Images, Photography, Postmodernism

Debates about images and postmodernism

Lara Stone on her body shape the perils of the catwalk

In a Christmas (2016) interview with Net a Porter magazine Lara Stone expressed surprise at being a successful fashion model because, she says, she can’t walk in in heels and falls over all the time. Previously in an interview for Video Fashion (see below) she claimed that she fell over because her feet were so little compared with the big size of the shoes. In the interview she explains that for years her agency sent her for castings and she rarely got picked, but then she was fortunate to get a 2008 contract with Calvin Klein to do photographic modelling, and then it all started to come right. 

She adds: ““I don’t know if my body shape helps or not. I guess people are always looking for something different so maybe it makes my life easier.” Please, “don’t know” and “maybe”!! The reality is much more simple. 

The fashion industry became fascinated with her body. Images by Mario Sorrenti, Mario Testino, Inez and Vinoodh, Terry Richardson, Victor Demarchelier, Mart and Marcus, Juergen Teller, Luigi and Iango

The tide for Lara began to change in the mid ‘noughties because fashion modelling became much more about photographic modelling, and because of her body shape – and the fact that be she did dozens of shoots nude. It was the sensation about her nude body that got her the lucrative Calvin Klein ads. Lara really started to get noticed when she did a 2006 shoot with Terry Richardson for Sisley.

The shoot was smouldering but by later standards was relatively modest. A second breakthrough came in a February 2007 shoot with Mario Testino for French Vogue. This included an image of her with her knickers around her knees and a lot on show. And this – a nude vagina – in a magazine your grandmother might read having her hair done! Later that year, in the 2007 the S/S issue of Purple.france, there were sensational nude shots of Lara by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. This is probably some of the greatest nude photography ever done and went all over the Internet in a flash.

After that Lara did repeated shoots with Mert and Marcus, including the famous Love magazine shots in an issue which also featured other top models naked. Mainstream fashion magazines began publishing Lara nude or topless – the industry become fascinated with her body. 

Statuesque images with implants. Left to right, Daria Werbowy (1-4), Elle McPherson (5-6), Michelle Buswell (7-9). Pics 10 and 11, Michelle Buswell pre-implants.

Ealoner Morgan in The Guardian says that the fashion industry ignores big boobs – only a handful of top models have them and none of their products are suitable for larger breasted women. In fact Lara came after a trend towards top models getting implants. Top stars of the late ‘80s and ‘90s like Elle MacPherson and the evergreen Naomi Campbell had implants and then had them out. Daria Werbowy also had big boobs for a time and did some stunningly statuesque work with them in, notably the 2011 Pirelli calendar, shot by Karl Largerfeld. Look at the Victoria Secret stars, most of whom have walked as fashion models – no big boobs?! There are of course top designers who insist on self-like ultra-skinny and flat chested models, but there is now a much wider range of body types including big boobs. Part of that is the proliferation of swimwear and lingerie catwalk shows, bringing new levels of eroticism into the modelling mainstream.

Push it ad for Calvin Klein


Little feet