Freja’s Muse

July 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Freja and Arizona, shot by Terry Richardson last April (via Elle)

I never intended for this space to feed into the fashion rumor mill (this is a classy blog, damn it!), but if gossip about same-sex models dating emerges, you can bet it’ll show up here sooner or later. On that note, Elle reports buzz from the Paris Couture shows about a courtship between my favorite lesbian model Freja Beha Erichsen and the face of Prada’s baroque-gone-bananas S/S 11 collection, Arizona Muse. It’s surprising because (a) I only know of 1 queer model couple in fashion history – Freja and Catherine McNeil who dated in 2008 – and (b) who knew Arizona was queer? (I had assumed she was straight after hearing she had a baby just a couple of years ago. I was equating birthing with sexuality – silly me, I know.)

So there now might be a new queer model and a new queer couple! How exciting! If Freja and Arizona are, in fact, dating, I wish them the best. If they’re not, then blame Elle for spreading false gossip!


My Favorite Patriotic Looks

July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s the Fourth, and strangely enough it’s non-U.S. designers who are showing their stars and stripes. But why are so many foreign designers using this motif in their collections? Perhaps they’re reacting to U.S. presence in their respective countries. Or maybe it’s a reflection of the U.S.’s power in the fashion market. Whatever the reason, American flag-inspired motifs are having a moment. Here, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites.

Happy 4th everybody!


Balmain S/S 11 (via

It’s my favorite lesbian model Freja again! Here, she’s modeling a look from the “club kid smoking French cigarettes”-themed S/S 11 collection from Balmain. The grit and painterly quality of the flag looks like a reference to Jasper Johns’ “Flag” series from the 1950s.

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1958 (via SFMOMA)


MIharayasuhiro S/S 11 (via

This look from Japanese designer Miharayasuhiro’s S/S 11 collection offers a darker interpretation of American patriotism. The grey, washed out image of the American flag looks as if the flag were up in smoke or inside a war zone. I like the overall mood of the look as well as the sense of movement in the blazer.

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana F/W 11 (via

For Dolce & Gabbana’s F/W 11 runway presentation, they sent a series of dresses down the runway in what looked like a sartorial version of a 4th of July Parade. The dresses varied from sexy, form-fitting cocktail dresses, to flowy, formal gowns. My favorite look was this lemon-colored, diaphanous, floor-length dress. To me, it represented a celebration of femininity and brought to mind the enormity of the cosmos.

Britney Spears wore a navy version of this dress for the June issue of Harpers Bazaar in one of her best sartorial moments in recent memory. The graffiti background looks contrived, but the dress itself looks light and makes Spears look like an ethereal Mother Universe.

Chanel and Givenchy Get Catty

July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Feline pheromones are in the air! Just one day after writing about the emerging jaguar-print trend, Chanel released the first image from its F/W 11 campaign featuring my favorite lesbian model Freja Beha Erichsen working a high fashion catsuit. It’s not the sexy, shiny look that one would expect. Instead, Chanel designed a more modest, perhaps homely, version that resembles a really comfortable interpretation of the cat costumes my elementary school teachers perennially wore at Halloween. I love how the beanie-turned-cat head makes Freja look like she robbed a bank as a budget-version of Catwoman.

Meow (via FashionGoneRogue)

This ad is surprising in the context of recent Chanel campaigns, which usually present mundane images of Blake Lively climbing stairs or models having a picnic. With this ad, Chanel took a more abstract approach that leaves viewers with a list of questions: Why is she dressed like a cat? Why is she in a photobooth? Is Chanel really selling that outfit? My biggest question is why its stylist Carine Roitfeld, the ex-French Vogue Editor and queen of “porn chic,” styled the sexy, rock-n-roll loving Freja so conservatively. Roitfeld is known for vice-filled photo shoots involving lots of bare breasts, cigarettes, and grease. The conservatism of this ad makes me think that there is a deeper, Freudian meaning – maybe Freja is a Furry?

Givenchy has another take on the model-as-cat look from its F/W 11 campaign featuring supermodel Naomi Campbell, sitting on what looks like a really fancy cat bed. Campbell is definitely channeling a much angrier, sexier cat than Freja, but she’s also channeling Dracula as well (Doesn’t the design over her crotch looks like a pair of fangs?). This could possibly double as an ad for True Blood.

rawr! (via NYMag)

So as predicted in yesterday’s post on jaguar prints, cats are definitely having a moment. But unexpectedly, fashion doesn’t want you to just wear cat prints, they want you to act like cats. But please don’t take this trend too seriously. We don’t want to see people looking like anything besides human.

My Favorite Lesbian Models

June 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

While everyone knows that fashion is run by gay men, people often fail to recognize the pivotal role that our female counterparts play in the industry. To highlight the presence of lesbians in fashion, as well as to celebrate Pride and the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York, I’m going to offer you a list of my favorite lesbian models working today.

3. Tasha Tilberg

Tilberg on the cover of Marie Claire Italia, October 2009 (via

At a time when “blank canvases” dominate the industry, Tilberg defies convention with a number of tattoos, piercings, and earlobe gauges. In the last few years she has modeled for powerhouses Lanvin and Alexander Wang.

I personally love this photo of Tilberg on the cover of Marie Claire Italia circa October 2009. Amidst all the pink and purple text emerges a tough, soft-butchy lesbian in a black leather jacket with studded collar á la Dykes on Bikes.

2. Jenny Shimizu

Jenny in Dossier (via

I once saw butchy model Jenny Shimizu at a place forbidden to most models – a bakery. (Billy’s, actually, on 9th ave). I’m not sure if she ate anything, partly because turning my head any further would have led to  me burning holes into her with my eyes.

Shimizu was working as a mechanic when Calvin Klein scouted her for their CK1 fragrance in the 90s. Short-haired and tattooed, she defied popular images of female models at that time – stick-thin with a coke habit. In interviews, she has confessed to having been in relationships with ambiguously queer celebs like Angelina Jolie and Madonna, for whom she would conduct regular “booty calls”. Although she has been laying low in modeling for some time, she had a shining moment last year when she walked the runway at Kenzo’s Menswear S/S 11 show in Paris.

1. Freja Beha Erichsen

Freja in The Last Magazine, F/W 10 (via

To be honest, I didn’t really get Freja’s look at first – bulbous, skeletal, a bit asymmetrical – but over time I’ve learned to appreciate her somewhat unconventional face and tomboy edge. I especially love when she’s modeling for classically feminine brands like Chanel, for whom she’s served as the muse for the past several years.

Notice the tiny shadow of ink on the left side of her neck in the picture above. It adds just the right touch of roughness (and, well, lesbianism) to the look. C’est magnifique!

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