eleanor said:

>> Janice was on a Dr. Phil show about plastic surgery several months
ago. She was there to get help saying she was addicted to plastic
surgery. Really there though to promote her book. I don't think he knew what to say to her.
She's a complete mess. I never imagined she was that sick to have
allowed herself on the show as a guest with serious issues, for the
audience to gasp and shake their heads at. And of course she had to
keep reminding Phil, "I *was* the first supermodel".


janice dickinson was supposedly the first model to be referred to in
the press as "supermodel".
obviously, print models were household names by the 1950s.
in the 70s, *runway* models became personalities for the first time,
and legendary Black models like pat cleveland, iman and toukie smith
set a new standard for high diva fierceness, establishing the
hip-swinging walk, idiosyncratic personality and attitude of strength
that defined the "supermodel" type..
in 1974, beverly johnson became the first Black model to hit the
cover of vogue, and folks were truly gagging.
marketing research revealed that "white" ladies not only wanted to
be more *like*miss johnson, they literally wanted to *be her*.
jerry hall swerved near parody - over-the-top, referencing old
hollywood and reeking faintly of decadence.
dickinson and later gia carangi wore their decadence openly on their
purple georgio sant angelo batwing sleeves - "modeling" rock & roll
hedonism and polymorphous sexuality to thunderous applause.
this was the real beginning of the supermodel phenomenon.

a true supermodel has name recognition, significant editorial and
runway presence and multiple covers of vogue and harper's bazaar.
in the 90s, "supermodels" in the media proliferated beyond reason,
and many girls were called "super' whose relationship to the fashion
establishment was peripheral at best.
television, sports illustrated and victoria's secret propelled
certain pneumatic and slightly trashy models to fame who were from the
beginning completely unfitted for high fashion editorial or runway
work.
the giant breasts and blank-eyed, toothy appeal of these girls seemed
to work well as somebody's masturbatory fantasy, but were
antithetical to the "higher" purposes of real fashion.
tyra banks, kylie bax and claudia schiffer were the heroic exeptions
to this general rule, but they eventually lost their value as super
*fashion* models as they became unchangeable, laquered, brand-name
barbie dolls.
the "unholy trinity" - naomi campbell, linda evangelista and christy
turlington - retain their rigorous chic and mysterious aura to this
day, and they are the only ones from their generation who remain
viable as "supermodels" in a classic editorial or runway context.
eternally fabulous in chanel chains and biker jackets or dior
ballgowns, running drunkenly in versace spike-heeled hip boots
through the cobblestoned meatpacking distict of lower manhattan, their
severe poise, untouchable sexuality and ineffable air of "couture
realness" was never sacrificed on the profane altar of beer, mtv or
sports illustrated.
today, in our careful, chastened age, understated mini-supers maggie
rizer, stella tennant and alek wek quietly continue the tradition of
untouchable chic blazed by naomi, linda and christy.
they stomp rather than sashay, they scorn wigs and extensions and
their reluctant smiles are shy and artless, not fierce and brilliant.
oh well, times change...
but '75 to '80, '89 to '95... those certainly were the days, mary!
Original Post
Very well said. The word "supermodel" quickly became bastardized and applied to any skank ho who posed beside Corvettes at auto conventions. The supermodel phenomenon was definately a high-octane, high fashion sugar rush, another byproduct of the glorious early 90s.

**sigh**
VH1 has a special on the rise and fall of the supermodel phenomenon (which I saw but did not hear at the gym), and it was dishy- more for how Janice Dickenson looks now...she is giving Joceyln Wildenstein a run for a money with those cat eyes. Meow.

The interesting thing about the show to me was how in the 90s, being a model- and only several were deemed "super" and we all know who they were- became more fabulous than being a movie or pop star, but the turnaround came in the late 90s when actual movie, tv, and pop stars usurped their place on fashion magazine covers (Jennifer Aniston, Gwenyth, Britney, Sarah Michelle, Jennifer Love Hewitt, etc etc etc).

A great and objective history of the world of modeling entitled MODEL written by Michael Gross, which starts from back in the day (when Linda Simpson was a hand model) to contemporary times is an interesting read.

I find more impressive and have to give credit to those models who moved on from the runway- Veronica Webb with her writing (and I miss her column in PAPER from years ago), Christy Turlington's Aruyveda line (and very public quitting of smoking), Cindy Crawford parlaying her talents in various different mediums, and so on. One of them has a reality modeling show too. So some of them became more than a size 2 with attitude and a photogenic face.
Does anyone remember the Israeli model with the blonde hair, beautiful green eyes and the only set of beestung lips in the business? I believe her name was Michaela (spelling may be off) She actually had a role in The first Ann Rice Vampire movie starring Miss Tom Cruise. I always thought she was just breathtaking. She was on the rise the same time as Tatiana Patiz. I know she was with Elite. Just wonderd whatever happend to her.
Sweetie, I remember her. Absolutely gorgeous. I miss seeing models on magazine covers. I admit I read Vogue sometimes and people are always writing in saying they want models, not actors on the covers.
I also saw the VH1 show and it's sad how all the girls were so beautiful and now there are only a few left that still catch my eye.I want my models back dammit Mad

Shhh...I'm trying to listen to reason...
Her name is Michaela Bercu. So yes, the spelling is on the money. She has one of the greatest success stories, ever. Elite brokered a deal to have her on billboards around the country for an unknown jeans label called Bonjour. Just like all of Elites youngest, they decided to screw her saying that she couldn't get paid, but that her name would go on every ad and billboard that she was in. This had her name in everyone's mouth, and she became bigger than life in the fashion world. The weird thing about Michaela is that she was scared to death of runways, and the only time she would do them is during fashion week here in the city. She was total snapshot gal.
You were very close, the movie she was in was Francis Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and it was with Miss Keanu Reeves. She played one of his 3 wives.
It's odd that you mentioned her because a friend of mine who is with Elite, mentioned to me last week, that she had spoken with Michaela very recently. She lives in Paris now with her husband and kids and travels to her native Romania to do television commercials once in a blue moon. Like all hot chicks, she landed a man with big money, so she probably has a great cushion to fall back on.
Now that I count back the years, she has to be damn near 40. Can that be true? Confused
She may have been born in Tel Aviv, but I remember reading that she was enrolled in a private elementary school in Bucharest, where the parents drop their kids off in Aug. and pick them up in June. Bucharest is in Romania. That's what made me think she was from there, I stand corrected.
With all that said, she does return there for work occasionally.

And yes, you are also right- Show Producer it is.
The name is always to the left of the post.
I really think she had a classic "Lolita" kind of presence. Very Woman/Child with an innocence and amazing sexuality both at the same time. I couldn't look at those lips without thinking of a very plump vagina (seriously). Her lips were soooo amazing. They may have been actually grotesque if the size of her emerald green eyes didn't bring them into scale with her gorgeous face.

I also worship the ground Jerry Hall walks on!!! In her heyday the girl was breathtaking. I really think most of it was her attitude and what she brought in front of the camera. I have always dreamed of calling a party JERRY HALL. She embodied all of the divine decadence that the late 70's and early 80's conjure up. Long and feline, with that gorgeous head of Texas blonde hair. Her drawl stretching out as long as her legs. She modeled at a time when the girls were heavily made up with all the smoky eyes that Christain Dior could muster. She was like Cinderella at the ball that never ended. Her Chanel layouts were gorgeous, and she did cosmetic ads for YSL when they were at their draggiest!!! She was sophisticated and raw at the same time. I just adored her esthetic.
I could tell you endless hours of great tales of the long tall one we call Jerry Faye Hall. I knew her and her sisters very well in the seveties. I lived with her and Bryan Ferry for awhile in London during the period just up until she met Mick. Jerry is a sweetheart and came from a family of gorgeous stunners. A lot of history there. Maybe later. In the meantime heres a shot of Jerry at Studio 54 with a handsome Joe McDonald and the record tycoon Ahmet Ertegon looking on.

[This message was edited by bobby on 02-25-04 at 12:48 PM.]

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There is an amateur video out of San Francisco that looks sooooooooo much like our Gobby on the cover on his knees next to another hairy fairy. I do not have the title, but it is currently a selection at my favorite Sunset Park Peep establishment. Hmmmmmm

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