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REFERENCE LIBRARY: THAT RACHEL WILLIAMS PRESENCE

Rachel Williams photographed by Steven Meisel in the late 80's. An effortless ideal of diversityRachel Williams photographed by Steven Meisel in the late 80's. An effortless ideal of diversity

At a party this weekend the subject of Rachel Williams came up. My Hiss Squader updated me as to the fact that La Williams was still stomping about New York, as vibrant and powerful in person as ever. What was interesting about the invocation of Rachel was how unlikely a career her 90's travelogue was. Williams was one of those inherently cool New York City girls. Her dad, Tod Williams and stepmother Billie Tsien were architects in the Manhattan firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the forces behind the American Folk Art Museum . Miss Williams in fact studied architecture at Colombia University. The striking thing about Rachel Williams was her size- over six feet tall and powerfully built Rachel boasted the muscular kind of form you would expect from a pro athlete and yet fashion at the time found space for her. The clothes fit, the editorials flowed and even though she qualifies now as a kind of cult figure (TI loves those) Rachel brought a kind of uncompromising complexity to her pictures in Vogue. Today an editor can easily dismiss a girl fora booking on the grounds that the "samples won't fit" . But I think fashion in this decade has suffered very badly from a fleet of girls who fit the clothes and did nothing else as opposed to the idea of wrapping a personality and presence around the clothes.
The best fact about William's career was its commercial base with clients ranging from Absolut Vodka to Revlon finding her ideal. This Meisel snap of Williams triggered a premonition in my mind. News have been trickling in that a lot of the girls considered "super-commercial" and "money" are being rang up by those so called edgy magazines to balance out the pages (and of course the balance sheets) . And I would drop a bet that a lot of those haute-editorial high end girls are going to broadening their client base this Spring. How genius, for instance, would it be for Absolut to bring back their model driven ad series. Sans nostalgia of course.

Ahhh...Rachel...I loved her!

Ahhh...Rachel...I loved her! Would be great to see her again...

The First Model....

....that I noticed was Williams. It set me on a lifelong trip through model fantasia ever since. Thank you for bringing her up TI.

Taste is a dictatorship.

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