Saturday, April 22, 2017

Caroline Brasch Nielsen Tests Dominance in ‘Glory’ Fashion Story

Red Cross Nurse (credit:

Photographer Greg Kadel turns symbols and body language on their head in the April 2017 issue of King Kong Magazine.

In the fashion editorial “Glory Hole,” Kadel tells the story of a provocative woman, played by model Caroline Brasch Nielsen, who hits spots around Lower Manhattan.  She flaunts her sexuality and challenges the idea of control.

Caroline and a thuggish-ruggish-styled man sit on a bench with their legs open. This sitting style is eyebrow raising because she’s wearing a hiked up mini dress and wearing a nun’s habit. Also, a cross is embroidered on the crotch of her dress. Visions of Reagan from The Exorcist spring to mind. Now Caroline and the man have equal power.

Contrast that with another bench scene where Caroline shares a bench with a heavily tattooed older man. In her tight pink jumpsuit, her legs are again wide open, while the man has his leg crossed away from her. She holds the power.

Blind in an Elevator (credit:

Phallic imagery is usually used to show a man’s power, but the provocative woman uses it to show her own power. Caroline plays a Red Cross nurse with blood-red latex opera gloves  that cross over her body imitating the Red Cross on her tiny apron. Her red-gloved hand is inserted in her mouth simulating oral sex. Then there’s that stool that hits squarely on her crotch.

It’s rare that Caroline’s provocative woman is not powerful, but when she's not powerful, you wonder if she’s playing a trick. In an old elevator car, she sits on the floor with her legs spread. Her spiky goggles act as a blindfold, while a man’s hand hits the elevator’s buttons. He’s in control, or is he?

Another shot features the provocative woman in a park, but her body shrinks in submission as a tattooed, muscular young man stands dominantly above her. Instincts tell me that she’s going to sucker punch him. The photo that exemplifies this notion of deceptive power is one of her with her wrists bound. However, the front of her body is facing away from the camera, so she holds the power because her face isn’t visible to tell what emotions she’s feeling. She’s dangerous.

Visual signs of dominance are multifaceted when it comes to women, and deceptive power works to a woman’s advantage. People like Caroline’s provocative woman are dangerous, sexy and cool.

A nun on a bench (credit:

Hidden Face (credit:
Pink suit on a bench (credit:
Submissive body language (credit:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Seoul: The Wasp Waist Wins at Pushbutton FW17 Show

Opening Look (Credit:

KOREA—The fact that the Pushbutton FW17 show opens and closes with a womanly wasp waist and pants means something: a woman flaunts her curves and wears the pants.

The opening model wears a gray T-shaped dress shirt shaped like a kimono. The shirt’s hem tucks into periwinkle blue pants that feature a peplum. The duo of hems creates a wasp waist. The model looks intelligent with her aviator eyeglasses on her way to work to maybe engage in Working Girl officepolitics. Is she the Sigourney Weaver boss or Melanie Griffith ambitious underling?

Closing Look:  (Credit:

The silhouette appears as sexy and demure in two separate looks. There’s the sexy off-the-shoulder coat with boning that gives it the effect of an 18th Century dress. A model wears a Dorothy Gale-worthy sepia gingham cocoon jacket and looks like she should be holding a basket of baguettes. The asymmetrical styling of the gloves gives the outfit a whiff of weird.

The closing look is of a woman wears creased pants and wasp waist like the opening model.  Unlike the bespectacled opening model, this woman is dressed like a movie queen incognito trying to avoid the paparazzi. The gym bag and hoodie point to an athletic, street-smart woman. Surprisingly, I thought the hoodie was a hijab from a distance. (A hijab is a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women).

It’s time to embrace the wasp waist, and it’s never looked fresher than it does at Pushbutton FW17.

18th Century-style  (Credit:

Wholesome Gingham  (Credit:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Seoul FW17: Cres E. Dim’s Urban Warrior

Gardening Tools  (Photo:

The Cres E. Dim Fall 2017 collection showcases the urban warrior with softness sprinkled around.

The aviator sunglasses and Doc Martens rumble with militant toughness, while the baseball caps, sweatshirts and nameplate chains are athletic and very hip-hop.

The softness shows up in the form of whimsical images from childhood including the schoolgirl skirts and the plush fabric of the hats and pumps. The nameplate chains also speak to the gaudiness associated with childhood.

A certain shade of yellow pervades the Cres E.Dim collection. The shade evokes Chick-fil-A sauce as well McDonald’s thanks to red piping. This commercialism is characteristic of hip-hop and childhood products, whether it be cartoon characters or a favorite fast food restaurant.

Chick-fil-A yellow (Photo:

The garden tools that the models carry are at first humorous, but then when considered with the words spelled out on the nameplate chains (“No More Candlelight” and “Call for Peace”), the message is clear: these models are portraying grassroots rebels.

These urban warriors are tough that think with their heads and hearts.

Mountainous Sloped Silhouette (Photo:

Nameplate chain necklace (Photo:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Editor Shows Writing Skill in Gigi Hadid Vogue US Editorial

Flower of the Flock (Credit:

Fashion editors don’t get enough credit for the writing within their fashion editorials.

Starring Gigi Hadid and some of the best New York Stage actors, the fashion story “Craft Culture,” in the April 2017 issue of American Vogue, showcases the visual eye and writing skill of fashion editor Tabitha Simmons.

In the editorial’s intro, Tabitha sums up the theme of the piece in three words: “homespun and Haute,” as in “perfect balance between homespun and Haute.” The blurbs in the bottom right corner of each photo describe the images in a way to get a reaction out of the reader.

In one photo titled “It’s the Little Things,” Gigi pivots her hips to one side accentuating the drop waist of her 1920s-inspired Giorgio Armani dress. Tabitha’s text mentions, “livening things with a shimmy shake” instantly steering the mind to flappers dancing the Charleston or stage actors dancing.

Most of the blurbs use words that tie into rural life, romance, military and royals.

Gigi wears an Alexander McQueen coat embroidered in floral accompanied by the words “Coat of Arms” and “feminine glory.” Get ready to kick butt in the Alexander McQueen boots that resemble the 2002 Manolo Blahnik Timberland-style boots.    

Coat of Arms (Credit:
The words “Double Feature” and “his and her dressing” make you want to fall in love, driven home by an image of Gigi and actor André hugged up in Chanel couture.

Romance continues in the photo of Gigi and Lucas Hedges posed in Fendi as if they’re getting married at City Hall. The couple doesn’t look rich, even though they’re wearing Fendi, which is a testament to Tabitha’s styling and Patrick Demarchelier’s photography. The authenticity is so tight that Norman Rockwell would paint this couple in a New York minute.

Tabitha also taps into the reader’s love for fairytales and royalty. She evokes princes by using the play on words “Prints Charming” and visually aides it with Fthe Dior tulle princess skirt. She keeps things modern with Tory Burch slide sandals.

Prints Charming (Credit:

One of the last photos is a showcase for Americana, as well Marc Jacobs SS17 pieces. The white fur stole and pussy bow evoke Old Hollywood glamour (think Joan Crawford). The satin bomber jacket signals America’s obsession with sports. Note the title “Detail Work” and its implication of America’s love for cars. The big turquoise ring solidifies the America-in-the-Seventies influence.

Creating text for fashion editorials is an art as much as the visuals, and Tabitha Simmons has a way with words. Next time you pick up a American Vogue, pay attention

Detail Work (Credit:

It's the Little Things (Credit: