I know everyone loves to slag off Kate Moss (too skinny, too ubiquitous, entirely unwholesome, blah blah) but these photographs are well worth having a look at in the first place, mainly because it's almost entirely thanks to images like these that fashion found its way out of the 80s look in the first place (unlike most young people these days, I think the decade in which I was born was fairly hideous, fashion-wise, and neon reminds me of the highlighters and Post-Its we use at examtime- the connotations are still more Nerd than New Rave for me). Fashion in the Noughties hasn't really been a massive shift away from the 90s, or even if it is it's so gradual that I don't know it's happening, so maybe it's difficult to get just how huge the impact of these pictures (taken from The Face, 1990) was in their time. What I know they did do for us was shake up the very notions of just what 'beautiful' meant, and Kate Moss, then fifteen years old, was only half of what triggered that change. The other half was a woman named Corinne Day, who was the photographer for the shoot, 25 years old at the time and quite given to wearing what were, at the time, odd combinations (a sweater under a slipdress, with canvas sneakers, everything slouchy and louche and a bit well, not 80s at all), and preferred things to look un-posed, natural, and a bit like what they actually were- dirty walls, dark circles, cigarette butts and all. Even without Photoshop, the images of the late 80s and early 90s were all high glam, high gloss and a little disconcerting that way, or maybe I'm just saying that because I see them as anachronisms today. To people who saw them as the standard, Corinne Day's work was much more disconcerting because it was made up of all that a normal brain of the time thought of as not presentable. And somehow I can't help appreciating it, it sounds terribly pseudo but it has to be said- for all the flak that fashion gets (and that Corinne and Kate both got later in the decade) for pushing women to think badly of their bodies, it can be amazing to know someone sees the ugly things as beautiful. I have a feeling Toulouse-Lautrec and Co. would have liked her.


Yohan said...

Don't know much about fashion, but Kate Moss is hot.

Maggie said...

I don't get the appeal of Kate Moss. I feel as if her only saving grace is her fashion sense, which is pretty spot-on; she also always seems to start trends. However, could one attribute that fashion sense to being in the fashion business for so long?

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Not quite..the other supermodels of that time are all great-looking too, but none of them has the same way with clothes.
I didn't really intend the post to be about the model, but Corrine Day is one of my fashion heroes and a lot of her early work was with Kate Moss. It was one of the first steps taken in that time towards (for lack of a better word) naturalising fashion a bit, and even if her work today isn't as grungy as it was back then, it's still mostly fairly unmistakable. I'd say she easily deserves to be on the list of all-time great photographers, right up with Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, David Bailey and Co.

Yohan said...

Don't get the appeal??

I thought it was obvious.

Maggie said...

Yeah, no I completely agree with you about the pictures and the photographer but as for Kate Moss...well, to each his/her own.

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