Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In The Beginning

Wanted to take some time to revisit what are perhaps some of Freja's earliest test shots taken by photographer Jens Stoltze. Not sure how many people have seen these, but I think they're worth another look now especially in light of Freja's current career and what she's come to embody in the modeling world.

Test shots give you a good feel for how a girl photographs and what she's able to give to you in front of the camera. I think the mood and atmosphere set up in tests also play a part in establishing an upcoming girl's modeling niche. Play up her quirkiness and she'll most definitely go the high fashion/indie magazine route. Emphasize her beauty in a straightforward way and she's molded for another path.

This is why these tests are so interesting to me, for Freja is playing the role of a sexy, feminine vamp. With that sun-kissed skin and damp hair you half expect to see her rolling around on a beach for a swimsuit catalog. And she looks so soft and playful which is such a change from the hardened, stern look she tends to wear like armor now. So looking at these tests, would you have expected the model in them to ultimately become the very definition of androgynous chic? The one model who people laud for her casually cool, boyish streetstyle and praise for the toughness and strength she conveys in her work? So many people forget or simply don't even realize the feminine underpinnings of the early part of Freja's career.

Definitely makes me wonder what Freja's agents had in mind for her at the start of her career. But no matter....the passage of time brings change, and change necessitates adaptation and the evolution of ideas and expectations. To look at a model's early test shots is to take a glimpse into her past and recognize the familiarity but also acknowledge her growth and development. Search out the early tests of your other favorite models and see what I mean. You'll be surprised at how much, or how little they've change; or how far they've veered from or stayed the course on their initial aesthetic paths.

As much as I rag on the constant androgyny that permeates Freja's work, I know that it's a huge reason she's the model she is today. Still, I can't help but wonder how different things would have been if the alluring femininity displayed in these test shots had instead become the dominant theme in Freja's career. Ahhh, "what ifs" are fun to think about so long as you don't lose your grip on reality.

Also, this is unrelated but needs to be said. Big thanks to Models.com for the shout out and link love! I am beyond flattered, but also slightly embarrassed about the attention being called to my amateur musings. Nevertheless, it is truly, truly appreciated. The real credit for this blog goes to Freja and all the other fans out there who share their thoughts and words of encouragement to keep me going. So thank you too!

Image Credits: jensstoltze.com


Initials.CC said...

tu es magnifique !!

Superbe clichés!


Tørlich said...

I like her body much better on those pictures.
It seems she has gotten so skinny now that she has no curves left at all. Sad.


The Wanderer said...

i agree with torlich... she looks healthier in the pictures compared nowadays! i already observed on your previous post (its about the prada lookbook that freja did earlier on her career) the difference between freja's body then and now.

here, she has a fuller figure and compared to her Purple photoshoot earlier this year, where she posed au naturale, you could really see the difference! it really seems like high fashion demands models to be skinnier to fit in all those sample sizes! or maybe freja is just so busy travelling from one photoshoot to another?!

anyway, through your blog, i became a freja fan! she's definitely one of the most successful models of her generation and to sustain an incredible amount of editorials, campaigns, covers, and runway shows, after debuting 5 years ago, is an amazing feat for any model!

your observations about her body of work is truly spot-on! you make your followers (like me) take a closer look on every angle and pose that freja do. with that, keep up the good work!!!

COCAMIA said...

This was an awesome post! Very interesting...Thank you!

Anonymous said...

^^ Agree! Your writing is always interesting. As I read it glimpses of my favorite freja images crossed my mind and started to realise how much she's changed, how versatile she is, and how indeed beautiful she is.

SF said...

I think freja owes a big thank to her previous look;a femininity with edge.That was when her career took off and now it's retaking off.lol
great post as usual.

Obsesiones de una Nina said...

Love this blog post! I don't think she gets the hype she truly deserves. You can tell from the test shots, that she just has that special something. Cute blog ;)


Rrose Sélavy said...

Thank you all for the lovely, thoughtful comments! I'm grateful to you all for putting up with my babbling. I also love reading what you all have to say about Freja because it keeps me thinking, and because it allows me to see different facets and aspects I didn't have the foresight to see before. So thanks again!