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Franca Sozzani Laments Fashion Magazines That ‘Make People Look Vulgar’ and ‘Pretend What’s Ugly Is Avant-Garde’

Franca Sozzani

Have you ever been flipping casually through your French Vogue or one of your other magazines that costs more than a Forever 21 outfit (or maybe even as much as a pair of Converses) and wondered what's in a bush? Or a nipple clamp? Or random naked young girls with ample bosoms? Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani would probably say "not much." She writes on her blog:


For the sake of appearances, we have seen going around pictures that had very bad taste and went against all aesthetical grounds.

Why is it that the fashion magazines, the ones doing the most research, fall into out of line, worrisome, and at times vulgar traps? We have seen nudes of men and women for a while without purpose if not shocking the audience.

Sozzani goes on to reference the nude portrait Yves Saint Laurent had taken in the seventies, Helmut Newton's nudes, and Terry Richardson and Juergen Teller's work. Then she writes, "After forty years, honestly now we can say 'who cares'. We then saw religion. Terrible shoots without much sense if not being 'forward'. To what?" She then seemingly takes a dig at French Vogue, which published an editorial of heavily made-up 6-year-olds in the December issue guest-edited by Tom Ford:


How about little girls? Wearing heavy make up, sexy clothes, posing in poses that are outrageous for their age. The movie Pretty Baby with Brooke Shields talks about a baby prostitute, but without being vulgar, the images were actually romantic for the harsh reality portrayed in them.

Lets not even talk about the decadence of seeing older women posing naked. This is the question.

How far can we go trying to find new ways to create images? To disturb, make people look vulgar, pretend that what's ugly is avant-garde, negate the widely accepted aesthetics to find new things that usually lead to stupefying results, without a purpose if not pleasing few people in the business that find this cool.

The research that goes behind photography is an open road and trying to put goofy and vulgar limits is really a shame. An image doesn't have limits, it shows the creativity of a photographer and a team that works with the idea.

To find a concept and follow it with strong images is great. To make people react can help the evolution of taste, at times too standardized. Without a strong idea exasperating an image is just self-satisfaction.

If what's beautiful depends on your opinion, what's ugly just repulses you.

She's right about people mistaking ugly clothes for avant-garde clothes. We blame fashion-design competitions on reality television for a lot of that.

Up to which limit can an image be pushed? [Vogue.it]

Photo: Marc Dimov/PAtrickMcMullan

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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