A woman caught in a moment of vanity as she touches up her blood red lipstick. A girl lying seductively over a luxurious lathering of fabrics. The captivating gold dress that lingers a little too low, the sultry, challenging gaze. The juxtaposition of the two sweet, innocent rabbits sitting among a pile of leopard fur cushions.The red nails, old Hollywood glamour; oh it’s all too much. And it really is.
Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, the subject of these images is ten. As in, when I was ten I was prancing around the living room pretending to be a horse and still throwing tantrums. If I were to look at these images at that age, the only thing I would have picked up on were the rabbits.
According to Tom Ford (the guest editor of the French edition of Vogue), the idea behind the shoot was to capture young girls playing amidst their mother’s wardrobe. Now, I know we’ve all done that (even the boys, don’t shake your head’s), but at the ripe ‘old’ age of ten, I certainly couldn’t put an outfit let alone the make-up in any manor like the images above.
(Me somewhere between 2 and 3. I found the zinc (as in the incredibly had to get out of carpet and hair kind). By the age of 10, I really hadn’t progressed much.)
When I look at these images, I have to say, I don’t immediately see what the photographer and design team are intending. The underlying connotations of child sexualisation, pushing our youth obsessed culture to the edge. Whilst I do see a beautiful girl in expensive clothing, I find the images to be of poor taste. I feel confused and offended. Do they really expect me to go out and purchase these products on the basis that they look good on a ‘ten-year-old’?
“Yes, excuse me, I’ll take the red lipstick. Oh how that takes me back to my pre-pubescent years.”
Editorials generally do push some kind of boundary, whether that be through the styling, the context or the subject. They are essentially a story where clothing comes alive and the audience is given a taste of the fun, allure and fantasy that fashion can create. However in this case, I feel that to see these images in an all to innocent light is almost impossible. Perhaps if they included the mother, less provocative poses, or perhaps approached it as an article instead, they would have gotten it right.
I’m afraid this time Tom Ford, I’m not a fan.
Joquico, Jim. 2011. La Moda Dubai. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.lamodadubai.ae/2011/01/deconstructing-tom-fords-cadeaux-editorial-in-vogue-paris/. [Accessed 23 March 14].
mahalodotcom . (2011). 10-year-old supermodel. [Online Video]. 04 August. Available from:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy3T1zj4soY. [Accessed: 23 March 2014].