post may have come off negatively. It horrifies me to think that other people might also feel that I'm being bitchy or rude, so I want to apologize if I came off sounding that way as it was truly not my intent.

I started this blog as a personal creative outlet and never did I think it would get the reception that it has. I'm still very much perplexed as to why some of you willingly submit yourselves to my long-winded, rambling posts but I never, ever take it for granted. I appreciate the fact that you spend your precious free time reading and commenting, and I hope I've never given the impression otherwise. Believe me, I know my place here and I hold absolutely no illusions as to the reasons why this blog even has readers in the first place. Those reasons can be summed up in two words: Freja Beha. I just happened to pick a good topic to write about and I know that people's excitement and love for her are the only reasons I'm lucky enough to have this blogging voice.

So perhaps I shouldn't have been so hasty with my wording in that post, but I just meant to say that I do read Freja's tFS thread so I am aware of any new material posted over there. The enthusiasm and thoughtfulness that causes so many of you to leave comments and write me e-mails is very touching and I do appreciate it, more than you will ever know--I simply cannot reiterate that enough! But I just physically can't post about everything the second we hear about it. That's why we have tFS in the first place--to post quickly and objectively about fashion news as it happens. This blog is different and I make no qualms about it being totally subjective. Because of that, there will be times when I offend people with my opinions. However, to come under scrutiny for my intentions due to something as simple as my semantic choices is unexpected and quite jarring, but I now realize it's another inevitable consequence I must deal with.

I suppose this misunderstanding is no one's fault but my own, seeing that as of late I seem to have lost that sense of wonderment and awe that would have previously caused me to react in the same way, i.e. by wanting everyone to know everything about Freja. I can identify with that feeling of thrill and perhaps I'm a tad envious of those of you who are still in possession of it. Because I do remember what it felt like to get really, really excited about everything Freja did. I mean, I was excited enough to create this blog in the first place. But I guess I've just moved out of that honeymoon phase and into the long-term relationship phase where I'll have ups and downs. Maybe my fatigue came through in that post? I don't know...

So at this point I'm just happy that some of you want to share your excitement with me, and that you find this blog welcoming and useful as a place where you can express any opinions you have about Freja. Consequently, I will remember to be more respectful of that in the future. That's what I want this blog to be. A place of more substance and less surface gloss, where you can dissect the minutiae or expound upon general impressions.

I just had to address all of this because I don't want anyone else to assume I'm ungrateful for the readers of this blog. I absolutely welcome criticism of my opinions, the way I write or the blog layout, but for anyone to presume I don't appreciate the readers out there is what's discouraging to me. Especially when at this point, the readers are the main reason I keep this blog going. If you've managed to read this far, I'm thoroughly impressed and I thank you for reading and indulging me. Hopefully you have a better understanding of where I'm coming from and why I blog so that misunderstandings about my intent can be circumvented in the future.

Normal Freja posts will continue tomorrow. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


This image is so very Freja and I love it. In fact, I love the whole editorial because all the different models' personalities seem to shine through. The overall execution is perhaps a little lacking seeing as it's supposed to be a fashion editorial. But this is one instance where I think the concept succeeds in making up for any shortcomings elsewhere.

For her part, Freja presents to us a beautifully quiet and self-reflective moment. I love the juxtaposition of this intensely private moment with the chaos of the city. If you look, you can see references to New York in the sliver of the city visible through the window and the "I Love NY" t-shirt cookie on the cake. It's a city notorious for making people feel anonymous and completely alone, even though they're surrounded by millions of people. For me, this image is poignantly emblematic of that feeling, and absolutely fitting for Freja considering that she just moved away from Denmark (and family and friends) to New York.

This pervading sense of loneliness that I read is enhanced by the wisps of smoke emanating from the extinguished candles--they're like the signifiers for a presence once there and now gone. It's a brilliant touch because they also convey the passage of time (i.e. the onslaught of age that a birthday signifies) and the fleeting, instantaneous nature of the moment (i.e. the flames that were there a moment ago are now gone). And correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the very things that people hope to capture and save through twitter? Isn't it a medium that allows us to document that very same passage of time and record those very same fleeting moments for posterity? Intentional or not, I find this one image so full of many things to analyze, and this self-referential quality is just one of them.

I also have to wonder whether this is in any way Freja's commentary on the modeling life. We've all read snippets from various interviews done by various models on how hard their lives can be with all the traveling and such. Abbey Lee just commented recently on how difficult it is to cultivate strong personal relationships when her schedule is so unpredictable. So, can models really be so lonely that they spend their birthdays like this? I doubt Freja spent her birthday alone, but I find it so intriguing that she would portray herself in this way. I don't know...maybe there doesn't have to be a reason for everything. I'm well aware that things can just be what they are for the sake of being. Maybe she just thought it would be funny and I can see the stream of humor here, especially in the "Sexy Beast" cookie.

Anyway, even though Meisel didn't take these pictures, this editorial is still very much his work. And perhaps this is why many people have a hard time with contemporary art and photography's place within. The traditional notions of the artist/creator are completely thrown out the window. In it's place we are faced with issues of authenticity, ingenuity, artistic skill and ownership. I could talk for hours about these types of issues, but I'll spare you. (For anyone who is interested, there is some fabulous writing out there about this stuff. "On Photography" by Susan Sontag, and "The Originality of the Avant Garde" by Rosalind Krauss (most notably her section on Rodin and his "Gates of Hell" sculpture) immediately come to my mind.)

But moving along, since this is truly Meisel's work, I'm still completely amazed and shocked that he included Freja. Either she has someone on her side at Vogue Italia, her agents are working overtime and good at compromising, or Meisel had a change of heart. Now I wonder if he'll work with Freja again, or if this was a one time thing? It's rather fitting though, that to end a decade's worth of work in VI, Meisel chose to include all his regular model favorites and a model that he's notoriously excluded for a better part of the decade. I think Meisel is too calculated and exacting in his work for that not to be intentional on his part. So with this in mind, and as great as it was to finally have Freja work with him, I have a feeling that "Freisel" sadly won't be a moniker we can ever use again. So we should just enjoy it while it lasts....although I would love to be proven wrong.

Image Credits: scanned by Diciassette (17) @ tFS

Friday, December 4, 2009

Better Pictures

Here are some higher quality pictures from yesterday's Chanel show. As usual, click through to enlarge. And according to style.com, Freja closed the show. Well...technically Baptiste closed it, but Freja was the last girl out. So she's continuing on her roll with Karl and Chanel. So much so that she's nearly becoming synonymous with the modern Chanel woman, and I'm undecided as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I guess it's great for Freja and her financial stability. Maybe not so great when it comes to other designers being able to envision her for their labels. I don't know, I guess we'll see.

Image Credits: style.com

Forays into Acting

I love you Freja, but I hope you're not one of those models who wants to transition into acting. Considering that you've probably never had any formal training, and that music seems to be more of your passion, I do think this was a valiant and commendable first effort on your part. However, you should probably stick to your day job.

Then again, you shouldn't be penalized for the execution of this concept. I'm sure it was pretty hard for you to identify with the roles you were asked to play seeing as you're from Denmark and not from China. A Chinese girl and a Chinese courtesan aren't characters I would ever relate to you, but I suppose such details as ethnic authenticity don't matter to the Kaiser. And I'm sure it was hard to recite that choppy and ridiculous dialogue with a straight face. I know I would have been laughing my ass off if I had to pretend I was talking to Coco Chanel.

Anyway, what matters here is that Karl is once again supporting your career and that is something I will always commend him for doing, no matter how bored I get seeing you only work with him. I gotta wonder though, does he have you and Baptiste under contract as part of his official traveling entourage? If so, does this contract maybe have a clause somewhere that allows you to work with other people like Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Camilla Akrans and Solve Sundsbo? I certainly hope so.

Starting @ 6:00

Starting at the beginning and going until 2:45

Starting @ 2:50 and going until 4:00

This was quite entertaining, but I'm much more impressed by the runway pictures from the show:

Karl always knows how to transport us to another world. It's escapism at it's best when we need it the most. While the quagmire in Afghanistan escalates, the debate on health care reform continues on, and the global economic downturn dominates, we can always count on Karl (and the fashion industry in general) to give us a world where these concerns don't exist. For this reason, most people consider fashion to be a frivolity. But it is precisely because of this reason why I consider fashion to be an absolute necessity.

Your thoughts on the vid? Freja's acting ability? The show? Freja working with Meisel (I still can't believe it)? And thanks to all the people who left comments telling me that the vid was up. It's sweet of you all to think of me, but I am a member at tFS so I already see the news as it's posted. Sorry, but I just can't update this blog instantaneously. So just because I don't post about something doesn't mean I don't know about it. Often times I'm waiting and thinking about what I want to post and how I want to post it. I don't want to post for the sake of posting....and isn't that what Freja's thread at tFS is for? ;)

Image Credits: wwd

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hell Hath Froze Over

Freja and Meisel. Two names I'd never thought I'd see together unless followed by a phrase like "they will never work together." Well, look out your window because pigs are flying outside of it right now. Freja is in Meisel's latest editorial for the December 2009 issue of Vogue Italia. We only have a preview pic so far:

I guess I spoke to soon in my 2009 Editorial recap, because it seems like Vogue Italia decided to end the year with a shock to the system. If I held anything to be true, it was that we'd never see Freja and Meisel working together. No one really knows what happened between them at the start of Freja's career, but everyone knew that Meisel wouldn't shoot her.

Technically though, he isn't shooting her for this editorial. The models were allowed to shoot themselves and do whatever they wanted to do in conjunction with the "twitter" theme. Nevertheless, this is still very much a Meisel ed and I'm still as shocked as ever that Freja is involved in it.

I'll post more once we see the whole thing as I'm sure it will provide endless fodder for a wide variety of ruminations. My mind is already aflutter with thoughts about originality, artistic intent, and the creative process seeing as the models were the ones who actually took the pictures and not Meisel. I also can't wait to see how Freja portrays herself and whether this will be a true glimpse into her personal life and how she sees herself in relation to modeling, or if she will hide behind a facade of glamor and fashion.

Image Credits: nextmodelsblog.blogspot

Rick Owens and Zombies

The two kind of seem to go hand in hand, no? But here I'm only putting them together arbitrarily for the sake of this post.

First of all, Freja is in Shanghai for the Chanel show. Can't you just hear the collective screams of girlish glee emanating from China? We only have a couple of backstage shots so far:

Interesting to note that Freja is sporting a real Rick Owens leather jacket now. The one she previously wore was done in the Rick Owens style, but it wasn't actually one. It could have been this Vince jacket, but I'm not sure. The differences are subtle but palpable once you see them side by side. I know a lot of people were getting their jackets confused, but Rick ones are very distinctive...at least to me.

I feel like every time we see Freja she's wearing something new but of course in black. Typical of her to change up her style yet simultaneously keep it the same. :) It's that balance that she seems to strike so well in her modeling, her personality and even in her street wear.

Secondly, if you've ever wanted to see what Zombie Freja would look like, check out the previews from Fashematic's new zine, Fashematical:

They took her Lanvin SS10 appearance as inspiration. According to the site, the zine is "a collection of illustrations reinterpreting the stars of the catwalk as part of either a horde of zombies or an army of robots, hell-bent on taking planet Earth for themselves."

I love when it when people can see the fun in fashion. After all, we can't all be serious all the time (That's something that I know I can be guilty of with my long, musing posts about Freja's place in the industry). I wonder how Freja would feel about her zombie rendering? Personally I find it cool and kind of flattering.

Anyway, after a little drought of news, it seems Freja is back in full force.

Image Cred
its: net-a-porter, saks, women.sohu.com, fashematics, style.it

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 in Editorials

As we approach the end of 2009 (and since magazines are already putting out their 2010 issues) I thought it would be nice to do a recap of Freja's editorial work for the year.

(click the titles to see the eds)

1. Vogue Nippon, "The Rise of the Cyber Patrol" by Nathaniel Goldberg
2. Vogue Italia, "Individuallure" by Glen Lucford also featuring Eniko Mihalik

3. Harper's Bazaar US, "Hits of the Season" by Greg Kadel also featuring Coco Rocha
4. i-D Magazine, "Clean Living" by Collier Schorr
5. Vogue Nippon, Cover by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

6. Numero #101, "Couture" by Karl Lagerfeld also featuring Heidi Mount
7. Vogue Korea, Cover and "Supernatural" by Jason Kibbler
8. V Magazine #58, "Pride and Glory" by Jean-Francois Campos also featuring various other models

9. Madame Figaro #385, Unknown Title by Ben Watts

10. Vogue Nippon, "My Cowgirl Hero" by Solve Sundsbo

11. Vogue UK, "Milan" by Patrick Demarchelier also featuring Sasha Pivovarova

12. Vogue UK, "Enter the Dinner Dress" by Javier Vallhonrat
13. Vogue Russia, "I Remember" by Willy Vanderperre
14. Purple Magazine Fall 2009, Cover and "Best of the Season" by Terry Richardson also featuring Abbey Lee Kershaw, Eniko Mihalik and Magdalena Frackowiak
15. V Magazine #61, "Copenhagen" by Christian Brylle also featuring various other models
16. V Magazine #61, "Live From New York" by Mario Sorrenti also featuring Sasha Pivovarova

17. Vogue Germany, "Asta Nielsen" by Karl Lagerfeld
18. Vogue Germany, "Monokel Diele" by Karl Lagerfeld also featuring Heidi Mount
19. W Magazine, "Art and Commerce" by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin also featuring Raquel Zimmermann
20. Numero #107, "Too Cool for School" by Josh Olins

21. Harper's Bazaar US, "What's Glam Now" by Karl Lagerfeld
22. Twin Magazine #1 "Stand and Deliver" by Boo George

23. Vogue Italia, "Feeling..." by Steven Meisel (!!!)

What's impressive to me is both the quantity and quality of Freja's work at this stage in her career. She debuted in 2005 and four years later she's still going strong. Perhaps this signals Freja as one of the few models who is able to transcend the trendy and transition into respected longevity? I guess only time will tell us for sure how indelible her mark on fashion will be.

After looking back at all the names and publications Freja worked with this year, my only wish is that we saw her working more with the three big Vogues--US, Paris, and Italia. I know we can completely discount Vogue US ever happening, but her omission from Vogue Paris and near omission from Vogue Italia is disappointing to me, especially when you consider the wonderful work she produced for them early on in her career. And this is why I think she's grossly underrated as a model when you compare her to colleagues of her status and popularity like Natasha, Sasha, Lily, Raquel and Lara.

Freja is well known enough but she hasn't quite reached that threshold where it's a given that she'll only be working with the best month after month. In fact, if it weren't for Karl I don't know how much work we'd be seeing from her. And often times I think her popularity among fans is mainly fueled by rumors, gossip and whatever personal ideals we see embodied in her, rather than by a grounding in her work and career development. Not that that's necessarily bad, but I just think the fandom is too extreme in one direction and not enough in the other. And if I've learned anything in life it's that balance is the key. Having dedicated fans is great, but without serious backing from people like Carine and Anna, how much longer can Freja last? And you'd think that with the fervor over her in China she'd at least have more coverage in Vogue China. Maybe someone should channel all that extraneous energy over there into a letter writing campaign for the Vogue China cover....just a thought.

With the luxury of retrospect at our disposal, it's much easier to see the variety and range of Freja's work. Any favorite eds? Least favorites? Who do you think she works best with? And whether you like it or not, retrospect also makes it easier to discern the androgynous thread that unrelentingly runs through most of Freja's work. Hopefully though, this upcoming year will allow her some opportunities to snip away at this thread.

Anyway, I think I've covered all the editorials, but if I've left something out please let me know. 2009 started off very well for Freja so let's hope 2010 will be the same. And if Freja can replicate the type of fabulous and diverse work she did during the month of September, I think she'll be well on her way towards cementing her status at the top and ensuring her longevity in the industry for as longs she wants...assuming that that's what she wants.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Freja Fridays

I've added a new feature on the side of this blog. I'm linking to blogs I know of that do Freja Fridays. So far there are only three: Skinny Intern (the originator of this concept), Nova Style, and now You + Eye, the newest addition. The creator of this last blog has great backstage pictures of Freja that he will post until he runs out, so make sure to check back on fridays for his exclusive and beautiful shots.

It will be interesting to see if this list grows. Tips on more blogs are of course appreciated. :) I think it's such a great concept and also a wonderful way to reacquaint yourself with Freja's large oeuvre. Anyway, Happy Freja Friday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All's Quiet

Things have been very quiet on the news front recently, and I imagine that they'll remain so as things slowly grind to a halt in preparation for this week's Thanksgiving holiday. Chanel events will be taking place in China, but it remains to be seen whether Freja will be present for any of the festivities.

So I'd just like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time spent with family and friends. Enjoy stuffing yourself silly with the requisite turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. And most of all, enjoy your four day weekend. :) I hope everyone travels safe and stays healthy, happy and warm.

And if watching football after eating turkey isn't your thing (it's definitely not mine), you can always check youtube for all the videos that fellow fashion fans have graciously uploaded. There are some great backstage ones (with small glimpses of Freja) from...




Videos courtesy of youtube user Yanihartonen

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Circle of Friends

Following up this old post about Freja's model friendships, check out this excerpt from a new interview Abbey Lee did with i-D Magazine:
Living away from home have you found it easy to make new friendships with girls and boys in the industry? Are there other models you're particularly close to?
This job demands constant spontaneous travel with very little notice. That makes it incredibly hard to be reliable and committed to friends so unfortunately I've found it difficult to be part of a friendship family. I'm tight with Miss Daisy Lowe who is like a soulmate, Karlie Kloss is like my baby sister and Cat McNeil is my true mate. I'm also close with Freja when we are both in the same city and Karmen Pedaru. Jonatan Frenk is a male model friend of mine, he has a golden heart so he's especially good for the hard times.
I think it's so sweet that a little model friendship circle is slowly emerging here with Abbey, Freja and Karmen as the major players. It's nice to know that many of the models I admire also admire each other. And it's also reassuring that there's seems to be a support system here, because (as recent events remind us) fashion can be a very tough, lonely and harsh world.

Since all three models now live in New York, all you New Yorkers better keep your eyes peeled for what would be the best model sighting ever. Can you imagine that? Abbey, Freja and Karmen all walking down the street together?

Anyway, here's the full interview for anyone who's interested in reading it (as always, click through to enlarge):

And if you watch the video here, at 2:45 you can hear Abbey talk about her model friendships and at 3:02 you can see a clip of Abbey and Freja hanging out backstage at Sonia Rykiel.

Image Credits: Scan by tFS member Northern Star, video courtesy of lamagnifiquemode @ youtube

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Moment of Reflection

I know this isn't Freja related, but I just wanted to say Rest In Peace Daul Kim. My heart goes out to your family, your friends, your fans and the countless lives that you have inevitably touched through your existence and your work. I hope you are in a better place now, where the problems that plagued you in this world no longer exist. Fashion has lost one of it's unique and shining stars, and you will be sorely missed.

And in other sad news, Jeanne-Claude of Cristo and Jeanne-Claude fame has also passed away. May she also Rest In Peace. I was lucky enough to experience The Gates firsthand back in 2005, and I will never forget how beautiful and inspirational they were. It happened to be snowing that day, and I have ever seen anything more breathtaking than those orange gates set against the white, fluttering snow in Central Park. Hopefully some of you got to experience the wonderful work she did too. The art world seems less vibrant and colorful now that you're gone Jeanne-Claude.

The creative worlds of fashion and art have been dealt two tremendous blows with the loss of these women. We should all take the time to reflect on their work, and what they meant to their respective fields. And we should also take the time to appreciate what we have. Go call up a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Go hug your family members and tell them how much you love them. If we can learn anything from death, it's that we must appreciate the people that make our lives worth living before it's too late.

Image Credits: style.com, nytimes

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stand and Deliver.....Sort Of

I'm going to preface this post by saying that Freja will always be my favorite model. I love the idealized persona she represents, the niche she fills within the fashion industry, her projected sense of complete self confidence, and her resolve to stay true to herself. In many ways I owe my interest in and love of fashion to her, and for that I will be forever grateful.

But I think I'm going through a little rough patch in my Freja fandom. I haven't really liked any of her editorial work in a while and the new Twin Magazine ed is no different.

Stand and Deliver
Twin Magazine #1
Ph: Boo George

I don't know why I haven't been able to get excited about her editorial work recently. I see her eds and I'm happy because she's getting new work. But I save the images out of habit, not because they're so stunning that I just have to have them for posterity. As soon as I saw this new editorial, images from an older one immediately popped into my mind. The slight similarities in mood, makeup and look were striking enough to draw up the comparison. And while I was looking back at this particular ed I remembered what it felt like when I used to love everything Freja did.

Individuallure (excerpts and not the full ed)
Vogue Italia Supplement March 2008
Ph: Paolo Roversi





This isn't Freja's fault, but the Twin editorial seems over-styled (fashion wise) and over-stylized (photo wise). The contrast and hues, in the black and white images especially, are overly pronounced to the point where they're distracting. And honestly, I'm so tired of Freja playing the same type of role over and over again. She has the talent and range to go more feminine, and I just wish people would give her the chance to do it more often. I realize that it's probably a bit unfair to use Paolo Roversi's editorial as a benchmark, but it shows the freshness, excitement, and inspirational beauty that I miss seeing.

I'm sorry to sound so negative, but maybe letting all of this out will get it out of my system. It's just that the fan adoration for Freja has gotten to be too much for me. The constant chorus of unanimous praise and the near-religious levels of devotion are rubbing me the wrong way and perhaps pushing my fandom in the other direction. I also feel the law of inverse proportion at play here in that the more work Freja gets, the less I get excited. Or maybe this is simply a manifestation of human nature--you always want what you can't have, but the second you get it you want something else.

Then again, as a fan I should be allowed to be critical. In fact, I think it's my duty and just because I don't like all of Freja's work doesn't mean I'm any less of a fan for it. Someone should say that Freja looks tired and worn out in this new editorial. Someone should say that she looks overworked and drained. Someone should say that they can't feel the heart behind the work. Someone should say that it feels like she's just going through the motions, even in the behind the scenes video. But of course, this is all very subjective.

Regardless, blind devotion and complete consensus don't move the world forward. If everyone agrees with everyone else all the time, how do you progress? It's the voice of criticism that challenges the status-quo and makes you reevaluate why you like something or someone. You're forced to take a look at your own positions, and as a result, they can be strengthened and solidified under the critical assault.

And since no one else seems to be capable of being critical (just read Freja's thread at tFS), I guess I have to be my own voice of dissension. Gah!! I'm know I'm such a hypocrite. Here I am talking about fan devotion on a freaking blog dedicated to Freja that I, myself started....just wait, in a few months time I'll probably be proclaiming my love and devotion once again on tFS, complete with the gross overuse of happy faces and hearts. Sorry, but you'll have to put up with my whining until then.

I'd appreciate hearing some of your thoughts on the editorial, whether you loved it, or loved it....or maybe, just maybe, even felt something less than love for it. :) I can get so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I sometime lose sight of the obvious...

But I will end on a positive note. The vulnerability that Freja projects here is amazing, raw and quite touching.

Image Credits: scans by tFS members candlebougie and leggy e11e