Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Eyes Have It

In light of the new Tom Ford Eyewear campaign, I think now is the perfect time to look back on Freja's illustrious track record in eyewear campaigns. If one thing is for sure, it's that her face was seemingly made to wear any eyewear no matter the size or shape. And yet we never lose sight of the fact that it's Freja behind all those different lenses, for her distinct nose and pronounced cupid's bow are true defining features that render her recognizable to even the most casual fan.

Hugo Boss SS06

Gucci SS06

Gucci Resort 0607

Gucci SS07

Gianfranco Ferre SS08

Joop SS08

Emporio Armani FW0809

Karl Lagerfeld SS09

Roberto Cavalli SS09

Chanel SS10

Karl Lagerfeld SS10

Tom Ford FW1011

Once again I feel like Freja is coming to define another paradox. She's subtle and malleable enough to model a wide variety of images, yet she's also distinct enough to be recognizable as an individual. It's this constant push pull between extremes that continues to make her so intriguing to me. And it provides endless fodder for all the rambling I do on this blog.

Anyway, I really do think that eyewear is one of the categories where Freja shines. When you see the structure and angles of her face in the different ads, there's just no denying that that face is a true model's face. Am I biased? Yeah, I most definitely am. But I also think that she wouldn't have been featured so many times for eyewear if something wasn't working. After all, the existence of all these campaigns and the people behind them must mean that I'm not alone in my thinking. Now I can't wait for the Chanel FW1011 eyewear campaign.

Image Credits: sources can be found in the image file name

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Max Mara Images

I really hope these aren't the campaign images because the gross overuse of Photoshop in them is criminal. Why even hire a model like Freja if you're going to alter her face so much?

After seeing this whole set I want to believe that these are just lookbook images, because these as a campaign would be pretty disappointing. I mean, when was a Max Mara campaign ever shot in black & white? And I know their campaigns are usually pretty minimal, but this would be taking things to an extreme. The images also seem too raw and bland to be a fully formed ad campaign. I don't know....what do you think? Actual campaign? Or something else?

Also, thanks again to the anonymous commenter for the tip! You're like my very own fairy god mother. :)

Image Credits: Max Mara Mexico Facebook

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Image?

Possible image from the F/W 10.11 Max Mara campaign?

I'm not sure, but it sure does seems like it is. Huge, huge thanks to the anonymous commenter in this post for sharing the image with me. I don't know who you are, but thank you so much. It's tips like yours that keep this blog relevant and up-to-date. It's also all of everyone's comments that keep me on my toes, constantly thinking about new perspectives and ideas. So thank you everyone! After all, a blog is only as good as it's readers. :) I couldn't do this without you all, that's for sure.

Anyway, like I said above, I'm not sure if this is an actual image from the campaign or part of some other promotional material. Lookbook, catalog, store display, who knows? But Freja sure does look simply stunning. Just proceed with caution if you're going to repost this anywhere because I cannot confirm that it is indeed a campaign image.

And to the anonymous tipster, I wish I knew who you were so you could get the proper credit for this find!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Birds

Tom Ford Eyewear F/W 10.11
Ph: Tom Ford
Other Models: Nicholas Hoult

Now that the full campaign has been released, you can see why Ford went with a model like Freja this season. The eccentric, yet gorgeous qualities of her face perfectly mirror the dichotomy contained within the campaign images. There's a dialogue (and maybe even struggle) between maliciousness and absurd camp. The ravens are clearly meant to be a threatening element. Anyone who has seen Hitchcock's The Birds can attest to that.

Yet the facial expressions of both Freja and Nicholas betray, and even embrace the menacing aspect of their surroundings. "Why yes, birds are about to peck my body but I'll just act like they're nothing more than some harmless butterflies. And look! I'm even going to kiss one. Nevermind that another one just tried to eat my nipple."

Freja is just the type of model to carry this off. She's gorgeous no doubt (as 5 years in the industry and countless campaigns and eyewear ads can attest), but she's also quirky enough that she's not just another boring, beautiful face. There's an intelligence in her look that some people often write off because they just can't comprehend it. Or maybe they've only ever known Freja as the androgynous, tomboy model so they can't look past thair narrow way of thinking. Yet, all of the work she's done for the past year or so has countered that old image of herself, and some people still won't see her as anything more than the androgynous one. Sigh. I guess that's the power of having a unique image while all your peers kind of blend into one big blond hair, blue eyed Eastern European mass. But I digress...

The campaign aesthetic is a bit unexpected, but overall the images still retain some of the glamor we've come to associated with Ford's name. Chalk it up to the styling and dark, moody nature of the setting. All of this sure makes for one memorable campaign. I have a feeling that people are either going to love this or hate it, but one thing they won't feel is apathy. You have to love that about Tom Ford and his campaigns, for they always push boundaries. And in the cautiously recovering economic climate, isn't that a good thing? Isn't passion the one thing that all designers are trying to ignite in their customer base and the general public?

Image Credits: tomford.com, thepassionatemoviegoer.blogspot.com, best-horror-movies.com

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Unexpected Camapaign News

Fresh from the WWD front (via tFS member tarsha) comes news that Freja will also appear in the upcoming F/W 10.11 Valentino ad campaign:
"One doesn’t usually equate the word “shocking” with the house of Valentino, but there’s a radical image change afoot there. The fall campaign, which breaks in the July issue of Italian Vogue, has a new photographer — David Sims, who replaced Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, making this his first Valentino campaign, and mixes nudity in with clothed models. Creative directors Maria Grazie Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli opted for black-and-white and, for the first time, chose to shoot in the house’s historic Parisian headquarters in Place Vendôme. “The idea is that of an unexpectedly intimate black-and-white portrait with candid shots of unconventional, delicate and individual beauty and a more dangerous undercurrent,” said Chiuri. Added Piccioli, “We believe it is a very modern and feminine vision and we wanted to show each woman’s unique personal allure.”

The three models chosen to pose for the moody images are Freja Beha, Monika Jagaciak and Tati Cotlar, while Alex Gilbert provides the male presence. Each photo features two side-by-side shots of the same girl, one where she’s decked out in fall attire and the other naked, but cropped or posing to discreetly conceal her more intimate body parts — so magazines will run the ads."
Perhaps this news is a little less surprising than the Tom Ford Eyewear campaign news, but having Freja in a Valentino campaign is still out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, if this season is teaching us anything it's that Freja is truly one of the models of the moment.

Her campaign count so far is amazing:

Chanel Mainline
Chanel Eyewear
Tom Ford Eyewear

Quantity and quality of the brands, as all of them are top blue chip companies. As a longtime fan I'm overjoyed, but as always a little skeptical. Being "of the moment" carries an implicit connotation that the moment will end and you will be of the past before too long. Yes, I know I'm a strange fan because these are the first thoughts that run through my head. I think I've said it before on here, but market over saturation is never a good thing for the long term.

But maybe at this point it doesn't matter. Freja has proven herself to be indefatigable for the past five years, and all the success now is just part of the payoff, and part of the signs telling us she'll be around for another five years.

I guess I should just relax, revel in the moment and look forward to seeing the images roll in. Thoughts?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tom Ford Eyewear

In other news, add one more campaign to Freja's impressive list this season:
"Tom Ford liked directing actor Nicholas Hoult in “A Single Man” so much that he recast him again in the role of fashion model. Ford photographed Hoult and model Freja Beha Erichsen in London for his fall campaign, composing the images with ravens. Hoult models Tom Ford men’s wear and eyewear, while Erichsen wears only eyewear and a strategically placed scarf. The new campaign breaks in the International Herald Tribune during Men’s Fashion Week in Milan and will run in September books."
I believe this marks their first time working together, as Ford had already left Gucci by the time Freja started walking its runways. This is a rather interesting choice for Ford. No offense to Freja, but she doesn't really fit the mold of a typical Tom Ford beauty. But maybe that's what he's going for with this campaign; he wanted to put forth a different aesthetic and move away from the extremely glamorous and sexy vibe he's so well known for. Or maybe this campaign will see Freja transforming into someone we've never seen before. After all, this past year has given us lots of unexpected moments and pairings as we've seen Freja's career rise to heights and achievements previously thought to be unattainable for her.

Images should be released shortly so I guess we'll soon find out the reasoning behind this interesting casting choice. I'm thrilled of course, but I still find it pretty strange to go from girls like Anna Maria Jagodzinska and Caroline Murphy....to Freja. Whatever, get it girl!

Tom and Rick

-Thanks to two anonymous commentators in this post, I was able to track down some new (to me at least) images of Freja taken by photographer Tom Munro. If anyone has any idea what project they are for, please enlighten us. To my knowledge this is the only time they have worked together and the shots appear to be test shots of some sort:

The thing that confuses me is that they were taken at a time during Freja's career when she wouldn't need to take any test shots. I'd place the images circa 2008 judging by the short hair. But they were categorized under "Beauty" on Tom's agency's site so maybe they were for a campaign somewhere....maybe in Asia? I'm just generally confused because I haven't seen the images until now, and if they were for some kind of campaign I think they would have been more well known.

Sorry for being so ignorant about these images, their origin and their purpose. I normally try not to post about something I can't fully credit and explain, but these shots are so interesting and quite unique in Freja's oeuvre that I just wanted to share. If you look at them long enough they're also quite freaky, and that only adds to their mystery.

-We know Freja is a fan of Rick Owens because she's sports one of his leather jackets in nearly every street style shot, but now it seems like Rick is a fan of Freja's too. Her face is decorating the front of one of his jersey t-shirts.

If any of you huge fans out there have an extra $200 lying around, feel free to knock yourself out. Sorry but I think my $200 will be better off being put towards acquiring anything from this collection. In particular, this complete look. A girl can dream right? I'm sure $200 would get me half of the belt.....

Anyway, not only are designers naming their designs after Freja, they're also putting her on their designs. I guess you know you've made it as a model when you can truly fill a closet with items bearing your name and face. Do you think Freja gets anything in return for her face being used like that? Maybe free leather jackets for life? If so, then I'll gladly lend my visage to Rick anytime.

Image Credits: managementartists.com, luisaviaroma.com via tFS member Psylocke

Friday, June 18, 2010

In China

As some of you already know, Freja was spotted in China recently by some fans. Thanks to a kind e-mail I received from Freja fan Pauline (thank you so much!), I can tell you that the reason she's in China is because she's shooting the ad campaign for a Paris brand called Mo & Co (The site says the label was founded in Paris, but parts of the website are in Chinese and they're shooting the campaign in China. Go figure.)

According to firsthand accounts, Freja was kind and thoughtful, even going so far as to have a cup of water ready for the sleeping fan when he woke up on the flight. The picture below already appeared on tFS, but other pictures must remain unposted at the owner's request. If you read Chinese, I think you can find them somewhere at this address: t.sina.com/xuanzheng. Looks like the site requires registration though.

After a bit of a quiet spell, we're finally getting some new Freja news. Although, she's always been such a private person that I wouldn't take the quietness to mean that she hasn't been doing anything. If there's one thing she knows how to do, it's how to operate completely under the radar considering her level of status and fame within the industry and among fans.

Anyway, thanks again for the e-mail Pauline! And thanks to the fans in China for being so vigilant. Hopefully this is just the beginning of an eventful summer season!

Image Credits: t.sina.com/cn/xuanzheng

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Long Awaited

This is another one of those times I'm cursing myself for not checking off the box next to "French" on the list of courses to take in school. If anyone has any significant insight into what the narrator, designers or other people in the video say about Freja, please feel free to share. In the meantime, just some thoughts on "Les Filles en Vogue" and huge thanks to tFS members Valentine27 and FrenchCactus for graciously taking the time and effort to upload the film and share it with all of us.




Models are poked and prodded backstage so much more than I ever thought they were. It must drive them crazy to basically have no personal space for the duration of the shows. And it's interesting to note that three is Freja's lucky number. Hence the three lines tattooed on her finger and the three circles on her wrist. Any other threes you can think of?


Freja is so relaxed and so nonchalant about everything. I can see why she's so appealing to the people she works with and for. There is a calming, soothing nature about her that comes across so well here. I can only imagine how attractive it is to be around in real life especially during a hectic show season. But I think it's important to note that this nonchalance should not be confused with apathy. Even though Freja may not show it in conventional ways, I do believe that she is invested in and enjoys her job as a model. In the past five years I think we've seen her accept her own role in the industry on her own terms. It was a process that took time and the onset of maturity--two things not often granted to models.


She's deeply entrenched in the midst of all the action, but her demeanor is such that she appears to be floating above it all, slightly detached. She personifies the meaning of her tattoo "float" to such a perfect degree. And now I understand why it's on such a prominent location of her body.


After watching this all, the following quote is what particularly stuck out to me:
"I don't think you should let anyone dictate what you should do with your own body. You do sell your body as a product but it's still yours. I mean.....my body....I get to do with it what I want."
What an interesting thing for a model to say, and perhaps the reason why Freja has been labeled as the "rebel" throughout her career. You can sense the conflict that she must feel towards her role as a model. One the one hand, it's a job that has given her success and access to the comforts life can offer. On the other, it has required her to give up part of her autonomy and individuality. Relatively speaking, it's a tough position to be in and there's an implicit struggle in Freja's words and a yearning to reconcile the two conflicting factors.

The sentiment Freja shares about her body is a perfect microcosm of the feeling that I (and I think many of you) have towards the fashion industry as whole. There's an internal conflict that perhaps all of us feel towards fashion at one point or another. Assuming that you're open-minded and liberal (as most people in fashion tend to be) the industry's tendencies towards sexism, racism, ageism, and sizeism are all political and social issues we fight against in our daily lives and denounce in our beliefs. Of course women should be treated equally and schools should be integrated. The color of skin shouldn't affect a person's place in life, nor should the size of their waist or the wrinkles on their face. Yet you look at the fashion industry and all those things are reflected back in the worst possible ways. (i.e. Terry Richardson, white-washed runways, the fact that a size 4 is considered to be "curvy," etc...) But because this is fashion and we love it and get so much enjoyment from it, we accept it's negative aspects in ways that we'd never allow in other avenues of our lives.

I don't know....maybe I'm only speaking for myself here. Although I do feel that this is the same type of conflict that Freja expresses in regards towards a model's relationship to her own body. We might appear to be complicit with the industry's discriminations, but hopefully we'll actually end up being subversive in the end. Just like Freja tattoos her body to regain the autonomy she loses every time she's required to become the "blank slate," I hope that some of us will leave positive marks that eventually change the industry's way of doing business.

On a less serious note, I have to say that I'm in love with Sasha now. I nearly died from laughter when they show her at the very end trying to close her beat up suitcase plastered with random stickers. She comes across as such a lovable, genuine, fragile, yet strong woman. She's an individual through and through and I find her personality incredibly endearing and addictive. As a matter of fact, all the models come across very well. Vogue Paris has a wonderful feature on their hands, and I sincerely hope they decide to do this at least every year, if not every show cycle. It's a win-win for everyone. More press for the magazine, more press for the models, and more fodder for the increasingly model-obsessed fans like us out here.

And Freja, I know it's your body and all, but geez girl.....at least try to pace yourself with the smoking. Your fans want you around for a long time to come!

All in all, my expectations were met with this film. It was entertaining but also thought provoking. It changed some of my opinions, but for the better. And it instilled in me an even deeper sense of respect and awe for the models who are able to endure and persevere season after season. What about you? Your thoughts? Changed opinions? Anything?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Still waiting on footage of the Les Filles en Vogue film to show up. I checked my newsstand and there were plenty of copies of VP with Kate Moss on the cover (which by the way I didn't buy as a form of protest re: Terry - time to put my money where my mouth is!), but no DVD to be seen anywhere.

In the meantime, some tidbits have leaked out from the various people who have already seen the film:

"Freja came across as just plain cool. She has this laid back attitude and she was very friendly as well to Sasha. She spoke a lot about her tattoos and individuality, which I thought was pretty cool."

"She also says that she's the only model she had to convince to do this documentary, she says that Freja is frank, cold and independent. She knows that she's here because she can sells her image and she assumes it perfectly as long as we don't ask her to hide her tattoos with makeup."

If one thread has been consistent throughout Freja's career, it's been her unwillingness to push herself into the spotlight. We rarely see her at parties or fashion galas like the Met ball or the CFDAs. But frankly, this is why I've always taken such an interest in her as a model. She's so successful, and yet she seems so nonchalant about it all.

It's this air of mystery that keeps me intrigued and it's nice to know that despite her recent return to high fashion glory and reinvented personal style, she's still the same woman underneath all that sleek Rick Owens leather and she hasn't let success get to her head.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This or That?

It's a battle of the SS10 Eyewear campaigns. Both feature Freja and Baptiste. Both photographed by Karl. But one is dark, the other is light. One is sleek, the other is tousled. Which do you choose?

Karl Lagerfeld SS10:

Chanel SS10:

I think both sets make for striking images, especially when you see them in magazines. Haven't seen the KL ads yet, but the Chanel ones definitely stick out to me because of their insistent brightness. Interesting that Karl would choose to go completely dark for his namesake brand. I think it's rather fitting as I've always thought KL had a darker, more severe (in the German tradition) type of aesthetic message. And since the same two models are featured, the use of light and dark serves to develop a much needed distinction between the two brands. Although, if forced to choose, I'd probably go with the KL ads. I love how Freja and Baptiste's faces stand out against the black. And those ads really show how well they can work together.

Image Credits: designscene.net, my scans