Lily McMenamy isn't conventionally beautiful and you couldn't even call her photogenic, but I'd want to hire her if I worked as a casting director or a photographer. From her weird performance for Marc Jacobs' Fall 2013 campaign to the Terry Richardson-lensed Purple Fashion cover above (for the publication's twentieth issue), her work is consistently striking, disturbing and a little inspiring.
Posing in a loose, broken arabesque, wearing Celine and super-red lipstick, McMenamy's jaw hangs open in an expression of naïveté, like she's a holy fool. There's nothing sexual or explicit about that photograph, despite the porny production values (Richardson and Purple Fashion editor-in-chief Olivier Zahm share a rec room sensibility) and the unfurled, acrobatic pose. I don't even like Terry Richardson (or his buddy Zahm), but I still love this cover.
Ah, right, the quote in the headline comes from tFS forum user Urban Stylin. In the forums, the image produced a number of diverse responses such as, "Good god…" (lelaid) or, "Lily proves that nepotism is still hard at work" (lunabella) and even, "gross" (LagerfeldBoy). What can I say? I'm a contrarian.