Friday, September 11, 2009

Danes, Past and Present

We have scans of Freja's second editorial in Vogue Germany, once again thanks to tFS member candlebougie!

Asta Nielsen
Vogue Germany October 2009
Ph: Karl Lagerfeld

I must admit I'm growing weary of black and white editorials. As the summer ends and the autumn season begins with winter not too far behind it, I want to see Freja surrounded by color, vibrancy and life. Although I understand the concept warranted the use of black and white photography, being that it's a tribute to silent film star Asta Nielsen.

For those who don't know, Asta Nielsen was a Danish silent film actress popular in the 1910's. People say she was one of the first international movies stars, but her work was more well-known in Europe than in the United States. Perhaps this is owning to the Puritanical roots of the US combined with the risqué nature of Neilson's work. The two things don't mix, especially back during the early 20th century, so much of Nielsen's work was censored for US audiences. Nielsen was characterized by her long, slender body and self-possessed, androgynous attitude. Sound familiar? It seems as if Freja is the modern day incarnate of Neilsen.

In fact, the resemblance is a little uncanny. When I first saw the editorial, I didn't like Freja's facial expressions because they seemed strange and a little distorted. But now that I see how closely she is able to mimic Nielsen's countenance, I am really amazed. The similarities are most apparent in the pursing of the lips; but the gaze, attitude, expressions, and body language are all spot on.

To me, Freja's look is so modern given that the angles in her face are quite pronounced. She can effortlessly juggle between masculinity and femininity, along with high fashion and mass market appeal. But her ability to morph from a contemporary beauty into a classical ingenue of another era completely takes me by surprise. This is just another testament to the skills she's developed as a model.

And perhaps this is why she has remained Karl's muse for so long. Who else can be all things to the man who takes on all things? We know Karl likes to surround himself with beautiful men, yet he must also have a female muse because he is the designer for three women's labels after all. Freja is the one that can be both masculine and feminine. She is malleable to his particular vision, yet able to maintain a strong, unforgettable presence. She encompasses the current, yet recalls the past. With these capabilities it's no wonder Karl has been under her spell for so long.

Image Credits: Scans by tFS member candlebougie,,, wikipedia,,

1 comment:

Irina said...

These are all really great! Im glad I found your blog, I adore Freja!

Keep the news flowing :)