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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Italian Vogue - Oil Spill Chic?

How do you make an epic environmental disaster into a fashion spread? Is that tacky or brave?

Readers are quite divided over the controversial magazine editorial. The sight of a grey-haired (but beautiful) Kristen McMenamy is the first shocker. Models draped over oil-strewn rocks, trapped in nets, embellished with feathers. Models covered in dirt, oil, strangled with seaweed.
Some accuse the editors of glamorizing a tragedy.

I think that to reduce it as such would be too quick and narrow-minded. I believe that the spread is a statement on consumerism. This is a photo-editorial showing that the fashion industry does indeed acknowledge harsh realities in the world. This is a work of art by Steven Meisel and not an ad campaign.

The fashion pieces in the pictorial also served to showcase eco-artists and designers. In several photographs, Kristen McMenamy wears a seaweed-like rubber necklace. The necklace by Kathleen Nowak Tucci was made of re-purposed pieces of inner tubes from the Gulf Coast.

To check out the full magazine spread, click through to Refinery 29's slideshow. For a closer look at the clothing used in the editorial, check out the video below:

Fashion companies with projects aiding oil spill relief: Kenneth Cole, Thomas Mann, Perry Ellis

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