The spring fashion photo spread inside this week's New York, featuring Elle Fanning and photographed by artist Will Cotton, is full of dresses you could wear or eat. Cotton has been using candy in his artwork “as a metaphor for pure pleasure, for something that doesn’t exist for anything but pleasure” since the late nineties. For this project, Cotton, who describes himself as a “three-desserts-a-day kind of person,” used spring looks that had caught the eye of New York’s fashion director Amy Larocca, as well as a few that tickled his own fancy. He then reworked them using real materials whenever possible — cake, frosting, meringue, and homemade rock candy. “If your eye is looking at, say, a scoop of ice cream that is actually mashed potatoes, I find you just kind of know,” he says. Some already-confectionary garments, like a Marchesa dress that “looked like a super-fluffy coconut cake,” he merely contextualized. But then there’s the Derek Lam dress re-created entirely out of candy wrappers, and Chanel necklaces out of hard candies and gum balls. He took an “almost perfect” Erdem dress and retraced the embroidery in frosting. A white leather Reed Krakoff bag he garnished by stuffing a cake into it. As for his muse, Fanning, Cotton says, “I just felt like she got it. I don’t think any of it struck her as ridiculous,” and it was her idea to start eating the Fendi bag made of candy dots. When the shoot was over, she sent a handwritten note thanking Cotton for “a sweet weekend.” And signed off: “Desserts conquer all.” Watch a behind-the-scenes video from our shoot with Cotton and Fanning above.
Most Viewed Stories
25 Famous Women on Childlessness
Blood Hounds: They’re Obsessed With Period Sex
John Galliano Gave a Bizarre Interview on French TV [Updated]
Warning: A Column on Butt Play
My Year As an Abortion Doula
Helpful Chart Finally Explains Why You Dated So Many Creepy Thirtysomething Dudes in College
Watch the SFW-ish Duke Porn Star Documentary
See All the Looks From the 2014 Met Gala
10 Men Explain Why They Became Gynecologists
Future Sexiest Person Alive Was Born Today
From Our Partners
Olivia Palermo Totally Wore Shorts to Her Wedding
5 Mistakes That Every Photo-Happy Parent Makes (And How To Avoid Them)
Here's What Happened When I Did My Makeup Like Lorde
Latest News on The CutStreet-Style Awards: The 22 Best-Dressed People From LFW, Part 2
Equal parts polished and kooky.Nick Cannon Wore $2 Million Shoes
A million dollars on each foot, he points out.The Ancient Egyptians Loved Hair Extensions
Archaeologists found proof.Tina Fey’s Foolproof Plan to Send Naked Photos That Stay Private
Better than two-step verification.A Comfortable and Pretty Evening Sneaker
Yes, that's not a contradiction.Ask Polly: Aging Is Scary, and Life Is a Struggle. Why Keep Going?
It's not actually so bad. It just looks that way when you're young.Taylor Swift Is the Most Stylish Person in America
Accessorizing with cats pays off!Have You Ever Broken Up With an Alt-Bro?
Your life is the better for it.See an American Designer’s Homage to Italian Typography
Graphic designer Louise Fili has been photographing Italian signs for more than 30 years.Watch: A Day in the Life of a Fashion Editor
We followed Cosmopolitan's Shiona Turini around on the final day of New York Fashion Week.
Because we've always been curious.Denver Newspaper Is Hiring a Stoner Sex Columnist
Expecting a high concentration of applicants from Berkeley, California.The 16 Most Ridiculous Moments From London Fashion Week
Tampons in trees, nipple pasties, and Paul McCartney.Shaun White Is Into His-and-Hers Fur Coats
Williamsburg shopping with Sarah Barthel.Helpful Chart Finally Explains Why You Dated So Many Creepy Thirtysomething Dudes in College
Most dudes follow the half your age plus seven rule — except guys 34 to 38.How Street Style Can Launch a New Designer
Brands like Paula Cademartori, Yazbukey, and Ruban are using the circus to their full advantage.Unusual Stacking Rings to Mix Up Your Look
Pile them on.Bill Blass Will Relaunch for Spring 2016
The company has not yet named a designer.Michelle Obama Is Hosting a White House Fashion Event
Washington is about to get a lot chicer.Here Are Pictures of Kim Kardashian Interacting With Nature
Class, order, family, genus Kardashian.
Nothing fratty to see here.The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History
Mary Shelley, Lieutenant Uhura, Ellen Ripley, and so many more.
“Olivia Benson” hits the town.11 Things I Liked From London Fashion Week
Tectonic-plate inspired dresses and floppy hats.Alison Bechdel Is an Official Genius
The MacArthur Foundation awarded her a fellowship.Watch the Gucci Show Live-Stream from Milan
Enjoy!Vanity Fair’s Michael Carl Hates Tans, Croutons, and Signature Silhouettes
Watch the Vanity Fair editor’s final fashion advice video.User’s Guide: How to Score at the Tuscany Outlets
Pro tip: go early to Prada.Ryan Gosling and Babies: A GIF History
Loops of fatherly adoration.How to Make Miley Cyrus’s Jewelry by Yourself
"Dirty Hippie" jewelry: a trip to Party City and a glue gun.
Thank goodness someone is doing color this fashion month.Future Sexiest Person Alive Was Born Today
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes welcome a baby girl!A One-of-a-Kind Choker Designed by a Princess
Each piece is made from ancient metalworking techniques.Watch the SFW-ish Duke Porn Star Documentary
Condé Nast followed Belle Knox at Duke and on set.Why Do We Treat Infertility Like It’s Just Rich Women’s Problem?
A new book examines a gaping hole in existing infertility research: the experience of poor women.It’s Worth $900 to See Lena Dunham’s Book Tour?
At least someone on Craigslist thinks so.Miley Wore a Crop Top on a Motorbike
"Ain't Nothing But a G Thang."Meet Banks, Fashion’s Favorite New Singer
She talks sensitivity, skin care, and getting kicked out of a German fruit stand.John Galliano Gave a Bizarre Interview on French TV [Updated]
And it was ... weird.5 Backstage Beauty Lessons From London Fashion Week
Ombré eyes are happening.
Photos of the most influential model you've never heard of.What the Heck Is Going on With Susan Miller?
A conversation with the beloved astrologer.Cool, Color-Blocked Rain Boots for a Dreary Day
A little pick-me-up.Amazon Branches Into Fashion Collaborations
With London-based label Osman.Mindy Kaling Is Not Holding That Torch You Think She’s Holding
Not for B.J. Novak, not for anyone.Blood Hounds: They’re Obsessed With Period Sex
“A real man goes down on you on your period. And loves it.”Tom Ford Debuted Nipple Pasties on the Runway
Formal nipple pasties.Prada Marfa Won’t Be Torn Down After All
Continue with your selfies.London Featured Sporty Dresses and Digital Prints
Antonio Berardi, Roksanda, and Mulberry round out Monday's shows.Meet the New Generation of Baldwin Spawn
So many daughters born to so many sons.