Friday, June 29, 2007

Unseen Vogue & the Teen Vogue: Libraries #2

I thought I'd post the next fashion photography book spreads for the weekend. These next favorites are from Unseen Vogue.

Once again, a disclaimer: These are not my photos, these photos belong to Vogue and their respective photographers.

Top Ten Favorite Unpublished, Old Fashion Photos from Unseen Vogue

Clifford Coffin 1947 [remember him from the last post?]

I love these series of photos. Keep in mind the time period of these shots. They were photographed in a townhouse that had been bombed. And then they have these magnificent dresses with models whose expressions evoke a certain stoicism. The picture on the right is a closeup of my favorite.

Anthony Denney 1950

This soft sultry mix of pink and blacks leaves quite an image. Strangely, it almost looks a little pornographic, with the lighting and everything. And I really like that pink velvet shoe.

Bruce Knight 1953

It seems quite simple, but it's also quite interesting how this model can form so many different poses with that handbag while keeping her feet in the same position throughout all the shots.

Norman Parkinson 1958

Another photo like this one was actually published for their "Young Idea" section. However, this one was axed cause it was said to be too "startling". Oh bother, I love this photo. I don't know, but maybe it's even a tongue-in-cheek comment about how every woman started to have distorted body image issues and wanted to be stick skinny.

David Bailey 1962

Peter Knapp 1971

I find this photograph phenomonal. It looks a bit contemporary even. It's punk and glam and casual all at the same time. A bit sex kitten too. And it's got a filtered look. This model is Cathee Dahmen. She's got such a unique look amongst all the other models, but what do you expect from a supermodel who's half Chippewa and half German? Here's the link to the full picture (There is nudity and I don't want to get in trouble with those under 18).

Steven Meisel 1982

I rather like this series of photographs, especially the ones of the red dress.

Nick Knight, from Lucinda Chambers' scrapbook, 1995

This was taken on Barbuda. It's a gorgeous photo of Shalom Harlow - who is soo beautiful - and Amber Valletta.

Tim Walker 1997

This is one of the rather interesting spreads. You can even see the layout that went into the pose ideas, some of which are quite hilarious when sketched on paper. My favorite is the last sketch, where it looks like a woman is swinging around a tiny man as if she's superwoman and the one where they're all crammed into a land rover.

These are what actually came to fruition (thank god they didn't end up swinging a little kid):

Robert Erdmann 1996


I don't know why I'm posting so much about Vogue. I mean, I shouldn't be since Teen Vogue has been quite frustrating as of late. Why? Well, I entered in their "Win an Internship at Teen Vogue" contest because there seems to not be a more formal way to apply for an internship on their site. Now I think I know why, which will be divulged later on.

They had three online parts, or "challenges", one was a full length photo of an outfit that depicts your style (or maybe just to see how well you would look alongside the other consecutive blonde Teen Vogue interns), another was to say why you should be at Teen Vogue, and the last was to critique their latest issue and say what you would have done to better it.

I know I didn't win-- they were supposed to notify the winners (1 over 18 and 1 under 18) around June 4th-- although I thought I stood a pretty good chance since I took it very seriously to the point that whenever they gave a word limit I made sure I utilized every word in their 500 words limit and tried to hit every topic. I spent hours, days, on the assignments. Of course, at the same time I understand some other people may have had stronger applications than mine.

For the critique, I scoured that Teen Vogue issue and jotted everything that I found to the place where I almost wrote my whole essay in bullet points. I might've stumbled in the critique challenge though...I thought a certain degree of candidness would be appreciated and so maybe I was a little too blunt in some parts of the critique. But everything I said was honest (damn me for having a blog which makes it too easy to be honest)

The only thing I didn't mention was how, more and more increasingly, they seem to market their magazine to privileged tweens. It almost seems like it's Created just for them.

If you want to progress sometimes you need to be blunt. This is why I'm also a huge fan of critics like Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes who tell it like it is. I'm not a sycophant, and it's starting to kick in that maybe that's what you need to survive in any field that touches with fashion. Maybe...loving fashion just isn't enough.

But now I realize what axed me might not be either of my candid observations or the way I went thoroughly through the magazine and wrote everything down to the point where I might've as well used bullet points.

It might be a matter of birth, as silly or strange or snarky or dismissive as that might sound at first. After coming across a few articles from the Gawker (daily Manhattan media news and gossip) I found a bittersweet reassurance. Supposedly, all the interns are almost clones of one another, and come from extremely privileged families (not hard to believe). Without getting Too specific, out of the handful there are some which are "CT manor born", and then of course there's one blonde TV semi-star, another blonde TV semi-star, and a girl who got her job through recommendation from the CEO of CBS's daughter who also used to work there but now has a job at Vogue. I suppose that gives you a kind of overall idea.

A little quip from the Gawker:
"...In the preview scene, our young LC is even introduced to whip-brandishing
Vogue EIC Anna Wintour. We can only imagine how Anna reacted to LC's permatan
and eyeliner enthusiasm.

But that's not the point. We were under the impression that Miss Anna didn t even breathe the same air as her own interns...Hell, does she even know where the Teen Vogue offices ARE? We certainly wouldn't think Laguna Beach had enough cachet to get Anna to play nice for the cameras."
Hey, I'm not the one who said it. I guess for maybe the next hundred years Teen Vogue is not only going to be targeted toward well-connected, rich, privileged tweens, but it's going to by them too. I guess it doesn't help to have a unique taste, or a good eye, or bright ideas.

Then there was this one article from where a suspicion was voiced concerning the Teen Vogue "intern blog"... But the basic idea is all the girls talk about how stressed they were during their first interview and what they decided to wear, which is fine seeing as it's a fashion magazine, but they're all written the same way (clones?) and all the outfits they speak of are way beyond the budget of an average girl-- every girl's outfit of choice totals to more than $1000. Separately. So all Teen Vogue's interns happen to be very well privileged, and their mothers did a terrific job birthing them with great connections. Geez. Why couldn't My mom do that?! (rolls eyes)

I never wanted to believe that something was impossible, but maybe it is.

Anyway what I am getting to is: I decided to email those at Teen Vogue to ask if there was a more formal way to apply-- hey, maybe everything I've read is wrong and I'll try again next summer. Normally, I'm a "don't strike it before you try it" kind of girl.

But no reply from them. What really irks me is when professional company/business doesn't get back to you. I guess it really is all about connections. I mean, with all the interns there, surely they can answer a few emails from their readers?

I mean, that's not a wrong thing to think, is it?

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Blogger dianabobar said...

First, thanks for all these.
Second, you are very right about them being rude. I think it's good you stood up to what you thought and wrote you critique!
and you are right about teen vogue. they were rude for not letting you know, at least a reply would be nice. I wrote to Elle Romania and 3 times they published my letter in the readers part of the mag. and then I wrote again asking for help and critique for the shoots I style and do, and they politely wrote back and now, I constantly communicate with the fashion editor in chief and she is the nicest person ever, she helps me out a lot! so my dream now it to be a fashion editor at Elle Romania...God damn Laguna Beach for wanting me to have that internship and that career.
but thanks again for the vintage unseen vogue pics. love them all!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

thanks for the reassurance :)

I suppose Teen Vogue should take a cue from Elle Romania then! It's awesome that the EIC keeps constant contact with you.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened to find your blog in my search for posts about Tim Walker and as a photo editor at a major magazine I have to say that we do not mean to be rude -- we are just extremely busy! I'm sure you realize we get hundreds of emails every day. I've definitely been guilty of not replying to every single email -- the sheer volume sometimes makes it impossible! So replying to strangers isn't exactly on the top of our list when we've got shoot deadlines looming over us...When you hear back from an editor, just know how significant that is. That said, I'm sure there are some rude editors out there and it's a shame they didn't even respond with a polite quick reply.
Best of luck to you!

6:33 AM  
Blogger liz osban said...

I attended Teen Vogue Fashion U and witnessed all types of girls. Ones that looked like the nerdy girl, the goth girl, the akward girl, the chubby one, the extremely passionate yet acne infested one and of course, the tall, pretty ones with make-up done by their mother of a make-up artists. It's been 3 months since and I went to the website promoting the event.

It was like all of the girls that attended never even happened. Somehow our passionate girls with driving force (but with the "untimely burden" of looking real) where shoved aside for the girls who were tall, skeletol and the visable silver spoon in their mouths.

It is true. Teen Vogue does have some things featured that are a feast for thine eyes, but a feast for no stomach. We are looking at what we think are real, regular girls - until we find out their connections. But it is above all, a brilliant market plan. A peek inside what socialite life must be disguised as normal.

The only thing I find offensive about Teen Vogue is how I have yet to see a curvy girl or a love-handle. Or even an utter or mention about smalltown life, (except when certain girls bash it). Or how they tell you where to get the clothes and how much they are. "Cheap Marc by Marc Jacobs: $365!!!"

It is fantasy. But it's marketing reality. But we must remember the millions upon millions of teens in the world and how they are the NUMBER ONE representative of teen fashion. Without the attempt of sounding sacrilegious, that's like human-kind praying to God. They see millions of models, designers, girls, etc and they want the best of the best. Just as humans want the best education, best job, best husband. So I plainly see how degrading and superficial they are, but how they would fall to the bottom of the foodchain if they weren't. After all, they ARE the birth child of VOGUE.

Superficiality is what you should expect the most. PS, they even made LC and Whitney change their clothes to theirs first time on the job. Real girls, right?

Pps, not to be offensive or preachy. Just...dropping by.....

6:06 PM  

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