“Utopia” by Sølve Sundsbø for Vogue Italia, November 2017
Photographer: Sølve Sundsbø. Model(s): Adele Taska, Alicia Burke, Delfine Bafort, Emma Breschi, Fernanda Ly, Katrina Lilwall, Kieran L., Meghan Collison, Olympia Campbell, Rhea Gayle, Vivien Solari. Source: Vogue Italia. Stylist: Vittoria Cerciello. Makeup: Kanako Takase, Sam Bryant. Hair: Malcolm Edwards, Mari Ohashi.
Posted Nov 15, 2017
Sølve Sundsbø shows us a “Utopia” unlike we’ve seen in Vogue Italia, Part I, II & III, November 2017. We’ve stepped into a new day where color and craft have come to play. Vogue Italia is artfully naming this the Matrix Redo, but for my simple taste I’m going to call it, expanding the mind space. The Matrix implies a third party has intervened, taking over our ability to compose thoughts. I, on the other hand, prefer the idea of mind-alteration. Redefining our conceptual landscape, this new view opens the door to a plethora of potential. The most provocative part of this story, is that much of the visual expression is captured by the dynamic use of overlays. Artfully portrayed over the body proper, shots are shown on the skin like film on a screen. Sundsbø uses the abstract nature of his angles to project a feeling of fusion. Whereby we imagine we can see their thoughts in the form of feelings. Utilizing each person as a projection of a reflection, we begin to picture them in different ways. Past the outer shell we start to see into their soul. A significant story, this tool allows our minds to grow exponentially. Perception and reflection take on new meaning as ~The Sphinx~ (most famous hairless cat breed known in the world) stands as a symbol of diversity.
Vittoria Cerciello imbues each image with a sense of direction, using a dynamic mix of texture & tone. Fashion finds it’s place on the page with styles that elevate the direction of the story. The tactile taste of these divine designs show us, that the most extreme themes take the scenic route. A cast of colors erupt from scarlet covered in crystals and embellished with silk strings, to a yellow, knit sweater sewn with huge holes that expose black lace hidden below. Adele Taska honors Madonna’s infamous Cone Bra, standing behind fuzzy, vertical lines as if she’s just a recording. Each image presents a sense of strange, asking the question… Is This Real Or Is It?? A merging of the miraculous. Cerciello takes us from leather to lace and all things in-between, proving that style doesn’t have to be the star to shine.
Sam Bryant celebrates the mystic nature of Meghan Collison, with makeup that will leave you melting. Non-conforming colors capture our imagination, as two of the most famous skin artists, show us their stuff. Cosmetically speaking Collison shines, as teal blue surrounds the lids and then correspondingly lines her top lip. The music of metallic lights up Rhea Gayle’s eyes, while Olympia Campbell projects an stark palor with skin that emits a ghostly glow. Kanako Takase breaks up the monotony of today’s makeup, by blasting blue over portions the skin. Bryant brings forth a sense of supernaturally sublime with a face fit for Fernanda Ly. Her eyes look like liquid silver has spilled over the lids, up and over the brows and down her lashes. Pink possesses something so spectacular, we can see it reflected in the fuchsia flashed over her lips.
Malcolm Edwards lets nature take its course with curls that cascade down Adele’s lovely back, while Olympia’s locks are lit up. Mari Ohashi creates a distinction with her hair, from an abridged pixi-cut to pulled back and pristine. The wonders of wigs are unleashed exposing alternate shades to include a fiery red and a sunshine yellow. The exquisite nature of Kieran L. isn’t the fact that his genetics point in a different direction, rather, it’s his ability to rise above that make him so compelling. When I look at Kieran I don’t see his gender first, and that is remarkable. Pure talent takes him to another level, one that may work to open our collective minds. Delfine Bafort stops us in our tracks with hands covered in red and lips smashed up against a window. Alicia Burke’s naked face exposes the purity of her pretty, while bright yellow shadow screams to the depth of her being. To look inside the beauty of truth is to see our hope for tomorrow… today.
In one of the most compelling shots put to page, Katrina Louise uses her limberness to showcase the Aerial Group known as ~ The Fuel Girls. We can almost feel her falling into a back-bend. This is when you have to leave your skepticism at the door. Decadence is defined as we feel our spirit start to rise. Pictures portray a visual disruption appearing like an electrical interruption. United We Stand Divided We Fall. Each design delivers a sense of independence while echoing our need for commonality. By allowing your view to skew you open your mind to all possibilities. Katrina firsts collapses to the front wearing a black catsuit with holes strategically placed. And then she ends with a bang, doing a back bend in the bare. Rhea Gayle artfully portrays the fierceness of today’s female. Standing with her back facing us we peruse her body like piece of modern sculpture. Emma Breschi lays in vivid display with nothing between her and the camera but purity and pride.