Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smiling with Your Eyes

So many important things have happened since I last blogged. We have a new government in Greece and changes are already sweeping through the cobwebby system of Greek politics. I could talk all about Georgie dearest and PASOK, but that's what newspapers are for.

No, something far more pressing is happening in Greece for those who worship at the Temple of Tyra. The America's Next Top Model (ANTM) format has arrived in Greece. Now, as an avid fan of ANTM, I was very interested in seeing how the Greek version would turn out. I had high hopes. This is after all a format that is supposed to search for the next top fashion model in whatever country. Let's just ignore for a mo that ANTM has yet to produce a top model in 13 seasons, but who cares. We all just want to see what Tyra is doing with her hair.

So along comes the Greek version, episode 1 series 1 of which aired last night. Search for Greece's next top fashion model? Bitch, please! The Greek version is obviously just another format for Playboy model wannabes. All summer long the same types of girls made in the same type of factory compete in the same type of competition to spread their legs in the same types of magazines.

One would have hoped Greece's Next Top Model (GNTM) would be safe from such debauchery. But no. Roll camera and out rolled the same brand of factory fresh girls who swore their dream was to be a fashion model.

Say what you like about the nutty Miss Banks, she does actually care about fashion and teaching the girls a few things about what fashion magazines are looking for. GNTM is hosted by Vikky Kayia who does not come out with any Tyraisms like:

"I can see how much you want this but it's not here in front of me"

"You're doing ugly, you need to do ugly-pretty like this (`o`) not this ('@')"

And my favourite "Have you ever practised smiling with your eyes? Watch me... not smiling with my eyes (o_o)... smiling with my eyes (O_O) do you see the difference?"

Oh, Tyra! I confess to far too much time practising eye smiles. I did them in most of my wedding pictures.

The skank factor leapt off the scale when the girls arrived and model Boot Camp and were asked to pose by the judge panel, including Nigel Barker wannabe Harry Christopoulo, who handed one girl a cigar and told her to put it in her mouth.

Where Tyra would be shouting "Less Sports Illustrated and more Vogue" the girls on GNTM were actively encouraged to spread legs, stick out asses and tongues and put fingers, cigars, grapes and etc in their mouths. Bonus points if the object in the mouth was part of Harry Christopoulos's anatomy. Oh Nigel, how I miss you. At least all your perving was done strictly with eyes.

Alongside Vicky and Harry we had Ms J wannabe Christophoros Kotentos. I actually liked him. He was being a complete bitch to many of the wannabes and having been a fashion model himself for the likes of Versace and Vivienne Westwood he is pretty much the only one who knows what he's talking about on this show when he ripped into the girls for their appearances.

There was no Jay Manuel equivalent, and I shed many a tear over this sad oversight. There was a third judge called Jenny Balatsinoy but she was so nondescript I had forgotten about her until I looked up the GNTM site just now (http://www.antenna.gr/node/1148)

The 200 girls dry humped various objects in Grand Resort Lagonissi for a while and then it was judging time! Proof that 13 seasons of ANTM is perhaps one season too many, I found myself thinking various things like:

"You've lost your chin there"

"You need to find the light"

"I don't see you using your whole body here"

"You're not taking it to the next level"

"This is commercial, give me high fashion"

17 girls were picked and reminded that they would now begin to learn the demanding and difficult life of a fashion model. I love it when people say that. I wish they'd be more honest about the demanding and difficult parts of modelling - photographers you have to sleep with to get jobs, weight 40kgs and being told to lose more weight, going out of season in just one year as the competition becomes younger and younger. Be honest, otherwise modelling is the most superfun and easy career I can think of - new clothes, beautiful people, tons of travelling, champagne and ass kissers on tap.

And so rolled to a bleach blonde stilleto-ed halt the first episode of GNTM. And whatever, guys. This is Greece. Whoever wins will do a few shoots for Playboy and then, sleeping with the right sequence of people, she actually will end up being Greece's top fashion model. In a way at least the Greek version is more in your face about what they want. It's a very simple equation of pretty girls+ spread legs+ the right bedmates+ fairy dust = media career.

I do hope things get more high fashion from here onwards. It would be really nice to see the creations of Greek designers showcased on this show.


Things you are likely to hear

Open your mouth and stick your tongue out

You've got a great ass. I know because I'm squeezing it.

Put this in your mouth. Oh no, this is just a practise run. I'll get my camera later

You won't Hear:

Ms J Alexander, Runway Diva Coach Extraordinaire!

Give me less commercial, more high fashion

More fashion, less sex

My Momma told me ...

Image: http://www.businesspundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/tyra-banks-gl10.jpg


Sesi said...

Ok this was fun to view and observe.
The girls all looked alike. Which was fun. They had the same body types, same hair, mostly same faces.
I heard the judges tell a girl that she had to shed a few kilos. I was looking really intense to find out where she needed to shed the kilos from, and I couldnt understand. She was skinny in my eyes.
And then one of the judges attacked another girl because her eyebrows where too thin. She looked old, they said. I had to laugh with that.
Also, how can someone smile with their eyes?
And, what is the Vogue pose and what is a commercial pose? I mean, is there a difference.
Please, oh wise Bolly, share a little of your wisdom because this world is news to me.

bollybutton said...

Oh child, let Tyra educate you http://tyrashow.warnerbros.com/2009/04/smile_with_your_eyes_1.php smiling with your eyes is when you project your inner smile through your eyes, knowwhaddamean?? I saw a total lack of eye smiling on GNTM.

Also, Tyra would never tell a girl to drop a few kilos unless she was borderline plus size/fashion model and losing or gaining a kilo or two would place her comfortably in one or the other category.

What I didn't like about GNTM was the sense of 0 personality or creative looks. All look and act the same. Where are the whack jobs? Where are the kooky looks? The ugly pretty? Gracious me!

Next, commercial pose vs high fashion. Commercial - chest out, back arched. High Fashion - chest in, back out, elbows pointing in. Men's magazine - everything done on GNTM.

For homework, I recommend ANTM series 1 through 13 available on youtube.

Sara said...

I have to say, that although I didn't catch the entire episode last night, I too was a little jaded by the opening episode of GNTM!

You're absolutely right, it was a little x rated, a little vulgar and anything but fashionable (did you catch the girls clothes at the end of the show), but what did you really expect? Is there really fashion in Greece? Are there trend setters? All the girls were cookie cutter blondes because that is what all Greek girls aspire to be, no one wants to be an individual in this country, it is frowned upon.

I have to say that I also am hoping to see some Greek designer's work and perhaps some fashion style that might inspire me, but if I was placing a bet, one word would come to mind: bitchy!!!! And that is exactly what I expect this series to be!

I'm sorry Bolly, both my comments on your blog have been negative, I promise to comment on something really positive next time!!!

Keep up the good work!

AL said...

ohh dear that just made me want to cry! :(

Matt said...

I think Tara's best line ever, which had me and a friend in stitches and we still use to this day...

"You just have to model your way through it."

Gold, huh? So that's how my friend and I now approach life. If she calls me and feeling a bit down, I just tell her to model her way through it. If I get drunk and trip over the gutter and smash my face into the footpath, I just have to model my way through it.


bollybutton said...

Yep, life is just one big catwalk and somedays you'll have to wear a binbag instead of haute couture. You just gotta model your way through it

bollybutton said...

Adding to the Greek fashion debate, if I were a Greek designer I would not let GNTM anywhere near my creations. Judging by episode one, anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the world of high fashion would run a mile the other way rather than be featured on the show. "Here, wear my high fashion gown and do a fuck me face"

I don't think so. And it's a pity, because behind the scenes of the Skank School of Style in Greece, there is truly a bottomless well of amazing design talent. They just never get featured anywhere.

Matt said...

Too right. Because Greece is "geographically disadvantaged" they tend to be more influenced by Eastern European trash rather than Western "chic", but then again they've chosen the path of skandom, now they have to live with that. What a shame Kagia is hosting it too, she's far too sweet and innocent to be the next Tara. We won't be getting anything FIERCE out of her!

Matt said...

Yessssssss! It's on YouTube! See you in an hour!

bollybutton said...

it is!!! here kids, watch this and tell me I'm wrong http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dravtlz8q9g

Hobags on a stick.

smaro said...

that's a pity. I live for Tyra's -isms. They are what make the show apart from Nigel Barker and Ms J. Life is definitely a catwalk!

It is strange that GNTM seems to be so much the anti-thesis of what Tyra's original show is.

In the Greek fashion debate, I have to say that there is Greek fashion. It is amazing, colourful and unique. Its not as loud as Spanish fashion but then again it is not as classic as Italian fashion can be, but there is huge design talent in Greece. Just don't let the GNTM wannabees near any of it!!!

Divina said...

Sorry but I have to protest about what's being said regarding fashion in Greece.

Celia Kritharioti & Sophia Kokosalaki are both amazing (and WOMEN, ladies, let's not forget how male-dominated high fashion is currently) and have attained global recognition. Kokosalaki was even chosen to revive the Vionnet house, an honor she stupidly declined in order to focus on her own house. (I say stupid because if Lagerfeld can work on Chanel, Fendi AND his own line, surely Kokosalaki could accept such an amazing offer? But I digress)

More amazing greek designers:

Deux Hommes
Marios Schwab
Lakis Gavalas (who designed bags for Hermes last year no less!)

There are many more, but what I am utterly chagrinned is that I am forgetting one of the most brilliant minds.. He used to design clothes (amazing, internationally acclaimed) and then turned to theater costume and set design. If I am not mistaken he had something to do with the Olympics opening or closing ceremony or both. Maybe someone can help me remember?

Anyway, I am rambling, but please don't say that Greece doesn't have fashion. It's an insult to these amazingly talented individuals who have managed to make it, despite the extra obstacles posed.