Marilyn Monroe announces her divorce from Arthur Miller on October 6th, 1954.
There’s three important points that need to be recognized here. The first is how underrated of a film Sleepy Hollow is. I saw it in the theater when it initially came out back in 1999 and loved it. In fact, it’s one of my favorite Tim Burton films. Back then, the internet was more about fandom than criticism and I thought that because everyone was so obsessed with Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp and thusly sharing pictures from this movie that everyone loved it as much as I did. It wasn’t until social networking made everyone think their opinion mattered that I found out that most people thought every Tim Burton movie after Edward Scissorhands was a fail. This sweeping dismissal has always annoyed me, especially when it comes to Sleepy Hollow. Stylistically, it’s his most beautiful film. It’s funny, spooky and visually stunning.
These pictures are by Tim Burton’s long time still photographer Mary Ellen Mark. An amazingly gifted documentary photographer, she always frames Burton’s movies like they’re plays, capturing the art of movie making more than the suspended disbelief that the characters are being photographed within their world. This unique style gives his characters a gravitas that is sorely missing from a lot of film still photography.
The final thing we must recognize is the costumes, designed by another of Tim Burton’s long time collaborators, Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood. All of the dresses in this movie are beautiful, but the final dress that Christina Ricci wears is an iconic moment in Tim Burton’s films. West uses Burton’s signature black and white stripes and molds them through a basque, bustle, ruffled edges and full skirt. In terms of goth-dom, it’s like the Shroud of Turin.
Back in the mid-00’s, a group of girls with widely spaced, giant eyes and round faces appeared in the modelling world and quickly formed the trend of doll faced models. Many of the models still working today came from this movement, ladies like Lily Cole, Sasha Pivovarova, Lisa Cant, Lily Donaldson and Vlada Roslyakova. The queen of the alien girls, though, was the beautiful blonde from Australia, Gemma Ward. Her pale skin smooth as porcelian, her eyes a soft clear blue, and her face like a Blythe Doll, all with the long limbs of a tall girl, she was like a lady doll come to life. Photographers like Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino and Arthur Elgort found their muse in her unique look. Designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano embraced her marionette looks and designed looks especially for her to wear on the runway. The fragile sadness in her eyes would seep through her photographs, her eyes swimming with tears on the runway, and by 2007 she was coming under scrutiny for gaining weight. She retreated from the modelling world soon after, and besides some small parts in The Great Gatsby and Pirates of the Caribbean, she’s been absent from the public eye. Even though her appearances were rare, her popularity in the fashion community remained strong. Her thread of the Fashion Spot consistently stayed in the top 50 most visited model threads. Stylists, fashion editors, photographers and designers still regularly referenced her look, using her past editorials as inspiration. Her return to the modeling world this week during Prada Spring 2015 was met with wide spread cries of joy. All of the major fashion sites and magazines reported on it, making it into an iconic moment of the season.
I’ve performed the difficult task today of finding my top favorite of her editorials, narrowing it down to these 5 in no particular order. Going through her past work knowing that she’s triumphed over her own inner demons and the criticism of the small minded people she dealt with before in the fashion world made these pictures even more amazing. Here’s to the older, even more beautiful Gemma returning.
Gemma Ward by Mario Testino for Vogue UK, February 2005
Gemma Ward by Nick Knight for Pop Magazine, November 2005
Gemma Ward by Paolo Roversi for Vogue Italia, December 2005
This is hands down my favorite collection so far from this season. Depending on how PFW goes, it might be my favorite over all. Bo and I have a long, loving relationship with Barbie. As little girls in the 80’s, we grew up with Barbie in her prime. There was never a time so perfect for the big blonde haired lady in a huge Bob Mackie-esque gown with fur stole and diamond earrings – 80’s Barbies, from their gowns to their accessories to their hair to the retro font were pink plastic Dream House perfection. Where I had issues with Jeremy Scott’s personal label during NYFW sloppily referencing kid culture as design inspiration, he shows here that he can be inspired by it and use it in a more wearable, fun way without it crossing the line into insanity. This show is all about the details – the Barbie mirror iPhone case, the plastic bow barrette bra top, the open top boots, the big hair bows, the over-sized buttons, the inflatable purses, the bric-a-brac dresses – there is so many fun, adorable things going on, that you can sit and study each look and be constantly delighted. The white satin tux, though, has to be one of my favorite looks of all time and one I will desperate want after for many, many years to come.
Moschino Spring 2015