Vogue’s Oil Spill Fashion Spread

vogue-italia-water-oil-spill-3The 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?

8 Comments on "Vogue’s Oil Spill Fashion Spread"

  1. Haystack | Aug 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm |

    I like it. I'd like to see the rest of the photos. Showing that tragedy can also be beautiful makes for good art in my opinion.

    • It may be a little crass to some…but the images I've seen were pretty impressive as artistic statements. I can't bring myself to completely hate the idea of fashion exhibiting a sense of social conscience…but I mistrust their motives just on principle…since billion dollar industries are primarily about image…not substance.

      Still…at the end of the day…provocative pics that make a mark…I can't hate that.

  2. E.B. Wolf | Aug 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm |

    Destroying the Ecosystem: It's not just profitable, it's sexy too!

  3. That's what I admire about Italian Vogue. Never half hearted.
    Terrorism, Heroin addiction, Gitmo , major disasters, they just don't give a fuck. Yes it is tasteless, but it sells magazines, and they're honest about it.

  4. its not tasteless nor is it tasteful…
    it is a portrayal of the wasteful reality our society has created.
    you can see this a failed attempt of fasion statement.
    i choose to see this as a grim reality we.ve brought upon ourselves.
    this is the direction our earth is heading if we dont pull our head out of our oil addiction

  5. listen a song called Black Gold: http://soundcloud.com/rude-ignorant-neighbour/b

  6. Ottermania | Sep 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm |

    Rather than mime art, ‘twould have been much wiser to spend all that money wasted on models and fashion on cleaning up oiled wildlife and wetlands, and giving them a chance to live, or helping out shrimpers or fishermen and women along the coast whose livelihoods have been ruined by BP. Put your models and your money to work helping rather than mocking; quite fucked up, but that’s glamour for ya; spot on, Sloan

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