This morning, while shooting with the fantastic David Gubert for an upcoming project, we got talking about the correlation between a model’s understanding of all of the elements of a photoshoot, and the longevity of her career. It’s not as silly as it sounds, and is certainly not nearly as easy as it looks. The makings of a supermodel is wholly in her understanding of the clothes she’s styled in, the light she’s cast in, the frame she’s shot in. David reminisced on a time on set in New York, when Linda Evangelista spent a good ten minutes in front of a mirror, observing how the garment fell on her body, testing different contortions and poses that would flatter the pieces best in the right light. Such engaged models are hard to come by now, for some reason or another. Modelling is not about just being sexy or pretty. Likening the job to silent acting is not entirely untrue. It’s about telling the story that your stylist and make-up artist have set up, and the photographer is waiting to capture.
In that sense, I wouldn’t hesitate in saying that, had Lara Bingle been born a few decades earlier, she would undoubtedly have been a late 80s or 90s supermodel. In the present day, where such a title is no longer utilised for fear of offending the Holy Trinity, you’d agree that Lara has still managed to carve out a similar pedestal for a long career as a model. In our short window shooting on Monday, she was comfortable in her (flawlessly bronzed) skin, she knew how her face and body looked in different light, she knew how small changes in posture and angles to the camera could change the way in which the clothes flattered her, and she never stopped moving (an editorial photographer’s dream).
Striking features, piercing baby blues and sea-tousled hair envy aside, so much of Lara’s staying power is in her Australian quintessence. Always beaming, always thoughtful, a sunny outlook on her life and work, and a good head on her shoulders. Unlike most other celebrity entrepreneurial ventures saturating the market, hearing about LB’s passion project, THE BASE, did not make me cringe in the slightest. This is not a quick buck, a cash cow mission, riding on the back of a fleeting moment of press recognition and consumer obsession, as so many fame-based fragrances and clothing lines are.
Lara, unlike so many A-to-Z-listers who dive into commercial ventures blind and far too soon, has nothing to prove. She has already cemented her credibility in personal style and taste, a keen eye for curating and creating beautiful imagery, and a lasting career to speak for itself. THE BASE was not a fleeting decision. It was years in the thought process and the making. As we shot, she explained her involvement in every step of the product development, the branding, the creative direction of several sets of imagery, and how she conveyed this to the press and prospective customers. She wanted the
focus to be on the quality product she believed it to be, on its accessibility to anybody who might feel just as strongly as the sun and the sea in a bottle, and above all, the lifestyle and her own relaxed personality associated with its use.
Such are the hallmarks of an entrepreneurial success, though all too easy to forget. The luxurious and elevated results and marketing strategy Lara has adopted rival even the most lucrative superpowers in the beauty industry, and will surely make for as extensive a success as LB has already enjoyed.
As we finished up our shoot, LB brightly divulged her future plans for the brand beyond bronzing with sweeping gestures and a mind racing at a million miles an hour.
She would never jump to act on something unless she was sure it would be perfect, and she would truly love working on it.
Her recent and frequent traveling had allowed her the time to assess ideas she’d previously entertained.
She was well and truly past the point of being a mere model (that transition had happened years ago), but she wasn’t in a hurry to overstep into mogul territory. Things happen the way they do for a reason, and they would only be as good as you let them be.
She was flying out in a few days, she said. It had been non-stop, and it would continue to be. But that’s how she liked it.
Hair & Make-up Victoria Baron
Look 3: Ford + Harris Cross Earring