Jessica Stam in ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ Willy Vanderperre, W Magazine

Willy Vanderperre transports us back to the 40’s in ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ for the January issue of W Magazine.  Paying homage to the legendary, Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, Jessica Stam, is reinvented in the captivating role as the beautiful, yet tortured, leading lady. Perfecting the art of suffering, Stam is a stunning amalgamation of iconic movie stars including Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth and Katharine Hepburn.  The period I refer to as the, Fierce 40’s, was a truly dynamic time in film-making history, introducing us to a new kind of sex symbol – one capable of portraying both beauty and brains.  Modern & evolved, this talented group of strong ladies came on the scene and literally changed the course of women’s roles in Hollywood. They inspired a new breed of interesting and complex characters, freeing us from the decades of one dimensional depiction that had plagued our gender for years.  A captivating mix of sex-appeal and strength, these actresses were the first feminists to break through the silver screen, and begin to break through the barriers of industry prejudice.  Moving beyond their beauty, these brave women allowed themselves to be exposed in a variety of daring and raw performances, all portraying  the darker side of life.  An ode’ to the poetry of pain, Vanderperre’s haunting images capture the purity of this intention with stunning accuracy.  A work of masterful elegance, this vibrant editorial is an inspiring tale of history and empowerment.  So as we continue to confuse celebrity with artistry, we might want to pause and remember where we would be without these heroic figures from the past to (en)lighten our way.