Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On a Tyrade

Bazaars are full of novelty—they’re a genial clash of color, shape, sound, smell, and texture. While I welcome such novelty in an open-air bazaar—Marrakesh, anyone?—I think that one fashion magazine is taking its name too literally.

Last month I paged through Harper’s Bazaar and found a novel spread: Lucy Liu wearing designer clothes as an Olympian. The concept irritated me a little—an Asian model for the Bejing Olympics seemed too Orientalist—but the spread annoyed me more. Lucy had to strike seemingly awkward poses (on a balance beam, for instance) while trying to show off the clothes. With the exception of the Javelin and the archery shots, Lucy looked uncomfortable, hence, so did the clothes.

This month we have another novel story to anticipate: Tyra Banks styled as Michelle Obama. The never subtle NY Post gave a sneak preview today, and called the spread “vaguely unsettling.”

In the NYP image, I think that the little girl is darling, the presidential hubby looks professional, if young, but Tyra is hamming it up. Indeed, this spread as well as her new promotional ad for ATM are a step back from her elegant photos for Italian Vogue.



My verdict is out until I see the whole spread, but I hope there are some sophisticated, yet novel, surprises hidden within.

9 comments:

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I completely agree with your comment about the Lucy Liu spread. Elle did a similar thing by using Zhang Ziyi, another Chinese actress. I thought, is this (the upcoming Olympics) the only reason to showcase non-Western models/actresses?

Savvy Mode SG said...

tyra looks alittle imposing over the "president" standing over him like that. as for lucy liu, i thought she looked beautiful but must agree the first thought that crossed my mind was "is she comfortable?"

miss cavendish said...

TF--Yes, it's insulting when models are picked exclusively because their ethnicity more or less matches an event. I'd love to see these attractive women in an ethnic-neutral photo essay.

SV sg--I agree; I also think her facial expression is a little wild--as if she's had too much caffeine to drink . . .

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

i couldn't agree more...i was a bit puzzled by the lucy liu shoot. though she looked gorgeous, i was a bit irritated by an actress of asian descent posing for the olympics held in china.

WendyB said...

I enjoy Tyra's hamminess.

enc said...

Tyra's always been a little OTT for my taste, but I admire her sense of herself, and I admire her ability to just put it out there. She's braver than most. I'll be interested to see what this editorial looks like.

(I lovelovelove my tiny cake.)

Mary-Laure said...

Hmmmm, not sure what to think... And pretty sure I don't like all this ethnic-type-casting.

Songy said...

I quite liked Lucy's appearance before to be honest. I did see some sense of fun in the spread. Maybe I haven't seen too much of it(Asians appearing left, right and centre) so it was fresh for me.

I will get to see this spread when it comes out no doubt?? I'll hold my judgement until then but I hear you.. it's doubtful.. I tend not to like anything simulating president/first lady kind of stuff...

Hammie said...

I like the Jackie O stylin' and how she is pushing the president out of the way. (well that's how I am seeing it)
And that little girl's dress is devine.
xx