Andrew Richardson Explains Why Fashion Magazines Got So Porny
Whether or not you’ve heard of Andrew Richardson, his work has probably influenced a lot of the things you see in fashion magazines and advertising — specifically, how highly sexualized it is. And after a six-year hiatus in publishing his eponymous sex magazine, Richardson has brought Richardson back into print. But instead of the “at least one nipple” rule enforced at Vogue Paris, Richardson turned his eye to the concept of the male gaze.
Richardson did an interview with Style.com in advance of the relaunch of his magazine, in which he explains a number of things, but chief among them is the use of sex in style and in culture. Read on to find his musings about sex in fashion, what men think of women, and what he’d like to do with Richardson.
On sex in fashion:
I think part of the reason for all of that, too, was that magazines have, in the last decade or so, become more and more the creatures of their advertisers. You’d sign up for a shoot, and find out that 90 percent of it was going to be dictated to you. “Credits.” I think people began leaning on sexuality as a way to make the images exciting, in an environment where there wasn’t as much room to be creative with the fashion. I get the sense that trend has peaked. We were in a time of excess, and now we’ve entered the era of sobriety. Everyone’s buttoning up.
On male sexuality:
I think what I’ve found out is that men are incredibly fragile. We’re less dependable than women, and less integral to the survival of the species, so we put on this show of virility. All the agita around defining yourself as hetero or homo, all the time we spend fighting, going out and conquering countries—it’s all compensation for our built-in failings. And for our fear of failure—we’ve got these basically unreliable penises to make up for. I mean, it’s all just an epic performance.
On his plans for Richardson:
I’d like to develop it into a major media empire. I want at least four Lear jets. Obviously, that entails getting another issue out after this one, but in the meantime we’ve got the Web site, which is a more playful venue, and more interactive, obviously. I could see making documentaries, publishing books. I mean, sex is universal. The possibilities are limitless.
Read the rest of the interview here.