Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the Casting Horizon

With fashion shows now over and campaign season around the corner it seems like everyone has casting on the brain. The Imagist recently posted a very interesting piece on the model outlook for the upcoming campaign season.

He tells us that the "circle of power photographers who decide which models cross over from all that runway traction into blue chip work seem to be holding back on their campaign shooting. There is not the usual feeding frenzy to lock up those hyped new faces . No epic "New Faces" edit yet at W, no New Prada Contingent marching through Vogue Italia...yet. This is an indicator that the campaign castings are going to run even more conservatively than in recent years, skewing back to the Raquels, Sashas and Natashas, if there is even a model on the premises. Celebrities are going to continue to take a huge chunk of those choice bookings..."

And take this quote photographer Nick Knight gave in a recent interview: "To make money, the industry is increasingly catering to the lowest common denominator and, as far as the people who run the big companies are concerned, anything even slightly out of the ordinary frightens people. But anyone with a brain knows that it is the quirkiness and imperfection in a person that attracts other people. That is completely obvious to human beings; it's just when it gets to a corporate level that it all falls apart."

Reading all of this made me more than a bit disappointed. For one, I can't stand seeing the current crop of celebrities in ad campaigns. It's already bad enough that I have to see them on the covers of American fashion magazines month after month--leave modeling to the professionals please. Secondly, this season I really took notice of and a liking to many of the new girls so it will be sad to see most of them ravaged and tossed aside by the industry. Especially since they are so young and all so gorgeous in unique ways. They looked different enough that I could actually tell them apart for once.

Anyway, it's during times like these I'm so grateful that Freja has Karl firmly in her corner. Even if I complain about it sometimes, and even if she's just going to be relegated to his entourage, at least she's getting new work that we'll be able to see. And who knows...we might even see her in a few other campaigns despite the dire outlook for models. After all, she made a killing last season coming away with 5 campaigns, and she's coming off one of her stronger runway seasons in a long time. Hopefully Freja can channel all this momentum into some more results. And hopefully Karl will let her go long enough so that she can work with some other people.

All things considered, Freja is in a great position having just shot the Chanel campaign. And with her quirky and palatable looks to draw upon (providing a nice compromise between the corporate and creative sides of the industry), I think she could be poised for more. Unfortunately, that probably won't be the case for your other favorites. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Karmen and Karolin, and hoping that my new girl favs like Mirte and Lisanne emerge unscathed. What about you?


Lilee said...

i love freja!!!

Pam said...

Honestly i think the use of celebrities, due to commercialism, is really just making fashion less distinctive! The whole art value behind fashion might be facing a decline. It's a pity really. And we might not have good blogs like this anymore! What a shame..

miwa said...

I agree with you, it's disappointing. I was hoping for my Dutchies, Bregje and Anna de Rijk to get something or the Swedes, Dorothea, Sara B and Frida to get a campaign but it doesn't look promising so far. I'm so sick of Madonna.

Rrose Sélavy said...

I agree with the both of you. It's disappointing how indistinct things have become. We have celebrities selling us everything from clothes to car insurance. When will the higher ups realize that a well-executed, beautiful concept with a striking and appropriate model can do more than a B-list least imo.