A QUICK BREAK:It’s funny how I haven’t got around to posting images from this editorial yet. It’s a great one entitled ‘Spring Break’, taken from W Magazine’s April 2004 issue and is one of Bruce Weber’s best, starring a cast of underrated black models from Gerren Taylor to Victoria Britto. The model pictured here though is Jaunel McKenzie, the Jamaican beauty who experienced moderate success from 2004-2006. This is her definitive shot, the one that I always go to when I think of her. Styled by Alex White in a crizp white blazer and straw boater, Jaunel embodies a modern reinterpretation of the classic preppy woman. Her profile in particular stands out here. It makes me quite cross to think that girls like her disappear off of the radar very quickly; but at the same time glad, because Jaunel got to work with a handful of important people during her time at the top (Meisel, Klein etc.). Which cannot be said for all black models who have come since. Inspired casting, subverting of stereotypes and beautiful imagery are lacking in fashion editorial right now. Hopefully someone aside from Weber and White wakes up to this and does something in the vein of this story and gives less obvious editorial models a chance to show off their full potential in the coming years.
PRAYERS TO BE MADE:I tend to get bored of certain image-makers every couple of months, so move onto new ones that I get really into for a while, until I get bored and move on again. This ends up being a cycle. So at this precise moment in time I have come back to looking at Bruce Weber’s work. His official website, whilst not the most comprehensive does feature a nice range of his work and most interestingly of all, outtakes from some of the ad and editorial work that he has done over the years. This shot of Sedene Blake is an outtake from an editorial for W Magazine’s May 2010 issue that he did with stylist Camilla Nickerson entitled ‘First Ladies’. Sedene only had one shot in the multi-model (and person) editorial, so it’s nice to see that Weber did take some other images of her, even if they didn’t end up getting published. I like the innocence and purity of this shot. Sedene’s cat like facial features and entrancing eyes pull the viewer in, even when the photo isn’t up close. I’m not sure what path her career is going down now, but I do remember being very happy for the slew of blue chip editorial that she did book in 2010. So it’s nice to come back during a quiet period of her career and dig up an old but new discovery two years later.
SUMMER STROLLS:Bruce Weber is one of those photographers who can produce absolutely amazing work one minute and slightly questionable work the next. The latter usually comes in the form of his homoerotic, cheesecake shoots for men’s publications (ironic isn’t it; I know some of you like them but its definitely not for me). Its when he produces his optimistic, sunshine filled editorials featuring a mixture of models and regular people that his work really excels. Kate Moss and Foxy Brown hanging out together on holiday in Miami was a story from W Magazine in the 1990s that I remember particularly fondly.Whilst this recent editorial from UK Vogue’s April 2012 issue, photographed by Weber and styled by Joe McKenna lacks the star power of the aforementioned work, it is hardly any less endearing. Moa Aberg may only be 15 years old, but for once the model’s age doesn’t present a problem as her naivety is suited to this story featuring her romping about a Florida-based backdrop with two guys at her side. This shot featuring Moa (wearing a look from the killer Spring/Summer 2012 Salvatore Ferragamo collection) with teenage basketball star Trey Mourning is striking thanks to the slightly off-kilter connection between the two (she stares at him, he looks off into the distance). It looks like it could be a still from one of those old 1980s child/teen films (something along the lines of ‘The Lagoon’ but less dramatic or ‘The Goonies’ but less cheesy comes to mind). Most importantly of all though, this shot and entire story sets the mood for a warm and joyful summertime.
HIP-HOP FAIRY TALE: Here’s a blast from the past. A typical Christmas editorial from US Vogue, with a hip-hop twist. Wish that they could inject a little bit of humour and life into some of their narrative editorials nowadays.