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Oil Spill Shoot

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:51 PM
  • 7 Replies

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/italian-vogue-s-oil-spill-themed-photo-shoot-thought-provoking-or-tasteless-2244826/

A new 24-page fashion spread in the September issue of Italian Vogue features model Kristen McMenamy wearing oil-soaked black feathered outfits, withering away on a beach. Famed photographer Steven Meisel shot the controversial Gulf disaster-inspired images of McMenamy caught in nets, spitting up oil, and flopping like a dying seal on rocks. But while the images are powerful and striking, we're left wondering whether they were done in good taste.

Without question the photographs are beautifully constructed, and overwhelmingly dark. They bring about a sense of urgency that makes you want to educate yourself, donate money, or help in clean up efforts. But we do question the intentions of Italian Vogue, and whether or not they wanted to make a poignant statement or merely hoped to get attention by being provocative. We reached out to Italian Vogue for comment, but have not heard back as of press time.

Thus far there is one piece of evidence that leads us to believe this project had a positive objective. The seaweed-style necklace on the cover of the issue (and in several other shots) is made by eco-designer Kathleen Nowak Tucci of My Sister's Art, and made from recycled inner tubes sourced from the Gulf Coast. She told New York magazine that she did not find Meisel's spread offensive. "I thought it was disturbing and thought-provoking and utterly fascinating in its interpretation of the struggle for survival," Tucci told New York via email. "It is controversial and interpretative, which is indicative of great artistic expression." Knowing that Vogue stylists actively chose to highlight an eco-friendly item from the Gulf makes us feel better about the statement being made

Here is what the fashion world is saying about the provocative photo spread:

"Glamorizing this recent ecological and social disaster for the sake of "fashion" reduces the tragic event to nothing more than attention-grabbing newsstand fodder." - Refinery29

"It's at once beautiful and revolting, eye-catching and alienating. So what is it: ballsy fashion journalism rooted in reality, or just a sick glamorization of a traumatic event?" - New York magazine's The Cut

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

"While the irony of using clothing worth thousands of dollars that was probably flown halfway around the world for the shoot is not lost on us, we can’t help but think that if this isn’t art, we don’t know what is." - Styleite

"Context is everything, and instead of being moved emotionally, the only actions that seem right in reaction to this inappropriate spread which aims to shock and awe are a wrinkling of the nose and a rolling of the eyes." - Jezebel

"For fashion Meisel's photos don't give you much to take away, but as art the imagery is poignant and intense. And we like to occasionally be reminded that it's possible for fashion photography to be so." - Fashionising

"Who does this make you loathe more, BP or the fashion industry?" - Fast Company

What do you think about the Italian Vogue spread? Do you find these images exploitative, glamorizing, or thought-provoking? [Vogue Italia]

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:51 PM
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Replies (1-7):
bnnic
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:57 PM

i wanna puke. this isnt fashion, its discusting. of course thats jmo, but its sad.  never the less, i wanna thank you for posting this. i dont think i wouldve known about it without you. what an eye opener.

Mama2ETA
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I think its sick too, i just wanted to see what others thought. They are making a Mockery of a disaster.

onefootcutiepie
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 11:02 PM

 at least SOMEbody is acknowledging there IS an oil spill......

Glamourina
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 11:03 PM

BUMP!

Mama2ETA
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 11:04 PM

I do agree that there isnt ENOUGH acknowledging of this disaster, but I do know that the people that are working to get it cleaned up are working hard, and a lot have been shut down by the government themselves. Its starting to look worse than it "just" being a spill, seems like it is VERY politically controlled to the point that they are taking their time as long as they can.

Quoting onefootcutiepie:

 at least SOMEbody is acknowledging there IS an oil spill......


mommawombat
by on Aug. 8, 2010 at 2:31 AM

The media has a sick way to deal with a situation mostly when there were lives lost. They need to focus on the lives and help pay tribute to those who lost their life, not to the disaster that took their life. I hope Vogue sees sells go down but they won't they will see a raise because everyone will want to buy the issue to see the pictures.

Mama2ETA
by on Aug. 8, 2010 at 5:10 PM

YES, They do! It makes me wonder what is so wrong with this world that these are the people selling magazines, and then there are issues coming from a realistic point of view in magazines and they are undersold.

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