WRITING SAMPLES

Read more Marilyn Gauthier Corners the Market on the Girls from Ipanema

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Last February, the New York Times reported that coffee and nuts had been replaced as Brazil's hottest exports by a new crop—supermodels. Model-of-the-moment Gisele Bundchen was only the beginning. Everywhere in fashion land, the call went out for dark-skinned, succulent beauties. By April, New York magazine was reporting that dermatologists were concerned women would be getting dark tans like those of the trendy Brazilians.

None of this came as any surprise to Marilyn Gauthier of the Marilyn model agency in New York, who manages some of the most coveted faces this season. Two and a half years ago, she predicted the Brazilian boom and began scouring the beaches near Sao Paulo for the next Kate Moss (whom she discovered in the early 1990s). Her finds, including Fernanda Tavares and Caroline Ribiero, are among the biggest in the industry. "Beautiful is back," Gauthier says of the craze for Brazilian models. "They have incredible bodies and warm personalities. On the runway, Fernanda caught all the eyes because she couldn't help swinging her hips."

Truth be told, beautiful is always in. Likewise, careful marketing never hurts. With her boutique agency in the spotlight, Gauthier is throwing the promotion throttle wide open. This fall, her agency is releasing its first-ever fashion-photography book, featuring all of its sexy superstars, such as Helena Christensen, Moss, and Esther Canadas, as well as Brazilian women like Ribiero, Tavares, and Ines Rivero.

The idea behind the book is to turn the Marilyn Gauthier name into a glamour brand, as agencies like Elite, Ford, and IMG have done in the past.

As for the Brazilians, they seem delighted with all the attention. "It's great, because two weeks ago, the country was known only for football [soccer]," says Tavares. “But now you see that Brazil is such a huge, beautiful country, and the women, they are natural, sexy."



Image DemoStuff We Love: Heart-Healthy Chocolates

iVillage

Chocolate, good for us? Ah, life is sweet indeed. With recent reports that dark chocolate is brimming with cancer-zapping antioxidants and heart-healthy fats, we guiltlessly present to you: the best in cocoa.

Packing Heat Want to spice up your chocolate regimen? Put a fire in your belly with Vosges's cinnamon-and-chili-infused Red Fire bar. Specializing in haut-chocolat, Vosges goes where no chocolatier has gone before, combining hand-selected spices and flowers from around the world with premium chocolate. So, what's it gonna do for you? Well, what isn't it going to do for you, my dear? Cinnamon, the überspice, touts everything from lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides to increasing concentration and circulation. All things in moderation, of course: Cinnamon at unknown-though-very-high levels can be toxic. Just ask those darn mosquitoes; apparently cinnamon oil (in laboratory trials) is even more effective than DEET. Who knew?
VosgesChocolate.com

Livin' La Vida Mocha Behold: the true chocolate buzz. Scharffen Berger's chocolate-coated coffee beans deliver a wallop of caffeine and feel-good chemicals, all in one fell crunch. But can this delectable duo possibly be good for you? With recent studies suggesting that coffee boosts mood and memory, sharpens concentration and lowers one's risk of diabetes, all we have to say is, where have you bean all my life? So long, double shot, half caf, clouds in my 'ccino; we'll take our beans straight up. ScharffenBerger.com

How Now, Brown Cow? You want to jump on the chocolate-for-health bandwagon, but baby don't do dark. Milk it for all it's worth with Chick Chocolates calcium-fortified milk chocolate. A one-ounce pack of Strong Chick serves up 47 percent of your recommended daily calcium intake. We can think of worse ways to spend 155 calories. Sure, you won't get any of the cancer-fighting antioxidants offered by dark chocolate (you'll need the Extreme Chick for that), but you can toss out those "let's pretend this plastic tastes like chocolate" calcium chews. Just remember, strong bones by way of chocolate will not help you squeeze into your favorite jeans. ChickChocolate.com

Turning Japanese The Japanese have it all over us when it comes to a healthful diet. Statistics show they have the longest life expectancy on the planet. While that is probably due more to their seaweed and soy consumption than their chocolate intake, we at iVillage believe in small changes. And what better way to incorporate their yin into our yang than a Vosges Black Pearl bar? Infused with wasabi, ginger and black sesame seeds, it offers the antioxidant power of dark chocolate along with the health benefits of wasabi (fights cancer, cavities and blood clots), ginger (digestive aid, immunity booster) and sesame (lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol). VosgesChocolate.com

Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart Sweet? Please, how insulting. Your life is all about bitterness and you like it that way. Well, prepare to meet your match. Extra bitter and extra healthful, Michel Cluizel's Noir Infini will challenge the taste buds of even the most particular chocophile. At 99 percent pure cocoa mass, the black beauty ‑- ironically ‑- barely qualifies as chocolate, explains spokesman Jacques Dahan. Chocolate, he says, must contain minimum amounts of liqueur (cocoa butter and particulates) and sugar. Despise the cloyingly sweet? Fanatics are devoted to Noir Infini's unadulterated flavor. Will you let go of your bitterness? Never. But here's one (chocolate) chip on your shoulder that you can be happy to eat away at. laboutiquemichelcluizel.com

Like Water for Chocolate You are a health nut to the core. If it's got any saturated fat, you're over it. Well then, Miss I-Wanna-Live-Forever, this cup's for you. Fair-trade and organic-certified, Dagoba was named best organic chocolate by Food and Wine magazine. And if you're looking for the biggest antioxidant bang for your buck, unsweetened cocoa powder has double the antioxidants of dark chocolate and four times that of red wine. That's like putting back four glasses of vino, except you get to keep the antioxidants and lose the hangover! And not to be a buzz-kill, but adding milk to your cocoa destroys those free-radical fighters, so you'd better make it with water or soy. DagobaChocolate.com

Beauty Call Tell us you don't still believe that chocolate causes acne. That's so 1982. But could the reverse actually be true? Well, if devouring chocolate bars is the way to a Swiss Miss complexion, no wonder we're so beautiful! Ecco Bella's Health by Chocolate bars are the first on the scene to actually market chocolate around the health and beauty hype. And as if all of those antioxidants in cocoa weren't enough, Ecco Bella has instilled its chocolate with cranberries, blueberries, lycopene and lutein (that's the good stuff in leafy greens, carrots and oranges). Um, did somebody order veggie fondue? EccoBella.com

Candy Is Dandy, but Liquor Is Quicker Chocolate or wine? So many delicious ways to get your antioxidants ‑- how is a girl to choose? Jacques Torres, the only chocolatier in New York City to manufacture his own chocolate from scratch, lets you have both. His confections, which are almost too beautiful to eat (oh, but we'll just force ourselves), pack that alcohol punch with the Grand Cru, a red wine complemented by dark chocolate, and the Bin 27 Port. Sour grapes? Not in this box of chocolates. JacquesTorres.com

This Takes the German Chocolate Cake Princess complex? You? Just because your favorite part of a bachelorette party is wrestling the tiara away from the bride-to-be? We're not here to judge. But if the royal treatment is your thing, feast your taste buds on Feodora's Grand'Or. Germany's Princess Feodora was so taken by this chocolate (hey, she needed something to do while her sister ruled the empire) that it now carries her name and the family coat of arms. If it's rich enough for aristocratic blood, well, we'll take the chocolate over a rhinestone tiara anytime. Feodora.de

Choosing a Healthful Slab of Chocolate Dark chocolate is made from cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar. While cocoa butter imparts some antioxidants, it's the cocoa that contains the highest amount of natural antioxidants. Because of the saturated fats in the cocoa butter, chocolate will never truly be a health food, but luckily it also has its fair share of unsaturated fatty acids ‑- those heart-healthy oils known to reduce cholesterol. When selecting a piece of chocolate to indulge in, here are your best healthful hints:

  • Choose chocolates with a high percentage of cocoa solids.
  • Choose bittersweet over semisweet. Bittersweet chocolates tend to have less added sugar than semisweet.
  • If possible, avoid refined white sugars, which impart that lovely sugar rush and the not-so-lovely after-crash. Chocolates sweetened with evaporated cane juice and barley malt don't metabolize so quickly.
  • Choose single-origin chocolates. The latest rage in the gourmet chocolate world, single-origin beans guarantee the manufacturer knows where the product is coming from. This usually means fair trade practices for the cacao plantation owners. Michel Cluizel has gone one step further by releasing a line of single-plantation bars (pictured above).
  • Go organic. Nobody wants pesticides messing with their chocolate bars, but what many consumers don't realize is that most cacao is grown organically anyway, whether or not it's got the official certification sticker on it. Read the labels or check the Websites of your favorite chocolate to be sure.


Image DemoDresden Dolls

AOL Digital City

The Dolls: Slinky, sexy, churlish and ferocious, Amanda Palmer, one-half of Boston's punk Goth cabaret duo, could rip the heart from any man with little more than a flash of her delicious, dangerous smile. As Palmer whispers and wails against the eerie, vaudevillian tinkling of her piano, drummer Brian Viglione plays up Palmer's dramatic lines with jazz- and hardcore-inspired percussion.

The Songs: From cajoling to threatening, Palmer's playful eroticism makes light of her whimsically barbed lyrics. Covering the usual grim fare of love's labors lost, Palmer's songs are anything but crude expressions of anger. She has all the depth of PJ Harvey and the asylum-chic persona of Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O.

The Hype: The Dresden Dolls' 2003 self-titled, debut album, produced by Martin Bisi, has already propelled them to cult status, selling out shows regularly throughout the Northeast and making Rolling Stone's top ten albums of the year. In true Goth fashion, the Dolls paint their faces pancake white and don cabaret-style attire for every performance, which never fail to evoke all the theatrics of a tantalizing if twisted burlesque show.


Image DemoHey Mister DJ, This Scene Is Beat

CollegeClub.com

When a musician finally achieves rock star status, there are certain lifestyle privileges one assumes he or she can now take for granted. For instance, a world-renowned DJ should be able to afford a relatively hedonistic night of clubbing while tossing back more than a few drinks and be able to do it all over again the next night. If anything, it’s the liver that should wear out before the wallet. Anywhere, that is, except on the swankier-than-thou, hipster-haven Ibiza.

"I find it difficult to afford drinks here, and I'm a DJ," says Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay, who traveled to the island with bandmate Andy Cato to play at a weekend bash thrown by Axe deodorant body spray.

The highlight of the event was meant to be a private outdoor performance by Groove Armada and drum-and-bass trio Kosheen at a secret villa in the countryside, complete with pools and chill-out lounges. But it was a far from ideal vacation, and if drink prices were the only thing Tom had to complain about that weekend, we all might have left with a better impression of the so-called White Island. Considering the constant downpours that met us every time we stepped outside and the sand that was as pale as Beyonce’s over-photographed behind, I’m not sure where its albino reputation comes from. The only white about it were the pasty faces of sun-starved Londoners island-hopping for the holiday.

When the outdoor concert was inevitably rained out, Axe event planners scrambled last-minute to move the show to an unmemorable club called Kania. Equipment setup was shoddy; there was no time for a sound-check; and after only two songs, Kosheen hastily left the stage while Groove Armada opted for a short if ill-sounding DJ set.

After that, who wouldn’t need a drink?

Where flocks of teenage hippies and ravers used to cram the floors of superclubs Pascha and Eden, taxis are instead pulling up to let out couture-clad jetsetters. Promoters are trying to make a clean sweep of the island after bad press all but labeled Ibiza as an unchaperoned teenage drunkfest. And what’s wrong with that? In America, we call that Spring Break.

So how does a holiday on the Mediterranean island compare to, say, the Panama City-style bash American co-ed collegians are used to? Still known as the club capital of the world, Ibiza gloats in its glossier, glammier image. For the serious clubber, there is no better vacation destination, but with entrance fees of $50 and drinks ranging from an eight-dollar water to a $15 Red Bull and vodka, it’s beyond the means of most students.

Lucky for us, Axe picked up the entire tab for our trip, and even gave us a few bucks in spending money. And, being one female among many men on the trip, this CollegeClubber came home with a few bucks to spare—yep, we’re talking profit. If the only form of chivalry alive these days is a free shot or three of tequila, consider me your drunken damsel in distress.

American students have, shall we say, less-refined needs than most European island-hoppers; where Ibiza vacationers are out scouting the funkiest new beat to groove to, beer, bikinis and beaches are just about all American kids need for a good time. Pay money for music? The only dance move most Spring-Break-bound boys know is the bump and grind, and that they’ll do with or without a beat.


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