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