CHOOSING THE COVER SHOT - Usually when models go in for an editorial shoot we take a couple hundred pictures, wait patiently for a few months for the magazine to come out and then finally find out which shots made it to print and which gracias chosen for the cover. Only once in my career have I ever been able to hand-pick the cover image for a magazine all by myself and this is it.

CHOOSING THE COVER SHOT - Usually when models go in for an editorial shoot we take a couple hundred pictures, wait patiently for a few months for the magazine to come out and then finally find out which shots made it to print and which gracias chosen for the cover. Only once in my career have I ever been able to hand-pick the cover image for a magazine all by myself and this is it.

Model Coco Rocha to Channel Elizabeth Taylor at Met GalaBy Lorena Blas, USA TODAY
It’s the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars, so it’s no wonder models and stars want to go all out for the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala. Model Coco Rocha will merge the fashion and entertainment worlds at Monday’s event by wearing a vintage Givenchy outfit previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor. Rocha bought the yellow and fuschia jumpsuit and jacket at auction in December.
"I’ve always been a huge admirer of Elizabeth Taylor," says Rocha, 23. ,"For me, it was her wardrobe that was really impressive. Here was a celebrity who, in the time before stylists and professionals picking your wardrobe, always looked amazing."
Gala guests can try to spot a souvenir on the outfit. “If you look carefully, you can see the suit has this very faint red wine stain on it. After I had it cleaned I took it to show the editors at Vogue and we could still see the stain. We all agreed that since it was Liz Taylor’s wine stain, it’s OK to wear as is,” Rocha says.

Model Coco Rocha to Channel Elizabeth Taylor at Met Gala
By Lorena Blas, USA TODAY

It’s the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars, so it’s no wonder models and stars want to go all out for the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala. Model Coco Rocha will merge the fashion and entertainment worlds at Monday’s event by wearing a vintage Givenchy outfit previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor. Rocha bought the yellow and fuschia jumpsuit and jacket at auction in December.

"I’ve always been a huge admirer of Elizabeth Taylor," says Rocha, 23. ,"For me, it was her wardrobe that was really impressive. Here was a celebrity who, in the time before stylists and professionals picking your wardrobe, always looked amazing."

Gala guests can try to spot a souvenir on the outfit. “If you look carefully, you can see the suit has this very faint red wine stain on it. After I had it cleaned I took it to show the editors at Vogue and we could still see the stain. We all agreed that since it was Liz Taylor’s wine stain, it’s OK to wear as is,” Rocha says.

Breaking News from The New York Times!

Vogue Adopts a 16-and-Over Modeling Rule

By ERIC WILSON

Beginning with their June issues, the editors of the 19 international editions of Vogue magazine have made a pact to stop using models under age 16 or those who, from the viewpoint of the editors, appear to have an eating disorder.

In a somewhat unusual announcement, unusual in that the magazines are wading into a controversial issue, the Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said on Thursday, “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”

For decades, fashion magazines have been criticized for upholding an unrealistic standard of beauty, and even more so with the widespread use of digital retouching that often results in images of models and celebrities that have no basis in reality. While Vogue editors like Anna Wintour, of the American edition, and Franca Sozzani, of Italy, have participated in recent efforts by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to promote healthier behavior in the modeling industry, the magazines have not typically issued their own standards.

The fashion council released its own guidelines to designers and modeling agencies last season, asking them not to use models younger than 16 on their runways, and most have complied. The designer Marc Jacobs, however, disagreed with the council on that point and did use some models under that age, represented by Ford Models, in his show.

The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pact.

“1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.

“2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.

“3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.

“4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.

“5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.

“6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.”

NYFW via my iPhone - Day 5

  1. Interviewing the lovely Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew.
  2. Some of the looks from the J.Crew presentation.
  3. Looky who I found! It’s Julia Samersova (who casted the J.Crew show) and Michael Flutie of E!’s ‘Scouted.’
  4. At Badgley Mischka, where they have so nicely left tiny cupcakes for the front row. Perfect - I missed breakfast!
  5. My friend Siri Tollerod looking so glam on the Badgley Mischka runway today.
  6. If you can name all these celebs, you’re doing better than I am.
  7. At Vogue.
  8. Attending the W Magazine ever-changing face of fashion event.
  9. Having a Zoolander moment at this W Magazine party. Where is Mugatu?

THE MODEL ALLIANCE

Tonight it was my privilege to host the first ever meeting of the newly-formed Model Alliance - a nonprofit organization committed to establishing a voice for models within the American fashion industry. Up until now, models have sadly lacked a formal voice within this industry. Though modeling may seem to be a cushy and easy job on the outside, for many young models the law (including workplace standards) fails to apply. Girls in their early teens are often pressured to work long hours for little to no pay. On occasion, these models, thousands of miles from home, are even pushed by adults to compromise their morals and beliefs.

The Model Alliance believes that models deserve the same fair treatment as in any other workforce. Their mission is to support the enforcement of existing child labor laws, give models redress for issues of sexual harassment and encourage a safe and healthy work environment. These are not extreme demands, they are basic human rights.

Both Vogue and the CFDA have worked hard over the years to improve the working conditions of models, despite the fact that it’s not their primary mandate. There has been quantifiable change for the better and there is no doubt in my mind that the Model Alliance will prove to be the extra push needed to expedite the changes we all hope to see.

Tonight was an amazing stepping stone in the right direction. As Jenna Sauers said, "If we’ve had a single goal, it has been to create the organization that we wished had existed when we were young models." As I looked out into the audience, I was so proud to see models of my generation like Doutzen Kroes and Crystal Renn in attendance, and I’m sure they would agree with Jenna that we have all needed the Model Alliance for a long time.

 Two years ago this month I very publicly discussed my concerns regarding the industry in an open letter and concluded by saying: There are natural human standards in how we treat one another and how we treat children. There are those who continue to trample on these standards, but there are also champions of a better way.”  Today we have another powerful champion in the form of The Model Alliance and I thank the amazing Sara Ziff for allowing me to join the board of advisors. It’s Sara’s unique vision and passion that has resulted in this idea becoming a reality. For far too long modeling has been like the Wild West - an unregulated and dangerous place for many. I’m so proud of the Model Alliance and all the models who showed up tonight. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for yourself.

For more information - www.modelalliance.org

I was just going through my hard drive and I came across this - probably the single greatest picture I’ve ever been a part of. Talk about a dream team.

I was just going through my hard drive and I came across this - probably the single greatest picture I’ve ever been a part of. Talk about a dream team.

AMERICAN VOGUE - September 2011
Photos by Steven Meisel.

In this month’s American Vogue I was privileged enough to make a cameo in all 5 images in the "Playing To Type" editorial shot by my favorite photographer, Steven Meisel.

But can you spot me? Consider this like a high fashion game of “Where’s Waldo?”

VOGUE JAPAN? - This cover was sent to me last week  and apparently it has been making the rounds in the blogosphere. Nice cover, right? Yeah, even I was confused. I have been on the cover of Vogue Japan a few times, but not with this image -  this picture is actually from a 2008 American Vogue editorial I did for the MET Ball. I must admit, it’s a very nice fake though! If you’d like to see my real Vogue Japan covers go HERE.

VOGUE JAPAN? - This cover was sent to me last week and apparently it has been making the rounds in the blogosphere. Nice cover, right? Yeah, even I was confused. I have been on the cover of Vogue Japan a few times, but not with this image -  this picture is actually from a 2008 American Vogue editorial I did for the MET Ball. I must admit, it’s a very nice fake though! If you’d like to see my real Vogue Japan covers go HERE.

It’s funny how sometimes an old editorial seems to randomly and simultaneously resurface all over the web. Lately I’ve been seeing these pictures from a 2007 Vogue Paris issue all over the place. Only one picture actually made it to print at the time, the rest are outtakes from the shoot with Hedi Slimane (which took all of 15 minutes). Funny how a quick picture can start resurfacing 4 years later.

Here’s the rest of the beautiful editorial "Alexander The Great" in this month’s Vogue.Photographer: Steven Meisel Fashion Editor: Grace CoddingtonModels: Karen Elson, Raquel Zimmermann, Karlie Kloss, Caroline Trentini, Stella Tennant, and Coco Rocha.

Here’s the rest of the beautiful editorial "Alexander The Great" in this month’s Vogue.

Photographer: Steven Meisel
Fashion Editor: Grace Coddington
Models: Karen Elson, Raquel Zimmermann, Karlie Kloss, Caroline Trentini, Stella Tennant, and Coco Rocha.