I feel like I was destined to love this editorial because it combines two of my (and probably the vast majority of twenty-something females') interests: art and fashion. I know this isn't a novel concept by any means, but I feel like rarely do we get to see the connection and conversation between the two so pronounced as it is in this editorial. Josh Olins took his cue from English figurative painter Euan Uglow. Knowing this tiny, but significant, fact changes things completely. I now look at the editorial with new eyes and the images take on new significance, especially when compared with their inspirational source:
If you read about Uglow and his artistic process, Olin's photographs don't seem so simple in their appearance anymore. My previous thoughts on the editorial read Freja's positions and poses as the best way to display the clothes. But I found this particular bit about Eglow's working methods particularly enlightening:
"Planes are articulated very precisely, edges are sharply defined, and colours are differentiated with great subtlety. His type of realism has its basis in geometry...."
That's from his Wikipedia page. (I have better researching skills but considering my lack of time and library resources, that will have to do.) Freja was posed that way to emulate the figures in Uglow's work. The planes, sharp edges and colors also happen to be great ways to show off new looks for the upcoming season. :) Fashion and art intersect in so many ways that it's a pity the same respect and scholarly seriousness hasn't been accorded to fashion like it has been to art....but that's a whole other story.
In case you want to know, here's what Josh said about Freja on the Contributors Page:
"I'm really glad my first cover is with Freja. She's beautiful but boyish, and has this great repertoire of innocent and feminine expressions. She'll sit down and look grumpy, but when you take the picture she looks captivating."And here's what Alexandra Schulman said in her Editor's Letter:
"We all admire Freja for her distinctive looks, which stand out amoung the sea of pretty, tawny-haired models that often prevail on the catwalk. Photographer Josh Olins's shoot, featuring autumn's off-beat colour mixes, is the perfect vehicle for her boy/girl allure."Mentioning Freja and "boyishness" has become too easy and trite that's it's completely lost all meaning for me. I wish people would start to move away from that because it dilutes the meaning of the term, and frankly I think it's a misuse. In her modeling work I really don't see how she's more boyish than any other model. Hilary Rhoda and Isabeli Fontana (no offense to them) have the manliest jaws in the industry but they're both considered "sexy." Maybe the term is in reference to her body, but in editorials where she's wearing clothes to cover that up it becomes a non-issue. Maybe it's in reference to her demeanor in person and on set, and for that I have no factual basis to judge that on. It just don't get it, so please someone enlighten me. Moving on....
This instance just strengthens my resolve to continue buying magazines because the industry cannot die out. If I had not bought this issue I never would have read about the Uglow reference. It would be a travesty to lose the print industry; not just magazines but books as well. Having something in my hands forces me to read it and absorb it more than I would have if it was just on the screen. (The irony of me using a digital method to communicate this message isn't lost on me.) Technology is wonderful and it gives us so many things, but to completely lose the preciousness and uniqueness of certain experiences in the haste towards progress and technological trends would be a huge mistake. It doesn't have to be one or the other. People can have i-Pads and e-readers and still buy magazines and books, with both mediums working in concert to create a complete and total experience. Or maybe I'm just too old-school and living in a dream world....
Image Credits: Scans by tFS member fearless123, artnet.com, marlboroughfineart.com, telegraph.co.uk