Photographer: Frank Reinhold
"During the opening credits, Merteuil and Valmont are offered up for audience consumption as the mannequins who will wear the film's superbly designed costumes as the camera follows their dressing rituals.
Frears pays special homage to Merteuil's breasts, signifier of her feminine body, and Valmont's head, repository of his masculine brain. Breasts and heads are predominant images of gender in the film...The female viewer of Dangerous Liaisons is faced with an interesting dilemma. She can identify with the male gaze of the camera, sharing its interest in Merteuil's breasts and body, or she can identify with the transgressive object of that gaze, the marquise herself"
Photographer: Terri Lee-Shields
Another important external discourse runs through the character of the Marquise in Frear's film and this is, says Michelle Erica Green, the Marquise's fashion, linked to the successful fashion documentary by "style arbiters" Diana Vreeland and 1970s supermodel Marisa Berenson on the 18th century woman. The fashion documentary celebrated in 1980s terms , the "feminism, hedonism and Old Regime aristocracy" - note the use of the word feminism with reference to l'ancien regime . By this the Marquise is made more desirable and attractive to women viewers but, as Green says:
"she cannot create herself through reading and writing... the mass media has limited her role within the constraints of commodity culture"
Photographer: Jan Murphy
(All photos modelled by Alex B.)