This is not your typical family portrait
Stephanie Seymour’s latest photo shoot for the March issue of Harper’s BAZAAR is bound to make you do a double take. The magazine features images of the model donning lingerie and thigh high lace up boots while being doted on by two young men. Nothing really out of the ordinary—until you realize those dapper lads are actually her sons Peter and Harry Brant.
At first I wonder if I am a creep who is making something out of nothing. In the past month, I have read Flowers In The Attic and watched August: Osage County. Maybe these incest themed narratives have muddled my brain? But one of my editors agrees with me. These images are bit too much, but why exactly?
It took me awhile to understand the visceral reaction to these photos. Am I looking too much into it? Maybe. Do I believe this beautiful family has some sort of an Oedipus situation going on? Absolutely not, it’s more that it’s uncomfortable to see Seymour, 45, looking lusty and provocative while posing with her sons. Most children (myself included) would prefer to ignore any indications that their parents are sexual beings, so it’s this family portrait celebrating Seymour as a seductress that is is odd to me.
The photos aren’t terribly disturbing as a whole, but there are little things that make them a tad creepy. The boys yanking the strings of mom’s thigh high Tom Ford boots is one of them. (According to the article, they were just helping her get them on.) Another photo is marred by the placement of hands: Harry, 17, has his arm directly underneath Seymour’s breast, while she is showcasing a little side boob and a bare back. Peter, 20, has his knuckles hovering above her derriere. Seymour’s own hand is near her crotch. I certainly don’t expect to see Seymour and her sons posing in matching oxfords and khakis, but a few adjustments would have done these photos some good. The other images are less proactive, and actually quite lovely.
It’s possible these photos were intended to mock the haters who think Seymour has an inappropriate relationship with her sons. Three years ago the media went nuts when a bikini clad Seymour was photographed kissing Peter on a beach in St. Barts. Peter responded by saying the pictures were “taken out of context” and that his mom is as loving and affectionate as any other mother. He also reminded the world that he is openly gay, so his mom isn’t exactly his type.
Could it be that photographer Sebastian Faena was simply trying to pay homage to the boy’s fashionable upbringing?
“When they were little, they would lay out outfits for me,” Seymour told Harper’s BAZAAR. “I’d wake up at 7:30 A.M. and they would have laid out a 1955 vintage Dior couture gown and all the accessories too. They liked things to be monochromatic: The dress would be blue and the bag would be blue, and blue Manolo Blahnik shoes. Always a Manolo, and never a flat.”
Harper’s BAZAAR Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey told The New York Post:
“It’s a coup to have captured Stephanie Seymour’s first photo session with her sons. They are a family that puts the fun into fashion.”
Was this photo shoot capturing some fashionable family fun or just plain weird?
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