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Helmut Newton


Schirmer/Mosel, 2000

Helmut Newton’s “The Naked and The Undressed” series are my favourite photographs of his. The 80s poses of the models caught mid-movement must have been a technical nightmare to shoot. The humour is cutting as identical images of the models clothed and unclothed (still fully accessorised, mind you) are juxtaposed. Naked, the models seem lifeless, like mannequins in a window display that had yet to be finished.

I was chatting to some models at a shoot last week and it was interesting to hear their thoughts on nudity. It seems that once they hit professional mode it doesn’t really matter. One of them reasoned that she’d never see most of the people on a shoot again anyway, less so any passers by that spied her changing outfits by a wide open window. Whenever I fit a dress on a model its strange how they almost stop being human to me. Suddenly the garment takes precedent. Tired of standing in heels for hours on end? Tough titty, standing flat ruins the line of the dress, sweetie! Ouch, did I just pin you again? Wont be the last time, haha! I’m not a sadist, really. LOL

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Vogue Paris’ obsession with the Helmut Newton oeuvre is quite clear – hard-edged, hard-nosed 80s dominatrix rock chick couture maven. The “L’éternal Fantasme” editorial from the November 2009 issue pays blatant homage to Newton. His “Big Nudes” series from the 80s centred around two shop mannequins called Georgette and Suzette photographed at different locations in Paris. Faux flesh The line between real and fake was blurred even further when Newton shot both live model partnered with fake. In cold blood_

L’éternal Fantasme

Réalisation_ Julia von Boehm

Photography_ Cédric Buchet

Vogue Paris, November 2009

“Fur Play”

Photography_ Inez an Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

Styling_ Emmanuelle Alt

Vogue Paris, November 2009

Pages 174-187

Fur Play Redux_ French Vogue had stopped feeling fresh to me for a while. I guess I got bored of the Helmut Newton references that plagued the magazine for so long. What I liked about this shoot was that it did fur, Africa and savagery in way that was arresting and contemporary but quite classically beautiful. No doubt they took their cue from Marc Jacobs tribal collection for Louis Vuitton I still feel that this is more than just a lip sync or lazy “homage”. There’s a feeling of Peter Beard and touches of Sam Haskins from his African Image period [See my earlier post on that book.] The images you see aren’t exact copies – I messed around with the exposure and tone. I quite like the way the model seems like she’s had her body painted. It seems even more tribal to me. Bravo, guys. Love it!