Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lara Stone's bloody Valentine

steven klein via tfs

Ah the fashion business. One minute a woman's arms are being pinned to the floor in what looks alarmingly like a faux pack rape scene for Dolce e Gabbana, the next another female model is simulating fellatio with a cow's udder for Sisley. Following much controversy over the depiction of violence against, and the sexualisation of, women in fashion imagery, it now seems that the men are starting to be on the receiving end of what some feminazis might consider to be their just desserts. Two weeks ago frockwriter shared's disturbing Calvin Klein homage, which depicted some teenage male models in subjugated poses. The words "FUCK ME" were scrawled in lipstick on the inner thighs of Brit Josh Blount - who may, or may not, have been required to expose his erect phallus in one shot. In spite of a denial from Blount's agency (and an additional denial from someone claiming to be Blount's mother, in a comment subsequently left on that post), it's just not clear. The story caught the eye of BlackBook and Jezebel, among others. Now comes a curious editorial spread shot by Steven Klein for the February edition of Paris Vogue, an issue completely dedicated to the Dutch model Lara Stone.

In the spread, which is reportedly called "Lara fiction noire", Stone is portrayed as a lingerie-clad femme fatale, who interacts with three men in a violent S&M fantasy.

In one shot Stone is lying manacled to a bed, with a young shirtless male cowering behind her in a cage.

In another, Stone looks to be pinned to the ground, her mouth streaked with black makeup. Faux "blood", fashioned from what looks to be sequins and other jewellery components, pours from its corners. There is a very strong inference that she has been hit.

As Stone lies prostrated, she is being groped by a sinister-looking hand, whose claw-like, armour-plated fingers are reminiscent of Freddie Kruger or Wolverine, take your pick.

In other shots a male model wearing a blue shirt emblazoned with New York Police Department badges mimes holding a gun to Stone and another shirtless male.

But the most disturbing image of all depicts Stone and one man inside a car.

Stone smokes a cigarette, her hands smeared with the man's blood.

The man looks towards Stone - his face and neck completely covered in blood.

Gunshot wound to the head? Burns victim? Extra on a Dario Argento splatter flick?

It is unclear at this stage whether the latter shot made it into the magazine proper - or if it is merely an outtake that was considered too controversial for publication.

The shot features on Klein's website as part of the Paris Vogue editorial.

steven klein via tfs


Anonymous said...

ah this photo shoot was talked about before it even came out!

Anna Wintour said...

Lara Stone as an S&M vampire (she looks like she's flayed the man's face off in the top shot), is far more conceptual, and far less creepy than that Ponystep shoot was. In my mind grindhouse movies are far more worthy of a fashion homage than child pornography is. Good on French Vogue for including some horror with its skeletons.

Anna Wintour said...

PS: Why has no one ever suggested Sophie Ward as a Tatiana possibility? She's been living in New York for most of the time Tatiana has been posting, is an aspiring writer AND has a degree in Psychology. Plus, her sister would probably give her some insight into the upper echelons of the modeling world. I haven't checked dates though, this is just rampant speculation.

marian said...

I find these pics very confronting. This is not the kind of escapism I hope to find in one of my favourite fashion mags. The world - and the televised news of it is harsh enough for me.

Anonymous said...

i am not a conservative.. I love a lot of fringe art and photography... but like the poor Josh blount pics...I can't really say why... but these pics FEEL wrong to me... my soul recoils from both sets of pics... I agree with marian... not to my taste at all...but i love lara and love Fr Vogue

Piccolo said...

I keep coming back to this because i know i should be shocked and repulsed by it... but i'm just... not. Possible I am desensitized to this sort of thing? But I also found the Ponystep shoot far more creepy than this.

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