Shallow fashion in Shallow water?
The chillingly beautiful editorial in August 2010 Italian Vogue sent shock waves through the fashion industry and it’s masses of fashion readers.
Steven Meisel’s genius evoked just the emotion it set out to. Sympathy. People have become so apathetic to the problem’s we cause the world that we begin to ignore the reality of our effect on nature. To think Vogue Italia used this tragedy to boost magazine sales is ridiculous. People making these comments want to live in their apathetic safe worlds. Taking the issue to the most popular fashion magazine shoved it in our faces, like it or not, it got us thinking. The images were disgusting, depressing, heartbreaking, chilling, painful and beautiful, and only Italian Vogue had the guts to publish the spread that was shot in Los Angeles. American Vogue avoids controversy like this at all costs proving to be the Bread and Circuses of local fashionistas.
Violent and demanding of your attention the message isn’t a political one, it’s a humanist one. The spread humanizes the disaterous effect the oil spill had on animals in the Gulf Coast so we would start to feel the pain so many experienced. Many Gulf residents viewed the spread as a fair attack on BP.
Kathleen Nowka Tucci of My Sister’s Art told NY Magazine that she did not find the spread offensive. “I though it was disturbing and thought-provoking and utterly fascinating in its interpretation of the struggle for survival…it is controversial and interpretive, which is indicative of great artistic expression”.
Vogue Italia’s editor in chief, Franca Sozzani writes:
“We've all watched in shock as the black tide spread ceaselessly throughout the Gulf of Mexico…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.”
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