Vogue Paris is celebrating its 90th anniversary issue this October, and naturally editor Carine Roitfeld has pulled out all the stops. From giving Lara Stone‘s breasts their very own cover, to having Ines de la Fressange’s 11-year-old daughter model LBDs for Hedi Slimane, Carine left no controversial photo untaken. But while we normally applaud Roitfeld’s riskiness, we suspect this editorial — shot by Terry Richardson and starring plus-size ambassador Crystal Renn — may be her most provocative and possibly offensive yet.
Let’s take a look at the photos, shall we?
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
Our first thought: intense disgust. Our second: the colors are pretty. Our third: we are so sick of Terry Richardson. And our fourth: why, Crystal, why?! While we like some aspects of the shoot in theory — the gluttony of eating meets the gluttony of fashion; the opulent, jewel tones of both the food and the clothing; Renn’s eyebrows and serious skill in front of the camera — but when viewed as a whole, it somehow falls flat. And don’t get us started on what presumably is meant to be the obvious schtick: a plus size model shoveling food down her throat.
A huge part of the problem, we’ll admit, is that Richardson’s reputation has forever ruined him. Our perspective on his “art” is (and always will be) tainted by the fact that he once asked a model to make “tampon tea” and has freely admitted he uses photo shoots as an opportunity to get laid. Roitfeld has long championed Richardson — a patronage that’s starting to grate on us considering that Richardson’s particular brand of fellatio-themed photos wore thin a long time ago — so it’s no surprise she’s using him. But that doesn’t make it okay.
And while we love Crystal Renn, her attitude, her body, and her ability to stand up for what she feels needs to be fixed in the industry, we’re a little surprised she agreed to do this shoot. Shooting a model eating food is always going to be fraught — is the model too thin? Is the model not thin enough? Is she eating too little? Are they making a joke that she’s eating too much? — but we think Roitfeld, Richardson, and Renn could have come up with a slightly less grotesque end product, something that could have easily been done by removing the cheap sexual overtones. That said, kudos to the squid shot — while nauseating, the use of a cephalopod is certainly “new.”
I like the idea behind it but the execution is just awful.
What do you think?