Tuesday, December 25, 2007

pattern vs. pattern

vogue italia (december 2007)
photographer: steven meisel
creative director: edward enninful
models: lara stone (cover), hanne gaby odiele, maryna linchuk, kinga razjak, megan collison

at first glance it was enough to almost instigate an acid flashback leftover from my highschool years but then you start to see a little bit of gustav klimt, a little bit of nu rave, a little bit forties pin-up tattoo, a little bit marie antoinette, a whole lotta genius. i mean i don't mean to dick ride edward enninful or anything, but the guy is a fucking genius. fucking genius.

where the sistas at?

let's face facts, fashion is still a business that revolves around the white perception of beauty. think about it, the last time miuccia prada used a black model for her fashion show was naomi campbell for her fall/winter 1997-1998 collection. that was a decade ago and twenty shows after from a woman who is regarded often as the most influential designer of our time. yet asides from korean model hye park, prada models have in many ways looked the same (i.e. white, blonde, easter europeans who are barely in their twenties). with all the talks of racial equality it appears that in a lot of ways, fashion has somewhat regressed during the last decade. consider that during the sixties courreges, cardin, and saint laurent championed the use of black and asian models during a time with so much optimism for the future, they represented their world as one that any woman can wear their clothes, regardless of their racial background. this continued onwards to the seventies with beverly johnson becoming the first black model to appear on the cover of american vogue, and the gracefull pat cleveland becoming the muse of halston and stephen burrows. the commanding presence of iman dominated the eighties and a young naomi campbell began her ascent to the top of the fashion ladder at the end of the decade. naomi is unarguably the most famous of all the black models but during her reign in the late eighties and all throughout the nineties other models of colour also made their mark. namely tyra banks who enjoyed massive commercial success, beverly peele, kiara kabukuro and perhaps the most ground breaking of all, sudanese model alek wek who's face challenged the fashion worlds notion of beauty with her obviously pronounced african aesthetic. in the two thousands, ethiopian born model liya kabede reached the top ranks of modelling and graced the cover of american, french and italian vogue and scored various high profile ad campaigns ranging from yves saint laurent, dolce and gabanna and became the first black spokeswoman of estee lauder. fashion might still be a white man's world, and it might continue to be one for a while, and black models will still be few and far between, but when the next iman or naomi or liya comes around, hopefully she'll come out opening the prada show.

alek wek
a refugee from war torn sudan, alek's story has become fashion folklore. from the dinka tribe in sudan, alek and her family left their war torn country in 1991 and applied for refugee status in england. four years later she was discovered by a model scout in south london and in 1996, made her international runway debut under the ford agency. although her unique features instantly earned attention in europe, it wasn't until she landed in new york and opened the ralph lauren show that her star status was cemented. the following year proved to be busy for alek appearing in janet jackson and busta rhymes' videos and winning the "model of the year" award by mtv in 1997, appearing in editorials in american vogue and walked the runway for calvin klein, dolce and gabanna, john galliano, yves saint laurent and chanel couture. with her new found fame, alek, the forever humanitarian brought attention to the needs of her homeland and has been an ambassador for refugees and is adamant on raising awareness to the causes she believes and has been affected by. as of now, she continues fighting for the causes she believes in, has designed a range of handbags entitled wek 1933, has written an autobiography, and every once and a while works the runways for the designers who are inspired not only by her beauty, but also her story.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

victor's secret? hmmm......

this is why alister mackie is the most ridoinkculous stylist ever. waiting for the bi-annual issue of another man magazine is like anticipating christmas morning everytime. but the gifts are always nice because of mackie and fellow stylist nicola formichetti. inspired by the photographs of horst p. horst, and robert mapplethrope's almost surreal approach of photographing the male body, nick knight twisted, stretched and androgonized the male form with the help from the other sex's unmentionables. while the sexualized male image and towering billboards of male models in their underwear have become a modern marketing phenomenon getting more and more risque each year, the male underwear has changed very, very little in the past fifty years. unless you consider boxer briefs to be as relevant as the woman being freed from the corset, male underwear is basically boring. although i really can't see anyone outside of a drag bar wearing lace underwear, it is quite a fascinating idea.

AnOther Man
photography: nick knight
creative director: alister mackie
models: marko brozic, anthony thomas

medieval versace

so after posting that spread on v magazine based on sorcery and withcraft i realized that although highly original and executed fucking brilliantly, i couldn't help but knack the feeling that i've seen something based on the same theme a while back. so after going through the gajillion folders of archives of fashion spreads and ads on the computer at my parents house (which is where i am because i got snowed in by that massive snow storm last weekend; the plows usually take longer to clear roads in this god forsaken suburb), i came across the versace ad campaign for fall/winter 98-99 and there it was. i'm usually not a fan of the versace ad campaigns because it's a bit too footballer's wife for me and sometimes verges too much on the marciano and bebe territory. but here it had a concept far beyond just showing clothes, the models were cast perfectly and versace's trademark metal mesh fabric suits the medieval concept of the story. granted that this approach to the versace brand isn't the most conducive to the house's identity, it still nevertheless a kick ass campaign.

VERSACE fall/winter 1998-1999
photographer: steve meisel
models: guinevere van seenus, audrey marnay, sunniva sontag, carolyn murphy, jade parfit, maggie rizer

Monday, December 17, 2007


this editorial for v magazine's 50th issue photographed by david sims and style by joe mckenna is most definately in my top five shoots for the entire year, actually, make that top three. and to be honest, i was never really a big fan of model raquel zimmerman because quite frankly, i found her to be quite boring looking. but after this i've basically become converted and i will not argue with models.com for putting her on the top slot ahead of sasha (who is my personal editorial fave). plus one of my other favorite models right now cole is also cast perfectly for this story. he does have that elfish look about him in a non lord of the rings legolas kinda way. i sacrificed good lunch that day to buy that magazine, but luckily it was whopper wednesday at burger king so it all worked out.

V magazine 50th issue
photography: david sims
creative director: joe mckenna
models: raquel zimmerman, cole mohr