CR Fashion Book: Clearly
By Kristin Sekora
In the second issue of CR Fashion Book there is a layout named "Clearly." Continuing Carine Roitfeld’s choice of the theme of dance for this issue, which she has studied privately for the past year and a half, the pages are filled with five images of the nude body of a ballet dancer in exercise and dance poses intermingled with beautiful art-quality see-through accessories. The stylist is Michaela Dosamantes.
In the first photo the dancer is in a split with her leg bent behind in back attitude, a practice stretch pose, all the more to take advantage of the soft PVC plastic of the glorious Givenchy shoe she carries on her foot. The shoe’s clear Lucite heel reveals a patterned interior and rests on the silver metal of a heel. The dancer’s perfectly pointed toe is revealed through the plastic. But in this first photo we begin to get the sense that the clearness that Carine Roitfeld intends for us is not the clarity of light but perhaps the see-through quality and nebulousness of a vacuum. Yes, CR is truly a woman of mystery and not to be taken for granted. Why does the dancer have no head? It cannot just be that it is behind her shoulder. No, it is gone. And most shocking of all, for a woman who once published a photo of a model with the Gucci logo shaved into her pubic hair, here Carine has airbrushed the dancer’s sex. The dancer has been defaced in more ways than one. CR is playing with us when she uses the word "Clearly."
However, examined closely, the pores of the dancer’s body are clearly seen, exfoliated with MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. The choice of a dancer instead of a fashion model goes beyond a mere adherence to the ballet theme, for Carine is showing us that the dancer is as dedicated to her art as the truly fashionable woman is to hers. The toughness of the sinews, the tightness of the muscles, all are mirrored in a woman’s pleasure in the touch and feel of the fashion objects with which she surrounds herself.
The photographer, Brigitte Niedermair, known for her startling female nude imagery such as the juxtaposition of a woman’s naked buttocks with a fecund cow’s udders, continues such imagery here. In the next two photos, we encounter perhaps the most beautiful art-quality objects, placed by Carine Roitfeld in the most disturbing context, for our eye is suddenly shocked by what seems to be flesh in an abattoir held by blocks of preserving ice. Is Carine saying that in some way beauty is cold? That we pay too high a price for it? Even the juxtaposition of the two photographs suggests shards of ice coming together. The objects here are incredible. On the left is a Gucci Plexiglas box to hold the lovely contents of a lady’s evening. On the right is a Valentino minaudière of such exquisiteness that it will be handed down for generations. It is Plexiglas, tiny, with the appearance of cut glass, with square marcasite-covered areas and a short burnished silver-toned chain.
In the final two photos, as in all the others, the dancer is contorting herself for fashion. She bends over backward to appreciate the beautiful Hermès cuff on the left. On the right, she does backbends over a PVC Michael Kors shoe with a Lucite heel. Is Carine Roitfeld at base cynical about fashion? I think not. These are exquisite art-quality fashion objects, not just everyday accessories. Carine has "Clearly" chosen to display them against the pristine beauty of a dancer's skin.
More from CR Fashion Book Issue 2: Dance
CR Fashion Book: A Tribute To Dim Dam Dom
By Jessica Eritou
CR Fashion Book: Dance with the Wind
By Dara Block
CR Fashion Book: High Performance
By Montse Ocejo
CR Fashion Book: Waiting In The Wings
By Jessica Eritou
Editorial images © 2013 CR Fashion Book.