Refinery 29 shared a new editorial that is creating shock waves around the web. Italian Vogue and photographer Steven Meisel paired glamorous gowns with slick oil to represent the situation going on in the Gulf. A 24 page spread depicting models strewn about the shore, covered in black film, literally coughing up the disastrous substance.
I am personally torn between the beautiful images and the tasteless message. Had the magazine included messaging promoting activism, volunteerism, donations it might’ve seemed odd but also I would’ve appreciated a message other than “we’re leveraging this situation to our advantage.” My perspective is that almost everything Steven Meisel touches is pure gold, but I am deeply disturbed by some of these images, namely the one with the model choking. While powerful imagery is often a great medium, I am irked by the fact that this does not seem to serve a great purpose other than 24 pages in the September issue.
What do you think? Is this spread justified? Or should we all just chill out and flip the page?
Check out Refinery’s post for full photo spread as well as opportunities to help out this horrible catastrophe.
All photos from Refinery29.