Top mod and Hamptons regular Hilary Rhoda headed to East Hampton for the Veronica Beard Fall ’16 campaign, which was shot by Claiborne Swanson Frank—sister of Veronica Swanson Beard, one half of “the Veronicas.” The result: dreamy images with the ultimate East End vibe, from the beachy architecture to the moody landscape. We caught up with Rhoda to get the deetz of the shoot, her summer plans, and what else she has in store.
What was it like working with the Veronicas, Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, for the fall campaign?
They’re so much fun! We had a great day. I loved the family aspect of it all, and it really set the mood for the whole day of our shoot. Very comfortable, relaxed…I felt like I was part of the family when we were done. It was shot at a really cool house in East Hampton overlooking Accabonac Harbor. I was only out there for the day, though, because I had to get back for another shoot in the city.
What’s one of your favorite pieces you wore for the shoot?
I love the blazer with the mock-turtleneck dickey that you can zip in and out of the body and sleeves. It’s such a cool look and I love that it’s two pieces in one—and yay for no bulking!
The day of the shoot was also your birthday—happy belated! What did you do to celebrate?
My thoughtful husband, Sean [Avery], drove me out East and back with our dogs, so that was nice. We left the city at 5 a.m. and didn’t get back until 9 p.m., so we watched “Real Housewives” and ordered in…which, for the record, makes for a pretty perfect night, in my book!
Any summer plans coming up?
Besides going back and forth to the Hamptons, we are going to Muskoka in August, which is the most picturesque lake town about two hours north of Toronto. Nobody drives there—you get around by boat. It’s the cutest place…even your newspaper gets dropped off on your dock in the morning. My first time there was for a friend’s wedding three years ago, and I cannot wait to get back! We’ll be there with Sean’s parents and a couple of our friends.
What’s your go-to workout during the summer season?
I am a Tracy Anderson devotee through and through. Tracy teaches tons of classes at her studio in the Hamptons all summer long, which is always really fun. But honestly, it’s the best workout. It’s so hard, but the results you see are insane. Love her.
Anything else you’re working on?
I have pretty much been spending all of my time, when I’m not modeling, on acting classes and studying—over 150 hours. It’s been so fun and I’m really excited for what’s to come in the near future.
Sean Avery and Hilary Rhoda leaving a Duane Reade store after seeing a matinee performance of ‘Privacy’ at The Public Theater on 24 July 2016.
Hilary stars the latest issue of The Evening Standard Magazine out tomorrow where she talk about fitness and body health
Tilly Macalister-Smith charts the rise of fashion’s new minimalist mood — and talks to model (and fitness addict) Hilary Rhoda about society’s changing attitudes to the female form
There’s no doubt about it — revolution is in the air. Earlier this month, Jennifer Aniston wrote an outspoken critique of contemporary body norms in the Huffington Post: ‘The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing,’ she said, adding that she’s sick of being ‘measured against some warped standard of beauty.’
Elsewhere, everyone from Emily Ratajkowski to Hillary Clinton has spoken out against the policing of the female physique. Even London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has joined the charge — he announced last month that TFL will ban ‘body-shaming’ ads following last summer’s protests over the Protein World ‘Are you beach body ready?’ poster, featuring a svelte girl in a bikini. He said he had the welfare of his two teenage daughters in mind.
Body politics has never felt more potent. This summer a sweep of strong, athletic women has dominated the popular consciousness. Jessica Ennis gearing up for Rio; Serena Williams winning her seventh Wimbledon and 22nd Grand Slam title, and Beyoncé, glorious in a leotard and thigh-high boots, performing ‘Formation’ at Wembley.
On social media, the hashtags ‘girl gains’ (as in, muscle gains) and ‘strong not skinny’ have come to represent the celebration of female physical power. Thanks to the likes of FitBit, ClassPass and dial-a-PT apps, being fit — and being strong — has never been easier (or more appealing). As Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist at Harley Street’s Private Therapy Clinic, puts it: ‘Women are understanding that skinny doesn’t mean healthy, and that strength and working on what you can do with your body rather than restricting yourself is far more empowering.’
The fashion world is waking up to it. This season’s pre-collections — traditionally a time when we breathe a sigh of relief as autumnal layers begin hitting the shop floor — included a raft of revealing entries, among them Chantilly lace-trimmed negligees from Valentino and Nina Ricci, and Stella McCartney’s shoulder-baring asymmetric dress. Underpinning it is a celebration of the female form at its strongest. Victoria Beckham, too, who has in recent seasons discovered a quieter composure and confidence, demonstrated with her exquisite minimal cream dress.
It was with this new mood in mind that we asked Hilary Rhoda to model the looks you see here. With her long, lean biceps, clearly defined abdominals and boundless energy, the Maryland-born model epitomises a new confidence borne from power and posture. Scouted at 16, gracing the cover of American Vogue by 20 and a Sports Illustrated regular, she’s part of a tribe of healthy models that includes kickboxing Karlie Kloss and cross-training Gigi Hadid.
Though naturally slim, there is nothing fragile or waif-like about Rhoda. Now 29 and 5’11”, she told us on set that at school she towered over the boys but ‘never felt insecure about it. I played basketball and thought being tall was cool’. She still works out every day (for an hour and a half each morning), doing a combination of choreographed dance cardio and leg exercises on a mat at super-PT Tracy Anderson’s NYC gym, as well as regular spin classes. When travelling she packs a skipping rope and 3lb leg weights. The aim? Strength. ‘It makes me feel good and it gives me that mental clarity.’
Ella Eyre: I want to help girls stop worrying about body image
Talking like an athlete, she tells me she eats ‘for fuel’: having Greek yoghurt with granola and fruit or eggs and hot sauce for breakfast, plenty of salads, and a good amount of chocolate (peanut M’n’Ms are a favourite). If she’s eating out with her Canadian former pro ice hockey-player husband, Sean Avery, nothing beats ‘pasta with peas’, at Da Silvano in New York. The idea of doing a ‘crash diet’ for a photo shoot is anathema to her.
To which we say: quite right, too. Long live powerful body confidence. Vive la revolution.
On Wednesday night, Hilary, musicians, actors, models, and fashion devotees alike gathered at The Lucky Bee in downtown New York for an intimate dinner to celebrate designer Jason Wu’s new line GREY Jason Wu. The evening’s cuisine was inspired by Asian street fare and guests sported decorative fans and parasols to match. Wu himself even stepped behind the bar to shake up a few cocktails.
Photographer: Sebastian Sabal-Bruce
Stylist: Vanessa Bellugeon
Hair Stylist: Jennifer Yepez
Make-Up Artist: Vincent Oquendo
Sean Avery and Hilary Rhoda Riding Bikes in Soho while shopping and having a hard time locking up their bikes on 17 July 2016.
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