27 December 2011

Ideals of Contrast

One of the most influential, artistic and powerful editorials of 2011, in my opinion is Lindsey Wixson, by Terry Richardson for Purple Fashion Magazine issue 16. The introduction to the sensationally absurd images cites Cecil Beaton and the revolutionary decision he made in 1945 during the Second World War to photograph a beautiful model amongst the rubble of a bombed out London building, as the source of inspiration.

"Beaton's picture was a prototype for a type of fashion photograph that contrasted expensive high fashion with social devastation, impoverished urban landscapes and squalid streets. This contrast reinforces the beauty of the model and the sophistication of the clothing. But it also highlights overwhelming social inequality."

The unconventional concept of the editorial fuses the ideals of depression, hopelessness, misery, rejection and abandonment with the beauty and desire of fashion and the carefree superior connotations it is predominantly associated with. The destruction and desolation that resonates through the locations is a direct and purposeful contrast to the fashion and elements of frivolity represented by the innocent and angelic Lindsey, creating an almost complete aesthetic of hope amidst the depths of despair. 

"Only a few minutes out of New York City we found the dark side of the American Dream. But for fashion's rising star, young Lindsey Wixson, the bright side of the dream can still come true." 

Photographed by Terry Richardson 
Art direction by Olivier Zahm
Style by Caroline Gaimari 

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