The centerpiece of this month’s Vogue Italia is a 24-page fashion spread dedicated to the Gulf oil spill — that is, featuring models mimicking dying, oil-covered, beached animals. Nice as it is to see the fashion world engaging in real issues, spending thousands of dollars on a spread to sell luxury items to the rich may not be the most sensitive way of doing so. Via Refinery29:
There’s no denying that these images from the oil spill editorial in Vogue Italia’s August 2010 issue are beautiful. The 24 pages of Kristen McMenamy, shot by Steven Meisel, are realistic interpretations of images of injured, oiled animals that have inundated the news media since the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April. As beautiful and provocative as they are, we can’t help but feel uneasy. Creating beauty and glamour out of tragedy seems quite fucked up to us, not to mention wasteful and hypocritical, seeing as thousands of dollars of luxury clothing was flown in, and then subsequently ruined for the shoot. Glamorizing this recent ecological and social disaster for the sake of “fashion” reduces the tragic event to nothing more than attention-grabbing newsstand fodder. But that’s just us. Do you think this is appropriate commentary, or just tasteless?