Rarely a model has divided as much as her when it comes to the way she photographs (or let's say it in a clearer manner: to how she moves and expresses in front of the camera). Rarely a successful career had looked like hers and not even the most unusual stories, like Lily Cole's among others, took the same turn. Rarely a young woman in this tough business remained as faithful to her agent as she seems to be and rare are her colleagues who can claim to keep Steven Meisel's loyalty after so many years. Coco Rocha probably wasn't a part of the "alien beauties" trend, she would deserve the title (or nickname?) of high-flying UFO when it comes to her professional status. Current Diesel campaign offers a perfectly suitable visual to illustrate the phenomenon, almost a metaphor.
If I don't really believe in objectivity for the obvious reason we are human beings and no flawless machines, I'll try my best to keep my own feelings and tastes locked in the part of my brain they belong to. As I count myself as a talentless liar, I prefer to get rid of this fact before digging deeper into the topic: I'm no admirer of Coco Rocha and probably never will be. The way she grins and smirks has never looked appealing to my eye, and the idea she would keep her mouth open even if our entire civilization was about to disappear within a second disturbs me when I see one of her photographs in a magazine. This being said, her signature style is unique in its own way and she has built her career by printing her own mark everywhere she went and in everything she touched. That's most likely why she became so successful with some photographers, brands or magazines while she never really worked with others. She appeared in a certain kind of editorials and remained ignored by other genres. Coco has principles and doesn't hide them, isn't bothered to be dressed like a Christmas tree yet won't ever show a breast on glossy paper. Coco this, Coco that... time goes by and Coco stays.
Coco's unmistakable trademark can't leave anyone cold, that's a fact. From those who adore her work and call her the best poser (no ironical, no cynical understatement here) of her era to the others who just can't stand a backstage shot of hers more than a handful of seconds; you can ask anyone involved or interested in fashion, he'll know who Mrs Rocha is and what her achievements are. Which covers, current campaigns, who she worked or still works with (often the same guys)... Unlike these shooting stars who (easily) come and (even more easily) go, her career has remained steady straight from the early days. The initial hype might have gone for very long now, the amount of work and her presence in fashion/modeling medias stayed unchanged and consistent, including three collaborations with Steven Meisel for the first semester of 2012 (one in Vogue US, one in Vogue Italia and the campaign featured here) besides starring Longchamp's campaign for the second time in a row. When I said people and companies who worked with her once, they ususally do it again, I meant every single word I wrote. So, back to this Diesel ads that were, initially, the reason to talk about Coco Rocha, the photographs say it all. It's kind of quirky, funky and whatever rockabilly, anyway far from convetionally pretty and obviously having fun of the classical chic ruling (and sometimes ruining) most of the current advertising campaigns, smells like Diesel and spells Meisel at first glance and... pefectly pictures what separates Coco from the masses. May you like that smile or not, there are good reasons to believe she'll keep smiling for a while and explaining the readers of her blog that her poses were inspired by monkeys and pigeons.
So, you know it and, if you didn't, you would have guessed it: Coco is a witty young lady with a bright sense of humor. Beyond the images, there is probably some kind of message for aspiring and beginning models. Some sort of advices they wouldn't hear from every mouth; little lessons to learn how to make it big. 1) Whoever said a model has to bare it all to embrace success faster can go back to the dressing-room and put his clothes on again. 2) Whoever said a model has to be sexy and silent can shut up forever, beauty comes along with brain and, as long as your words stay smart and respectful, no client has ever been afraid of models who open their mouth for something else than posing. 3) Personality matters, maybe more than centimeters; keeping your unique beauty with a distinctive signature style gets you more covers and campaigns than fitting a standard sample size. 4) And so on. 5) If you still think the first four sentences are wishful thinking, check again and count how many editorials, ads and covers Coco has gathered since 2006.
CREDITS: Diesel Advertising Campaign Fall/Winter 2012-13 / Ph: Steven Meisel