Underwater modeling

Alla Kostromichova. By Solve Sundsbo. The Girl from Atlantis. Vogue Nippon album

Underwater modeling is something I know little  about.  Except that  results  can either be disappointing  or  impressive.  In  fact there are two versions  of modeling, the free dive version and the fashion version.  The free dive  version is usually performed in the open Ocean by  athletic amateur  models with long fins, that are very good  in breath holding. They may be   swimming  through  nicely lit caves or parallel  with big  ocean creatures like a tiger shark, Oceanic shark or a sperm whale.  The  girl models  often with loose hairs and in bikini.  Creating the  suggestion  that  man ‘belongs’  in the sea and free to  merge with its  more  fishy  inhabitants.  Of course its an illusion,  but  this  holds for most nice things in the world.

An example of  more artistic modeling  are female models dressed in  transparent skirts or even seminude in  ecstatic  poses.  Often  with  weights strapped on  under the dress. These models must not only be beautiful  but also  fit and able  to hold  their breath  for a least a minute before they can take a nip of air  from some air regulator or air hose handed to  them. This type of  modeling can  be  done  in open water (e.g. with a nice coral reef on the background)   or in a pool  where  it  is  much easier  to control.

Then there is  the inevitable  ‘mermaid-tail’  variety:  here the   female model  is squeezed into a  plastic or neoprene tail  to look like a mermaid.  Taking care that the knees are not showing through the neoprene  tail. These shoots must be very  stressful  for the model, because of the restriction of her natural  leg movements.  I can’t help finding  this type of modeling  rather artificial and silly.  Then  I much prefer  the  little stone mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson along the waterline  in  Copenhagen, showing  how  a  mermaid should really look like.  Mermaid tails have now also reached the market and are considered  big fun by people who own a private pool.  But they can be dangerous too; a poor Taiwanese model drowned this year trying out a mermaid tail for a photo shoot in shallow water.

Pool shots by professional fashion photographers have models that are trained in posing underwater. Modeling is  often carried out in  tank or underwater studio specially designed for this kind of work.  Pool modeling  Is considered to be easier than marine modeling.  But it must be  very hard for the model,  because of the endless shooting sessions, changing of dress and make up.  I must admit that I was much impressed by some of these pictures. Although  most of the shots  are commercial, and  made for the  fashion industry, the end product can be quite artistic and dream-like. Reminiscent of  mermaid-like creatures, perhaps escaped  from  another mysterious world like Atlantis.

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Bill board of Suit Supply. Campaign -uncen-V9-04. Picture taken by Carli Hermès. This company was sued by people who found some of their top side fashion posters campaigns offensive for women. I found their UW based bill boards shown in the A'dam streets rather nice, 'pre-raphaelite' style and colours. And also quite funny