FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Carolyn Murphy and Tom Ford: When Stars Align

There are models, there are supermodels (a term now rendered meaningless, thanks to so much bad television) and then, shining brighter than anything else in the fashion firmament, there are modeling's supernovas, the Goddesses, each one a manifestation of Beauty Incarnate. These are the ravishing creatures whose eyes, lips, curves and charisma incite women to envy, straight men to lust, gay men to rapture and anyone caught in their sights to irrational cravings for all the glittering products they deign (and are paid) to promote.

FA2L isn't coy about this: we love Beauty, ergo we love models. We've also been lucky, over the years, to work and play with many of these remarkable "girls" (an industry term that may be apt for 15-year-old beginners but hardly applies to 28-year-old veterans). Most of them, especially those in the first-name-only club, are tireless professionals who show up on time, exude enthusiasm and are gracious to everyone. A short list of favorites? Gisele Bündchen (Mrs. Tom Brady). Michelle Alves. Heidi Klum. Daria Werbowy (whose card we spotted on an agency wall, years ago, leading to one of her earliest editorial sittings). But perhaps our favorite of favorites is the tawny blond, Carolyn Murphy. And we're thrilled to see her new pitch for Tom Ford Eyewear (with A Single Man's Nicholas Hoult), photographed by Ford himself.

Murphy's remarkable career took her from Florida childhood to glossy editorials and prestigious campaigns for Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co. and Estée Lauder. Her rise wasn't meteoric, but it was inevitable: she's blessed with Grace Kelly's bone structure and built like an elegant bird. Making the leap from modeling's midrange to its upper stratosphere simply required buffing up some natural assets–she got a better haircut (warmed to butter-and-honey blond), honed a stronger body (surfing helped) and polished all that golden skin. Suddenly, she was fashion's It Girl, walking every runway, posing for Steven Meisel and co-starring with Adrien Brody in Barry Levinson's Liberty Heights. Along the way, she married and divorced a surfer, dated a rock star (Incubus frontman, Brandon Boyd) and gave birth to an adorable daughter; she also surprised everyone by gracing a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover without tarnishing her reputation at oh-so-haute French Vogue. Carolyn, please consider this an early Valentine and know you'll always be our one-and-only. Here at FA2L, we the Murph!