Nick Knight’s ‘A Celebration of Print’ for V Magazine’s 20th Anniversary Issue

Nick Knight Honors V Magazine in ‘A Celebration of Print‘ to Commemorate 20 Yrs in Fashion. The Archival of Odyssey Comes to Life. Truth Finds a Place to Be of Beauty Borne in Victory… Through Truth’s Vision We Can See Hidden In the Annals of History. This is My Anchor… This is My Quest ~ Truth is Forever and Forever It Shall Rest. Here at the highest reprieve I will settle a score I have yet to achieve. Haute Fashion has never been so deliberate, as pages of “V” Magazine’s past publications are torn out and literally worn. Anna Trevelyan creates a cinematic spectacle of avant-garde style, in one of the most exciting editorials expressions of the season. Delicious, as it is, we are witness to the chaos of couture. This story saturates the mind’s eyes with layers of complexity within the lexicon of the landscape. Utilizing past photographs from the archives of the magazine, we see some of V’s most captivating content come to life. Moments are laid out in fantasy form. Each glossy photo is sewn over the body to make couture collage (perse). These dramatic fabrics are designed with some of V’s most famous Tear Sheets. Harnessing the periodicals original intent, we get a sense of familiarity with each presentation. Reading like fashion narration. This is the history of haute and commentary of couture. Here, they utilize the talents of 6 up/coming designers, to illustrate where the industry is heading. This is a classic moment in the trajectory of high fashion where artistry and excess merge.

This is the story of fashion’s glory! Knight invites us into the fold (literally), as we watch hundreds of tear-sheets (as they were called back in the day), of mag photo-ops torn from bindings in brilliant recall. Many pages of V’s past pictures are portrayed in distinct display. Magazine pages used like pieces of fabric, all sewn together to create the look of haute couture. Each image invites a kind of neo-narrative to join the party. ‘A Celebration of Print’ may be a retrospective of V Magazine, while the driving force behind the design is dedicated to forward fashion. Grace Elizabeth opens her arms to expose couture made of covers. She wears a library of dynamic imagery in celebration of 2 decades. Her high hair waves and haute face paint pay tribute to the artistry of these eras. Art is a reflective animal. it can be cruel/cunning one moment and inviting/exciting the next. There’s no way to predict how fashion will fall. That’s what makes this industry animalistic in nature.

Nick Knight, Anna Trevelyan, Erin Parsons and Sam McKnight aren’t just on the same page of artistic display, they are working as a united force. Their brilliance beckons us to become one with the storied imagery. They’re asking that we not just look at it each image. They’re inviting us to lay our eyes over each page… to engage in the process. This is the holy grail of haute couture. I use this terminology to underscore the eminence of excellence. Here we see there is no need to busy up the background, we only want purity visible upon each piece. Indira Scott takes pride in the sides as she grabs the ruffled gown… sweeping it off the ground… she echoes in siren sound… reaching toward the sky… spinning the fabric up/around. We see in an instant perfection personified. Nick Knight has the ability to capture a moment in time with calmness that makes the action engaging. This tale is totally transformative.

Here we see a symbol of social consciousness. Rip/Recycle with dangerously cool designs that revise our idea of modern. A sheer gown is built up with layers of tulle, teetering on formal, with an overdress that looks like a cacophony of fabrics. Upon first glance we are captivated by colors as they careen into something unseen. Then, just when you think you know what you are looking at, the connection is made! This is image conscious couture. Clothing doesn’t just lay over skin it draws you in. Dancing over the body with true intention. Embellished fabrics appear with different typographical applications. A collection of shots taken straight from the page of V Magazine. Jazzelle stands like a super-woman, wearing a daring costume of skimpy strips that fits just over her bit parts. Sexy says it best, as she spreads her arms exposing a wide wingspan attached to her back. The piece is filled with what I’m calling, Paper Mache Couture. On her fabulous wingspan we witness various names of celebrities, famously covered throughout two decades. Sharon Stone and Charlize Theron steal the spotlight on one side, while Courtney Love is face first on the other. A modern version of a yearbook.

Erin Parsons embarks on a journey of discovery. Unique forms take shape as each face fuses into a place beyond pretty. Hannah Ferguson stuns us into another century with makeup/hair so divine we have to hold tight on this ravishing ride. McKnight builds Hannah’s hair up to mimic a tree-top head-scape, with crafted coiffure that echos a tree frame. Like branches naturally growing out of a trunk, so are multi-colored braids that build up the base. These hair-branches slowly coil around artfully echoing the beauty that surrounds. Her rigid hair reaches up in the aire, toward the sky these braided branches bend this way and that. Ferguson’s face isn’t just a palate of pretty it’s a sojourn into the saturation of shades. This is the story of how scintillation speaks. Pink cheeks sparkle on a white powdered back-drop, while black shadow elevates the eyes. Energy is lifted and so are her brows. Parson’s lures us into another dimension with a diagonal line that moves upward. The illusion is set. The particulars of this pictorial has her sitting sideways on a stump, looking into the camera with a clear/present attitude. Then a transformation takes shape. So intense is each shot we can only taking her looking straight into a shot with a blurred effect. This is a statement that stands for the story on whole.

Gorging on gorgeous, we’re all Hungry for a haute meal of couture. I am so utterly enamored with the work of Hungry (on herself I might add), that it takes me a moment to catch up with her amazing neo-application. This is somewhere between painting on a palate and putting makeup on a face. This facial creation really does echo this editorial lineup. It’s as if 20 years of creative intent has circulated and centered upon her skin. It divine. The energy of this skin-shot captures the cosmos in cosmetic form. Avant-garde excellence has been roundly achieved, and I say this with pause (as I am a writer). To appreciate this editorial accomplishment you must gaze into the galaxy of this group. The saturated hue of her sanguine smile lifts her lips beyond the tips taking the V toward her forehead. Aweng sets the story on fire with a scarlet “V” placed over her face. Sam McKnight does a double Mohawk, with both sides sticking straight up, displaying a variety of neon shades. Like a river of rubies floating down the sea, so is HoYeon Jung’s dew as it swirls around her head. Jazzelle’s pink finger-rolls recreate an updated 40’s fab, while Akiima’s see-thru dress with a neon “V” lights up her mid section. The outlines of her body is artfully echoed beneath the shear gown, while her long locks are topped with two, large head-rolls.

The Power of Print will never, in my mind, be outdone. The dismissal of such enterprises, doesn’t take into account the power of paper… that which you can hold. It matters how we ingest our images. The slick paper, used by many magazine’s, gives the readership a unique experience. Touching each page sends a signal to our brain. And, while the same shiny photographs seen in publications can also be accessed by any computer, it just isn’t the same as holding a magazine. Artistic imagery is much more a conceptual enterprise. The younger generation treats the ingestion of media like fast food. The more you ingest the better you are?! I take umbrage with that idea. I take great care to expose many of the industry’s most avant-garde works of expression, done to date. However, I would state that anytime I have the opportunity to own a piece of reflected artistry in Magazine form, I DO SO. It’s the difference between owning a piece of art and observing a piece of art. Both elevate the atmosphere by the very existence of their being. But, when you can hold in your hands a powerful piece of historic, modern art ~ you do so with pride!