“Defy” by Mert & Marcus for W Magazine September 2017
Photographer: Mert & Marcus. Model(s): Aleece Wilson, Anitta, Anna Ewers, Binx Walton, Duckie Thot, Ellen Rosa, Hiandra Martinez, Hoyeon Jung, Issa Lish, Jasmine Sanders, Lexi Boling, Lily Aldridge, Linda Helena, Luna Bijl, Manuela Sanchez, Marina Morena, Mckenna Hellam, Sara McCall, Sijia Kang, Vera LeSavoy, Yasmin Wijnaldum. Source: W Magazine. Stylist: Edward Enninful. Makeup: Isamaya Ffrench. Hair: Jimmy Paul.
Posted Aug 22, 2017
Mert & Marcus dare to “Defy” as they Fall into the season, for W Magazine, September Issue ’17. We bid a fashion farewell to the great, Edward Enninful, as he’s off to make his mark as the new Editor-n-Chief of British Vogue. Taking it to the streets this shows us that the future of fashion is now. Art and excess blend in ways we haven’t even begun to conceive of. What used to be all about the procure of pretty is now about the capturing of hard-core couture. A fusion of high fashion once considered too much, is now a come-one-come-all concept. Straight Street speaks the language of the people ~ where there are no rules and nothing is off limits. Enninful’s main message, “Why Just Flout Fashion When You Can Own It?” A compelling question. This works not as a traditional installation piece, nor a stop-motion film feat. The visual mastery of this editorial lies in it’s ability to capture the sentiment of sound and space. Open your heart, open your mind, hear what I say for now is the time. The youth of today scream to say we are here to be heard not to fade but away. We are here to be open we are here to be free…. we are here but to become the altered evolution of the sun. Stand back my soulful sisters as we fly across the sky, upon the wings of yesterdays fears we’ll rise forever high. The wheels turn slowly as they ache to arrive here on this mountain where hope is alive. The Artful Evolution of Yesterday’s Child is Held Up Against the Rising Moon and the Falling Stars. poetic prose – tanyajo
Edward Enninful continues to show us why he’s taken over this industry. His unmatched ability to see beyond the simplicity takes us toward more solid ground. Fashion moves past fad by embracing the historical value of each outfit. Driving the story forward, he uses specific style points to speak the language of longevity. This allows imagery to unfold naturally, giving us timely looks rather than the immediacy of cheap choices. The fluid nature of every shot captures the human connection, with scenes setup like tiny movies. Every image relates to the other, while still embracing the theme of individuality. If we are too caught up in aesthetic concerns we can’t get to the center of this creative endeavor. As we follow this fearless fighter we begin to understand that this is not a flat concept, but rather, a moving, growing force field of high fashion. Anna Ewers, Binx Walton & Lexi Boling capture the lure of the streets, while Jasmine Sanders, Vera LeSavoy, McKenna Hellam (and more) mix it up with beauty built on the backs of brick-n-mortar buildings that surround. Duckie Thot stands amongst fearsome females as they fly across sky, upon the wings of yesterday’s dreams they rise forever high. These are soldiers fighting for a stronger tomorrow. Enninful wants us to experience the fullness of his vision, without fearing judgement. Never one to shy away from fiery topics, he should christen this final editorial ~ Concrete Couture.
Isamaya Ffrench mimics the music of the streets with makeup that sings. The 70’s decade is alive as each face embraces the architecture of the era. A gang of gorgeous sets into play as modern mayhem makes the day. Daring beauty flies in the face of rigidity, as these tough chicks prove that the Female’s Fire Burns Bright. Drama defines the eyes, evoking the energy of the time period without imposing a direct, aesthetic line. Black brows are drawn in an over-arching manner, as a myriad of shapes bend but don’t break. Connection is key, as creative cuts capture the uniqueness of the brows. Her face is so rare her stare can’t compare as Ellen Rosa evokes the colors of the sun. Isamaya Ffrench plays Connect the Dots, as Aleece Wilson has a face full of freckles that make the skin sing. The bouffant bump redefines what it means to be high, with sky scraping hair that revels in red. The scarlet shade sits in the middle, sandwiched in by two dews done in black. Taking inspiration from the streets, Jimmy Paul pounds his way through the years, with designs that define the decade. Redefining the idea of retro… On the left we have the famed Bumper Bangs, while the right exemplifies the backcombed up-do. Going legit, this story celebrates the beauty of braids. A symphony of styles sing out loud from a ’round-the-way-play to a tight, pulled-back pony that sits high on the head. Lily Aldridge pays tribute to the unique time period, with a two-toned feathered dew that screams Farrah Fawcett. Mert & Marcus work to motivate while they integrate, as every nuanced scene peels another layer back. This 70’s bend never looked so bright with images done almost exclusively in black/white. Brilliant in execution, these girls are touched with a tough exterior but exude a softer, hidden side. Yasmin Wijaldum ends in poetic posture, as she stands in silence letting her quiet energy speak.
Never one to shy away from fiery topics, he wants us to experience the fullness of his vision at large. This is not a flat concept but a moving, growing force field of high fashion. Where vision and voice meet, we wish Edward Enninful well as he moves into his next position as Editor-n-Chief of British Vogue. Revolutions turn with many wheels as this artful evolution unfolds.