I was wondering what you all thought about the controversy over the Karlie Kloss photos in Italian Vogue this month. I heard a lot of different points of view and a good amount of speculation about the center-of-attention’s body, but nothing too convincing.
I heard that Photoshop was responsible for Karlie’s incredibly elongated curves. But looking at the video from the shoot, you can see that’s just not the case.
And then people were talking about anorexia. That just doesn’t match the image I have of Karlie Kloss at all. She’s one of the healthiest, happiest models I know – this photo I took of her on her bike on her way from one show to another during Fashion Week in September is much more in sync with what I see as the real Karlie.
It’s surprising though… I was talking with Scott about this yesterday and one of the things that doesn’t quite come across in the photos (whether it be the ones in Italian Vogue or any of the others) is the Karlie effect.
Just take a look at her next to some of the other models and you’ll know what I’m talking about : she’s like two feet taller than everyone around her and has a much stronger and muscular body. On the catwalk, the power she exudes never fails to captivate the audience.
The last thing you’d think after seeing her in action is anorexia.
She’s skinny, yes, but it makes you think more of a ballet dancer* or a marathon runner. And at her level, you can’t really argue that being a model is a full out sport.
Franca Sozzani, the iconic editor of Italian Vogue, finally came out to talk about the images last week**. Her opinion was that it was the photography itself that was responsible, and that the angles that Steven Meisel and Karlie Kloss were playing with caused the confusion the pictures solicited. For her, the shots were experimental – and it’s true that the photos in Italian Vogue have always been closer to the domain of art : provocative, sublime, at times, disturbing.
It’s her point of view, but for me, a magazine lives in its time period. And right now, more than ever, fashion has a real problem with its constant promotion of thinness.
For me personally, thinness never made me dream. But I was lucky to grow up in the 90s. It was the decade of Cindy Crawford and Elle McPherson and those naturally athletic bodies certainly influenced my idea of beauty… But I don’t know what will happen with my little sister. I think she’s strong enough to find the necessary distance from magazine images, but do all young-adults have that same strength?
In this context, it might have been better to edit the series or to at least clarify the point of view of the story.
Sometimes, the love of images can push their creators too far. Carine Roitfeld recently said she regrets photographing so many cigarettes in her editorials…
*She is actually a dancer.
** I think it’s so very cool that she writes her blog almost everyday.
Translation : Tim Sullivan