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Toccara Jones drops it like it's H-O-T in Vogue Italia July 08. Image via tfsToccara Jones drops it like it's H-O-T in Vogue Italia July 08. Image via tfs

About 2 years ago a journalist for one of the biggest newspapers in NY called up to ask what I thought of Tyra Bank's presentation of the modeling world via America's Next Top Model. "Do any of these girls even stand a chance of ever being shot for anything decent?" he asked in not so many words. I looked up to that symbolic Swiss flag that fluttered in my mind regarding my daily dealings with The Biz. I said "Well, you never know. Fashion people are so perverse by practice. Who's to say Terry Richardson won't take a shine for one of those girls one day. Because." Well it wasn't was Meisel and as hissed his snaps of Toccara Jones are beautiful and free in that classic Meisel FU fashion .... Does that mean SM spends dull Tuesday evenings at home watching reality TV modeling shows? It would be modern, no ? That said, that damn July VI has been a masterpiece of mass media manipulation. From the NY Times previews to Elite North America's Neal Hamil and Veronica Webb discussing the issue on the Today show, the publication of the mag has mushroomed into a pop culture event? How do we know? News stands in New York are taking pre-orders which means you buy the issue in advance. One establishment we checked has already sold out of their allotted shipment as customers are buying 5 copies at a time . Let us now picture Franca Sozzani basking in the audacious majorness of it all . Competition amongst editors is not a new thing but FS is looking like a woman brilliantly on top of the cultural pulse right this minute....Going back to TI's ADD tendencies, what of VI August? The Hiss Squad has reported the likes of Linda, Guinevere and Karen Elson reporting for diva duty. And the Hiss Squad hit a high note by hinting September's key edit is said to be very, very voyeuristic, kinky and naughty! Looks like someone is working out their market leader muscles!

After waiting tirelessly for

After waiting tirelessly for the arrival of the much hyped and anticipated "Black Issue", I must admit I am slightly disappointed. Though I am in awe of the beautiful editorial spreads that were photographed by Meisel, I was expecting the magazine, in its entirety, to be represented by black models. It took me nearly 100 pages after the cover before seeing a black face, because as usual, all the advertising featured white models. The only advertising that featured a black model were the PINKO ads of Naomi, and some of those pictures were not even current.

I applaud the efforts that were made to bring attention to the obvious, but well hidden racism that exists within the fashion industry, but as a young black woman (age 19), I would have hoped to see more models in the blue chip ad campaigns.

In addition, included in the magazine package was a "Free Gift" preview of the Fall shows, which displayed 99% of the uninspiring white faces we have grown used to seeing on the catwalk. It discourages me to no end to know that there are so many beautiful and qualified ethnic models (ajuma, honorine, hollis, oluchi, kinee, etc) that go unrecognized. Its quite interesting to me because people act like Sessilee is new. She's been around for years, but no one wanted to give her a chance. Chanel, Jourdan, liya and Naomi are not the only black models available; unfortunately they are the only ones getting work. But believe me, we are here. Ready, available and qualified for work. It is more than just needing more black models. There needs to be more ethnicly diverse agents, designers, photographers, stylists, editors, etc. It is one thing to say that black models don't sell because if that were true, numerous newsstands would not be sold out of this issue already.

Either way, it is a step in the right direction, which is more than I can say for other magazines. The featured models (including Tocarra) look exceptional and beyond inspiring.

I hope for change I can believe in. Yes we can.

The immeasurable Impact of July VI

It's really exciting to see the attention that the July VI issue has gotten. And it's emotionally gratifying to see the success continue to grow. I'm not black but I've always been a cheerleader for those that lack appropriate representation, whether its in fashion, hollywood, or politics, and whether they are black, brown, or gay. And TI, I thank you for your enthusiasm and coverage of this pivotal moment in fashion history. I hope Miss Wintour is taking serious note of Miss Sozzani's audacity and success. More importantly, I hope America (and the world for that matter) is taking note and its perceptions of beauty are changing.

"TI's ADD tendencies". This is what makes your blog unique. I'm really excited to see Karen back in VI. Linda, too, though I have to say it's high time Stephen did something fun and edgy again with La Linda. Goodness knows, she's taken an unfair beating at tFS and she doesn't deserve that, whether she's playing the role of an eccentric older woman or not.

And that photo of Toccara Jones? Extraordinary. Score one for Tyra Banks and ANTM.


"she's taken an unfair beating at tFS and she doesn't deserve that" - I agree. Linda is an amazing model. Anyway, Toccara looks good and I liked her editorial very much! I guess ANTM models are not that bad... As for the VI editorials, any idea on who are the models for the september editorial?

I disagree

Linda was an amazing model. But that was before her Botox-frozen-face days. She only has one expression now, and it's a pretty scary one. I find it most ironic that people who critique her bizarre appearance are instantly accused of ageism...

Still Amazing

Linda's problem is that she's too damn brutally honest and her mouth gets her in trouble. Much like the "not getting out of bed for less than 10k" joke that she made on behalf of herself and Christy, of which she bore the brunt of and apologized for time and again. And like her 10k joke, her botox confession in August 2006 Vogue USA is probably going to haunt her for some time. She had a wonderful editorial in that issue but people aren't going to remember that - they're going to remember the confession. And like anything bold, new and dramatic, the media has a tendency to run with it, shameless with sensationalist exaggeration. Anything for attention and a buck, right?

The truth is Linda does NOT botox to the point where she can't move her face. Linda's recent candids and video shots show a completely different Linda. And speaking as someone who has seen her in person recently, she looks amazing at 43. And she really doesn't look that much different that she did in 1998, save perhaps her lips are thinner and she's a bit thicker in the waist (a baby and a miscarriage at six months can do that to a woman's body). No, she doesn't have the average person's nose and the angles in her face are quite bizarre, but the beauty of Miss Evangelista is that she knows how to work her flaws. Linda will be the first to tell you that she is not the most beautiful person in the world. Yet somehow, this flawed model has sold millions, if not billions of dollars worth of product on behalf of her employers.

And anyone "in the know" with digital photography understands that Photoshop is insane these days. Hell, if you look at Caroline Trentini in the new eyewear ad for D&G, she looks just about as plastic as a Barbie doll. And it's not Caroline's fault, it's the fault of Photoshop and the people who are responsible for her paycheck. But the public seems to dig photoshopped pictures. For some reason, people want to see perfection, even if it's artificial. And for me, Caroline's photo is still a beautiful, but I suppose I've become accustomed to seeing Photoshop in all its so-called creative forms.

Meisel and Prada want a certain look out of Linda and that's what she's giving them. The ads, the editorials, it's all part of a cohesive look. A totally focussed campaign effort, if you will. For me, it's the clothes that are bizarre. Some people are going to get it, others wont. Personally, I think this a very different but nonetheless beautiful phase in Linda's career.

First of all Toccara Jones

First of all Toccara Jones looks great in this spot....

In ref to La Linda....all models are airbrushed to death these days....La Linda is truly just as lovely as ever...So what if she uses Botox?? If we all could give "face" like her we would try and keep however possible.


Go get em, Toccara girl.. Plus size honey PLUS SIZEEEEEE..

Taste is a dictatorship.

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