For GARAGE magazine’s latest issue, the theme of VANITY is approached in the most creepiest if not brilliant, of ways. The fact that a fashion magazine would choose vanity as a theme is an oxymoron as the reader immerses her/himself in wanting to be as beautiful as the model before them, own that jewelry that might compromise their livelihood or even possess a body that they could never aspire to, with every flip of the page. Yet, when it’s a magazine like GARAGE under the helm of editor Dasha Zhukova, the conventional approach is challenged by turning things upside down that result in a unique POV that makes you see things you thought were never there. But when you throw artist Cindy Sherman into the mix, you’re provoked to feel uncomfortable, especially when all the models on the cover and throughout the spread, as seen below, are accessorized with a Cindy Sherman mask created via ThatsMyFace.com, after submitting a picture of the artist.
With the artist’s blessing, the masks were created from her face in ‘Untitled #461’, part of Sherman’s recent MoMA exhibition (below). For Zhukova, Cindy Sherman was the only one
(photo: Cindy Sherman)
that could truly bring something worth talking about to the table.
‘Cindy Sherman’s work raises such important and challenging questions about the representation of women, both in media and society. There was no better likeness to illustrate issues of identity and facelessness in the fashion industry’.
In looks by Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, McQueen, and Dolce & Gabbana, beautifully shot by Patrick Demarchelier, provocatively posed like the great picture below, featuring one of the model’s with a covered vagina with a tropical Anthurium flower (also known as ‘flamingo flower’ or ‘boy flower’) which seems to have an erection of sorts, your initial reaction is to take pause. With the models all looking alike, your eyes zone in on their faces but just as quickly, your eyes jump to the clothes, emphasizing the idea of model as clothes hanger and that’s it.
This following pic reminded me of that famous Peter Lindbergh shot for VOGUE magazine featuring the ‘Supermodels’ of the Nineties including Linda Evangelista + Christy Turlington – of course, Demarchelier’s is a lot more risqué.
(photo: Peter Lindbergh)
But how apropos is the comparison when the ‘Supermodels’ were all about vanity back then – remember, Linda Evangelista was the model that caused all that buzz for saying, ‘I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.’ Sadly, that arrogance is bittersweet as that was a time when glossies cared more about fashion plus model equation than what’s going on now with celebrity obsession, specifically those sought after because of scandal + not true merit – Seriously, Kim Kardashian’s impetus to fame was porn…homemade, unbeknownst to her, anyway you play it, it’s porn. Why celebrate + reward mediocrity?
Another thing I noticed was how closely Cindy’s mask looks like Madonna’s face –
(photos: GARAGE + Getty Images)
no offense to either artist but interesting, as Madonna triumphed, throughout her career in challenging and provoking the female identity + sex by taking control without apology.
The artist has yet to see the pics herself but maybe she will see them with the rest of us when the magazine drops Feb 9th.