Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Think Punk, Think Again

Oh boy. I'm going to try and make this short and to the point. Seeing that Paris Fashion Week just started, I think we'd all rather dwell on that than this.....

Think Punk
Vogue Paris October 2010
Ph: Mario Sorrenti
Styling: Emmanuelle Alt



This editorial challenges me for sure. It challenges my tastes, it challenges my notions of beauty, it challenges my ideas of Freja. I never thought it would be possible to make her look so unattractive and harsh. I'm trying really hard to find some redeeming qualities in this, and not to let my own personal notions of beauty determine whether this editorial is good or bad. But it's really difficult for me to get past the way Freja looks. Call me shallow...I don't care.



I get the impetus behind the editorial concept. I'm familiar with the whole punk scene and it's history, but I'm just disappointed that we get this in the 90th Anniversary Issue of Vogue Paris. My expectations were raised so high....maybe too high. On the other hand, I know I should just be happy that Freja is included in the issue (twice!). And I suppose that she is even further expanding the range and testing the limits of her look and portfolio. Love it or hate it, it's most definitely something that pushes the boundaries of her modeling work. And it contributes to the notion that she's one of the most versatile models working today. Not many can go from this, to this so easily and effortlessly.



Despite the harshness of Freja's look, her hair, the styling, and everything; I admit that I am impressed with the little moments of softness in the last shot above and the first shot below. Maybe I'm just reaching for anything good, but I see a tenderness there that's actually quite alluring, and not always present in Freja's other work.



Sigh. What do you guys think? Maybe some of you are better at looking past the obvious and finding the beauty beneath. For as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Although, one thing I cannot and will not stand about this editorial is that it further entrenches Freja within certain stereotypes that have followed her around for the past two years. Yes she's tough. Yes she's cool. Yes she can be androgynous. Yes she has tattoos. We get it already. Now it's time to move on and show us other sides to her modeling persona, instead of repetitively highlighting this one. But I guess all models have a shtick they can't get away from....Lara and her boobs immediately come to my mind. And maybe that's a good thing because it means the model is memorable and the model is known. In such a fickle industry, I guess that's all that matters....or is it??

Image Credits: Scans by Carla-A at tFS

31 comments:

Tørlich said...

I don't think I've ever seen an editorial I've liked LESS than this. It's HORRIBLE!
I can't even believe it was styled by Emmanuelle Alt and shot by Mario Sorrenti and published in freaking Vogue Paris and be this bad.

Kath [TTSH] said...

This doesnt look like an editorial of a vogue and less of a vogue paris...but I kinda like it, the couture dresses in the middle of the punk enviroment and hard attitude like trying to get their space with a sweet touch...idk...
And I just thought of Linsey Wixson and her mouth and teeth eeww cant stand her. That kind of features are the ones that make models memorable, I think is good, but not till the point people has become with freja, is like they just see her as the androgynous model and the lesbian model, and dont see her versatility...
sorry for talkin to much :p

peter said...

i think , for obvious reasons , its easy to call the face of this editorial 'ugly' . styling , setting , and the cold energy all scream it . BUT , if you detach yourself and look at these people as if it were a real life situation , are they ugly people ? to the point : we all assume and stereotype tells us punks and goths are tough , independent people with less feelings than the rest of us . . 'against the world' , but we know that in accusing them of being that - we are probably wrong ! punks have friends , care for one another , and have feelings of course . all that we judge them on is the way they choose to look . you mentioned a tenderness you can see in these photos THAT is the reality amongst others . in my mind what freja and the other models are doing is portraying the reality of being a punk . they have to put on a brave front and protect themselves from criticism (as in the 2nd and last shot) but they also they have feelings and friendships (as in the 1st photos of the last 2 trios) .
freja is portraying perfectly the reality and essence of being punk , and if a model can portray a character as well as this , then they truly are a great model . styling is all just a matter of taste . .
in a business world , vogue paris probably thought up this idea then cast freja . if she turned them down then they would have found another model and freja would lose out money . . even though this editorial does little to detach herself from a longtime stereotype, its image or money in the end .

kasia said...

Rrose, we get it, you like Freja as feminine as posible. but please, stop being so subjective. i know is your blog and blahblahblah, but your is getting boring.

Anonymous said...

i think that comment kasia was unnecessarily negative .

Gill Ford said...

First off, I completely agree with Peter, he's got some great points...

Second, I've been intently looking forward to your review of this ed Rrose... I saw it and though holy MAC, this is going to be nuts.

As for my own opinion of the ed, I agree that it seems harsh, and to me, it's not really attractive. More than anything, it was not what I was expecting when I saw the tags of Sorrenti and Alt on it. I was expecting Freja styled as... well, Freja. Also, I would never have expected this in Vogue Paris, especially such an important milestone issue. But I think that's the important thing to take from it (actually, the important thing to take from the whole issue): it defied our expectations. It's Vogue Paris, we expect it to be a world of excess, but we've come to expect the context of that excess to follow a particular pattern. We would have expected that Daria, Raquel, and Kate would have major features in the issue given their long standing relationship with the magazine, but once again, these expectations were defied.

One of the things I love most about Vogue Paris is its apparent love for scandal. They have a knack for doing things they know will cause us all to gasp and whisper about, whether it's because it's astonishingly beautiful and high fashion, or because it's so vulgar that we can hardly bear to look at it. But the key is that people talk about it. I mean Lara and her boobs on the cover? Major conversation piece right there. Mothers will shield their children's eyes while the eyes of teenage boys will get wider. Some people will claim it is an epic cover that will go down in history as one of the best ever. They will talk about the gold print and the styling, and compare it to others from the past, and hope for more in the future. And before I drag on for too long (though I have already), the point is that that is what will sell this magazine. Carine Roitfeld wants this to make a splash, it's a major press opportunity because of the anniversary and she's taking that opportunity and making it work. So I say, no, it's not what we expected. But that is exactly why it's so great.

PS: I also think this is sort of new for Freja. She's always been cast as the tough girl, sure, but I don't think she's ever looked this callous before, with the exception of a few photos where she goes back to being a relative softie :)

Rrose Sélavy said...

As always, I LOVE reading all your thoughts. You guys make me think and reevaluate and that's what I love to do. I am definitely going to look at this editorial again, much deeper, with new eyes. Also, you all out there should never apologize for going on too long or talking too much. Your opinions are just as valid as mine and I love being privy to them!

@ kasia: Yes, it is my blog and I'm not forcing you to read it. I created this space so I could let out my thoughts without being in the way of anyone else. It you don't care for what I have to say, you can just not read it. Simple as that. :) So you can take your negativity and leave thanks.

kim said...

I actually really like this editorial. It definitely is something different and unusual especially for mainstream fashion magazines like Vogue Paris. It probably would not have been as odd if this is for i-D or Pop. But I think Freja has more personality in this ed than in any other recent ones we have seen lately. These pictures don't seem overly pose-y, have a strong mood going on, and they put things into perspective. Is fashion always about glamour? Do models always have to look polished?
And I totally agree with Peter. I think that Freja is a model and she is doing her job. Styling really is just a subject of taste.

Anonymous said...

i'm sure she has fun. :) anyway, they don't need a supermodel for that job if they are going to alter her look beyond recognition.

Annika said...

Ugh this editorial is awful! I am so sick of "punk 77" being revisited over and over again. It's boring and has been done so many times. It's just lazy at this point.

Anonymous said...

I think Kasia may have been too blunt but I do agree with the general sentiment. You could afford to be a bit more objective sometimes. Ask yourself are you upset that Freja is being portrayed in a certain way out of concern for her career or out of a preference for a certain aesthetic? But as you stated this is your blog and I think you do a great job of covering Freja's work. Not trying to be negative.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Prose, I like Freja being feminine. This is Prose's blog after all, she has every right to state her opinion just like some of you want express in the comments section here.

Miranda said...

Right now I ought to be desperately finishing my truckload of homework, but not before I can help but get a word in or two... well, a response, more like.

"But I guess all models have a shtick they can't get away from....Lara and her boobs immediately come to my mind."

You never fail to humor me :)

Now off I go. I'll be back later in the day when I'm less busy to give my actual thoughts on this editorial. (Actually, at the moment, I can't quite decide what would be best for me to say about it yet.)

Rrose Sélavy said...

Look, I understand some of you don't like reading the same thing over and over, and that some of you like Freja being all androgynous all the time. But if you read the side bar at the top of this blog, I never purport to be "objective." I tell you that here you will find my "thoughts and musings" which are completely subjective. That's why I love reading all these comments because I get other subjective points of view. But when someone is rude and doesn't provide any constructive criticism (like kasia) I will not tolerate that. Like I said, I'm not forcing any of you to read this blog, and if you have a different point of view thats what the comment section is for. :)

Anonymous said...

If the last comment was directed at me(I'm the anon who made the "objective" comment) then I apologize. It was just a suggestion.

Lucy Roberts said...

It's a strange vision of Freja, but anyway for me this shows her versatility and capacity to change her role wiht success.

Mona Lisa Overdrive said...

Get over it Rrose. Your acicular criticism of any given editorial's focus on Freja's "androgyny" is getting repetitive and almost to point of self parody. We get it. You prefer the masculine over the feminine. Maybe you should step back a little and re-evaluate what it is that inspired you to write this blog in the first place. I often find that as soon as I think I'm over something, it starts looking fresh again. You've put yourself in a box and the only way you're going to feel inspired is to lift the lid open. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with punk music knows that Freja is channeling Bill Idol here. It's cool, edgy, and very rock & roll.

Rrose Sélavy said...

^If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. That's the beauty of this blog. You have to make the decision to visit it and read what I write. I am not forcing you to read anything. :) As soon as I pander to what some of you want me to say and write, then this blog has lost it's purpose. It's a purpose I've made very clear since the beginning...don't know why I'm being attacked because of it all of a sudden.

Mona Lisa Overdrive said...

Correction. It should read "feminine over the masculine". I've been watching too much Goddard.

Gill Ford said...

Seriously people, if you don't like what's being posted, go somewhere else. Or if you have enough opinions of your own, start your own blog. Taking the piss out of this one is just immature and unappreciative of the amount of effort Rrose puts into keeping everyone informed. She doesn't deserve negativity for making our lives easier.

Billie said...

dear Rrose, if you don't want any 'negative' comments then don't have a comment section. simple as that. and btw i do think that the kasia comment wasn't as polite as you would've liked it, but i guess that we all agree with her a bit.
'If you don't like it, you don't have to read it.' we get it, again, this is YOUR blog after all. but who is being quite rude here, is you.
i love your blog, mainly because is dedicated to Freja.
not trying to be 'negative' or anything.
keep up with the good work!

kasia said...

i apologize if i hurt your feelings Rrose.
i'm sorry if you felt attacked, even though it was just a comment.
i guess i could've been politer on my thoughts.
having said that, i can see that many agreed with the general sentiment. i mean, it is your blog, but this is the comment section and we can give our opinions, right?
i guess i said what i said because i love Freja and i thought that you were a little unfair with her -and her work- without a legit reason. i was a little frustrated by your words towards the editorial at the momment and i wrote what it first came to my mind.
anyway, just clearing the air.
i'm always gonna be very greatful for all the work you do here. -and i can be a bitch, i know-

Rrose Sélavy said...

Thanks Gill. :)

@ Billie: Not trying to be rude, just sticking up for myself after feeling attacked on my own blog. I have the comments section because I love reading what others have to say (like all the other great comments with great points of view in this very post). I don't believe in censorship, but it just sucks when I'm not accorded the same respect that I try to show everyone. Thanks for your comments though.

@ kasia: Thank you. Next time if you're frustrated with what I've written, a comment explaining why would go much further to your advantage than any negativity. :)

luisa m. said...

i don't think this editorial is about beauty or ugliness. the strength of the expressions and the environment invites (or challenges) the observer to this dark, underground and almost mystic world, witch is fantasised, but still, very real and fairly unknow. it is about power, obscurity and the realization of something that is out of our usual sights. nowadays, i don't think fashion is always about beauty. anyway, beauty is a subjective concept and, for me, this is a beautiful editorial and she looks beautiful, but this is not up to discussion, since it's a personal opinion. what matters here is the power of the image, and if the observer is touched or not by its concept and final result. i'm sorry for my poor english.

Rrose Sélavy said...

^ahhhh, why are you apologizing for your English? It's great! And so is your lovely, thoughtful comment. You're totally right, beauty is subjective and fashion doesn't always have to be about beauty. The editorial provokes thought and seems to either draw out feelings of love or hate, depending on the viewer.

Anonymous said...

I'm similar in that I've ALWAYS preferred Freja's feminine side over her androgynous side. And my first reaction to this was just really ... shmeh. However, I appreciate this ed as its definitely not the typical androgynous styling, its referencing ad particular time, group and feeling. It definitely tests your ideas on beauty and although i dont find this particular ed beautiful, it is interesting. And it shows her versatility. And on a fangirly note, I LOVE that she was in 2 eds for VP's 90th anniversary issue, Bal Masque being far superior to this IMO. I hope Carine continues to support her!

And lastly, LOVE you blog so much Rrose and appreciate all the work that you've put into it :) I always come back to read your views and opinions :)

Anonymous said...

I think the problem that people have with your criticism is that you don't see people complaining about female models always being portrayed as feminine do you? It's only a problem when they are androgynous (b/c women are supposed to be dainty flowers right?). What I mean is that if Freja weren't known for being andro. and was styled like most other models in edits would you be complaining about how "limited" her work is?

Rrose Sélavy said...

^Yes, I would. And I don't complain about other models because I only discuss Freja on this blog, as the title would suggest. There are many other models whom I've gotten tired of because they keep churning out the same type of work in the same vein. Instead of criticizing them, I just stop following their work. I issue criticism when I think it's warranted, and if you've been reading this blog since the beginning when I started, that would be evident. :)

Anonymous said...

I get that Freja has tattoos, is tough and cool, buts sadly she doesn't fit in this editorial. She looks way to harsh and a bit out of place.This is not true for all the frames I do like the 3rd from last.

Sabina said...

Rrose! I totally agree with you:) Wonderful blog:) Xxx

Noe Colonna said...

Hi! Great blog! I really this editorial. cheers!
Noe!

http://theuniversalfashion.blogspot.com/