Friday, 30 August 2013


The requirements to become a model seem generally straight-forward - striking beauty, unwavering professionalism and (most importantly), nerves of steel. By nominating themselves as clothes-horses, models are exposed to more scrutiny than any level of celebrity by the fashion press - every inch of a model's body is expected to be perfection, so the revealing 'More Beautiful Women' by respected fashion photographer Nick Knight provides a providing insight into the personalities behind the aesthetic. Before reading the rest of this post, feel free to click here - to see the videos from the project in their entirety.
The enchanting Devon Aoki for 'More Beautiful Women'

The project was commissioned alongside 'Model Army' - a series of photographs that were taken by Knight for the Millennium issue of Vogue magazine. The editorial featured some of the hugest names in fashion; women that are almost unanimously classed as some of the most beautiful women in the world. Alongside commercial superstars such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Twiggy were cult favourites such as Devon Aoki, Angela Lindvall and Audrey Marnay, and their task was simply to look into a camera lens for two minutes, without speaking. The set-up was designed to mimic the way in which directors would screen-test Hollywood actors back in the 50s - it is a measure of poise, professionalism and confidence.
Some of the models dealt well with the scenario - despite the occasional awkward smile, many of the models were able to remain focussed on the camera, presenting themselves as both endearing as well as confident. Some of the more surprising reactions, however, came from some of the better-known models - Kate Moss, for example, was naturally seductive but occasionally looked distracted or uncomfortable in front of the camera. Naomi Campbell was perhaps the least natural in front of the camera - her arms were hugged tight to her chest throughout in a defensive stance throughout and she was visibly shaken by the camera, even requesting that the camera be shut off early. 
Overall, the experiment was a compelling insight into the true minds of the models that we see in the magazines. Naturally, the resulting editorial (Model Army) was flawless and served as a celebration of some of the greatest beauties within the fashion industry. The 'More Beautiful Women' project, however, presented a reminder that even supermodels find it excruciating to be filmed for two minutes without interaction. Whilst some were visibly posing, others were visibly uncomfortable - a comforting reminder that even supermodels have insecurities. 
Devon Aoki & Karen Elson for 'Model Army'

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