When one is asked to think of a country from which the world's most beautiful models hail, Brazil is never far from the top. Gisele, Adriana, Alessandra, Isabeli... some of the industry's most well-known, highest-paid models - their names themselves ooze sex appeal - argument enough that Brazilian woman are the most beautiful. Or so it would seem. Overt sexuality is only one interpretation of beauty, and this is one interpretation that the Brazilians can definitely lay claim to. Lately, it feels like fashion is favouring a different kind of beauty. The best way to describe it would quite simply be understated. Less exaggerated. Pared-back. Minimal. Much like the clothes we are seeing on the runways. Céline. Chloé. Calvin Klein.
A newcomer fast becoming a favourite of mine is Caroline Brasch Nielsen, hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark. Making her first international appearance in Paris for Fall/Winter 2010, she debuted for Dries Van Noten and opened for Valentino and Sharon Whauchob. In the same season she also walked for the likes of Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Céline. She must have impressed Nicholas Ghesquière at least, because she nabbed a spot in Balenciaga's FW 2010 campaign- alongside Stella Tennant, Karen Elson and fellow country (wo)man Freja Beha Erichsen. She walked for no less than 60 shows in the most recent Spring/Summer 2011 season, opening 6 (including Narciso Rodriguez, Alberta Ferretti and Nina Ricci) and closing 4, one of which was Valentino. It comes as no surprise then that she was ranked third in FTV's latest first face countdown (behind Freja and Miss Kloss). Not bad for a 17 year old who has only been in the modelling game for 6 months.
I must say there is something captivating about these Danish girls - Freja has a similarly compelling nature. Reserved, almost to the point of shyness; but to the extent that it becomes enchanting, rather than awkward. Those insane cheekbones and solemn stare are softened with dimples, making sulky look serene. Ethereal, almost. After seeing her in Céline Resort I struggle to think of another girl who would have modeled that collection as perfect as she. She captured Phoebe Philo's minimalism to a (sharply cut) tee, and I wouldn't be suprised if some of her quiet freshness served as inspiration for Philo's (and many others, judging by the sheer number of shows she walked) latest spring collections. Fingers crossed for a campaign. To me she embodies THE Céline girl, and although 'obsession' doesn't quite seem the right word for Philo, here's hoping for something similar to Largerfeld's with Freja. Models as muses, as they say. Must just be those great Danes. Siri Tollerød, Frida Gustavsson, Caroline and Freja, forget Brazil; those Nordic waters are where it's at.
Pictures via tFS and Style.com