Monday, February 23, 2009

Viva Vanessa!

I just wanted to say "welcome back" to one of my favorite J.Crew models, Vanessa. In a time of uncertain retail prosperity and even more uncertain personal futures, it's nice to be drawn in by her carefree spirit and sparkling disposition.

Dropping by the store to catch a sneak peak at the new arrivals, I was greeted by my dear manager who hastily slipped a copy of the new March catalog into my eager hands. After rushing home to peruse the new goods not yet available in stores or online, I saw not only a mouthwatering selection of spring styles, but an ambitious photo shoot 'round the good ole US of A showcasing various American cities.

I was further beside myself with joy to discover the return of "the face that launched a thousand sweaters": the elegant, effervescent Spanish-born stunner Vanessa Lorenzo.

Now, we all have our favorite J.Crew models, as many have their favorite Victoria's Secret Angel (or the boys have their favorite Sports Illustrated swimsuit model). And while no doubt many smiling beauties have bewitched us into scooping up piece after piece of superb J.Crew creations, few models possess her instant likability and luminous charm that appears to radiate from within. She literally lights up each page like a ray of sunshine. She even manages to illuminate a black-and-white shot. (I also like that her nose is a little curvy and quirky like mine, rather than the perfectly chiseled, pert little noses that adorn so many models and actresses.)
I first glimpsed her buried deep in the pages of the August 2007 catalog, where she managed to glow and even frolic in the most staid of suits. She became a mega-hit and an instantly recognizable face of J.Crew after appearing in such successful J.Crew travel campaigns as Paris, Scotland, Rome, and Morocco. She singlehandedly made me want to wear canary yellow all year round, boldly patterned dresses with rubber wellies, and full skirts with open-toed shoes in the middle of winter.

And while this in no way maligns the distinguished efforts of other longstanding J.Crew legends -- including the ubiquitous Anouck Lepere and this as-of-yet nameless doe-eyed, deep-skinned beauty with the soft features pictured above to the left of Vanessa (after all these years, can someone please tell us her name?) -- there is a certain effervescence about Vanessa that stands out. A blissful joie de vivre mixed with unabashed femininity and topped with Grace Kelly's exquisite refinement.

J.Crew must have such strong faith in her ability to empty store shelves that they didn't even bother to airbrush the numerous lines and crows feet circling her eyes in last year's whirlwind "Roman Holiday" catalog. Fine by me, as I've always been a fan of older female models [a definite thumbs up to Lauren Hutton gracing the cover of last month's issue!].

Perhaps this is why J.Crew has heralded the triumphant return of a highly pivotal spring season with Vanessa's luminous demeanor splashed liberally throughout the March catalog? We can't be sure, but let's just say it can't hurt, particularly in a retail climate where nothing is guaranteed and where the most bankable investment is a dazzling bombshell with girl-next-door appeal and exuberance in spades.
Whatever the motivation, Viva Vanessa! Let's hope she remains a J.Crew fixture for seasons to come.

Now excuse me while I go swipe the new Jersey Ruffle Dress she's modeling before it flutters right off the racks...


HeidiG said...

I can't justify another bag right now, but that pink D&B is gorgeous!!

3-Penny Princess said...

Thank you, HeidiG! I need to sell as much stuff as possible so I can 1) pay off my credit card debt (a la Confessions of a Shopaholic) and 2) clean out my closet.

Thanks for reading!

Rosa said...

I did a quick search on the JCrew Metallic herringbone Clea jacket and your blog came up. I see it online again and I would like to get it, but I am worried about the fit. I just wanted to get your opinion on that? Does it run big? Is it too boxy?


3-Penny Princess said...

Hi Rosa,
Thanks for visiting my blog! The fit of the Clea jacket is pretty true to size. I normally wear a 0 or xs and it fits me well. It has a close-fitting shape and the length is a little bit cropped. I normally wear petite sizes so the sleeves are a little long on me, but I am having them shortened. However, the length of the jacket works fine for a petite. It's not as shrunken in length or fit as the Ecole herringbone/tweed jacket, which I also have. I can actually button the Clea.

Another interesting thing is that I didn't actually detect the metallic threads that supposedly are woven into the fabric. What I do see is a very vivid color yarn which is a pretty color. Also, the jacket is very warm and plush. It can be worn as an outside jacket when it's not super cold and you don't want to wear a coat.

I hope this helps! Stop by anytime. Good luck!

dinagideon said...

I ADORE Vanessa...I even have a tag on my blog "Vanessa the model." Thank you for showing the world these images...

She is the model I want to most version of "Audrey Hepburn."

3-Penny Princess said...

dina - you are too funny! I'm glad I'm not the only one:) Vanessa definitely has Audrey's grace and class. She just makes me so happy when I see her in the catalogs! She could make a burlap sack glow.