Inappropriate fashion spread on Vogue Italia?
The August issue of Vogue Italia features a 24 pages cover spread depicting a model covered in oil to recall the effects of the devastating environmental disaster of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Shot by Steven Meisel, the supermodel Kristen McMenamy appear to dead on rocks and struggling to breathe, at times in disturbing poses conjuring up dying animals or sick workers.
Now international newspapers and magazines are debating whether or not the Vogue Italia’s fashion spread is inappropriate.
Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani makes no apologies for the oil layout, saying to Associated Press that “the message is to be careful about nature, to take more care about nature.’’
Here what written on Vogue Italia:
“We’ve all watched in shock as the black tide spread ceaselessly throughout the Gulf of Mexico – twitter comments, posting pictures, and we’ve all followed – from computer screens around the world – each failed attempt to stop the spill and clean the damage. In the face of this dramatic, catastrophic stalling, the images of Steven Meisel make up a precious reportage that delivers an artistic impact. Unforgettable images, created purposely to unnerve the viewer, capture the reality of the situation. And through the sun’s rays blackened by carbon, petrol, anthracite and graphite, he depicts our collective dismay. Model Kristen McMenamy becomes the protagonist of a news story, in the style Vogue Italia is known for”.
Kristen McMenamy in the “survivor” version, where she interprets in images the environmental drama that’s afflicting the Gulf of Mexico. She keeps her skin golden thanks to Self Tan Face Bronzing Gel Tint (to wear alone or with foundation): it takes care of the skin, while giving it a hint of color. Carbon, anthracite, and all of the earthy shades “dress” her eyes: Quick Eyes Cream Shadow, cocoa shimmer, a long-lasting cream eye shadow, worn with brown High Impact Mascara, and her lips feature a nude look. All by Clinique. Tulle dress with beaded embroidery, Ralph Lauren Collection. Rubber necklace, My Sister’s Art. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlo Salon. Make-up Pat McGrath. Fashion editor Karl Templer. Set design by Mary Howard“.
Here the reactions:
“Emotions are still raw for those in the area who have lost jobs, uprooted families, and witnessed the damage to coastal and marine wildlife. And it’s not merely a local concern. Activists across Europe have held protests against British Petroleum, while donations and volunteers have come in from around the world. The images of oil-soaked birds and beach-side tar balls have resonated with many”.
“Fashion in the past few decades has started to confuse itself with serious art (its no mistake Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani is an Art Basel Miami Beach regular), and certain designers, editors, stylists and photographer feel the need to be provocative by taking on real world issues. Yet, most times when they do they have little to say beyond glamorizing the aesthetic of tragedy. Perhaps if Meisel made a deeper point about the oil spill this wouldn’t be quite so disgusting. Instead it merely seems that he found the images of oil covered beaches and animals inspiring and something appropriate to use to promote luxury clothes. And don’t get us wrong, these images do have their beauty upon first glance. Meisel is a master, yet when the inspiration sinks in it negates even the virtues of the most beautiful of these images”.
In contrast, it’s almost disgusting how easy it is for fashion types to glamorize tragedy, and yet they almost never find inspiration in the body of real women and resort to using young, skinny models. Wasn’t that the original point of women’s fashion magazines? To make women beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, not devastation like oil spills?”
“Miranda Lash, curator of modern and contemporary art at the New Orleans Museum of Art, said artists should be free to take on any topic.“When I look at it, I feel pain. It evokes pain and a feeling of loss and sadness because this is going to hurt my region for a very long time,” Ms. Lash said. Beth Batton, curator of the permanent collection at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Miss., said in an e-mail that the spread humanizes the condition of the Gulf coast animals and environment. “Looking at Steven Meisel’s photographs, you know something is terribly wrong because, as sensual as the images are, the human mind understands the toxicity of the oil that has coated model Kristen McMenamy’s skin, hair, and feathery gloves,” she said. On Twitter, type in keywords Vogue Italia and you’ll get various opinions”.
What do you think about it?
To see the complete Fashion spread http://www.vogue.it