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Vogue Germany: Claudia Schiffer as Frida Kahlo?


March 2010 Vogue Germany Editorial: Bildschön (Picture Perfect)
Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld

Model: Claudia Schiffer

Styled by Christiana Arp

We can accept the fact that Uncle Karl operates on an entirely different level than us, but one thing we never could understand was his devotion to Claudia. Frankly, we always thought she was the least interesting and talented of the crop of '90s supermodels. To confound us even further, Karl made the bizarre choice to style her like Frida Kahlo. That's not a connection that ever would have occured to us, and looking at these pictures, we can see why. She makes a terrible Frida. It's just Claudia Schiffer with a pair of Bert eyebrows slapped on her.

The clothes and the photography are beautiful, though. We just hate the model and hate how the model was styled.

Bottega Veneta Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Alla Kostromicheva

Chloé Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Madisyn Ritland

Chanel Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Kamila Filipcikova

Rochas Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Jacquelyn Jablonski

René Storck Spring 2010 Collection

Paul Smith Women Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Tereza Cervenova

Fendi Spring 2010 Collection
Model: Freja Beha Erichsen


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love her.. but have to admit it's ugly

Wow. Never realized how dull she was. You two are completely right.

I'm having a clothing orgasm - I love and want most of the outfits & many of the shoes. But poor Claudia just looks confused.

Hate to disagree with all y'all but I thought this was fairly interesting.


I have nothing against Claudia but she just looks so... blah... here. Where's the spark?
Beautiful clothing, though!


Ugh. Just bad bad bad model choice for this shoot. Also - I love our Uncle Karl, but I hate it when he tries to put models in ethnic-face. He's done it before to a worse degree:

Its a shame - gorgeous clothes, and styling. But the way he does it always ruins it for me.

I got serious whiplash during that scroll through. From the WTF of Claudia as Frida to the extremes of the various runway shots. Blue lips? That's what my youngest looks like after she eats one of those crappy-ass gumballs out of the machine.

The magazine layout: NO.

The dresses in runway shots: YES.

Ponchos: NO.

I agree that Claudia does not make a very good Frida. But Karl wasn't too far off in casting her (ethnically anyway). Frida Kahlo's father was German.

Completely with Tom and Lorenzo on this one.

I'm can't stop chuckling over Claudia's three wooden facial expressions. She looks like a wax version of herself.

>Bert eyebrows slapped on

I died.

What makes Claudia Schiffer a strange choice for this in my view is that her style is all about pretending women don't *have* facial hair (or body hair, or anything else adult and potentially 'masculine'). Her thing was looking like a sweet little girl, with her blonde curls and two big front teeth. One reason so many Kahlo posters decorated so many dorm rooms was that Kahlo's look broke away from that Disney straitjacket and put forth a defiantly different female image. So, slapping that on top of Schiffer is like giving her a big fake moustache and calling it edgy. Just doesn't work.

Gorgeous clothes and I find Frida Kahlo's esthetic compelling, but using Claudia Schiffer as the model for this was certainly an unfortunate misstep.

Ha ha ha. Slapping on a pair of Bert eyebrows! brilliant! And yes, it is indeed true that Frida's father was German but her mother was mestiza. Karl has lost the plot.

I see a strong resemblence to an ANTM model - Marjorie maybe?
(esp in the Chanel sweater).

Some of the clothes are beautiful, but I don't think he presents them to their best affect.

Not feeling it, but the clothes are gorgeous.

God almighty. Save us from this Teutonic near-sightedness.

A bunch of great elements that DON'T go well together.

Yes Momsy! wth is with the BLUE LIPS?

I think she looks more like Juliette Lewis than Frida Kahlo.

But I'm thinking this was just a cost cutting measure. Karl undoubtedly followed this shoot with Claudia modeling men's wear as Groucho Marx. Very clever, that Karl.


Frida Kahlo had an internal and external beauty that should be celebrated. I'd think her multi-racial background, would make her more appealing to people today.

"Bert eyebrows"! Brilliant!

Oooooh, I want the Fendi. Luscious.

I love Freida - unibrow and all, but Claudia is a poor imitation - too bland - they needed a model with a fiery personality to pull this off. It's a shame because I do love the clothes and the concept (in theory).

how do you take an inspiration like frida kahlo & do absolutely nothing with it?

The clothes and accessories are fabulous. Absolutely exquisite. I'm always fascinated by anything done by KL, but this was a seriously bad move. Claudia Schiffer? C'mon. I think it would've made for a much more interesting (and unlaughable) editorial if he had used a number of models rather than just CS. I can totally see models of different ethnicities in the spread, but not just CS alone because it seemed more about her than the FK image and legacy.


Claudia Schiffer has always been Uncle Karl's favorite model and muse. He once stated in a magazine article that Claudia and Gemma Ward were his two favorite models.


"We just hate the model and hate how the model was styled."

but other than that, how do you like it? LOL. guess we officially know how you feel about ms. claudia now!


Use Claudia Schiffer. But why be so freaking literal and reduce Frida Kahlo to a uni-brow?

If Frida Kahlo knew she was being styled in Chanel suits, she'd die again.

That said, MAN I want that Spring 2010 white suit.

This is one of the dumbest things I've seen in a very long time.

ugh, awful idea
why not do something different for a change and give a latina model a chance in the spotlight

I think the concept and clothes(!) are great, it's all just done with entirely the wrong person. I even think a German model could be really interesting (Frida herself was half German), but not this one.

Question? Are Brazilians considered Latino? I honestly do not know.


Ugh, she's Zoolander-ing all over it.

i find this kind of offensive, but not in a "CALL THE PC POLICE RIGHT NOW" kind of way. more like, this would be more of an insult to my heritage if it weren't so ridiculous. i didn't even really look at the clothes because the white girl with ginormous groucho brows was so distracting.


you guys have played karl or kanye? haven't you?

talent doesn't nullify stupidity.

I just feel that the styling could have been done better. The "bert eyebrow" being the main focus seems silly

Tampa Bay...
I was told once that Napoleon coined the phrase Latin American to unite all the romance language countries together-- Spanish, Portuguese and French. So by that definition, Brazilians would be considered Latino.

I actually like her, but she's so wrong for this shoot that it distracted me from the lovely clothes.

I'm not usually one to actually endorse an ANTM model, but Miss Jaslene would have owned this shoot.

This makes me wish I could afford to buy Lagerfeld, so I could refuse to.

Kahlo? She just looks like Geena Davis after skipping a waxing.

I understand the puss on Claudia. She knew she was gonna look like an ass in this spread.

My issue is that Lagerfeld slapped the bert eyebrows on her and that's it. Like the eyebrows are the only thing a person needs to resemble her. I mean, come on! The model's hair is still blonde for crying out loud!

Aside from the total lack of facial resemblance, I just get no sense of Frida from Claudia in these pictures. It's like they just slapped a famous name and a unibrow on her to get some attention, and beyond that they weren't even trying.

Nice clothes, though.

His support is due to their teutonic bond---she's beautiful but bland, bland, bland. Styling her as Kahlo only highlights her vanilla appeal.

If Frida Kahlo knew she was being styled in Chanel suits, she'd die again.

Oh, I don't know. They had a lot in common, particularly when it came to knowing, and embracing, their personal style. Kahlo carefully considered, and made a statement with, her choice of clothing, as did Chanel.

wtf? bizarre. love that chanel number though, on the runway model.

Oy, Claudia...

Bardot = oui!

Frida = hell no.

This is one of the oddest things I have ever seen and it has considerably brightened my mood.

Bert eyebrows - I love that. For my money, Bert eyebrows slapped on anybody are a surefire formula for laughs and entertainment.

That's awful. Frida Kahlo is such an important icon for Mexican women and he couldn't be bothered to find a Latina model for this shoot?!?
It's a shame, too, because the idea of modern runway clothing in Frida's era could've been really intriguing otherwise.

I too never cared for her. I would say it's because she's German, but he's made his disdain clear for Heidi and other German models, so that can't be it. I dunno - it's the one area in which I question Kaiser Karl's taste.

Sorry, I should have been clearer that I thought KL likes her because she is German...

Frida Kahlo is such an important icon for Mexican women and he couldn't be bothered to find a Latina model for this shoot?!?

As has been pointed out earlier, Kahlo was as much German as she was Mexican.

My 5 yr old used some fabric and made a mustache that looks just like that unibrow.

If you cover up the head the clothes look gorgeous. Or even better just look at the runway version.

As far as her heritage goes, Frida was as German as she was Mexican, so it's not completely out of left field.

I don't understand... it looks like it's supposed to be a joke. Maybe just unsuccessfully? Hopefully it wasn't supposed to be serious, because it most certainly failed.

I pointed out that Frida's father was German. Her mother was of Spanish and Indian decent. But Frida was 100% Mexican.
I have no problem with a German model posing as Frida, but the make-up is ugly. If you put your thumb over the eyebrows, the pictures are rather nice.

Oh those crazy Germans...let's take our Aryan-looking model and have her inpersonate a Latin-looking artist.

If Germans were known for their humour, we could think it was a joke. Instead it reminds me of the magazine that did blackface.

BTW, I'm not trying to offend anyone with my comment. A German model can impersonate Frida Kahlo, but you should at least choose one that has some similarity in appearance. And I've also met a few Germans who were funny and have seen a few comedic German films (The 80s film "Manner" (Men) is great), but the country as a whole isn't famous for its wit.

With a more appropriate model (and a lighter mood) this could've been a successful editorial.

LOVE the selection of clothes & the styling & settings.

There are a few designers I've never heard of, but now wanna check out like the guy who did the cardigan sweater & blue-lipped runway show.

Give me Kate Moss as Georgia O'Keeffe over this wreck.

If you're going to style a model like Frida Kahlo, can you at least make her the correct ethnicity?

Frida's real eyebrows weren't THAT uni-browy. Totally ridiculous.

I'm not that familiar with the life of Frida Kahlo, but it seems Ms. Schiffer just does not show any depth. Is it possible they wanted the photos to look like paintings? I just don't get what the purpose of this is - it looks like somone playing dress up instead of a real attempt to convey the "essence" of Frida Kahlo, whatever that might even mean.

Pretty much love all the clothes as presented on the runway. I'm not sure the attempt to present them in "Mexican style" really works.

Polly Glot

this is one of the most ridiculous photoshoots I've seen in a long time

"Bert" eyebrows....*snort!*

It would have been a better spread if in the background you got glimpses of Ernie peeking in. At least it would be entertaining.

Poor Frida. She's spinning right now. It's not about being German or half-German, it's that her father was not a blond-haired blue-eyed German such as Claudia Schiffer. No brunette models in Germany???


Loved many of the clothes (esp. the black Fendi dress), but I thought this was ridiculously styled.

I scrolled through the pictures and loved the ed(!) and then read a few comments and realized that TLo did not give it a good review. What I loved about it was the clothes and to a lesser degree the sets. I am always impressed when a stylist pulls clothes from recent collections for an ed centered around a historical figure or event. I actually scrolled up to see who the stylist was and made a mental note to look her up and see what other eds she styled. I barely looked above the neck, which is rather unusual for me.

All that to say, I see where y'all are coming from, but through my lens Claudia receded enough in the background so as not to distract from the other things that were good about the ed.

but one thing we never could understand was his devotion to Claudia.
I often visualize the two of them trashing Heidi Klum, barely hiding their resentment of the German media's love affair with Heidi and her arguable status as the most celebrated fashion figure in Germany.

So apparently Frida Kahlo was blonde, had a straight across fully fledged unibrow, wore knee length dresses, and was physically able to wear 5 inch espadrilles despite her childhood battles with polio.

love Kahlo. This might have worked with almost any other model. Picture Isabelli F - now that would have worked.


In the Rene Storck and Paul Smith editorial pix, I *almost* get it. It has to do with the angle of her face and the shadows. There's a sense of ferocious focus there that was characteristic of Frida's self-portraits. Funny thing, if you see a photo of Frida that is more casual, not posed, she has a joyousness that is irresistible. One can assume that the ferocious stare came from studying herself in the mirror for her artwork -- and the physical pain she endured to create that work.

The clothes are beautiful and KL is a great photographer, but she's just wrong for the part.

a said...
but one thing we never could understand was his devotion to Claudia.
I often visualize the two of them trashing Heidi Klum, barely hiding their resentment of the German media's love affair with Heidi and her arguable status as the most celebrated fashion figure in Germany.

Karl is huge in Germany. He's often on TV as well, and he's always hilarious in interviews when talking in his native German.

I like Claudia Schiffer, but Frida Kahlo she ain't. However, the clothes are great and are such a fabulous update of Kahlo.

I'll admit, the first thing I thought was "Oh, great, here go the Europeans co-opting Latin American culture," but I can't say it really offends me.

It's a tribute to one person, not a representation of a culture.

I'll bet Karl and Claudia love to dish about "that fat cow" as they probably call Heidi. (Karl once called her fat in the media, and the above phrase was used by studio chief Harry Cohn to describe Marilyn Monroe.)

oh no! uni-brow

Anonymous said...
Karl is huge in Germany. He's often on TV as well, and he's always hilarious in interviews when talking in his native German. 2/18/10 1:18 AM

Yep, I know.

That makes so little sense, and not in an It's Art! kind of way, but in a I Just Fell Down Some Stairs And This Guy Offered Me A Cookie kind of way.

"I Just Fell Down Some Stairs And This Guy Offered Me A Cookie"

LOL, that should have been the title.

Not only is the model completely the wrong choice, besides maybe a few decent shots, the photography is TERRIBLE. Sorry. It's a fail on all accounts from me.

They've lost their damn minds.

Hate the shoot, but that black Fendi dress is to die for. Can you imagine it on a woman with some curves who could fill it out and really do it justice?!? Amazing.

who is this transvestite?
embarassing, ugly, not even an interpretation of Frida Kahlo's wonderful Tehuana blouses and jewelry!

My God, I'm so glad I found this. I thought I was the only in the universe who for the life of them didn't understand how Schiffer ever became a high fashion model and such a popular one at that. I've always found her to be disturbingly unattractive and graceless.

I think Karl is obsessed with her because she reminds him of his boyfriend that passed away. I would bet money on it. She has a very boyish face, hideous but boyish. Every other aspect Lagerfeld is genius, but he ruined high fashion for me with this woman. Thanks Mr. Lagerfeld.

This spread is a travesty. In saying that this probably the most intriguing and interesting thing I've seen her in though. Do you see her struggling to keep her mouth shut over her teeth? Sorry she gets to me like no other, and how portraying the magnificent Ms. Kahlo? Oh, hell no!

I have read somewhere where Lagerfeld had said that Claudia has a thousand looks. Now Karl, do you honestly believe that?

Seit über einem Jahr (Feb. 2009) ist die Dauerausstellung
Frida Kahlo: „Leid und Leidenschaft“ im Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund in Baden-Baden zu sehen.

Über 111 Gemälde werden auf einer Ausstellungsfläche von 600 qm gezeigt. Es handelt sich dabei um die umfangreichste Frida Kahlo Ausstellung aller Zeiten.

Die Besucher können das gesamte Lebenswerk der mexikanischen Künstlerin Frida Kahlo sehen. Angefangen bei ihrem ersten Selbstbildnis „Selbstbildnis mit Samtkleid„ bis zu ihrem letzten Stilleben: „Viva la Vida“.
Die gezeigten Gemälde sind einzigartige lizenzierte Repliken von: © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008.
Sie wurden von Meisterkünstlern in aufwendiger Handarbeit auf Original-Material (Öl auf Leinwand, Holz, Metall oder Glas) in Originalgröße gemalt.

Die Ausstellung bietet ein umfassendes Eintauchen in das Werk und das Leben der Frida Kahlo. Neben den Gemälden sind auch Kleider und Schmuck zusehen. Der Garten der „Casa Azul“, (das Blauen Haus - das Haus ihrer Familie) mit seiner aztekischen Pyramide, den pre-kolumbianischen Tonfiguren und den exotischen Pflanzen sind im Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund nachempfunden.

This site is the superior site. . Cheers Glenn Prolonoff!

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