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Cathy Horyn Posits: Is Fashion Turning to Sex to Amp Up an Otherwise Creatively "Dull Moment"?

Cathy Horyn Posits: Is Fashion Turning to Sex to Amp Up an Otherwise Creatively "Dull Moment"?

>> There's been a lot of talk recently about how boring red carpet fashion has gotten, but in the mind of Cathy Horyn, fashion in general is experiencing a lull in creativity. "For now, fashion has nothing significant to say," she writes. And Pascal Dangin, who retouches images for Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, as well as the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, agrees: “We live in a rather dull moment in fashion.”

It seems that in the time of "timid magazine editors" and "mediocre" content, as Horyn puts it, many — designers, stylists, photographers, editors — are turning to sex to make up the difference. Dangin points out: “We still have some big taboos about sex.” And Horyn writes: "It is easy to see why sexuality is such a hot button. Things are a bit frozen. Many of the designers who could truly communicate ideas — Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Alexander McQueen — are gone from the scene."

Thus, Horyn writes, we have the likes of Riccardo Tisci casting transgender model Lea T in his Givenchy campaigns. But even "the focus on sexuality reflects the fairly narrow thinking of designers and photographers (or, possibly, of editors and advertising agency art directors)" currently going on, she notes. Case in point: photographer Daniel Sannwald was told by a British magazine editor that his futuristic-like images were too extreme. "He quickly countered by producing some very old issues of Vogue," Horyn reports, "But those pictures were deemed too risky to use today." "It was unbelievable," Sannwald said. "Everybody is concerned about pleasing the advertisers, and it’s not just the big magazines.”

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