In an editorial that has already been billed by the blogs as Virgin Suicides inspired (we will never tell), the girls of Elite modeling agency are staring out of our latest issue with wide eyes and insane beauty. Just like sisters, they're hanging out in a 'model' apartment; being brave while looking juvenile. There's Abby England, a fresh American face, with pale lips and blue eyes and freckles, Meag West, all youthful exuberance and size 11 feet and Hannah Holman with her bionic-blonde locks looking far, far from Utah. Add the impossibly lithe Lisanne De Jong and Aussie Bambi, with those eyebrows, and you've got a teenage abyss. Laying about in white school socks and Bottega Veneta. Not an every day sight, but oh, how I wish it was.
It's easy to have a thing for models. To be cast under the spell of their chameleon quality; to look long into their eyes and make their story up in your mind. To let an insightful peer from beneath a Herve Leger dress, make you think of something new; inspire you to be something, be someone, wear something. Even if it's just for a moment before your return to your very own reality, if that's what you like to do. One can see why the model is the muse. A couple of years ago, I saw an exhibition at the MET, curated with the help of Marc Jacobs, that bought home to me their role in not just bringing to life the vision of the creatives around them but helping to conceive it in the first place. Watching their influence over the industry over the years, it's clear their power lies in their idiosyncrasies and it's to this, especially, that we all relate.
It's the reason the new faces are often the most compelling. Their images still largely non-manufactured, especially when starting out, when celebrity alludes them and they are not yet known for their gap, their breasts or their brow. Each season will undoubtedly bring a 'next big thing'. A girl who will represent our time, a moment of shared consciousness, forever associated with a look, a trend, a campaign, a designer moment, which will indelibly form their place in time. Just as the grungers of the early nineties mark a piece of culture, the noughties girls -- unknown and fresh from eating dinner at Mum and Dad's table -- will be remembered for the now.
And the now is an exciting time. There's no doubt our perspective of beauty has changed and we've embraced a broader acceptance. Look at Agy Deyn and her tomboy ways, or sexpot Lara Stone through and Kate Moss, still number one despite fast approaching 40. When I spoke recently to model veteran Elle MacPherson she was looking forward to her next season as host of Britain's Next Top Model and the opportunity to find a girl, with that something special, that will see them last the test of time and be remembered for their age. "There was a time where if you didn't have blonde hair and blue eyes and a really curvy figure you were not considered beautiful," she said. "Today all different shapes and types of women are considered beautiful and it's incredibly exciting because we don't just have to be young and cute anymore. Women can be beautiful at all ages and at in many different ways. I'm looking for a girl with not only intelligence but heart connection but service to others... and vision and creativity."
Her advice to these new faces? "It's important for young girls to develop other aspects of their character and skill sets so that they complement their beauty -- so finishing school or getting a degree or working with others, to enrich their inner beauty and intelligence that makes you more beautiful on the outside but also makes you more powerful."
Still walking for Louis Vuitton at age 47, she's proof there's more to beauty than face value.
See behind the scenes on the shoot for RUSSH here. Read the full interview with Elle MacPherson in RUSSH here.