What is with this new phenomenon of networks splitting seasons up with a 'Winter Finale'. It feels like the season only just begun and already we about to embark on shows ending their Autumn run until sometime in the New Year... I appreciate networks not wanting to throw too many repeats into the mix, but taking over a two month break mid-way through the season is only further eroding the ratings for network shows. This break, only slightly shorter than the summer, gives viewers yet another chance to live without the shows they like, and find other cable programming to enjoy.
Television shows always took a Christmas week break, but most usually ran new episodes til then. These long winter breaks also take away from Christmas and holiday themed episodes so many of us remember loving when growing up. I used to love when ER had their yearly Christmas episode, usually with half the staff getting snowed in with a blizzard. I don't endorse massive television viewing on holidays, but not everyone wants to spend every hour of the day conversing with cousin Ben. Why not take a page from the UK where some shows, like Downton Abbey, have huge Christmas night airings, these episodes often end up being the highest rated episodes for the season.
'Yearning, burning.... For you to justify my love.'
One of the questions I usually ask models is how they got their start in the beginning. Was it a life long dream or something they fell into. The stories are varied and for Belgium model Nizar M, completely unplanned. Nizar is a student and says although he was always a bit curious about fashion and photography, never really ventured into it, unless of course you count watching a bit too much of fashion TV.
'I was picked (by chance as I was shopping in Brussels) for a local model competition. This allowed me to actually be in the middle of this world I've always seen from a distance. I got to do training seminars, runway shows and photo shoots with people who have a lot of experience in this domain. This really opened my appetite and made me want more as I felt really at ease in front of the camera and enjoyed working with the photographers.'
When going through Nizar's portfolio, many of my favorite images were from Rotterdam photographer Wim de Roo. I have long been a fan of the artists work, especially his vintage black & white theme. These images represent two of the themes Nizar shot with Wim. The images above were inspired by Madonna's Justify My Love video. Both Nizar and Wim are big Madonna fans, and Justify My Love one the singers most controversial videos, it was even banned from MTV due to it's sexual themes and imagery.
The second set of images uses Wim's love of vintage uniforms, and those in, and out of them. Wim's background as a stylist and designer is evident within the images, and the story. Nizar's sailor appears on leave, I just haven't figured out whether he is getting ready to hit the town, or is just getting back from an evening out.
'This was my 1st shoot with Wim. We wanted to recreate the sailor theme in a vintage black and white look. Wim has a long experience in creating sets and shooting the naked male body in his vintage settings. As for me, I felt at ease in front of Wim's camera especially that I've always been a fan of the whole sailor/Jean-Paul Gaultier theme.'
I used to get as excited as Lorelai each winter with the smell, and sight of the season's first snow. After last years brutal winter however, I was less than enthusiastic with yesterday's arrival of snow. It still looked beautiful when I looked out the window, but while I was searching for the car scraper, my memories of last winters blizzards, power outages and shovelling marathons dampened my usual tradition of welcoming the winter.
I am hoping as Christmas gets closer, my love of the white stuff might return. Until then however, I can still find joy in winter themed images, especially if they're from New York chronicler Richard Rothstein. I first saw images from this set on Richard's site a few years ago and am happy to feature more from the series.
I am not sure if it is the snow or the colors, but there is almost a combination of modern and retro within the images. Even though the models might be wearing fashion and underwear from the 2000's, the tree's and surrounding of Central Park look as if they have stood still, almost frozen in time for decades. Following Richard and his models into the park on a snow day reminds me of the joy and excitement that first snows usually bring children... and a few adults.
That feeling before snow became associated with work, or horrible travel conditions. A time when snow was simply something to be enjoyed, to be played in, walked through, rolled in and occasionally even tasted as you raised your head to the sky licking the flakes as they flow down and none tasted better than that first snow of the season.