LOVE and WARdrobe

A Dose of Pose


Behind every good man is a good woman, and behind every killer outfit is a killer pose.

Obtaining the right pose is like investing in a new bag; a bag that can be worn to every occasion, with every outfit and is probably the most priceless possession you will ever own. It will take you time to work for, but once you have it, it
s there for life, taking you through the good, the bad and the beautiful times.

After all, a diamond clutch means nothing accessorised with a grubby tracksuit. Like the right jewels dangling from the earlobe, the right pose while dangling from the arm of your man is set to get the paparazzo’s lights flashing, meaning your diamonds will not be the only precious gem shining in the dark.

A photograph is only skin-deep, ask any star-or better still, their publicist. The key to having a good photograph taken is to strike a great-or interesting-pose. Shape your look to shape your story. Perfecting a front can save you columns of unwanted gossip seeping into the tabloids, after all, some laundry is just not meant to be exposed.

Both Sarah Jessica Parker’s and Madonna’s divorces were prematurely predicted by the press simply by analysing how the couples posed and walked together in public. Eye contact would be avoided, bodies tilted away and the expression of someone who has just been told their dog has eaten their exclusively-made new shoes would be worn at all-times.

Many newspapers and magazines have body-language experts whose job it is simply to analyse how a celebrity stands with their partner - the smallest glance or a split-second of annoyance can be identified and splashed all over the pages of a paper before you’ve even had time to crack a smile. A secret source close to one of the hottest stars describes how often couples’ photographs are torn apart in the hope that a fall-out will ensue after the article is written, just to allow more stories to be conjured up; ‘Often I am asked to read more into a picture than is there. It is important for those in the limelight to hide their personal lives away from the camera, as no one wants their relationship to be picked apart when they are actually really happy together’.

If there is anybody who knows how to deal with marital problems in the public eye, it’s Victoria Beckham. Solidarity between the Beckams was formed via body language to defend the marriage and, of course, brand Beckham after Rebecca Loos claimed infidelity on David Beckham’s part. Victoria remained the face of dignity as she clung close to her man, turning her body towards him and entwining her fingers between his, showing that no one could break their bond. A bond which is still evident today, as the Queen of Publicity never fails to reveal anything more than her appearance to the gossip-hungry tabloids; mainly thanks to her eye-contact-avoiding sunglasses.

Victoria’s posing career started long before her Beckham days, however. Her role as Posh Spice in the Spice Girls was mostly dependent on her image, as the press pilloried her for a lack of vocal skills.

However, this mattered not to fans who loved her for her character, her dress sense and of course, her pouting. Publicist Justin Form notes how using poses to create an identity led to very profitable career; ‘the Spice Girls wouldn’t have had the success they did if it weren’t for their different and easily-copyable identities and iconic poses- girls could be Sporty Spice by kicking a leg up, or Baby Spice by resting a finger on their lips’.

Victoria merged the persona of posh and sexy through combining short- A-line minis and all-in-one leather cat-suits with the pose of the 90’s; a pout, a direct gaze and head over her shoulder, with her chin tilted downwards. Next emerged the peace and pout posture- accompanied by the ‘Girl Power’ mantra. Of course Feminism had no connection with the Spice Girls, and certainly had nothing to do with the peace sign, but glamming up the hippy-iconography with a pout certainly led to a good and easily-identifiable pose. A pose which was copied by many of us as children, as we danced around in our mum’s lipstick and princess-style shoes.

As we matured from our sequin shoes to our Jimmy Choos, so did Victoria’s pose. Her award-winning formula takes the formula of a hand on the hip, direct gaze at the camera and, famously, no smile. Another favourite is the head tilted down, sunglasses on and usually combined with a model-stride. After all, we all know that a WAG never has a moment to rest.

Nevertheless, not even the best of us can get it right all the time- La Beckham certainly didn’t impress when she was too busy posing to cheer her husband on when he scored for England.

Mariah Carey suffered from the opposite as she appeared unnaturally happy while on holiday with new her hubby Nick Cannon, in what she says are un-posed photographs. ‘Although we all love the idea of a novel-like romance, the most genuine signs of affection appear in the smallest of gestures, not full-throttle, hair-flicking perfectly in the wind, false smiles and giving each other piggy back style snaps’, adds photographer James Conway.

Mismatching a pose can also undermine the integrity of a star; Avril Lavinge came under much criticism when she bleached her hair blonde, moving away from her former Emo, rock-hands and anti-preppy image. Luscious girly blonde locks didn’t quite mix with the girl who used to stick her tongue out at cameras and would never dream of non-aggressive, unconcerned-with-prettiness stances.

Of course controversial or ill-fitting poses can sometimes lead to an almighty amount of press; Michael Jackson in his Earth Song posed in the crucifix position, affording him much criticism as many took this to mean he thought he was God- showing the impact a pose can have.

The stars who have really conquered the art of posing, however, are those who can be recognised by their silhouette. Whether it be Marilyn Monroe with her dress blowing up, or Elvis Presley in his Jailhouse stance, these are the posers whose poses have outlived their death. Charlie’s Angels offer a very well-recognised pose with the three angels holding guns up in a display of female strength and sexuality. Basically- if a star can be summed up in one pose in a game of charades then you know that their fame is secure.

However, there is an art to the pose; it must be neither natural nor over-forced, unless you are Paris Hilton of course. The right posture can make you appear to have dropped pounds, can make you look taller, make you appear more confident and can accentuate your best body parts while hiding those less desirable areas. It can identify you with a group of people, or distance you from them. The key is to obtain a iconic pose that is easily copied yet will always be related back to you- such as Michael Jackson and the tilting of a hat. Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo both embrace this gesture, yet everyone still associates it with Michael Jackson. Of course it used to belong to Fred Astaire, but that was Jacko’s point.

Tomo Alexander, the actor and club promoter who boasts friend such as Jodie Marsh and countless glamour models, changes his pose along with the seasons. As Dior opens a new show on the runway, and magazines are discussing this season’s new look, Tomo is preparing for the new pose for his group of elite party-goers known as ‘Team Gorgeous’. The ethos of his nights out include posing, pouting and partying with the most, well, gorgeous, people around. Usually spotted drinking Cristal at Crystal, Tomo’s current pose is to glance to the side while facing the camera blankly wearing only a pout. He must in any photograph, whether it be for the paparazzi or for Facebook, carry this pose, making him incredibly recognisable, not merely because he has he biggest spiky hair probably to have graced the West End. He enlists his very own ‘posing’ competitions, awarding congratulations to the best pose of the night. All very Zoolander!

However, the right pose doesn’t have to come in seasons, as often the perfect pose can last you a lifetime. The basics are essential, a great pose will be supported by a great body. Yoga can help your posture by strengthening your core muscles. If you fancy getting tips from the old greats, then you can practice walking with a book on your head, which will help you maintain perfect poise, after all the Quasimodo look will never be popular.

Finally, it is important to remember to have fun whilst posing. If you fancy creating an air of mystery, covering your eyes really adds a sense of intrigue, and this doesn’t even have to be done with sunglasses. A masquerade mask is a great alternative for a night out. If you fancy getting flirty, there’s no need to go full-out on the FHM poses- a hand on the hip, with the eyes glancing upwards behind some ultra-long fake eyelashes offers an elegant-yet-seductive alternative, and if you fancy just being silly, then you can always resort to superhero poses or do rabbit fingers behind someone’s head. Yes, we thought not.