Black and White Babe of the Week 10: Laetitia Casta

I have more pictures in my system of Laetitia Casta than any other mainstream model. The Corsican/Norman babe was so definitively French that the national association of mayors in France chose her to be a model for the bust of Marianne; that quintessentially Gallic embodiment of France displayed in town halls up and down Frogland. Laetitia won 36% of the 35,000 votes cast, against four other candiates. What were the other 64% thinking? We have to say that the Mayors were spot on about her bustability.

The nature of the Marianne personification is that it changes fairly regularly but mayors can choose from any of the back catalogue to represent their town. Celebrities started to be eligible as Marianne from 1969 when the first was, inevitably, Brigitte Bardot. Agent Triple P likes Brigitte Bardot as a concept but his view of her is always somewhat tempered by the fact that he lost a pair of Ray-Bans overboard in the bay outside her villa in St Tropez and, as a result, tends to blame her (however unfairly) for the loss off these very expensive sunglasses.

Bardot was Marianne for 9 years before being replaced by Mireille Mathieu in 1978. The next Mariannes were Catherine Deneuve (1985), Inès de la Fressange (1989), Laetitia Casta (2000) and Évelyne Thomas (2003. Deneuve, Bardot and Casta are the most popular choices for Marianne busts in French Town Halls.

France: great women, lousy sculptors

Since 2005 the politically correct morons in the French Government have decided not to model Marianne on a real woman but instead have chosen a figure with North African features to represent France's diversity. Ugh! If they wanted a gorgeous ethnically diverse woman they should have just chosen Isabelle Adjani.

We think that Mrs Sarkozy should have been the obvious next choice except, of course, that she doesn't really have a bust, unlike Laetitia who indubitably does.

As Agent Triple P well knows, having had several meetings with French ministries in the last month or so, Marianne features on all the Government business cards in a way unthinkable over in Joyless Gordon Land.
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Aphrodite Kallipygos

Thoughts of Stephanie Seymour and her beautiful bottom ( I read an article in a French magazine where the jovially racist French writer said that Stephanie had a bottom to outshine even African women) also brings to mind an incident described to me by HMS during a recent lunch. He had described observing the phenomenon where a girl wearing a short skirt can find that her shoulder bag causes the hem to gradually ride further and further up in a display made all the more tantalising by is assymetry.

This also brings to mind one of my favourite classical sculptures: The Aphrodite Kallipygos, or the Venus of the beautiful buttocks.

There is some nonsensical Greek story to explain the statue but it is far too tedious and unlikely to go into (something about sisters comparing their bottoms in the street and brothers falling in love with them etc etc.) The most famous version of the sculpture is a Roman copy of a Greek original (now lost). Originally on show in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome she found her way to the archaelogical museum in Naples where she was considered too racy for early nineteenth century eyes on account of her partial nudity. She was condemned to the infamous Secret Cabinet which was designed to house the more erotic finds from Pompeii. If you were a rich, educated male you might be allowed to view the contents of this room which even in the sixties had very restricted access. Indeed, it did not open properly to the public until 2000!

The partial nudity is the secret of her attraction, of course, as the Victorians (or whatever their Italian equivalents called themselves) realised. It is very much the effect generated by the World's most published photograph, Martin Elliott's Tennis Girl for Athena posters, of the eighteen year old Fiona Butler posing on a tennis court in Edgbaston in 1976.

The clothed top half and the naked bottom half speak more of illicit sexuality than the other way round as demonstrated by Karolina Kurkova in this picture.
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Black and White Babe of the Week 9: Stephanie Seymour

Very nearly perfect!

The matchless Stephanie Seymour was never quite as famous as Cindy Crawford or Claudia Schiffer but it is arguable that her early work for Victoria's Secret helped to make the American lingerie chain a global brand. Blessed with fine legs and a superlative posterior she was always likely to head towards the lingerie/swimwear end of modelling.

She started an affair with the head of the Elite modelling agency when only 15 (jammy bastard) but it was all over by the time she was 19. Now 40, she returned to headline Salvatore Ferragamo's Autumn/winter collection in 2007
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Micro skirt

We were walking along Oxford Street this morning, at about 9.15am, when a lovely girl pops out of a side road in the tiniest pleated micro skirt you can imagine. She was obviously in a hurry as she broke into a jog, flicking up her skirt and revealing her athletic black knickers. She perked up our whole morning!
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Eh Oh!

We were driving from Amman to Jerash this weekend, as you do, but were rather alarmed to see somone in a full Teletubbies Po suit waving, in a rather surreal way, from the kerb. Po did not seem to be advertising anything in particular, he was just there, in the 34 degree heat, waving. One of the wierder experiences of the last few months.
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Black and White Babe of the Week 8: Karen Mulder

5'10" Karen was born in the Netherlands in 1970 and by the early nineties had become one of the very top supermodels and best friends with, none other than, Mrs Nicolas Sarkozy.

Unfortunately, she appeared to go loopy after finishing with the modelling industry at the end of the nineties, accusing many people of sexually assaulting her in claims that appeared to have no substance whatsoever. It was rumoured that she could not take not being famous anymore, whereas she claimed she had always hated being photographed. After a spell in a psychiatric hospital she appears to be recovered and even appeared on the catwalk once more in a special show for Dior.

She was always one of Triple P's favourite supermodels.
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Miss June: Luci Victoria

It's rather late to put up our calendar girl for June but Agent Triple P has been settling into his new job in the glittering West End. It is rather odd not to be in the City any more but the loss of tidy, quiet and uncluttered streets is compensated for by the sheer number of attractive (largely foreign) young ladies wandering about in very little clothing.

In complete contrast to foreign girls coming to England here is an English girl who successfully crossed to America.

This is actually a very naughty shot for Playboy. It might alarm Scottish people!

Luci Oldfield (to give her her correct name) from Sheffield who is now 26, became Playboy Playmate of the Month for September 2003. It's very unusual for an English girl to be selected as a Playmate.

In 2004 she stoked up some controversy by appearing on the pitch to carry out the half-time prize draw at a football match between Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle. People complained because they thought that having a Playmate on the pitch corrupted the family image of Kilmarnock. Good grief! Scottish people! You can see where Americans get their puritanism from from (other than, Puritans)!

Feeling a little horse?

As a result Luci lost the chance to promote the club's new strip for the following season, thus denying local journalists the opportunity for all sorts of clever headlines.

The opposite of dressage must be undressage

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Restaurant L'Absinthe, Paris

Triple P, who dislikes Paris for many reasons, did have an enjoyable evening the other week in the Place du Marché St. Honoré sitting outside drinking Vin Blanc Mur and watching the, admittedly attractive, Parisian women parading about.

This was then followed by an excellent dinner at a restaurant called L'Absinthe run by Michelin two star chef Michel Rostang's daughter Caroline. A New York inspired super-bistro, the food was traditional with a twist. Agent Triple P had Ravioles de Romans avec langoustines followed by L'onglet with wild mushrooms and shallots all washed down with a very nice Condrieu.

This restaurant was recommended by the concierge at the hotel we were staying in the, Renaissance Paris Vendome, which was a last minute booking but was rather good for a small hotel. Certainly the concierge was spot on in his choice.
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