The last time V caused a riot was with “The Size Issue” that hit stands last January, featuring cover stars Gabourey “Big Love” Sidibe and Dakota “Little Lady” Fanning. That January issue raised Karl Lagerfeld’s eyebrows – and those of other industry insiders who were puzzled: can a magazine dictate fashion or will it forever be the other way around? Beth Ditto had been on the inaugural cover of Love not long before, and like any blooming relationship, we had one gam in, the other a little shaky.
Versace prints and blindness-inducing Givenchy leggings find their home in V, expressing our ambivalence about intimacy, but in their midst is an intimate spread featuring the reigning icon of natural beauty, Carolyn Murphy. Photographer Sebastian Faena and stylist Alasdair McKimm capture the model, sans any trace of obvious make-up, in this season’s most luxurious underwear. Simplicity and the elegance of black is the point of this editorial: one Rodarte Dress, a Chanel number, and high-waisted knickers reinforce that annual desire to pare down our wardrobes.
Terry Richardson’s photography-cum-porn appears in the new issue of The Journal, a magazine well-respected for its unique submissions by Juergen Teller and the like. In the spirit of Spring cleaning – add to it the malaise of flipping through the T & A per usual for V – I’m beginning to wonder seriously what nudity has to do with fashion. Thomas Persson, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of Acne Paper makes a keen observation in his “Voice Plus” column for the Erotic Issue that commercial evolution has broken down most boundaries of what is tasteful. “Sex has started to look like a mere commodity,” he writes, “in a time when the ‘forbidden act‘ seems to have lost its mysterious and profound meaning, we long for a new encounter with our old flame: Sensuality.”