Models, they’re just like us: Chicago artist Laura Collins offers a tongue-in-cheek illustration of the topsy-turvy world of fashion.
“I like to highlight people’s flaws—especially celebrities— in a way that makes them feel more human,” says Laura Collins. To wit, the Elmwood Park native’s portfolio boasts pieces like “Paris Hilton with Lipstick on Her Teeth,” “Lisa Vanderpump with Her Pet Swan,” and “An Olsen Twin Hiding Behind Her Hair Carrying Three Bags” (the latter of which inspired THNK1994’s cult exhibit “The Olsen Twins Hiding from the Paparazzi” in Brooklyn last spring).
But to Chicagoans at least, Collins is perhaps best known for her 15-piece “Runway Model Falling” collection, which has been on view at various Dollop Coffee locations. While “Runway Model Falling #4 (Milana Bogolepova during Dior)” is Collins’ favorite piece from the series visually (“It kind of looks like a cupcake—really sweet-looking”), she prefers the concept behind “Runway Model Falling #14 (Candice Swanepoel during Givenchy).” “It’s that introduction to the viewer’s gaze as not just skeptical or judging, but actually empathetic and wanting to help,” observes the Lakeview resident.
And while most of us haven’t walked a mile in Agyness Deyn’s seven-inch shoes, we’ve all taken a tumble here and there, making it easier to relate to these otherwise ideal glamazons. After all, reasons Collins, “I like bringing them down to our level—no pun intended.”