Fashion Photo Shoot – ‘Dark Snow’

At the beginning of this term, FPI students were given the opportunity to create a Fashion Photograph in the studio. For my starting point, I was Inspired by the GUESS A/W 15 advertising campaign. Depicting a beautiful yet strong and assertive female ‘warrior’ figure fearlessly navigating a fantasy frontier, to me this image powerfully challenged the traditional fairytale narratives I grew up with, positioning the man as the hero, who the passive female characters rely upon to save the day. This led me define my theme for this project as ‘Modern Myth’, where it was my intention to reflect what I perceived in the GUESS image, through presenting a recognisable fairytale narrative with a clear twist.

Tired of the dominant ‘disneyfied’ fairytale interpretation, I began the process of conceptualisation researching authentic Grimm Fairytale illustrations evoking the dark gothic glamour fairytales were originally known for. Since it was this dramatic, dark aesthetic that I wished to channel through my image, I felt that as arguably the darkest fairytale of them all, Snow White was an appropriate character to craft my narrative around. My ‘twist’ came from a primary research visit to the GUY BOURDIN ‘IMAGE MAKER’ exhibition at Somerset House. Renowned for for his exotic, confrontational narratives, testing the boundaries of expectation, I was particularly inspired by an image he took of a naked woman who appeared to be bleeding from the mouth. This visceral depiction of death, got me thinking about how dominant representations of Snow White in her glass coffin, present her as flawless despite the fact that the reality of being poisoned is highly gruesome. Therefore it was my intention upon entering the studio, to include an element of this perversity, such as a rigour mortis pose, in my image as my fairytale ‘twist’.

However, as is often the case in practise, my experience on the day made me think differently.  When i was test-shooting I felt that any attempts at deliberate perversity would seem caricatural, taking away from the beautiful, haunting and engaging aesthetic I had managed to craft through my styling and home-made props. Ultimately, I was very pleased with the Images I ended up with.

However, as is often the case in practise, my experience on the day made me think differently. When i was test-shooting I felt that any attempts at deliberate perversity would seem caricatural, taking away from the beautiful, haunting and engaging aesthetic I had managed to craft through my styling and home-made props. Ultimately, I was very pleased with the Images Iended up with.

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