The Disney Issue “The Gang” by Luigi & Iango for Chaos
Photographer: Luigi + Iango. Model(s): Bella Hadid, Cara Taylor, Gigi Hadid, Grace Elizabeth, Helena Gatsby, Karen Elson, Lulu Tenney, Remington Williams, Shanelle Nyasiase, Vittoria Ceretti. Source: Chaos Magazine. Stylist: B. Akerlund. Makeup: Erin Parsons. Hair: Luigi Murenu.
Posted Dec 16, 2018
It’s a New Mickey Mouse Club and “The Gang” is all here, The Disney Issue, Luigi & Iango for Chaos. The models share memories about Micky Mouse, giving this story a human edge. High Fashion goes fantasy as B. Åkerlund takes the Disney Concept to a Couture Level. Avant-garde edginess combines raw energy with high design, putting no limits on the imagination. This editorial allows us to experience the wonder of childhood through the eyes of an adult. Lulu Tenney is simultaneously poetically somber and playfully sweet, redefining the idea of youthful exuberance. Her large eyes hold court below with heavy lids that maintain a sensual allure. Dark brows sweep up in daring detail, not to thick, but with depth and distinction. Wide set eyes are the stars of the show, but a smile turned upside/down allows her wild features to appear tame. The look is almost otherworldly. Tenney looks utterly innocent and slightly seductive. I guess we are witness to the Magic of Mickey.
Remington Williams goes graphic with cartoon like captions, done over a draped coat and a matching eye masque. Giving us a pop version of this cultural phenomenon. Wearing sub-industrial, black boots with the words “Kate Moss Is My Spirit Animal” written over the front, she’s ready to take on the world. Grace Elizabeth brings patchwork back to fashion, donning a pseudo jean poncho and ears to match. Black lace decorates Helena Gatsby’s face as she catches a blast of air her hair and dress dance in synchronicity. Divine, do I need to say more! Each image is an abstract version of itself.
Erin Parsons captures the essence of Mouse Makeup, by creating an abstract take on this childhood character. Dark features are highlighted with thick brows & rich lips, making dramatic application seem somewhat appropriate. Karen’s skin is dipped in tones of teal and pink, as colors seem to float in from another planet. Shanelle’s skin sings in moody melody, with sparkling, scarlet ears drawn down on her forehead, matching the shade surrounding her face. Parson’s excessive excessive restraint, by taking each face through the phases of moderate to minimalist.
Luigi Murenu truly outdoes himself with this dynamic interpretation of Disney. Instead of slamming the conceptual side down our throats, Luigi does what he does best, allows the story to reveal itself. When dealing with a popular figure, or more importantly a beloved child’s figure, you want to be careful with how you handle the artistic communication. Here, we see that the hair was coerced to compliment the conceptual story-line, while, skipping through the valley of the extreme. This genius designer forms a fusion of fantastical coiffure, by taking a subtle hand with the synergy and artistic reverie of the piece.
Vittoria Ceretti is the star of this show artfully elevating the essence of this pop culture phenom. Giving us a little wink. Parsons projects the conceptual idea of Mickey, spreading it over half of her face. One eye is done in a dollop of dark, crystallized color, acting like a liquid compound that slowly melts away, allowing paint to slowly drip down. Glittered Tears Stain the Tops of the Cheeks… Making the Tip of Her Black Nose Ever Complete… Covered in Hair that Sprouts Up from the Head… Mouse Ears Do Vibrate with Nothing Left To Be Said… Her Lips are but Shiny with a Tone of Pure Red… Her Skin is as Fair as Sleeping Beauty in Bed.
Cara Taylor mimics the amazing Walt Disney himself, as she sits covered in more Mickey’s that we can count. The original image has Walt surrounded by little MM’s ~ looking as full of life as we could possibly imagine. The truth is that this story would have been better served if Bella and Gigi weren’t cast in their roles. That’s not to smear their abilities or take away from their success. Rather, it’s a reality check. High Fashion is an important field. It’s an arena where avant-garde excess explores it’s artistic side. This interest is held firm by Designers, Models, Editors, and yes, even Writers. We’re part of an industry that’s (suppose to) put the artistic interest of pieces ahead of popularity. And, that’s an important distinction. We’ve managed to survive the last few years, proving these two cultural arenas don’t mix. Here, each model offers something unique. Except, Bella and Gigi. These two beautiful girls have a place on many pages of many magazines. But in this editorial they prove to be a distraction, and not in a good way. Modeling at this level takes a talent you just can’t fake. To look at this story in it’s entirety is like hearing a beautiful song that in spots is off key. Here, it even seems that these two girls are aware of their miscasting. I know the choice to hire often comes down to numbers. But, if the last few years has taught us anything it’s to stay authentic. We’re part of an industry that is based on purity. Real models are like dancers. They move their body in sync with their emotions. We must honor the artistry of this work or we will end up with a pop culture takeover. It’s time we get back to True High Fashion.