04 April 2014

Horror Movie: Italian Vogue

The fashion world and general public has been thrown into debate once again by Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue Franco Sozzani's controversial cover stories. In the past war, oil spillage, rehab, plus size models and black models have all been subjects of cover shoots that get the readers in uproar over whether or not this is distasteful or trivialising the issue at hand. This April, Sozzani chose domestic violence as her controversial subject.

Having seen the full story on (link below), the question that I personally was left asking myself was whether this was actually a shoot about domestic violence at all and not just beautiful recreations of horror movie scenes. Yes the female models are being attacked by a male in a private home but the image are so cinematic and glamorous that almost all feeling of an actual real-life issue is eradicated. It feels to me like they started with one concept, a horror movie themed shoot, and then later decided it might be a good idea to also address a current social problem. I think that fashion can be used to promote social issues and current topics but unfortunately in this instance it didn't work.

The main criticism of this shoot is that the images trivialise domestic violence. I can understand where the critics are coming from with this point, the model draped across stairs in a red couture gown or cowering under the stairs in a saucy black number does lead to a sort of film-noir glamour mixed with Japanese horror. However, for me as I said above, the images seem to in fact just detach themselves from the subject altogether. Even the shoots title of Cinematic has no relevance to abuse at all and leads to the reader believing it is indeed just a shoot about horror films. 

Regardless of whether or not this shoot is raising awareness on the subject of domestic violence, the heated debate that it's sparked is in fact raising awareness anyway. It's got people talking about the subject and through the debates online and in the media the public are being exposed to the issue. Perhaps this was Sozzani's plan all along, to create something so controversial people are debating it's purpose and raising awareness more than one photo story ever could by splashing it across all forms of media.

Let me know what you thought of the shoot in the comments below! And if you haven't seen the images yet, you can find them here:

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Constance:

    Excellent post. I think is demonstrating how horrible domestic abuse is by presenting images that are exactly similar to the types of scenes that are depicted in horror films; however, I do agree that their way of doing so could have been more direct and less of an homage to horror films.