Saturday, 2 April 2016

My day as a 50+ supermodel

It's one thing to make faces at my little camera stuck on tripod in a garbage room atelier, where I can snort, guffaw, get sweaty, fall off my shoes, say oof all the time, and cuss in foreign languages, and a whooole other thing to be photographed under the gaze of professionals. But I did it – and I didn't even swear once! I present with a flourish: My Day as a 50+ Supermodel. Bwahaha!

I had been worrying like crazy before the shoot. I told Claire Cormeau, the designer who asked me to model her new line called Nuage, that I hadn't done anything like it before but, sure, I'd do it. And then I had a month to freak out very effectively.

Swinty. Model Mel Kobayashi; Designer Claire Cormeau, Photos Katrin Braga, Hair and Makeup Vanessa Kuan
Designer Claire Cormeau; Photography Katrin Braga; Hair & Makeup Vanessa Kuan. 2016. Feeling faintly Swinton. I'd put on this face all the time if I could remember how. Who took my eye bags?!

The night before the shoot I shaved my yeti legs (they could double as reflectors, handy), clipped all the scraggy hairs from my nose (picture Mr. Bean), and made sure my pits and nails were shiny and bright. I forgot to moisturize my hands. But really, how can I be expected to remember so many body parts!?

I took a taxi to the studio to kick off my transition from humble (heh) personal style blogger to mega-uber supermodel. "Safety ensconced in her limo, she scrolled simultaneously through three cell phones, praying that she had stymied the paparazzi on her night of debauchery." Okay, that thought didn't help my flip-flop heart at all.

When I arrived at the studio there was a crack team of three women on standby - think Miss Congeniality, except I already know how to glide. Vanessa Kuan was in charge of my hair and face. Claire primped me in her absolutely gorgeous clothing! And Katrin Braga took the photos. While all this was going on, I exercised top-notch freaking out in the guise of insouciance.

Anti-tux. Model Mel Kobayashi; Designer Claire Cormeau, Photos Katrin Braga, Hair and Makeup Vanessa Kuan
Designer Claire Cormeau; Photography Katrin Braga; Hair & Makeup Vanessa Kuan. 2016. Katrin rushed to get these shots in fading sunlight. I love the profile of this anti-tux. The left pantleg is shorter and more close-fitting than the right.

I needn't have worried though. It was a day of point-and-shoot photography; in other words, they'd guide me to a spot, point me toward the camera, and then shoot. I tried my best not to think happy thoughts; sombre, morose things relax my face, and I rotated under their direction, although I had a few Mel jags with kicks, stomps, grrrs, and laughs. Between takes I tried hard not to respire, sweat, or shed cells on the exquisite clothes.

Katrin, what can I say? She was a maniac who stopped at nothing to get a shot. She rolled around on the floor, on asphalt, on muddy grass! From her prone position she expertly switched from one honking big camera to another, from digital to film. But every time she said, "Oh yeah, beautiful, that's great, perfect," I would crack up (literally) - I kept thinking of the 1966 movie Blow Up with Vanessa Redgrave (clip is here). Katrin's positive feedback at least reassured me that I wasn't totally screwing up.

Model Mel Kobayashi; Designer Claire Cormeau, Photos Katrin Braga, Hair and Makeup Vanessa Kuan
Designer Claire Cormeau; Photography Katrin Braga; Hair & Makeup Vanessa Kuan. 2016. LOVE these "Melting Pants". The puddling of the waistband forms a ginormous pocket. She made the turtleneck too.

Vanessa magically revealed my inner dewy-skinned self. And I love how we went from sticking-up hair to slicked hair with blue brows and lashes. Can it be that I was feeling...Vogue? Bwahaha! I'll definitely do the slicked look again.

And Claire, in addition to juggling her fine designs, watered and fed us. She even brought a blankie to keep me warm between takes, cool props, lint rollers, socks, you name it. After six hours in several locations in different outfits, hairstyles, and makeup, I was exhausted - I'm not used to so much attention and bodily control.

I can't imagine what modeling as a career would be like, besides nerve-wracking!, but I'm sure that you'd be hard-pressed to find a dream team of young women as kind, patient, funny and professional as this one.

Designer Claire Cormeau; Photography Katrin Braga; Hair & Makeup Vanessa Kuan. 2016. People in the park wondered if we had ripped that bonsai out of the ground. Claire brought it as a prop, daffodils too. Best pants with circle cut-outs and embroidery down the sides. 

Thank you, Claire, for giving me this opportunity. Her Nuage line is all about freedom of expression and empowerment of women of all ages, and she wanted to reflect that in this shoot. I hope I was able to give her clothes and vision the justice they deserve. Her pieces are truly exquisite.

And think about it: how many young designers would have the guts to hire an untried 50+ broad over an 18-year-old pro to showcase their work? Cool, right? If you can, check out her website where you'll find details of her designs, including jewellery and other products.

Until next time, see you in the Enquirer. Bwahaha!

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Credits:

Claire Cormeau: Designer (Nuage)
WEBSITE :: INSTAGRAM

Katrin Braga: Photographer
WEBSITE :: INSTAGRAM :: TUMBLR

Vanessa Kuan: Hair and Makeup
INSTAGRAM

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When they go live, I'll link this up to Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style and
Catherine, #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb.
I wore these outfits, maybe not shopping or to the coffee shop, but I WORE them. It felt so good.


85 comments:

  1. I humbly bow at your feet of fabulousness!!

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    1. Okay, this is truly weird - I was thinking of you today before you commented. Your vibes are out there. And I see you've posted. I must visit you!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
    2. Okay, no, you didn't just post. Hahaha! But I WISH you had. I saw my comment from your old post and thought, hey, I didn't comment on your new post today. I am being impersonated! Hahaha.

      Delete
  2. Marvellous! Splendid! And Fabulously Inspiring!

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    1. Hahaha! It me in NIIICE NEW clothes is all. With face primer. Heh.
      Thanks for visiting and your comment!

      Delete
  3. Oh my goodness, you are totally Tilda Swinton!!! You look beautiful, stark and striking!!! I'm so glad you had this Amazing experience! X

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    1. Totally weird experience; I do not exaggerate. I LOVE Tilda.
      Thanks for your compliments, Kezzie.

      Delete
  4. Awesome! You are a natural and should be doing this full time. You need to be signed lady!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. Bwahahaha. You crack me up, Suzanne. No way! Don't forget - I didn't show you the OTHER photos.
      But thank you. xo

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  5. Wow Melanie, you look like Tilda! Stunning pictures and amazing fashion. You are a great modell ♥️
    Hugs Tina

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    1. Oh, well, the other team members did most of the work, I just sat and then rotated on command. Hahaha!
      Thanks, Tina.

      Delete
  6. You make the clothes look fabulous. I guess that's the idea, eh?

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    1. I was so pleased how well the clothes look and how well the photographer captured all the clothing details. Claire's work is very tailored, very detailed.
      Thanks for your comment, Shawn.

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  7. I'm loving the blue eye makeup! And loving all your posts as usual MK!

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    1. Hi, Sonya! Thanks! Heh. I am definitely going to slick back my hair and do the brow and lashes sometimes when I go out now. I love that look!

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  8. This is BEYOND, Mel! Finally someone has snapped you up. I adore these shots and the clothes and the women who 'had the guts' as you say. Isn't it sad that we have to have guts to put 50+ stunners such as yourself into the 'market'? Um WE exist. 50 somethings that is. We care, we have bucks and style and wisdom and humour and so much else to give. Love you, Mel. Still my hero. xox

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    1. Claire is pretty cool. She follows all the Advanced Style women too. I was actually very shocked when she asked me to be on the shoot, and absolutely scared. But, hey, if I can try schmoozing, I can try this. Yes, we DO EXIST!!! We're here, we're here, we're here!!
      Thanks for your comment, Jen.

      Delete
  9. You look fucking amazing. I am SWOONING over the blue eyebrows. I think you've got a hella career ahead of you.

    And to think that I knew you when...

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    1. I don't foresee any career changes, heh. But it was fun.
      I know. Vanessa got EXACTLY the right shade of blue! She's a genius.
      Thanks for your comment, Connie.

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  10. This fabulousness doesn't surprise me at all...I have detected this potential in you for ages. You are amazing, Mel...we can all say we knew you "when"....

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    1. Heh, Margy. I'm too much of a wild child to model. But, wow, thank you for your compliment.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jolanta. It was a team effort. Heh.

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  12. I am so glad you didn't chicken out. It is so funny that you are putting yourself on your blog all the time for everyone to see, but are reluctant to do a shoot for and with professionals. I know, I know... control. That is the key word. But doubting yourself was a worry you could have set aside. As the others say, you are a natural.
    Vogue material indeed. I suppose you didn't get paid with one of Claire's suits? Would have been nice.
    Greetje

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    1. Funny you should mention being paid with clothes. Claire offered and I declined! - because I didn't feel my talents up to the huge value of her pieces. If I had more experience, maybe. Her clothes feel so GOOD!!

      And yes, chickening out would have been so easy. I freeze up under the lens of other cameras. Always. When I take my own photos, I often check each shot, I see what I like and don't and correct for the next one. I can't do that on something like this and don't have the professional skills to know already.

      Thanks for your comment, Greetje.

      Delete
    2. They were skilled people my dear. So you could have relied on them to do a good job. Yes indeed, you are not in control, but they know what they are doing. Probably even better than you as it is their profession. Feel flattered, feel loved, feel wanted. As you are all those things.
      And your reaction to Claire's offer is sooooo typically female (I am not good enough) and you are a fool for not having accepted the clothes. What a shame.
      Right. This is me talking to you in a severe tone in order to increase your self esteem. But I just got the idea that I am steering in the wrong direction by using this tone. So Dutch. So sorry.
      Greetje

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    3. No, thank you, Greetje. I need that severe tone! No kidding. I'll think twice next time, if there ever is a next time and try to keep your voice in my head. You are such a business success AND stylish woman. You would never steer me wrong.

      Delete
    4. Me??? A business success??? whahaha... just a salary slave at a bank dear.
      But I am glad you take my words in the way I meant the: sincere and as a help.

      Delete
  13. You have rocked and ruled the modeling world now, Mel! You're gorgeous in blue makeup and slicked hair (yes, very Tilda and that is always good). Great clothes, too, do want. Your schtar keeps rising, xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Hahaha. And now I'm back rocking in my comfort zone, the alley and the garbage room atelier. But those women were pretty awesome - gives me optimism for the future, you bet.
      Thanks for your comment, Patti.

      Delete
  14. Like Margy, this doesn't really surprise me. Claire has probably seen your blog and knew you were a natural with all that insouciance and shit. I could see you being the next Sarah Jane Adams (https://www.instagram.com/saramaijewels/), if you want all that palaver (brushing up on my British words). I'm not crazy about the blue make-up, but you have such presence and style that I'm going to change my mind about it. You look awesome and the clothes are amazing!

    I saw Tamera's comment - she's back?! Must go have a look!

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    1. No, Val, false alarm. Tamera didn't put up a new post. But I need a new brain. Heh.

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    2. Well, at least Tamera commented - so fun to see her name! Maybe she's slowly warming up to blogging again.

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    3. I met Claire because she had seen my blog and contacted me for an interview - things went from there. She follows all the Advanced Style women too so we had a shared language, very cool.

      Nah, I don't see myself in the modeling sphere. I like farking around. I like laughing, those models almost never laugh. It's mostly about the clothes, although Claire focuses on breaking stereotypes, she's a bold and sensitive person.

      Thanks, Val. Mwah!

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  15. Utterly fabulous and gorgeous. You rock.xxx

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    1. Thank you for the compliment - it was fun!

      Delete
  16. That is so FREAKIN' cool, Mel! You are very SWINTON in this - love the slicked-back hair and the blue brows!

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    1. Yeah, I definitely want to do the brows and hair again, although the hair felt a bit crusty. Heh. Thanks, Sheila.

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  17. Bwah hah hah you look AMAZING and those clothes! Oh. my. Everything looks just amazing.
    Congrats - you did very very well!!

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    1. Ha - I was sooo nervous. I survived but it was a huuuuge deal for me to try to relax in front of other people. And as a former Vogue magazine editor person yourself for a while, Claire should feel quite pleased too. Thanks for the feedback.

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  18. WOW You look incredible! Amazing! Fantastic! Definitely serving up some Swinton realness.

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    1. Megan, thank you so much. It was definitely a team effort, hahaha. I'm glad to see you.

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  19. Perfection and totally Swintonian - the slicked-back look is divine - but an Elvis-ly pompadour or full on mohawk would be equally gorgeous on you. Beautiful clothing line - what a glorious experience!
    Also Beatrix Ost? Too much goodness :))

    Elaine Monkeypaints

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    1. Oh, you wouldn't believe her clothes, Elaine. They are really stunning and made me feel like a god. Astonishing.
      I never thought of the Beatrix Ost angle. Hahaha.
      Thanks for dropping by. I always love to hear from you!

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    2. Clothing that makes you feel that way is rare and fine. I hate try-hard - this line looks so authentic (I know - overused - to the designers vision) and individual. Claire has a way with trousers - LOVE. Is this the same lady? https://prezi.com/0_hudeexyvsn/project-3-tips-from-a-designer/

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    3. Yes, I think that is Claire because it includes a photo of Debra Rapoport, but I'm not 100% sure. Check out her website, click portfolio and go to draping. Wow. Starry Night.

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    4. Oh the hand dyed silk would just go on forever - Starry Night is a showstopper SO MUCH WANT (esp foundation wear lol)

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  20. Replies
    1. They are fine quality wool with lining down to the cut-out holes. They feel wonderful. Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  21. Wow, and and more wow! So this is your trailblazing moment eh? You're awesome, Melanie. The Tilda look is utterly beautiful and ethereal. How wonderful to have this amazing and yet scary experience. You can do this - hell, you DID it! Wow!
    Anna x

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    1. I did it! And I'm moving on now. Back to farking, heh. But I'm happy and grateful that I had this experience. I learned a lot about what goes on with this kind of thing, although I think this shoot was exceptionally kind and personal. Thanks, Anna, for your comment.

      Delete
  22. if i had knew you at the time - and were near you of cause - for sure i had wanted you as my model!!!
    actually most of my show and photo models were no models at all and mostly over 25 - up to 40+. fresh scrubbed teeny faces of des-interested profi-models did not look good with my designs......
    but to your shoot! absolutely gorgeous clothes, fabulous styling and photos to kneel down! i totally love the whole thing! the girls could´t do it better then hire you!
    manna for my sore eyes!!!!!
    hugs and love to you!! xxxxxx

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    1. Haha, Beate. I love that your models were so diverse. I may not have been able to sell your clothes, but you can bet we would have had a fantastic time! Claire's personality and her clothes sold me on the idea that I could do this. Her eye to detail is amazing. Thanks for your comment, Beate!

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  23. So wonderful. I'm without words.

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    1. Anne, me too, although I do tend to go on and on... Hahaha!!!

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  24. oh Wow! How cool are you?! That first pix reminds me of some artwork...by Man Ray, um, I don't know. I'll have to find it. Anyway, you look fabulous. And I do hope to see you with baby blue brows and slicked back hair again. Very nice indeed. Those clothes. Maybe you can feel free to alter some pants asymmetrically in the style of Claire now. How did you guys get connected. It's all so wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Claire saw my blog and asked to interview me where she revealed this design line. Then she asked if I would wear her clothes for the shoot. Yeah, her asymmetrical pants are art, and the grey embroideried pants with the hole - inspiring in many ways. If nothing else it was great to share ideas with Claire.
      Thanks, Pao. Can you me know if you ever find that art reference? :)

      Delete
  25. I honestly can't believe that you haven't already been swooped up by all the cool designers. Such a great team effort. You are gorgeous beyond gorgeous. Melting pants...be still my heart.

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    1. This was a fluke incident, Connie. You make me laugh! But it was fun.
      Melting pants - who'd have thunk it, right?
      Mwah!

      Delete
  26. You've never modeled, before? Dude, I thought you were a former model all this time. Not even f*cking joking. You're a natural, Melanie. These photos are fantastic!

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Pffft, me a model? Get outta' town. Hahaha. Long ago, I had to do head shots for VOICE work, which pissed me off and freaked me out in equal measure. I love goofing off though. Thanks for the compliment, Anna.

      Delete
  27. The androgynous look in your photographs is inspiring...especially that second image! I love that "villain from a bond movie"- vibe. Epic!!
    XXX
    Samantha

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    1. I love the description of villain. Yes!! Hahaha. Androgyny is a favourite look. Claire calls that her anti-tux.
      Thanks, Samantha, for that extra topping!

      Delete
  28. I'm late to the comment party for this, but I will throw another Swinton shout-out into the mix. Damn, you look so frickin' cool with the hair, and the brows, and the otherworldly complexion. What a fun opportunity to dip your toe into the world of modelling.

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    1. It was fun, indeedy! We often kept saying how I had an alien vibe during the shoot, which was incredibly encouraging, no joke. Thanks, Shelley.

      Delete
  29. Tilda clearly needs to come to you for style advice. You've out Tilda'd Tilda and I adore Tilda Swinton, so I have serious swoon-age over this piece. You have showcased the outfits perfectly. Bravo Melanie and Claire, bravo!

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hahaha. Ah, Madam Swinton got there first so I bow to her individuality and vibe. Thanks for your comment! I'm glad Claire gets to see all this fantastic feedback about her clothes too.

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  30. You look absolutely amazing, love! Can you act as well? Tilda Swinton might have found her stand in!
    Loving the sculptural shape of those clothes, I bet she'll be inundated with orders now they've adorned your perfect bod. xxx

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    1. Oooh, yes, acting skills are where it's at, it's the meat behind the face, heh. Yes, I hope Claire gets tons of orders! Thanks for commenting, Vix.

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  31. Your photos are magnificent! You have a new career! Claire couldn't have chosen a more perfect person to showcase her beautiful creations. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Judith. Maybe not a new career but definitely this was a great experience. Claire's creations are even more stunning in real life.

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  32. Wonderful, empowering, gorgeous, you rockstar!

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    1. Thank you, Carol! A rockstar I think would be more fun.

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  33. Let's first be honest here my friend, that young designer was one smart cookie! It wasn't just guts it was thinking outside the box, and thinking of what kind of woman has the power to eminate freedom of expression and empowerment to women of all ages. She simply found the BEST! And don't think this will be your only day of sweating as a model, seriously??? You are fabulous!

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    1. Oh, Trina, your positivity bursts from the page. Thank you for that blast. I'd rather sweat as a rockstar, now that Carol has reminded me how fun that would be. I just need to learn an instrument and, um, sing. Minor details.
      I always love to see you, too bad I can't decorate my table like you do!

      Delete
  34. Let me join the Tilda chorus! When the first pic was loading and it got to your eyes I thought it WAS Tilda!! You're a dang fine model.

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    1. Oooh, yay, I LOVE the Tilda comparisons! My next goal is to do something that makes Tilda imitate me! Hahaha!!

      Delete
  35. First, you are a natural. You LOOK LIKE A PROFESSIONAL MODEL! The clothes are glorious, and you are positively glorious in them. I bet you get signed with an agency now! Bravo you, you did an amazing job. xxxx

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    1. Thank you for your compliment. I owe these results to Claire, the designer of these truly astonishing clothes, Katrin, the photographer, and Vanessa, hair/makeup. They worked magic and were so patient. No agency, heh. I'm glad you dropped by!

      Delete
  36. Seems like a wonderful experience for all of you! Congratulations, dear Melanie - you are a real SUPERMODEL! You look like you've been doing this all your life!! Great collaboration and teamwork, I really enjoyed the creativity in these shots, and fantastic pieces of clothing of course!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Natalia. Well, I faked the model part for a day. During the month before the shoot I was always worried about whether the clothes would fit if I snacked too much. That part was AWFUL and when I told Claire she freaked that I had that feeling. It's hard not to when you're paid and measured to fit a certain size. I hadn't expected that part. I'm extremely happy for the experience though. And Claire is super talented and kind.

      Delete
  37. This editorial is brilliant and you rocked it!!!!! I do love the clothes, the pants in particular. Clare is a very talented designer...and the photographer must be great too because there is that something extra special about these photos that one doesn't find everyday in editorials.

    I'm happy to hear that you had a nice time working with talented people...I can imagine it was also a bit nerve-racking ( I always imagined modelling as a job that is stressful) but surely it was worth it.

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    1. Oh you are so right about Claire and Katrin, even Vanessa who did makeup. Katrin was recently in an exhibition of Vancouver fashion photographers. She does find that extra something. The experience was definitely worth it. I went shopping with Claire recently so the friendship is also one of the best things to come out of this.

      Delete
  38. So stunning, popping over from Catherine (Not Dressed as Lamb's) post-we need more diversity when it comes to models and the arts-different ages, ethnicities, sizes. You look incredible x

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  39. Hi! I completely agree with you. Diversity is what keeps life interesting. I'm glad these little changes are afoot. Thanks for dropping by! I appreciate your comment.

    ReplyDelete

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