Top tier fashion models are often described as having “chameleon-like features,” meaning their success owes to versatility in front of the lens, as opposed to the laundry list of their other genetic gifts. Kate Moss is one of those models–she has a face that’s at once startlingly beautiful and able to assume many forms (for example), Linda Evangelista is another. More recently than the ’90s supermodels, some of the great chameleons are Jessica Stam, Mariacarla Boscono, Karen Elson and Daria Werbowy.
Every now and again, a more commercia” face breaks the mold of swimsuits and lingerie and crosses over into high fashion–another kind of versatility, though perhaps not as extreme. Miranda Kerr famously did it, Kate Upton‘s in the process.
Candice Swanepoel has enjoyed massive success in both areas, too–she’s had a solo Vogue Italia cover and she’s currently wearing the $10 million Victoria’s Secret Fantasy bra.
But when it comes to commercial gigs, there’s versatility and then there’s this:
Which is to say, there’s having “chameleon-like features” and there’s having another face altogether.
That’s Candice Swanepoel on the cover of Elle UK–wearing Saint Laurent and bleached-out hair–looking less like herself and more like a Fifth Element-era Milla Jovovich.
At first, we were kind of just confused, like so:
Then something seemed off:
Then we looked at it for a while and thought, “Maybe she’s just really versatile.”
But after an extremely unscientific office poll, it would seem this just isn’t the face we’re use to seeing attached to the Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Moreover, Elle UK has a video of the shoot over on their site and Swanepoel looks just like her usual old self. So, what’s going on here–is this just Swanepoel showing her range, or is this yet another example of over-eager retouching?
Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time she’s the victim of bad Photoshop.
…Or the second.
(Gifs via Giphy, photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)