Lara Stone is a successful model and we basically love seeing her everywhere. But what we don't love is seeing all the girls who look like Lara, kinda-sorta, that the modeling industry is now promoting to ubiquity. This must stop.
It's not as if anyone can help the face they were born with — barring Lara-izing plastic surgery, which we certainly hope modeling agents aren't pushing, or de-Lara-izing plastic surgery, which we hope nobody is considering — and all of these youngsters are beautiful. (And Lara Stone's oft-remarked resemblance to another earlier beauty icon — Brigitte Bardot — probably helped her career.) I just happen to think they'd be more beautiful if they were allowed to look like themselves, rather than shoehorned into an ideal Stone popularized. Whether or not a model looks like someone else in a picture will always be more a function of the decisions of the photographer, the stylist, and the hair and makeup artists than of her own bone structure; almost anyone could be turned into a Lara double, from certain angles, for a day. And that is precisely what many top magazines and brands seem bent on doing!
Lara Stone is a face of Calvin Klein and a muse of Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, and Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld. She's graced the cover of American Vogue, shot with Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, and every other top photographer in between, been the subject of revealing profiles and speculation about her weight, and her wedding to comedian David Walliams made international headlines. So it makes sense, in a way, that agents would be looking through their rosters with newly acquired Stone-vision, and telling their scouts to bring in more girls who have a bit of what Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn once called Stone's "burst into tears or belt you in the chops" kind of look. Specifically: blonde hair, pale eyebrows, big lips, big boobs, and, if possible, a gap-toothed smile. Fashion reduced Stone's beauty down to a formula, and now the Lara-likes are upon us.
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Georgia May Jagger is the daughter of a supermodel and a superannuated rock star, and to be fair, she probably would have become famous anyway. Given she graduated from high school this past spring, she's entering the requisite modeling phase of the model/musician offspring life cycle right on schedule. After all, she's following in the footsteps of her elder sister Lizzie, and half-sister Jade. But in virtually every single British Vogue editorial and Rimmel cosmetics ad that she does, Jagger is posed and styled in such a way as to play up her similarities to Lara. Bo-ring.
When I first saw this Vogue Paris cover of Daphne Groeneveld, who is by the way 14 years old, I thought it was Lara Stone. 'Nuff said. Carine! Stop trying to make every new model look like your BFF.
Ashley Smith, pictured here in a new Numéro editorial, came onto the scene as a gap-toothed, big-breasted medium blonde with dark brows. Now, with little more than some eyebrow bleach and a bottle of Nice 'n' Easy in the shade of "Nordic," her agents have made Smith into Lara v. 2.0.
Hailey Clauson is 15 years old and has been modeling since she was 12. She doesn't even really look that much like Lara Stone — so why is she constantly getting turned into a Lara-like, here by Vogue Italia?
Australian designer Fernando Frisoni obviously wanted to book Lara Stone for this collection shoot. But he couldn't afford her, so he got Alys Hale instead and had the team make her look as much like Stone as possible. Want some bonus irony? Years ago, before a mid-career agency switch and a propitious meeting with Riccardo Tisci transformed her fortunes, Lara Stone actually worked in Sydney — and practically nobody booked her. And so it goes.
This season, Tyra Banks made one of her American's Next Top Model contestants widen the gap between her teeth. Fashion, won't you stop the madness?