Luma Grothe by Kenneth Willardt for Harper’s Bazaar US, August 2017
Posted Jul 23, 2017
Luma Grothe gets her metallic grove on by Kenneth Willardt for Harper’s Bazaar US, August 2017. Decadence devours the scene as Luma transcends into a silver machine. Her love of alloy radiates throughout the page as this story ignites in a riotous rage. When we think about the edges of excess we imagine the art of the ideal. Evocative, provocative, powerful and real this explores the excess of the exquisite. “Is She Real or Is She Memorex?” I don’t know if many of you remember that great 80’s tagline, but the resulting message is one of discovery. Can her mere appearance tell us if she is real or robot? An interesting conundrum. This exquisite editorial takes on the age-old adage, if it looks to good to be real… Beauty lives beyond the obsession that’s wrapped inside an expression.
Silver screams to be seen as Luma’s accessories shine like a dream inside a dream. Over-the-top yet oddly controlled, these shots let us sink our teeth into something strange. And, while that may sound extreme, the experience is worth the price of admission. Watching the transformation we are witness to true artistic expression. Has she landed from another planet, with a grand intention to turn our world to sterling? Or, through her obsession, has she slowly become an alloy alien? Amanda Alagem uses materials that captures the collective theme as the fashion past leads us to conquer the future sheen. High fashion finds it’s wings with a clear intention to go deep into previous decades. Floating in a sea of strange all things go silver in the head of the deranged. This is a girl so consumed with the alloyed effect, it has taken her human form. Part silver part skin, she succumbs to the platinum way. Up close and personal these pictures celebrate the beauty of bling. Bejeweled accessories drip over every inch of her body. As she stomps out the competition, with bedazzled boots in one shot and stilettos bathed in Swarovskis in another. The outline of her features play against the fabric, as her entire face/body is covered in a see-thru, silver mesh. Spiked pearls poke out between every finger, giving us a new take on the concept of neo-knuckle rings. This jewelry isn’t for the faint of heart, but then again neither are we. The essence of this editorial lies in the idea that scintillation soothes as it stimulates. Highlighted by the fact that Grothe is barely clothed in most of these images, Alagem covers her body in crystals.
Justine Purdue stuns us into submission as silver drips into another dimension. She does it right, by dumping a bucket full of liquid silver over every inch of her lovely skin. Done in a liquid alloy format, the end result gives the illusion of skin tone. Purdue manages to mimic the look of a robot come to life, while still evoking a great sense of spirit. Body makeup is enhanced with a metallic glow, leaving the skin-tone as merely incidental. Grothe gives a performance perfecto, by showcasing emotions that make us question what we are witnessing. A simple, cat-eye wing gives the lids a lift, while the lips are left with a soft, subtle hue. Her eyes almost mutate into a shade of gray, with hints of green emanating from below. A solid sterling color saturates the skin, mimicking a dyed effect. Leaving us to luxuriate in the illusion that a transformation has taken place. Proving one thing’s for sure ~ she may be an Alien ~ but she most certainly is a Beauty. Her hairline appears as if the coiffure has been coined, leaving the remaining liquid to drip down her forehead. Joey George keeps things clean with her dew done in a pulled-back, ballerina bun. Up close and personal, crystallized cosmetics capture our imagination, as minted makeup celebrates the beauty of bling. Here we have this resplendent creature, radiating with a resilient glow. Like a cyborg who’s skin is melting off, the silver seeps from the inside/out.