Photographer: Mert & Marcus. Model(s): Anja Rubik, Anna Ewers, Aube Jolicoeur, Bella Hadid, Binx Walton, Catherine McNeil, Irina Shayk, Issa Lish, Jamie Bochert, Joan Smalls, Kennah Lau, Lea T, Lily Aldridge, Luka Isaac, Mariacarla Boscono, Natalia Vodianova, Natasha Poly, Noah Brown, Sara Sampaio, Taylor Hill. Source: Vogue Italia. Stylist: Patti Wilson. Makeup: Lisa Eldridge. Hair: Odile Gilbert.
Posted Dec 10, 2017
Models are primed and ready to party in “The Celebration Issue” by Mert & Marcus for Vogue Italia, December 2017. Decadence is upon us as each shot heralds the coming of a brand new year. The animalistic nature takes hold as each beautiful creature is primed and ready to go. All bets are off as Mert & Marcus slide into a story of sheer decadence. Boundaries are left behind as images dare to take us deeper into the mindset of model-mania. Hungry to consume, we can feel the savage nature of wanting emanate through the page. What starts out as merely an unrefined example of acting out, takes a turn toward the dark-side, as this becomes a warning on the all-consuming nature of primal power. Harnessing their inner-vixens, each picture relates to the other all twisting and turning into an amalgamation of excess. Bella Hadid and Taylor Hill lay across a table offering themselves up like appetizers to be devoured. The connection is clear, as we see two women set out on a slab, as if they were pieces of meat, ready to be devoured.
Fashion fuels the fire, as form-fitted styles slide down the body, enticing us with every hidden curve. Like a sonnet being red, like a song being sung, Patti Wilson captures the cohesive nature of couture through these defining moments. Distinct designs add an element of distress, others instill a sense of spirit. Posing in plain site, these girls know how to put on an act. One shot insinuates movement while the other stands still, leaving the camera to catch each individual in the middle of motion. We watch as the gorgeous gorge on the ripened bones of today’s tragedies, as we witness the waste of tomorrow come into play. A plethora of pretty is shown in scenic form, as sadness is seen on the aching faces of the forlorn. The Delicious Will Devour as Natalia Vodianova sinks her teeth into a taste of temptation. The cover models come at us in nothing but black panties lined with silver grommets, as Joan Smalls, Anja Rubik, Jamie Bochert & Catherine McNeil know how to show out… ringing in the New Year.
Lisa Eldridge invites us to join the fun with scintillating shades that shine like the sun. The festivity for beauty begins, as colors collide, capturing a cosmetic connection unlike we’ve seen. Multi dimensional makeup gives an upgrade, while sauntering shades sizzle with dizzying appeal. Art and excess blend in beauty as tone and texture unite. Lisa’s looks mimic the heyday of the 70’s, with a wicked little wink that will get you by and eye-wings that will let you fly… high. Black surrounds the lids with a solid line of defiance, while a soft shadow lays over the top in muted meyhem. This skin is the thing, as defining lines glow with pleasure as soft lips part with passion. Let the festivities begin, as dark eyes fall into a moody view and a naked mouth is made to melt. These designs deliver a new version of Docu-Drama. Half of this story is made to feel like a documentary captured in real-time, while the other part is seen in fully dramatic format. Eldridge makes shades of muted grey appear exciting, as features fuse with the surroundings. Odile Gilbert turns heads by letting the hair games begin. There’s as many dews as dames here, allowing us to comprehend the power of coiffure. The standout hair star for me is Smalls, as she kills it with a long, blonde wig. Lost in a sea of silky strands, her platinum hair plays the piece… too much is never enough.
The fashion facade has just begun as each girl plays her part with passion. Issa Lish, Lily Aldridge, Binx Walton, Natasha Poly, Irina Shayk (et al) embrace each character with a sense of overwhelming intensity. Authenticity is the name of the game, as their disguise could range from black lace to in your face naked, à la Mariacarla Boscono. This editorial aims to make a strong statement, by being willing to depict women as they are often seen ~ as play things. Lacking any sense of decorum or grace, they are viewed merely as entertainment, for those who choose to use them. And, while I find it difficult to look at, I’m impressed that Mert & Marcus are willing to put themselves out there in an effort to push the conversation deeper. It’s not enough to just talk about issues, we have to be willing to go out on a limb. I hope the women involved in this story feel the same way, and not just performing with no sense of responsibility.
Overwhelming fun has just begun as necks are dipped back while lips are left aghast. One arm wraps around the other and then extends out to meet a waiting hand. Provocative body language is seen, as each limb uses it’s strength to grab the attention of seekers. The room is made up of many people, all of whom want to be the center of attention. Each group mimics what’s before them. Keeping the party going, from the vibrancy of imagery to the subtlety of sound, it’s as if this soiree is on a loop. Wildness is at work as the Shenanigans of She are in full bloom. There’s a quality of numbness that goes along with this theme. As the architectural components that makeup the backbone to this editorial, possess a hidden message. The savage nature of this sad display, shows that when all is but done we come to the conclusion of none. As the baron night is led astray out of the fire and into the fray, I won’t but go another day without you by my side. A virtuous notion leads us to believe, truth is mixed with tragedy. One by One When All is Done We Can Come to the Conclusion of None.
Anna Ewers acts with stunning aplomb, as she digs into her plate with an unwavering appetite. This story stifles everything that art exudes. And to that truth we begin to see this complex strategy take form. Bid adieu to a vision of higher light. This shiny story is made to make you gorge on the carcass of creativity. A commentary on the corruptness of crowds, shows as she saunters through she sees the group is covered in layers of narcissism. In the echo chambers of tomorrow pain lives a tiny girl that cries like rain. False confidence can hide a plethora of problems, as each woman appears like a little girl who aches to get off stage. Every human we view is an empty vessel. Freedom has escaped their grasp as they continue to adhere to the rules of the game. A stifling truth that lives inside these party walls.