Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy Ballerina

Freja's April is turning out to be just as busy as her March was in terms of magazine editorials. In addition to features in Japanese SPUR, Vogue UK, Vogue Germany, W Magazine, i-D Magazine, and Vogue Italia we can now add Interview Magazine to the list:

Tough Ballerina
Interview Magazine April 2010
Ph: Craig McDean

For me, this is Freja's best work of the year; yes, even better than her Vogue Italia cover and edit. Everything here is just pitch perfect down to the tiniest details. And it's wonderful to see her shoot a proper editorial with McDean, and not just the one-shots she did before in 2006 for Vogue Paris, and earlier this year again for Interview. Judging by the results, Freja by McDean is definitely a collaboration that I want to see again and again.

The combination of Freja's raw sensibilities and the delicate, soft construction of the clothes makes this editorial work. (I also love the pairing of black leather and pink silk.) Even though it's a bit cliche, this hard/soft juxtaposition is alluring, and I can't think of a better model to carry it out with aplomb. After all, Freja is herself a juxtaposition of many seemingly opposing characteristics.

The furrow of her brow, her scowl and the slight sense of unease portrayed on her face fit the concept, and for once I'm not disappointed to see Freja's toughness shine through. Her long, slender body lines (made even more so by the criss-crossing ribbons) serve to make the ballerina concept believable. And I really love the makeup job here. The white-chalkiness covering her hands, arms and legs make it seem as if she's ready to get down to serious business. Like she's preparing her body to undertake a grueling session.

The fifth shot is practically unreal. Just look at how precarious Freja's feet are! Yet, if you take a look at the posture of her upper body and face she looks completely at ease like she's staring off into space--as if she isn't teetering on ridiculously small toe-points. Pulling that off only comes with experience folks. Well, that and a good sense of balance.

And the last shot with Freja's thumb hooked onto the buckle loop is exactly the kind of attention to detail that takes an editorial from great to superb in my book. It's this type of calculated spontaneity that produces an editorial you can look at again and again without getting bored. In fact, the more times you look the more you discover. I didn't even realize this was a regular, old studio edit because I was so enamored with it's execution and Freja's delicately strong performance.

Lately I've been trying to organize the archive that you see at the top of this blog so I've had the opportunity to re-visit almost all of Freja's old work. When I see an editorial like this, I'm so proud and impressed at just how much she's grown as a model. The movements, the expressions, the ease, and the familiarity are second nature to Freja now. There is something to be said for taking the time needed to hone your craft and develop your skills through years of experience. And this makes me sad to think about all the models who are never given that time because we've moved on from their look in one or two seasons. Yeah, when Freja first started out she was awkward and probably couldn't have produced something like this. But the beauty here lies in the fact that we've seen her stick around long enough to mature and transform. So as much as I love discovering new models, I'd rather see less turnover in the industry if it means I get to see more work like this.

So here's to another 5 years, Freja!

Image Credits: Fashion Gone Rogue


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this editorial. The feet make it in my opinion. I'm glad that after all these years she's still going strong.

Skinny Bado said...

Agree. Gorgeous. The best of them all.

Amber said...

Agreed. So stunning!

Jessica said...

Once again you've done it with the music. I loved listening to Goldfrapp and Bang Gang (whose music, by the way, was very romantic and relaxing). I can't wait to try the next two you recently posted.

Also love, love your postings on Freja!

Rrose Sélavy said...

@ Jesica: Glad you like the music. :)

I keep looking at this editorial and I really do find more and more to love each time.