Friday, December 12, 2008

A Cultural Expedition To A Nearby Mall To Snap Photos Of Models In Swimwear

2009 SA Blog Awards Runner Up

This article was a runner up in the category Best Post On A South African Blog at the 2009 South African Blog Awards.

Thanks for voting!

Warning: this post is picture intensive.

2008 COSMO Summer Swimwear Fashion Show, Wembley Square, Cape Town by Mandy J Watson, on Flickr
[ Flickr links: Original photo | Orton Effect ]

Above: Mandy J Watson Presents: Photos Of Models In Swimwear.

Recently the 2008 COSMO Summer swimwear fashion show was held at Wembley Square in Cape Town. A few years ago I had intended to write a post about the COSMO swimwear fashion show but I spent so much time photographing the celebrities that my battery died before the fashion show had even started. To rescue the situation I was forced to write about the celebrities instead. (I learnt much from that experience. Now, for example, I always have three batteries on me and am more likely to run out of storage space long before I run out of power. Also, Mark Bayley thinks I'm stalking him because everywhere he goes, there I am, with a camera pointed at him. I haven't quite learnt how to disguise myself in shrubbery.)

For some reason that escapes me (so it was probably distracted laziness) I didn't write about the swimwear fashion show last year, and the post I was going to upload for this year's COSMO Jeans fashion show is still sitting in almost-but-not-quite-finished limbo on my notebook, so I've actually never written anything substantial about models for this blog, although I've had many occasions to observe them in their natural habitat.

So, while you wait for my COSMO Jeans spectacular, complete with insightful commentary, I present today Photos Of Models In Swimwear, with very little accompanying text, as what can one possibly say about swimwear, bar "I consider that bulge to be aesthetically pleasing" or "Eeeeeew"?

That might be why I didn't post last year.

Above: The crowd... blocks my view....

One last point - these photos were not easy to take. I was so far back that when the fashion show started I couldn't see a damn thing, not even when I climbed up on a counter, thereby starting the "stand on a table" trend for the second year running. The problem was compounded by the fact that the organisers, in their attempt to bring the magic of Mauritius to the centre of Cape Town, had installed massive beach décor around the VIP seating section, which blocked the view for those of us who were not in the VIP section (as you can probably tell from this, even though I was one of the people that actually worked on the swimwear section for the November magazine, I was also one of the people who actually worked on the swimwear section for the November magazine who didn't get to sit in the VIP seating.)

Above: Lights, camera, action ...models? ...Hut? What?

Above: This could be a potentially hot model named Stuart. I can't really tell. The camera's blocking the bits I remember from the November issue of COSMO, which featured the swimwear spectacular.

To get some decent shots (and lower my blood pressure, for there is nothing more stressful to someone on a photographic mission than not being able to take photographs), I eventually had to jump into the central lift in Wembley Square that leads to the Virgin Active gym above the square, which, ironically, offers a better view to those not invited to the event than that which is provided for about half the people actually attending the event.

I had to jump into the lift and sneak into the gym lobby, thereafter alternating between the lobby and the lift (which had a slightly better view), so as not to hold up irate gym people stuck in the parking lot below, leaving them to wonder where the hell their lift was while I was masterfully commandeering it.

Now, I think need to emphasise this again - I have never been in a gym before (and some might argue that technically I still haven't been in one). This is probably the closest I have ever come to one. It was quite terrifying.

Anyway, the gymgoers were so mesmerised by the free bumps and bulges on offer (you'd think they'd be used to such sights, since they go to the gym...), that no one got upset with me and, in fact, a number asked me questions as to what was going on (I think it may have been evident, by my obvious journalistic attire (as opposed to a leotard-and-camera number), that I was not there to sneak into the gym and write some sort of expose on gym towels or the illegal trade in treadmill repair parts - that's really more something Devi from Carte Blanche might do).

I said I wasn't going to write a lot and now I have. Oh well. I now present (again): (A Cultural Expedition To A Nearby Mall To Snap) Photos Of Models In Swimwear:

2008 COSMO Summer Swimwear Fashion Show, Wembley Square, Cape Town by Mandy J Watson, on Flickr
[ Flickr links: Original photo | Orton Effect ]

Above: Better? Yes?

This model is modelling Max Factor (yes, the makeup, not a line of swimwear that you've never heard of). You probably can't tell as I only have a 3X zoom and I was hiding far away in the foyer of a gym.

Also, I did some digital art stuff here. It's called the Orton Effect. Isn't it snazzy?

Above: What you're supposed to be looking at is the shoes (note, for example, the Diesel shoe being transported on a platter), which are various brands that are distributed by Footwear Trading. But the models are a bit distracting. Unless you have a massive shoe fetish, I guess.

Above: Seriously, you really should be looking at the shoes. That's why I took the photo. The shoe being served on the platter is a visual metaphor alluding to how women have expectations that topless men will bring them fine imported footwear, yet their expectations are rarely met, which just feeds the already problematic social issue of Women Feeling Disappointed About Stuff And Men (WFDASAM). Don't stigmatise them, people! This is a real issue!

Above: Moving on.... Shoes! Look at the shoes!

Above: ...the hot, hot shoes!

2008 COSMO Summer Swimwear Fashion Show, Wembley Square, Cape Town by Mandy J Watson, on Flickr

2008 COSMO Summer Swimwear Fashion Show, Wembley Square, Cape Town by Mandy J Watson, on Flickr
2008 COSMO Summer Swimwear Fashion Show, Wembley Square, Cape Town by Mandy J Watson, on Flickr

[ Flickr links: Photo 1 | Photo 2 ]

Above: Look. I did something artistic here that wasn't the Orton Effect. I'm quite impressed with myself, and obviously not suffering from WFDASAM.

Anyway, on the left: Footwear Trading (but you knew that!). On the right: Puma.

Above: This is where my something artistic messes with your head a bit, because now we're going back in time to revisit... Footwear Trading, which you haven't seen since half a picture ago. You need to understand - footwear is an essential component of swimwear. Have you ever tried swimming without footwear? Your feet get wet! Madness! We don't do that in South Africa. We have sophistication in this country.

Above: JBS. JBS is a brand (of swimwear, not shoes. Although they might have JBS shoes too - I don't really know. Stop asking me about shoes! I don't even like shoes. I mean, unless they have Velcro. But these days I'm finding Velcro shoes hard to find. Are you? Let me know. We can bond over it, perhaps. (Also, I don't have much else to talk about.)).

Yes, those full stops and brackets are all in the same place. Trust me, I know these things. Also, if I'm wrong, leave a note in the comments.

Above: Puma (even though it says Brutal Fruit, Max Factor, and COSMOPOLITAN - trust me).

Above: Here's actual Brutal Fruit - and that's not a metaphor, even though this is a fashion show with limited seating. I had to gaze at this photo for quite a while to try and remember what it was that I was taking a photo of. I mean, besides hot models in swimwear. Because this isn't a photo of hot models in swimwear, this is a photo of something else. But I couldn't remember what. And then I did, when I saw what the hot models in swimwear were clutching. No, no. Not clutch bags. An admirable guess, although... are you a little high from all the photos of hot models in swimwear? Who carries a clutch bag when you're wearing swimwear and being all hot and stuff? Wait! I know! Your boyfriend!

Sorry, I digressed there to make a fashion joke. The actual answer is alcohol. After all, alcohol is the answer to all of life's problems, except for alcoholism (though some would argue...). Anyway, they're carrying bottles of Brutal Fruit. We were all treated to Brutal Fruit (still not a metaphor, although the seating really was limited and you had to be tough(er than me) to get some). I like Brutal Fruit. I think I had more than I should have. And someone tried to take mine away and I got very upset (not seen here, as I wasn't in swimwear and therefore can't be presented for your consideration as a hot model in swimwear).

Above: The finale. This is the bit where it ends.

Above: I mean, eventually. First the models have to demonstrate the "circular parading" technique, which I may discuss in a future blog post.

Above: This is the finale finale.

Above: Oh, wait! No. Sorry. This is the finale finale. They all look the same to me (much like models, actually, but I probably shouldn't say that out loud). The previous photo is actually better, so we'll just call this a bonus photo as, really, this blog post is all about photos of models in swimwear, so it's not exactly as if one can have too many.

After this they all left the stage in single file. (Now I know why they taught us that at school. We'd be prepared, just in case we might grow up to be models!) I didn't take any more photos because they would not have been photos of models in swimwear, which is what this was all about.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion: December 2008

COSMO South Africa - December 2008 issue

This was a good portfolio month - two separate gadget pages that I wrote were published in the December 2008 issue of COSMO. One is my normal monthly gadgets page, although it is a special one for this issue of the magazine in that it features a showcase of gift ideas, rather than four or five hands-on product reviews, which is what I normally do for the page.

The other page is a showcase of music-related gadgets for the COSMO Rocks supplement, which is published each year in the December issue. I was also fortunate to work on this supplement as one of the copy editors and I feel quite honoured to be able to say that as it is an interesting exploration of new music, from most of the popular genres, with great design work by the magazine's art director. The content should be of interest to you even if you don't consider yourself a COSMO girl (or guy) and it's really worth reading if you love music.

So if you're looking for something different to page through this month, or are just curious as to what I write for COSMO, keep me in a job and go and buy the December issue! (It's on stands for about two more weeks and has Jessica Alba on the cover. You can't miss it! Now go!)

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