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Isn’t it to define beauty by gender to truly repress it? What is this “norm” people are so happy about? If we were all happy with the “norm”, cosmetic companies would not be so profitable. Is this norm not merely socio-acceptable “performances” on a stage, its accompanying libretto the romantic paternalism of Judeo Christian capitalism, and misogeny? Reducing society to limiting states of either/or has been the past, but how are we as conscious image makers shaping a progressive future?
I read an article on the UK Telegraph about new modeling trends. Is Andrej Pejic androgynous? Perhaps; in certain clothes, in specific lighting, emotions, etc. But overall, I’d say the Pejic beauty is effeminate.
Effeminate men have always been far more socially acceptable than masculine women. Kisha Batista, for example. So is it really about the negotiated fragilities of androgyny or a cultural discomfort with female strength?
Coiffed in an hommage to Susan Sontag’s iconic white streak and covered in $20,000 worth of crystal, Kristina Salinovic opened Marc Jacob’s 2011 Spring collection for Louis Vuitton. Printed on the program notes on every seat, the following quote:
“The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated. Camp taste is by its nature possible only in affluent societies, in societies or circles capable of experiencing the psychopathology of affluence.” —Susan Sontag
And that’s how Marc Jacobs blends fashion (blunt consumerism); urban dance culture (Paris is Burning); and that haughty flair inherent to the city of natural and most unnatural lights (“…our favourite colour is shiny”).
“Taste is an awful word, no one should ever really use it.” —Marc Jacobs
Dispelling prevailing agist perceptions of beauty, 90s icon Kristen McMenamy—who at 46 is as fit and stunning as ever—closed the show. Chess maven Carmen Kass (32) and activist Alek Wek (33) both walked the runway, glowing veterans of an industry that sees age as a numbered wrinkle, rather than an expression of life. Because Jacobs can pretty much do whatever he wants, I don’t think peppering his runway with models older than contemporary ‘It’ girls was a risk—no, it’s a clear statement.
Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Amber Valletta, Daria Werbowy, Natalia Vodianova, Jeneil Williams, Lara Stone
The fabulously expressive Atong by Mark Pillai for Russian Vogue. WOW.
John French’s photograph from 1965. Anna Wintour, anyone?
The Victoria & Albert museum had a show of John French’s photography in the late 80s. The exhibition catalog from this show is marvelous! Now on my wishist.
I love it when photographers are open to experimentation!
One more image from Spezial Fotografie: Portfolio No. 23 featuring Francis Giacobetti.
Camilla Akrans: one of my favourite contemporary photographers today. It’s not easy to direct a model to embody the combined feeling of a garment and the location. This quality, is Camila’s talent.
Número Homme #13 editorial photographed by Greg Kadel. GENIOUS.
I finally watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Annie Leibowitz’s cover of Vogue reminded me that I’ve been meaning to see the film. That, and I just picked up Marie Antoinette, Life and Death of the last Great Queen of France Catalina de Habsburgo-Lorena at Bertrand this past December, which I’m still reading.
This last shot is Leibowitz at her directive best.
Any information regarding this image (photographer, year, publication date) is much appreciated. Kate Mosslooks quite young here, I suspect this shoot is from way before the Pete Doherty days. Which would make the title of the book all the more ironic…
Maria Luisa Black Silk Taffeta Gown by John Galliano for Christian Dior. Press photo for the show “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion”, which presents a wide range of works by British designers in The Metropolitan Museum’s English Period Rooms’ The Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries.
From an era of great ideas, designers that defined the era and the man who knew how to put it all in pictures. Still stunning, still relevant.