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ELLE Italia: Couturama

Here's some B&W pretty for your day.


ELLE Italia, November 2009

Editorial: Couturama

Photographed by Alexei Hay

Model: Heather Marks


The clothes are gorgeous, the model is fabulous and yet somehow, this one leaves us a little flat. It's not the lack of color in the pictures. Maybe it's the staging. As in, the total lack of it. We don't mind plain backdrops, but we figure if you're going to go so low-key, you should offer up stark and eye-catching images and somehow, this one fails on that front. It's just a model vamping in some of the world's most expensive clothes.



Christian Dior Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Charlotte di Calypso



Valentino Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Kamila Filipcikova



Chanel Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Karmen Pedaru





Valentino Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Anna Selezneva



Atelier Versace Fall 2009 Couture



Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Lara Stone



Christian Lacroix Fall 2009 [Shoes: Christian Louboutin]
Model: Hanne GabyOdiele






Armani Prive Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Karmen Pedaru



Armani Prive Fall 2009 Couture
Model:Daria Strokous



Givenchy Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Karmen Pedaru



Chanel Fall 2009 Couture
Model: Abbey Lee Kershaw



[Images: TheFashionSpot.com/Diciassette/Style.com/firstVIEW.com]


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74 comments:

I absolutely adore the model. Her eyes are so evocative.


I know I'm forever sitting around leaning on an ax in couture...

I agree with you boys completely. This is just a lazy shoot. Just having a beautiful girl and beautiful clothes is not enough for a photo spread. Unless we are making a catalogue.


My goodness, you two are very negative these past few days. I think the whole point of the starkness was to show off the clothing. And isn't that really the point? The photos themselves reminded me of the wonderful pictures taken of Dovima and Jean Patchett. I thought the pictures were lovely. Of course, I also thought the second Canada designer had an amazing and wearable collection.

Thanks dolls,
The Glamorous Housewife


i like it...i think the photographer wants that the photos looks like designer' sketches.. and he totally achieved the purpose..


I think some shots work better than others, but I agree about the laziness in some of them. Some look like outtakes, no? Fun outtakes, but outtakes. (Let's see how many times I can say "outtakes.")

I'm also made they covered up the Atelier Versace dress so much.

Maybe also part of my problem is that I don't love this model. She's obviously good at what she does, but I just don't love her look.


The Glamorous Housewife said...

My goodness, you two are very negative these past few days. I think the whole point of the starkness was to show off the clothing. And isn't that really the point? The photos themselves reminded me of the wonderful pictures taken of Dovima and Jean Patchett. I thought the pictures were lovely. Of course, I also thought the second Canada designer had an amazing and wearable collection.

Thanks dolls,
The Glamorous Housewife



In other words, you have a different opinion here and regarding Fong's collection, therefore, they're being negative. Eye rolling.


I like black and white photos, but I don;t like the way the model is looking at the camera and/or posing. The clothes are beautiful, especially that Givenchy gown.


As a photographer I am horrified by the "artistic" use of blown highlights. Bleah!


Divine called from the grave, she wants her eyebrows back.


I think we all want to see color after all the lack of color on PR 6. Its just not chic anymore.


That model is fabulous- she looked better than the runway or other print model in every single piece. Seriously.


It's the model. Actually, it's that they used a model and not an actress.


even though i really like the black & white photos. tlo you make me see things or lack of things i normally wouldnt. and thats a good thing ;)


Beautiful model... but WTH is with the eyebrows?


LOVE it! See, I love anything couture.


I love it! It has a vintage quality.


I'll take the stark look of that gorgeous Christian Dior dress anyday over the funeral home flowers of the runway version.


All together, I like it. But I'm not crazy for it.

It does look like they were going for an Irving Penn homage. But Penn did it better, with his stark white backgrounds, so this suffers in comparison. I'm not familiar enough with fashion photography to know any better.


Gorgeous clothes, though the model might be too young? I can just imagine what Kristen McMenamy or Linda Evangelista would have done with these outfits.


Sorry for second post on same subject, but I've been perusing more Irving Penn photos.

Oh yes, Irving Penn homage.
Oh yes, Irving Penn did it better.

But this is an honorable attempt. it passes.


Yikes, is that last outfit really Chanel?


Agreeing with Robin -- to me, the bright highlights mostly obscure the clothes (it only works for ones that have a lot of dark contrast), and don't add anything to the playful mood that the shoot seems to be aiming for.

I like bytes' idea that maybe the point was to flatten out the image to make the photos look like sketches, but again, the poses (especially the closed-off ones) and the model's expressiveness just don't seem to work with that idea. Though the eyebrows do, in that regard.

I sort of prefer the simplicity over a tortuously over-the-top shoot, but if the set-up's going to be pared down like this, then what's left should feel more cohesive.


Loooove the clothes, but the model --- not so terribly much. She does look incredibly young and maybe that's the problem. She lacks something that model's over the age of 12 years have that she hasn't yet had the chance to develop or perhaps mature into? Just guessing, but there seems to be something lacking.

My favorite image is the Jean Paul Gaultier "film" gown. I actually got to see them make the piece in the Sundance Channel's series, "The Day Before" profiling Gaultier. It's amazing how much labor is put into these things and the worker's dedication and skill is just amazing. Anyway, I recommend the series to anyone who loves fashion and art.

- edina -


I was, again, going to mention scale and blocked high-lights, when I suddenly realized what these photos look like: reproductions of 11X17 black-and-white Polaroids. If that's the case, what we're seeing is pictures of pictures, and getting a photo litho of a digital image of the kind of finely graded highlights that process produces involves specialist techniques the costs of which are hard for even a book publisher to afford, and impossible for a magazine.

They hint at being very interesting images, but yes: blocked highlights make the model and her clothing hard to "read" as three-dimensional objects.


I LOVE the idea of using a more mature model (although this one is obviously gorgeous and talented). The combo of B&W and plain background really focuses the eye on the model. A more expressive and nuanced job there would have made this stunning.


Those eyebrows are going to give me nightmares!


I love black-and-white photos, but these are fuzzy and poorly lit.


well, Tyra will be happy to know that it really DOES make a difference how the model addresses the camera. There is really nothing wrong with the photos EXCEPT the model interactions. Lazy. Strange, but not in a good way.

I agree Ally, nothing like a good axe to set off the couture. Who needs a purse? ("Park our car and don't give us any shit!" - Yes Ma'm!)


i immediately assumed it was a penn homage as well.


I really liked this shoot, although a couple of the photos are a little less interesting. But I loved not having a lot of clutter so I could just focus in on the model and the clothes. It was very soothing, in a way.


Aspynramona:

I often agree with Tom and Lorenzo, and I often disagree. I read every post on this blog and I just felt that they have felt 'bored' by fashion recently. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Sometimes fashion is boring.

I just thought that they might be missing the beauty in simplicity because they are looking for the 'wow' factor. In the 2nd Canadian collection I thought many of the tops were beautiful and I like that they paired them with simple bottoms. I thought the collection was very wearable. But I don't think T & L are looking for wearable- they are looking for awesome. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, and it is one reason I follow this blog- for the awesome. But every now and then I think it is nice to see something without all the bells and whistles. Maybe that point didnt come across in my origninal post. If not, I apologize.

But isn't it ok not to always agree with the writer of a blog?

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife


I loved it and didn't miss color at all... until the very last dress, which looks so much more amazing in color.


I'm having a seriously hard time getting past those whackaloon eyebrows.

That said, it all leaves me a wee chilly.

Love the Givenchy, though. Gorge.


Last dress DOES look more amazing in color. Some of these I liked, some not as much - but I liked the clothing a lot more than in some other collections/photo shoots of late.

The first few photos of the model make her look just way too bony around her shoulders and neck; angular and awkward and not in a good or geometrically beautiful way. just pointy and underweight. But after about the third or fourth image, the boniness isn't highlighted as much, and I like the look better.

Was it Vogue Italia or French Vogue that had that amazing, glorious, spectacularly beautiful spread you posted here a month or so ago?? I need to bookmark that link; I swear I am dreaming about those images....


I'm glad to see Heather Marks is still getting work. I think she's fabulous.


those eyebrows were driving me insane.

the pictures didn't make me really want to stop and look at the clothing. i had a "eh, that's kind of pretty...moving on" reaction that i don't think was the desired response.

i agree with those who suggested a more 'seasoned' model might have really made the clothes and the pictures pop. not to take away from the model, but she just didn't have 'it' for me.


I really like the first of the two Valentino pictures (of the same dress... why?), but that's about it. And she's hiding that gorgeous Versace! Can she be arrested? That's a crime!


You've got to admit, a lot of these pictures showcased the outfits much better than the runway.

Boring or not.


The Glamorous Housewife said...
But isn't it ok not to always agree with the writer of a blog?

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife


It's more than OK, in fact, I believe it's encouraged here. What makes no sense, at least to me, and my point above, is to say that they have been negative because their opinion has differed from yours on the last posts. That's all.


And she's hiding that gorgeous Versace! Can she be arrested? That's a crime!

Blame the editors. There were probably dozens, if not hundreds, of shots taken of her in that dress. And it's the editors who chose which one to use, not the model.


I'm with everyone else on the eyebrows. They are disturbing and I'm not convinced they are really hers. And if not, why would they do that? I don't know. It was distracting and confusing. I'm fixated on all the wrong things.

ShelbyDee


The model's eyebrows make her look like Shannel from RuPaul's Drag Race.


How do you come up with the axe idea? LOL I love it. I can see the staff getting ready for the photo shoot saying "Do you have the Valentino dress?" "Oh, and did you bring the axe?"


The chola eyebrows ruin it for me.


I liked this shoot very much. I appreciated that it highlighted the clothes and nothing more. While many of the fashion spreads that TLo has shown us are very visually arresting and stunningly composed, they are frequently more about "art" created by surrounding the garments with mountains of eye candy or placing the garments in stunning geographic locations. Here, there are exactly no distractions, and the clothes stand or fall on their own. I like that.

When I saw the big fluffy wedding dress, it immediately reminded me of Austin Scarlett. TLo, do you have any news of what he's doing now that he's out of Kenneth Pool?


Oh yes, Irving Penn homage.
Oh yes, Irving Penn did it better.


Much, much better.

They styling was off, the background not stark enough and the model (while quite lovely) and except for the eyes her hair and makeup were not striking.
And because the styling was wrong her playfulness was boring instead of adding a fun twist to what would have been very.serious.photos.


Would have been intersting if the entire shoot was b&w except the last dress, but still with a b&w background.


I think the slight feeling of let down - or lack of enchantment, maybe - with these photographs is because there is no set/high drama concept to compensate for the fact that the detail of the clothes is partially obscured by the lighting and the ?low-contrast-tones? (I am sure that's not the correct technical description)of the prints.

Many editorial fashion shoots partially obscure the garments, but there's usually more to look at which softens the disappointment (at least for me).


Christina said: those eyebrows were driving me insane.

the pictures didn't make me really want to stop and look at the clothing. i had a "eh, that's kind of pretty...moving on" reaction that i don't think was the desired response.


I was so busy looking at the clothes I didn't notice the eyebrows.

i agree with those who suggested a more 'seasoned' model might have really made the clothes and the pictures pop. not to take away from the model, but she just didn't have 'it' for me.

I think she's kind of fabulous, but I also agree that a mature model would make the clothes look even better.

Anyway, I like this. The starkness is a nice change.


It's true they aren't covering any new artistic ground with the photograph.
But I do love looking at fashion in straight forward pictures with hyper clear details. So I love them.
Love, love, love, the Chanel out of cockades, the dolman sleeved Lacroix, and the Gaultier (measure ?) tapes.


I could take or leave the photo spread, but anytime I see anything from that Atelier Versace collection, I let out an audible gasp. So pretty!


Individually these photos are stunning, but as a photo set they are a little lack luster.


I kept expecting her eyebrows to crawl away...


Some of these are very, very Amanda Palmer. She's this alternative musician, and the drawn-on curved eyebrows and tongue-out insolence remind me of her.


Her eyebrows scare me.


Has no one noticed the odd cropping in the Armani Prive dress???? What.The.Hell!!!!!


I have to say I'm not fond of the model - I think she'd look more at home smoking a cig in a 'Twilight' sweatshirt in front of the local high school.


i'm not dorothy gale

The background sucks the life out of the clothing, and what a shame. The pieces in color are jaw-droppingly beautiful.


Gorgeous clothes, for the most part, but the model is looking a little bit like a refugee from Rivendell. All she needs are the pointy ears and Frodo here she comes.


The graininess of the grayscale bugs me. If it were sharper, then it'd be more... eyecatching??? alluring??? fascinating??? I'm not sure what word I'm looking for.


The eyebrows are hideous, really horrible, so bad your eye is drawn to them instead of the dresses.


It's the eyebrows. Kind of like Spock gets Botoxed, who can look at the clothes?


The b&w film is tragic for that last dress - it's like wow, that woman has a dress made of boobies, how creepy.

Many of these are really lovely, and make the clothes look better, such as the Chanel that looked almost cratered in the photos. The styling of a couple of the looks (LaCroix, Dior) came out hilariously 80's.


Straight up Olan Mills backdrop. I expect to see my fourth grader appear in a sweater propping her head on her hands . . .


I don't know. I like it. I gotta agree with the Glamorous Housewife.

1. You two are negative Nancys recently.
2. I think it highlights the clothes and how beautiful the model is. Not every shoot has to be *NAKED MEN* *FAUX BONDAGE* *RENAISSANCE THROWBACK* *CRAZY ANGLES* *EXPOSED BREASTS* *WILD MAKEUP* *CONTORTIONS*

Can't they just sometimes be prettiness, pure and simple?


I love it. But I also prefer minimalist art in general and can appreciate the playfulness of the eyebrows.


I can't stop looking at her eyebrows! I only see her eyebrows!


It's nice to see a Romulan girl getting work.


Ellen M: ROFLMAO! I'm such a geek girl. I love it when my interests collide unexpectedly.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was bothered by those eyebrows.


Ellen M - love the Star Trek reference, especially true in the silver Armani Prive pantsuit - Haven't quite gotten over your post that Kate Hudson's legs are chubby though.

Loved the model in Lacroix and Gaultier having fun and looking her age


OK, so I get that this model is supposedly 21, but to me she looks about 12. It's distracting.

Love the white Atelier Versace though.


"Divine called from the grave, she wants her eyebrows back."

Ha!

Anyway, I wasn't blown away nor was I disgusted by the spread. It was just meh.


Annegret said:

Divine called from the grave, she wants her eyebrows back.


EXACTLY.

The models eyebrows look ridiculous, and beyond that, the modeling itself does not exhibit the clothes very well. I'm sure they'd be stunning if I could see more of them.

~ Ri





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