Sunday, November 25, 2012

Abbey Lee

I know it's a little weird to have something related to a model since they're like an ultimate being and sort of promote being what some consider to be dangerously thin and promote negative healthy eating habits to young girls but I am trying to look past that. I hate using the term "real women" because while there is sort of an average pants size or bra cup or whatever everyone is unique and to say skinny girls aren't real women is an incredibly hurtful statement to those who honestly can't put on weight no matter what they eat and may get teased as such. Without delving too far into the body weight and image debate I would like to present and praise someone who is good at what they do, makes artful photographs and made their first million dollars by the age of twenty-one. So seemingly advertising models is a little dangerous territory I don't question that but there's surely something to be said about their notoriety, their poise and their elegance. No matter what you think of models body type, their a success and get plenty of work so if their not aesthetically aspiring you then dominating in your field must mean something. Money isn't everything but we've all got to retire sometime- right?

*Sigh*. Before she was infamous for street style photographs on fashion capital streets Abbey was wearing some of the better Australian brands and to a down-to-Earth aesthetic- be it with stone wash jeans and leather or psychedelic dyed Ksubi slouch t-shirts. I don't mind sharing her with the rest of the world, but she did great things for the fashion industry nationally before her career toke off to dizzying heights. It gives me a perspective again on just how small Australia is on a clothing fashion scale and it sucks knowing that my own town is second best to our long-standing rivals Sydney in terms of fashion/ popular culture on that front. While fashion designers sort of have to stay local, models are free agents and are free to move as they please and I guess that sort of makes us lose our best models. And it sucks.

I'm trying to feature some "vintage" Abbey Lee; back in the days when she had long, stunning honey blond hair that wasn't pure white due to an overdose of peroxide. She's one of my favourite Australian models and I adored her feature in Vogue all those issues ago when she was beachy and natural looking amongst a gang of surfing boys on the coast. She just seemed sweeter- untouched and slightly more approachable before the glamour and glitz got to her. She's still talented and lovely in a whole new way, but if I had to pick I'd prefer her earlier work in case anyone was wondering.

The photographs that look like the could have been taken within her own home and in simple clothes are amongst my favourites. There's a raw, untouched nature about them I know is elusive to harness because it looks accidental but I think that's what makes them great. It's not all for show, poses emphasising a product; just a lovely girl looking beautiful with slightly gaped teeth and off into the distance. It captures potential and I guess a future full of possibilities. That's exciting because of the journey she'll go on and the people she'll meet as opposed to the super star she is now where everything has been just about accomplished.

These are a small collection of images I was more obsessed with about a year ago now, still starry-eyed and leaving high school but I've been toughened up a little since then and am i guess more focused on the importance of self as well as showing readers who's behind the text. There's not a lot of personality if readers just assume there's some sort of ghost writer behind the keyboard but also showcasing what shapes taste is important. When I was right smack-bang in middle school I thought Abbey Lee Kershaw was just the coolest person ever. In fact, I wanted a nipple piercing as well and never thought as far as bearing that personal side of my skin to probably some pony tailed guy to get it massacred by a piece of metal. But I was still loving her early shoots in which she was clad in nothing but lace Romance was Born pants by a peaceful lake. Looking back on those days, Vogue was still a good read and not cluttered full of advertisements and I miss that most of all.

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