Lakshmi in Vogue US: Decoded

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After featuring in Dazed and Confused, model Lakshmi Menon makes appearance in Vogue US. The spread, shot in Goa by Mikael Jansson, features Lakshmi in a variety of whites and colored outfits…

I so badly want that Ports 1961 dress… Any that jump out at you?

P.S. Boy, are we jealous that an item on our Lust List made its way onto Lakshmi! She makes it look sooo goood.


Yves Saint Laurent, Spring 2009


Yves Saint Laurent, Spring 2009


Michael Kors, Pre-Fall 2009


Carolina Herrera, Spring 2009


Alexander McQueen Diamond Print Dress


Marni Top and Pants


Left: Liz Claiborne
Right: Moschino Cheap and Chic


Left: Ports 1961
Right: Kate Moss For Topshop

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  1. how good looking is she!!?

    I love the the Mcqueen, both the pic and the dress…. and that smile! such a lovely candid pic. (God! i believe this is what is known as gushing)

  2. I love this whole editorial! Every photo tells a different story, and lakshmi is absolutely glowing 🙂

    My boyfriend said he loves the bikini pic lol..i adore her in the 2nd yves saint laurent dress she looks soo erethral

  3. i adore the second YSL dress and the Alexander Mcqueen dress on her. also, i appreciate the photographer’s angles….each picture tells a tale and looks likea moving image instead of a standstill regular photoshoot.

  4. i dont know about others.. but that Caroline Herrera shot doesnt make her look feminine from any angle.. if u know what i mean! she is tall and thats it- not beautiful at all.. but photoshoot wise,good work..

  5. the Ports 1961! it totally pops, and looks soo good!
    and lakshmi is fabulous. the face, the body, the credulity in front of the camera. gorgeous.:)

  6. I was just thinking about Laksmhi, and when I first saw her in that Afro Disiaque shoot back in October. It’s nice to see American glossies are finally catching on! And I’m sure I’m not the first to say that the Liz Claiborne shot is fantastic.

  7. And @Surbhi: I think what people find appealing about Lakshmi is that she does have this natural androgynous bent to her- not the forced looks you see on the runways. Personally, I find that her complexity in this aspect is what makes her stand out in a brilliant way. But, to each her own!

  8. I am surprised to see that this is for Vogue US because most spreads and celebrity layouts turn out to be predictable in the case of US Vogue and Anna Wintour

  9. She looks so good in this shoot- very happy and natural- esp in the McQueen dress.
    But, I always thought she was from Bangalore, and when did the whole of Goa become one town? As a quasi goan(married into a goan fam), I know that each part of the state is beautiful in different ways, and not all of it is beach- side… Hate when westerners can’t be bothered to get their facts right about India.

  10. The Liz Claiborne swimsuit pic…GORGEOUS! She’s stunning when she’s sans make-up…shows off her tan and dimples. This is one of her best shoots ever!

  11. she looks like a goddess in YSL

    i just want to ask u guys– acc to ur comment poilcy, comments calling someone fat arent approved but saying outright that someone is “not beautiful” is okay?isnt beauty completely subjective, just like body weight?

  12. lol, Vouge (US, ironically) loves her….how many times has she been featured?
    she deserves it anyways, she looks amazing in each and every picture

  13. @Surbhi: loosen up! beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and all that, but to dismiss her so categorically seems rather churlish to me.

  14. It was styled by Edward Enninful, maybe that’s what made all the difference (also, it’s not a Meisel shoot- so glad to see them using a different model for once).

    And I’m adding my voice to the entire chorus of people going…”LOVE her smile!” (and her nice to see someone who doesn’t look like a china doll acknowledged as a beauty too)

  15. India’s Alek Wek. She is exactly what a runway model should be-a clothes hanger. Pretty faces distract the attention from the clothing. I do like that there is a certain grace to her-which is quite rare-probably because she is so tall and skinny. But I don’t think anyone would look at that and go WOW, except for a few of those who are happy to see any representation of an indian model in a US magazine. Might just as well because I don’t think the US is ready to see a model of Sonam Kapoor’s caliber. OH wait, she’s an “actress”.

  16. @Lori: If anything, I’m surprised Sonam hasn’t broken America yet! Especially before Lakshmi. Sonam and her bright smile are easily accessible, and she can wear clothes like no other. But I think Laksmhi has a wider appeal because she doesn’t necessarily look Indian- she can translate across a few cultures. And in a good way! Not like PCD “Jai Ho” way…ugh. Another story for another day…

  17. Love the topshop one. She resembles–a tanned version–Keira Knightley with that slight pout in Liz Claiborne.

    Agree with Kimmy on Lakshmi not looking Indian. She translates well into African— Ethiopian.

  18. i just have to add…body wieght is not subjective
    also, comparing Laxmi to Sonam (although, I love her too) is a bit ridiculous

  19. I agree with pdaervo, Sonam and Lashmi are not EVEN on the same level..comparing them is silly

    Sonam is a cute girl…but I don’t think she can work the ramp or look as fierce as Lakshmi does. She’s better for commercial modeling, and I think she’ll only do well in india. IMO she looks like another indian girl, she just has nice style

    Lakshmi, on the other hand, is egdy and she has very sharp, stunning features and OMG her haunting eyes! I lovvve her eyes. I also love that she’s different, and doesn’t fit into the typical-bollywood mold.

  20. LORI – I actually work for a research company that does consumer/media responses to various forms of print i.e. magazines, newspapers, novels etc, and I specialize in the fashion magazine sectors, Vogue being one of them. We have found that most who have looked at this spread have infact gone WOW. The reason Vogue decided to feature her and create this Goa spread was because of the sudden appreciation and borderline obsession of all things Indian ever since the Slumdog Phenomenon. Infact most people of other nationalities i.e. primarily American in this case are more appreciative of this spread than Indians who seem to like it mostly because it represents their country, and not for the other reasons, such as the spread actually being extremely interesting.

  21. if i may, i’d like to give my two cents as well. though i know that my previous opinions on sonam weren’t well received.

    so, i too agree that sonam and lakshmi cannot be compared. i think that CocoNUT is right about sonam only being accepted in india because she looks just like any other indian girl. i think what gives lakshmi the fierceness that everyone here loves are her expressions. if you’ve noticed, sonam doesn’t add much personality to her photoshoots strictly barring the fashion bit, whereas lakshmi does through her expressions and rawness. part of the reason for her “androgynous-ness” is not that she’s not naturally feminine, but just that she is not over-processed and dolled up like the other models/actresses.

  22. oh, also i forgot to mention that i found this spread very interesting too, it looks more like a celebration of life than fashion.

  23. I find this Sonam and Laksmi comparison a bit strange. Lakshmi is a supermodel…Sonam is an actress. The professions are different. Sonam is great compared to other Bollywood actresses…she stands out. But compariing Lakshmi to Sonam…unnecessary.

    Lakshmi has a very sweet dimpled smile…I think she needs to smile more often.

  24. errr sonam as a high fashion model???…
    umm LOLLLLL okay!!!
    she looks sweet, cute and all that jazz but where is the ability to take fashion to a different level?

    i still think body weight/image is completely subjective, unless ur referring to JNC guidelines?
    like i think sonam has quite chunky arms but im sure many do not?

    and why are people dismissing lakshmi as being successful due to her androgyny/height/thin frame etc etc. why is it difficult for them to comprehend that there are many of us who find lakshmi really truly beautiful?

  25. Her skin is amazing, and I love the Liz Clairborne shot.
    Agree with CocoNUT and PeachBellini, and yeah, we have yet to witness an effortless look. However, I like to hold my thought on Sonam being accepted in India because she looks just like any other Indian girl. They both didn’t start from same route and didn’t have the same level of exposure.

    Ok, this is a random thought and I could be wrong, feel free to contradict or correct me, but up until now I somehow feel that in western countries, a model with dark skin tone is more accepted as a model hailing from India and very chinky eyes model is accepted as a model from China. My Chinese friends don’t find her beautiful and thinks there are other Chinese models with bigger eyes and better features. I understand the definition of beauty varies from country to country, but those that are publicised on an international platform are usually chosen by the westerners (I understand fashion capitals lie there), so it feels that we adjust or mould ouselves to accept what has been sensationalised by the western media. It is not altogether bad, as they highlighting and presenting that dark tones are exotic and that chinky eyes are beautiful, but sometimes it feels as though the rest are forced to accept it. We are controlled by the media.

  26. about the body weight being subjective part- as somebody who runs 5-8 miles everyday to stay in shape, maybe I was just a little bit bitter…
    BUT how can body weight be subjective?! it’s a number!…body COMPOSITION and body IMAGE on the other hand, that’s a different story
    personally, if I could be as curvy as Christina Hendricks without looking totally bloated, I would

  27. @Nepali: I think the westerners are obsessed with dark skin color and small eyes and the easterners are obsessed with fair skin and big eyes. It’s just a matter of perception and culture. If someone does not find Laksmi beautiful that’s ok…I am sure there are plenty who do not find Aishwarya or Freida Pinto pretty. It’s subjective. I find Laksmi exotic and I can see what most westerners see in her and I can see what most desis also don’t see in her. I think it’s fabulous that dark skin color and small eyes are appreciated and highlighted because women like that are discriminated in the eastern hemisphere. As for the light skinned big eyes ladies of the east well they are pretty too but it’s nothing new to the westerners. I think in the east light skin big eyes are considered beautiful and somehow all of us have to accept it as being truly beautiful…that is also quite forceful. So it works both ways.

  28. say whatever u want guys.. she still doesnt appeal to me at all.. 🙂 its not being dark, skinny or whatever.. she just doesnt.. its not dismissing- Flower Power.. its using my right to say something..:)

  29. I agree with Lori that Lakshmi is India’s Alek Wok. Personally, I think Lakshmi is featured in these spreads for the shock factor; beautiful clothes on a model who is not conventionally beautiful.

  30. I’m Indian, my skin is the same color as hers and when I was younger I used to live in India and was mocked and called ‘blackie’ by kids and when I moved to the U.S. during my pre-teen years I found that people appreciated my skin color and many of my friends yearned for my ‘tan’ … This story sounds so cliched and like something out of the tyra banks show I know, but seeing Lakshmi here just makes me so proud and happy, mostly because it’s a girl whos skin tone and facial features are similar to mine who has a whole spread in vogue! So PRI, tell your research company that I am an Indian who DOES love this spread because seeing her here is a representation of ME and kind of makes me feel more accepted!!!!

    Sob story, I know..sorry to everyone who had to read it LOL.

  31. Pri the spread really is interesting, and I think most Indians today are mature enough to appreciate things for reasons more than just”because it talks about their country”. Also, if Vogue India edition was so interested in cashing in on the hype created by the Slumdog phenomenon, why would they not use the even a single Indian designer in the spread? I am sure the western world is as well aware of Indian fashion as we in India are about the American/European fashion designers, but since this whole concept was about cashing in on India itself, why not showcase the designers? I really don’t get that!!
    On the main topic of the spread in itself I think Menon is phenomenal. And I really like the Michael Kors dress.

  32. Ratan – I’m sure many Indians appreciate the spread for the obvious reasons such as the photography, the layouts, the colors used etc etc., but it’s true that Indians are more excited about this due to the fact that this is about India, and only then do they actually look at the content..This is a general statement, and could be the same for all other nationalities. When we heard that an Argentinian spread was being done,my colleagues from the country were excited to see it more than I was – obviously. I am not trying to insinuate that Indians aren’t mature enough to appreciate the spread for the great spread that it is, I merely meant that they are drawn to it more because it’s about their country. I think I said it wrong in the previous comment.
    Also, the reason Vogue hasn’t used a single Indian designer in the spread is because of their relationships with the designers in the spread, plus the fact that most of the people who read this edition of the magazine are in the United States and tend to buy designers easily available here. Also, and I’m sorry to say so, but they choose designers based on how good the clothes are, and it seems that the ones chosen trump designs by their Indian colleagues.

  33. I fell in love with the white one piece in the april 2009 Vogue.Can anyone please tell me where it would be available for purchase? Thank you,Monica


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