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23 November 2009

maison21, america's next top model (sunset magazine photo shoot)

this past september, maison21 had the fun opportunity to be a model for a sunset magazine photoshoot! one of the editors at sunset saw the palm springs house m21 helped his bff, rudy decorate, when it was published in ty pennington at home magazine last june, and rented it as a location for a holiday party feature. they then asked rudy if he had any friends who would be interested in being photographed as party guests: the magazine would feed us and liquor us up, and in return we'd laugh and have a good time, plus get our pictures published in a magazine- a no brainer! and for maison21, it was a triple no brainer: have fun, have a project he worked on photographed and published, and get a blog post out of it too? you'd have to pay to keep him away!
the intolerably cramped dressing room. (supermodels from left: jamie, jane, brad, yvette, jeff and will)

but all was not fun and games, and we have a new respect for models- modeling is hard, hard, work!

the problems began when the editors didn't read m21's contract- we were supposed to get our own private dressing room, stocked with the three C's of a supermodel's diet: champagne, cocaine and cigarettes; but somehow we ended up sharing a room with EIGHT other models, and being forced to survive on a steady stream of home made taquitos, chips, salsas and guacamole, along with yummy mexcan themed hors d'oeuvres, and all washed down with frosty cranberry margaritas (everything freshly prepared and served to us by chef/food stylist, valerie aikman-smith, mind you). well, it was inhuman and demeaning, and the nightmare of being forced to consume all that delicious food and drink will stick with us for a long, long, time... (all recipes available in the december issue of sunset, btw- on newsstands now!)
lots of downtime on the set- two of the models jane, and jamie, discuss techniques for snagging rockstar boyfriends.

now maison21 knew from intensive watching of america's next top model that a good model, like an actor, emotes for the camera by playing a role, and tells a story to the camera with only his or her eyes. m21 kept hounding the sunset staff for his motivation to emote for the camera, and they just stared at him blankly! do they even watch tyra & co? i mean, how could i know what story to tell, and emotion to project, without some sort of direction? so masion21 reached deep into his soul (or his inner tyra), and came up with his own character and backstory: maison21 would be "happy guy at party with drink". we think the results were incredibly successful, and the emotions expressed with my eyes alone will leap from the page and sear into your soul...
more downtime- two supermodels, sam and mona, discussing emoting with 'only their eyes'...

by far, the most grueling part of the day was having to pretend we were having fun hanging out with a bunch of other models- i mean, four whole hours hanging out with witty and engaging friends, eating awesome food and and having drinks practically forced down our throats? while relaxing and observing the workings of a entertainment feature photoshoot, and not having to worry about styling it or making it look good ourselves? it was brutal, we tell ya, brutal, and we will NEVER work under such onerous conditions again!
even more down time- the photographer and her assistant set up a shot, while supermodel rudy points out he "has a party to go to- can they speed things up?" and supermodel alison is just languorously bored.

in all seriousness, as you can tell, the shoot was a blast- the staff from sunset was great to work with, everyone had tons of fun, and the results speak for themselves (below). we will model again in a heartbeat, if asked! (exotic foreign location shoots preferred, of course)...

the finished product, from the december issue of sunset magazine
(feature produced by laura dye lang & amy machnak, photos by andrea m. gomez & styled by miranda jones)
the money shot- a double page intro to the article
supermodels (from left): jane, yvette, rudy, moi, alison, jamie, will and jeff

supermodels jamie, rudy and yvette, pretending to like each other...

supermodels jeff, jane, m21 & alison- can you feel me in my role of "happy guy at party with drink"? i totally nailed it!

now run to the newsstands and buy the magazine! the photos shown are just part of the feature- there's lots more about holiday entertaining, including decor ideas and recipes (trust us- it's worth buying for the cranberry margarita recipe alone), plus all the rest of the "best in the west" you expect from sunset magazine!

12 comments:

Paul Anater said...

Whuh? No hystrionics to report? You didn't scratch anyone's face for disrespecting you? No tearful confessions about cutting or eating disorders? No private chats with the dreamy Nigel Barker? Why, this doesn't sound at all like ANTM.

Thank God! Congrats on the acknowledgement and the spread in Sunset, may it lead to tons of work, fortune and even more fame Christian.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Love this! I am so glad to know that some of these party spreads are actual parties (sort of). The house looks great and so do the "models". (And now I am totally hungry for taquitos).

tula said...

You, my darling, are smiling with your eyes. even mona is smizing head-2-toe. Tyra would be proud.

Your character as the "happy guy at party with drink" is coming through loud at clear. I am definitely getting this magazine.

jones said...

I can see that life has been really rough!! Mona looks great. Happy Thanksgiving.

Julio said...

Thanks for the eye candy and laugh Christian. You totally nailed your role..in fact, I didn't notice Jeff & Jane because of you. Great design work on the home.

The Garden Party said...

this absolutely was a real party, good friends, good times, good food and drink. thanks for posting the whole story, Christian!

katiedid said...

Christian...although you may have a new calling....and I am sure you would make the cover of Vogue in a NY minute....you cannot leave us. You just cannot. That being said...you DID nail it. I want one of those margaritas right now. I'm off to find a copy of the magazine, Tata!

Suzy said...

You did totally nail it, even after hours of inhumane torture! Sounds like it was a fun day...

Topsy Turvy said...

Christian, great job on the house – and your modeling debut was spot on! As for Mona, well ... I'm sure the contract offers will be pouring in soon. She has totally mastered the art of emoting with her eyes.
-Lana

jamesxvi said...

This looks like fun! You should bring your friends out to Garvinweasel for a weekend. You guys bring your own toolbelts and I'll provide the Three C's diet... the local variant, that is, Catfish, Cigarettes and Cider. And yes, I want to be the first one in town (pop. 323) to get this magazine!

Lucinda said...

Naomi Campbell ain't got nothin on you!

Suzy Parker LaCroix said...

Congrats! I was just drooling over this article over the holiday. I loved the party decor - I'm planning to steal a few ideas!