Playback Rewind: Extinction of the 'Supermodel'?

17.11.10

The other day, I was browsing through the magazine racks at the bookshop, and couldn't help but notice that majority of the covers were occupied by anyone but models. Singers, actors and athletes appear to be taking over from supermodels. Obviously, pop culture has become increasingly prominent, but supermodels are less culturally prominent than they once were.Why do you think this is? It doesn't help that some of the models out there right now are quite generic, and perhaps devoid of memorable personality.

I decided to do a throwback series. Going back to a time when models won't get out of bed for anything less than ten thousand quid a day. You know, the Naomi Campbell's, Christy Turlington's and Claudia Schiffer's of that era. Let's throw in Kate Moss for good measure yes? If you don't remember any on this, well fear not cause neither do I really. You see, if we are being honest, I was most likely still trodding around in diapers when the 'original spuermodels'/'big six' hoopla was going on. But that's where the internet and tfs comes into play with archives that stand the test of place and time. Grunge. Plaid. Flannel. Minimalism. Cardigan coats. Smiles and huge jolts of attitude and personality. Part 1.


"Grunge & Glory" by Steven Meisel. US Vogue December 1992. Models-Kristen McMenamy, Naomi Campbell, and Nadja Auermann. Sourced @ tfs



"High Camp" by Bruce Weber. W Magazine November 1997. Fashion Editor- Michel Botbol. Hair & Makeup- Dick Page for Jedroot. Models: Kate Moss/Lucie de la Falaise/Marianne Faithfull/François Ravard/Stella McCartney/Ella. Scanned by Mulletproof @ tfs
(I didn't know Ms. Stella dabbled in some modeling first. The things you learn eh?)

"From the sea" by Patrick Demarchelier. Vogue US June 1992. Models- Nadege de Bospartus/Christy Turlington/Beverly Peele. Scanned by MissIvana @ tfs
And frankly because no post on the topic of supermodels is complete without it, I leave you with George Michael's Freedom. Feast your eyes and enjoy!

Bisous,
Abi


56 Contributions:

Linka said...

Love that song! Perfect track for this post!

Zarna said...

love this post! actresses have replaced models on so many covers and frankly i'd rather see a model in some fabulous couture piece!

stayfabulous,
zarna
www.zarnasrunway.com

In New York Paris Tomorrow said...

Lovely review of those hazy years ... loved those days and "real" grunge (Marc Jacobs 1992/3).

Ashley McConnell said...

I will never get tired of looking at Kristen McMenamy's face. So unusual and beautiful.

Great touch with the video! A supermodel musical combustion!

x

daretounravel.blogspot.com

Jude said...

This is just too remarkable for words. It's true and sad how the supermodels have disappeared, to be replaced by a much more generic industry. Sigh. Thanks for this great flashback to goldie oldie days.

Lisa Lisa Lisa said...

I think that some don't understand how models are important fashion. They like to read about things that are familiar to them, like celebrities.
And maybe it would be nice to see more of that "personality" you eluded to

Elena Vasilieva said...

brilliant pics

http://elenavasilieva.blogspot.com/
x

simplychic said...

it sux that models jobs are being taken away by celebs.

Margaret said...

kate is amazing :)
great blog!
loving the posts
stop by some time xx

Ginta said...

It's one of the reason I started to love fashion - because of the models. Thank you for taking me back through my memory lane!

Shanna Maren said...

Beautiful photos! Seems great to me that you only get out of bed because people need you so bad to do a photoshoot that they pay so much money! :D

NinaSafada said...

I love this song!! :))
I do agree with you, it's all about famous people on the covers right now and even though I am a child of millenium, since I was born in 91', so my teen years were the 2000 and something, I do agree and remember when I was little, my aunt used to posterize her room with covers and features and articles of models of Calvin Klein and Levi's etc. and she wasn't even obsessed with fashion! I remember those models in jeans, oversized cardigans, hats, plaid shirts in those gorgeous sepia pics, I thought they looked so beautiful and hot, no wonder everyone would put them on the wall, even people who didn't follow fashion, people admired that...when I remember it now I see it as such a great era, nowadays they just use these famous people instead for bigger propaganda...

michelle_ said...

ohhh that song is superbbb !I love it too :D
fashion wouldn't have been complete without the lovely models ! attractive face and great body is what makes us buy the clothes :D


glisters and blisters

missmarc said...

I love that grunge editorial; so beautiful & 90s! <3

Marcela said...

Hey Abi, thanks for your lovely comment :)
This is such a great song :D
I have to say, I love your outfit posts! You look gorgeous!!

xxx
-M-
Times Like Mine

Isabel said...

i love the linda evangelista 10,000$ a day quote. i went to the same highschool as her!

Amber Blue Bird said...

good times but I think I prefer actors/musicians or any other artist to appear on my mag covers...call me a weirdo

johanna said...

Lovely pictures! perfect

...Iww... said...

I like this post and so great phots you pick ;)

Kisses

CaliforniaCandy said...

I think it's because the general public is celebrity obsessed and want to know more about their personal lives... Celebrities on the cover sell more magazines(unfortunately)... Great Post Doll!

Enter My First Giveaway!
http://californiacandy.wordpress.com/

MarchMusings said...

I'm so with you on this-bring back the supermodels! And I used to wait for 'Freedom' to be aired on MTV just to see the gorgeous glazmazons one more time.

Vicky K. said...

lovely!!

Vicky
(new post: Impressions | 18112010 & follow me)

FashionJazz said...

Fabulous post and I agree with you hun : ) Happy friday xxx

Rike said...

i love this song, it is the hymn of the super models...i love models, because clothes look perfect at them as they run on the catwalk...during the supermodel era the models were full of power and strength, i sometimes miss that today...but i like the new trend, that u can watch the clothes at real people, for example on blogs, you get to know something about the personality and it is authentic (i hope i can say it this way in english)...<3

Lena said...

Thank you for those pictures .... these photographs is a great thing ..... are fresh ideas and light ..... are awesome



http://lenainspiration.blogspot.com/

missfitbliss said...

What a great post Abi! I really miss that supermodel era, mainly because the women were much more gorgeous and they actually had meat on their bones while sporting happy smiles and flushed cheeks!

Black cat girl said...

Amazing pictures!

em.me.ma said...

thanks for sharing, maybe because there are just so many models out there today... and I guess we finally decided to be a bit less shallow and start to value more on skills in acting and singing as a opppose to looking good. maybe:S

Misnomer said...

The model in the last spread with the short black hair is really beautiful. And I love that song!!! :)))

Abi said...

Thanks for the contributions guys. This is great! Keep them coming.
@Zarna: just out of curiousity, why exactly do you say that?

@ In New York Paris Tomorrow: Oh yes! Marc Jacobs did Grunge like no other

@Ashley McConnell: I know! I love her androgynous look

@Jude: You're welcome. I was just getting a tad bored with the editorials in today's magazine, and thought I'd do a little reminiscing. hehe

@Lisa Lisa Lisa: Valid point. Perhaps celebrities are more relatable because there's daily news about them more often than not. I think though, that the original models were also "celebrities" and perhaps thats what made them so influential?

@NinaSafada: So well said! I do remember wanting to rip out every page of a magazine and my wall was completely plastered with them! Now I still have some rip outs but not so much. Is it because of the changing influence of models, or just the internet make it easier to store inspiration- blogs, photobucket, tumblr, your desktop?

@michelle_: Is it really? But actresses and singers also have 'attractive' faces and bodies too. What is considered attractive then in this sense? Are you more likely to buy a piece if you see it on a model that any other celebrity? Or is it vice versa?

@Isabel: You did?! At the same time as her? What was she like? hehehe

@Amber Blue Bird: Not at all a weirdo. Far from it. But just out of curiousity, why is that?

@CaliforniaCandy: Truth. Perhaps because they're a bigger part of society's daily conscience?

@Rike: Authentic is right. But do you think we get more of a snippet of these models now than we did back in the 90s? Hmmm...I was thinking the other way around. Yes, models today are more prominent of blogs, but with just a snapshot, do their personalities come through as much as models in the 90s?

@Missfitbliss: Yes! A time when looking gaunt wasn't necessarily "in"

@em.me.ma: Wowza! Looks like some models just got told! So perhaps we value the actors and singers more than the models because they actually put in work. But, how about those actors and singers who have no talent whatsover (not mentioning any names, but we all know them. hehehe) but just happen to have a great marketing and pr team?

fashion junkie said...

Loving this post. Great photos.

P.S Just posted my first giveaway!

xoxo,
MelRod

Sabina said...

Hmmm... I must say that I much more enjoy seeing an actress or a singer on the cover of a magazine. I can usually relate to those types of celebrities, because I am likely to know some of their work, songs, movies... A model, to me anyway, is a bit of a hanger for clothes with a pretty face. Which is not to say she is thin, but that she doesn't really matter to me, the clothes do :))) But of course no disrespect, model's are beautiful. But then again, so are actresses and singers, so I figure - why do we really need models that bad? :))

Lady Sophia's Lover said...

Sophia!
You of the whirling wings,
circling, encompassing energy of God:
you quicken the world in your clasp.
One wing soars in heaven,
one wing sweeps the earth,
and the third flies all around us.
Praise to Sophia!
Let all the earth praise her!
-Hildegard of Bingen.

Thanks.

Lala said...

Haha thanks, I'm gonna give it to Santa this weekend after making a few additions ;)

Seriously, I'd love to make you a banner, any excuse to edit. If you would like me to, just give me a picture and tell what you want it to be like :)

Britty said...

yes i remember everything i miss whne magazine used to do that! damn i just love this post! magazine now are kinda boring (especially US magazines)

Isquisofrenia said...

how fun!!! i really like all this phtoos!!

Tastes Eclectic Fashion said...

Supermodels! I wish I could see them on the cover of Vogue US. I might actually have renewed my subscription if they put models on every once in a while.

These are very fun photos. I love how, even though I was two at the time these were published, I can still easily identify them as 90s editorials. Oh the 90s. :)

JoeyAna said...

loving these throwback photos!
thanks for stopping by my blog!

xoxo
jO
http://fashionbyjo.blogspot.com/

JoeyAna said...

Gah you have amazing hair!!!

xoxo
jO
http://fashionbyjo.blogspot.com/

Dorothy Souhuwat said...

nice post and inspirational

Anonymous said...

Nice blog...keep up the good work!
http://flauntitmagazine.blogspot.com/

PinkBow said...

i suppose fashions come and go and it is nice to see real people.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

I actually think that celebrities have been on the covers for about ten years, and if anything, models are starting to make a comeback. For example that Freja Beha, whatever her name is, or Daria whoever, and various other people. I think (and hope) that people are getting bored of constant actresses and singers..

Sydney, The Rabbit-Hearted Girl said...

this is a great post. i really wish models were as big of a deal now as they were back then. it would be so nice to see them on the covers of magazines instead of the typical angelina jolie/gwenyth paltrow covers. my favorite model right now is karen elson.

syd vicious said...

I can't stand celebrities. They have no place in the fashion world. Bring back the supermodels!

Watch the movie "catwalk"! It follows Christy Turlington around while she hangs out with people like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. So good!

bravegrrl said...

i love all these photos and the models!!! they are all gorgeous! my favorites have the be the first few, sooo 90s!!!

franca maisha said...

oh these photos are so inspiring.. thanks for sharing!! :)

xx

Imogen said...

I love this idea for a post and I agree with what you say about the shift from models to pop culture.

style-haus said...

i never get tired of seeing pics of 90s supermodels...they are legendary. perhaps the draw and appeal of celebrities is that readers feel they can relate more (especially with their lives highly publicized in tabloids etc)

http://style-haus.blogspot.com/

Lola said...

Long live the supers!! A great post with some amazing and timeless images.
Lola xx

Sweet Confessions said...

I totally agree with you! I don't like when I don't see at least one model on a cover each month and it tends to happen a lot... It's sad that marketing goes above that.





http://sweetlittleconfessions.blogspot.com/

stacey kelly said...

i love looking at pictures of old super models. the definitely have star power that im not sure some of the newer models possess. these pictures are timelessly good!

xo

fall in love with a shooting star...
youareashootingstar.blogspot.com

SucceedingatFailing said...

This is an amazing post! I genuinely really enjoyed it! and you're right the front covers of Vogue and Elle are nearly always celebrities. But I think it might also be partly due to the fact that models these days are not quite as beautiful in the classical sense as the supermodels of the 90s. They were statuesque, had breasts, and were very very pretty. Today's models are long and lean and quirky. The few models that have more pin-up looks along the lines of Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington (such as Gisele Bundchen) have indeed become very famous and gained a celebtrity status.

Caroline said...

I am just so very jealous of the holey jumper in the second photo! xxx

Abi said...

@ Sabina: hahah! Maybe there are not enough actresses and singers to walk down runways and be in editorials? Tight schedule? It think though that models came into being with the rise of consumerism no? Companies needed people for commercials and ads. Don't know how the tall and skinny rule came into being though

@Emily: hahaha! Daria whoever. hehee

@Sydney, The Rabbit-Hearted Girl: I just dug up the most beautiful editorial of Karen Elson. I'll share soon. Love her!

@syd vicious: thanks so much for the reco. I'll definitely have to look into getting that

@SucceedingatFailing: I'm glad you enjoyed it. So true. Perhaps they were more relatable in physique back then, and maybe now not so much

Beth said...

That grunge Vogue editorial is seriously one of my favorites of all time.

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