Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Praise of Ellen Von Unwerth

I love Ellen Von Unwerth's work. Ever since I found out she shot Hole's 'Live through this cover'. Editorials which I ripped from the Details, Interview & Sky mags as a teenager always had her name on them - they reeked of sex and rock & roll, a paean to female sexuality & sensuality in a stylish way. I devoured her fashion shoots, escaping from my small town life into her world of glamorous, Bachanalian rock-chick back-stage party mayhem.

The first Vogue editorial I remember feeling both obsessed and inspired by was Nadja Auermann in 'She is an Enigma'. The dark, shouldering, Newton-esque shots spoke to me in some way. I wanted to be her, in the man suit, cigarette in mouth, exuding confidence, style &, strength whilst and still looking attractive & womanly. Sexy women in suits, heralding the fabulous Tom Ford @ Gucci & Dolce & Gabbana man-style suits that were yet to arrive on the catwalk. I had the head shot above my head. Years later, I found out who shot it - one guess!

A few more faves - Note that there is a theme here - rock & roll, cigarettes, louche & languid poses, lips, long hair and smokey black eyes! Kind of shaped my aesthetic for years to come.

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