>> Paul Rowland is heading into his first major show season as head of Ford's women's division. Though he recently said that as he aims to reinvigorate the 64-year-old agency, adding that his vision "is very different from [Ford co-founder] Eileen Ford’s," the first show package showcasing his stable of models — which gives a first visual idea of his brand presentation — does pay tribute to the Ford Model of yore. Teased wigs, retro twinsets, and pearls adorn the likes of Tao Okamoto, Karmen Pedaru, and Alana Zimmer. As Models.com points out, "Irony is the original Ford girls (sans the Rowland twist) looked something like this, all white gloved and be-hatted."
>> The 96-page September issue insert The Imagist teased back in June turned out to be for V: Paul Rowland, founder of Women and Supreme agencies, photographed 19 of his models in studio back in April with help from stylist Nicholas Grasa. His inspirations were "Joel-Peter Witkin, paganism, mysticism, vampires, witches — all the things I love," and V has a video of the shoot in action, which required Hannelore Knuts to have raw meat draped over her chest and the rope holding it together lit on fire on both ends. The supplement will be available with V61 in select cities.
Maybe this whole project is the start of a move into a new arena for Rowland? As V puts it: "Rowland, whose lavish and intricate agency show packages are the talk of the industry each season, has a creative verve that extends beyond model agency moving and shaking, and into photography and fine art. After this outing, however, he might need his own magazine as well."
>> Some thought that Vogue Paris's August 2009 cover with Daria Werbowy all decked out in Burberry check looked too blatantly like an advertisement, but in the context of Inez van Lamweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's 65-page accompanying editorial inside — with a plethora of models, each embodying a different brand's identity — it all makes sense.
It's a few of the magazine's usual suspects — Anja Rubik doing Gucci's "glam star" in fauxhawk, Kamila Filipcikova striking an eyepopping McQueen silhouette — plus a few new faces like Regina Feoktistova and Ranya Mordanova in Gianfranco Ferre and Junya Watanabe, respectively. The trifecta of stylists that produced these images — Joe McKenna, Emmanuelle Alt, Carine Roitfeld — prove that there is creativity to be found within the bounds of a studio shoot, after all.
>> IN THE LOOKING GLASS —The upcoming June 2009 issue of W features a 30-page editorial: a portfolio of the season's best new faces, as chosen by Craig McDean, with Karlie Kloss and Sigrid Agren heavy on rotation; appropriately, Sigrid is said to have her first major cover out this week. Four girls are rumored not to have made the final cut, but Ranya Mordanova, Rose Cordero, Madisyn Ritland, Bara Holotova, Jourdan Dunn, Viktoriya Sasonkina, Karlie Kloss, Amanda Laine, Imogen Morris-Clarke, Dorothea Barth Jorgensen, and Nimue Smit all did — Models.com has a trio of previews. [Models.com, Models.com, Models.com, NY Model Management]
>> THE MODELIZER — Balenciaga broke a couple of new faces today — Johanna Kneppers and Gwen Loos — so where's 18-year-old Russian model Ranya Mordanova's big Paris debut happening? Models.com promises she's "a stealth candidate poised for a major breakthrough" and "has had several clients circling here with avid interest." We hear Givenchy's doing exclusives this season to back up its new model-making credibility, but is she the right look? [Of the Minute]