My friend Unbearable Lightness has just posted on her blog What We Saw Today about fashion photography, its renewed attention to the human form and its reclamation of nudity.
I noticed this trend last year when photographer Harley Weir asked me to pose nude among agency fashion models in a shoot for The Flux magazine, in which the fashion models were scantily dressed and I stood among them, completely naked. The inspiration for the shoot was Italian Renaissance and we all wore our hair in braids.
Anna Enke, quoted by Unbearable Lightness, has remarked on the current interest shown by fashion photography in the female form, unclothed. Almost a contradiction in terms. Unbearable Lightness has referred to the work by Newton and Avedon, both of whom celebrated the female form 'unclothed'. Newton's famous "Sie Kommen" published in French Vogue in 1981 and picturing four supermodels dressed and naked
"marked a turning point - and it was, of course, intended to be provocative...an erotic metaphor for the changing image of woman".
Fashion photography is fine art when at its best. And as fine art photography it embraces the human form and the naked body. It all bodes well for those of us who model nude...
Reconstruction of Helmut Newton's Sie Kommen by Stuart Bentley
(All photos modelled by Alex B.)