Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Appearance of Something Serious

“There is an idea of neutrality in models now. Little make-up, no expression, like a robot… That is very stupid. It is almost as if the models have to have the appearance of something serious, to give an intellectual base, but they themselves are rarely like that,” Donatella Versace.

Part of deconstructing fashion and art is recognizing the ways in which fictional cultural images reinforce and revise stereotypes. It is a social idea that beauty and intellect are incompatible but there are many real examples to the contrary. There are models such as Christy Turlington who graduated from NYU and Columbia, Sasha Pivovarova who studied at St. Petersburg Art Institute and Iman who studied political science at the University of Nairobi and speaks five languages. There are also many models who may give a serious or informed impression but are not motivated by education or ideas. The larger question though is why we frame models in context of cultivated luxury that speaks of education?

Pivovarova with a copy of Things Get Better, shot by Ellen Von Unwerth, Vogue Italia July 2009

Whenever we culturally place models in the context of education, we start to suggest the style of intellect, allowing books as accessories and backdrops.

Prada, S 2000

See more at this media gallery by The Daily Beast, What Models Read

Nicole Trunfino

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