So I came across this old fashion editorial published in the December/January issue (2010/2011) of Vogue Paris.
Again, it was Tom Ford photographing and this time it (luckily) wasn’t a girl of 10 years old (see NO-LITA!) but the exact opposite: Clarissa & Doug, a couple in an older stage of age.
My first thought was something like: “Where have I been when all those editorials by Tom Ford were published?” since the debate about the young Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau was just coming to its peak although the editorial was published last year (for the first time) as well. And then my second one according to C & D was: “Well.. this editorial might be interesting”.
While thinking about how to put my opinion about “Clarissa & Doug” in words, I also thought about the general question of which age is/should/would/could the “best” to get the reader’s attention in a positive way and meanwhile respecting moral boarders. As far as moral boarders exist in fashion (which always lies in the beholder’s eye – some demonstrate with PETA against fur, some others (like me) find it questionable and disturbing to put some 10 year old in unusual poses into a magazine).
“I am tired of the cult of youth. The cultural rejection of old age, the stigmatization of wrinkles, grey hair, of bodies furrowed by the years. I am fascinated by Diana Vreeland, Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois, women who have let time embrace them without ever cheating. Society today condems this, me, I celebrate it. For this session of fine jewellery, I imagined a man and a woman who had been together for a long time, faithful to each other and always incandescent with desire”.
Nevertheless, I think to get the intended idea behind this (whether it was really the personal intention of Ford to focus on the beauty of ageing or not doesn’t matter to me) and I appreciate the fact that this was put into spotlights.
Rather than Frockwriter and others I don’t find it weary. I find it interesting. Other than putting a minor into the spotlight, Claire and Doug were most probably doing this voluntarily. In a somehow sexual but still classy way. Not that men in an older stage would be in any interest of myself (really not) but I like the way Ford captured them together. They wear finest jewelry and still the focus lies on themselves for the first sight. It’s interesting since I doubt that people my age could afford such jewelry items (themselves) so it’s somehow authentic to present such pieces on people that at least could have a realistic income to buy them. Especially when it comes to pompous and high quality jewelry it’s crucial to me to put it in the right way. Of course it’s crucial to put clothes by some designer in the right way, too. But for me there is no such problem like letting jewelry look beautiful rather than cheap or ready to be bought by a Russian mafia boss.
In a world like ours (and I’m not talking about the fashion world itself specifically) where a young appearance seems to be a wide and broad distributed beauty ideal, I guess it’s pretty hard to build a healthy symbiosis between aging in dignity and remaining updated. Updated by any means: Life, love, fashion, culture, politics and a special (if still critical) interest in the actual youth. And I think that both of them, Claire as well as Doug, seem youthfully amused while shooting with Ford. I, turning 20 in a few months, find such editorials with people that seem to be wiser (than most of the people surrounding me are), way more ironic, amusing and on the other hand serious and inspiring than doing the same shooting with a little Thylane. I don’t even care about the fact that Ford seems to contradict himself with the quote above and when he was telling that he’s pro Botox in an interview some time ago. Maybe this automatically insists his personal point of getting “older” (and that he obviously cares about a more youthful appearance) but who cares? I think that it doesn’t matter what the photographer himself thinks about getting older as far as he’s not involving this into the shoot. It’s more what the pictures transform to me. And this time they transform a lovely, sexy and funny way too say: Youth is something but by far not everything. We rock our age much more than others do.
I think there are rarely models , age 16-30, that could be such ironic about themselves and their age than those two power-people are. And the only question that remains in my head is who the hell Clarissa & Doug are!