Friday, 6 August 2010


Unless you have been holidaying on the Moon for the past three months, you won't have failed to have heard about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It has caused untold damage to the environment, animals and the local communities. You also may have heard that recently Vogue Italia has published an editorial featuring model Kristen McMenamy draped over rocks and sand representing the fallen birds and dead fish, cleverly using a variety of feathered garments and dark accessories in a palette of grey and black.
The photographer is none other than Steven Meisel, who frequently champions political and/or social causes through his photography work (most notably in 2006, were he did an editorial exploring terrorism following the 9/11 attacks).
Here are some images of the editorial and of the tarred animals off the Gulf of Mexico....

The editorial has been savaged by most critics and Vogue has been unfairly blamed for using such an economical disaster as a way to sell issues and create a buzz. That may be your opinion but it is not mine. Yes, the fashion world is often accused of exploiting issues such as this, but the film industry and the literary world are no better. I believe that by transforming a human (albeit a model) into the position of vulnerability and sympathy, it enables other people to visualise the oil spill as a true disaster of enormous scale, and perhaps understand properly the effect such a thing can have on the environment. I think the issue has been handled carefully and sincerely, because, in all fairness the clothes are not showcased to the best of their ability, which brings me to consider the fact that that was not the ultimate goal of the editorial. Plus Meisel's input offers me some reassurance.

What do you think?

For updates on how BP are handling the oil spill, please visit and click the 'Gulf of Mexico response' tab at the top of the page.

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