Vogue Italia and Steven Meisel’s Water & Oil: Follow-up
When I woke up this morning I was surprised to see that last night’s blog post on Water & Oil had been linked by a couple of fashion bloggers. Bloggers whom I really admire and whose opinions I value.
Both Grit and Glamour and Vogue Gone Rogue have chimed in with their thoughts on the “editorial” and I think, for the most part, we are all on the same page. We each see the potential of what this piece could have been, but we seem to agree that the follow through just wasn’t there.
Vogue Gone Rogue makes some great points about what seems to be bothering the American mainstream most about the spread:
“The majority of american backlash due to the editorial seems to be focused on the very fact that a fashion magazine would do something like this… why doesn’t fashion have the right to comment on world issues as well? sure, vogue italia could have done a better job, but if you just look at the photographs for a moment and ignore the product placement of the text, the majority of the images are powerful and disturbing… we’re not all googling oil spill images, but many of us come across fashion magazine editorials all the time… would we be talking about the oil spill right now if this editorial hadn’t been created? unlikely.”
To an extent I agree. However, I do believe that if Vogue Italia had included that call to action, and had omitted all product placement and commercialism from this photoshoot, that above may not even be an issue. The photos of this disaster speak for themselves. When you try to interpret that you should let the images speak for themselves, with no product placement. No designer clothing. Maybe I am just a “jaded American”, but the impact of these images is severely lessened when, instead of seeing information on how to help, I see text about which eyeshadow was used or what dress Kristen is wearing.
This behind-the-scenes video is just as bad. It focuses on the designer pieces and again, includes no call to action.
Raising awareness is a great thing – and the editorial and surrounding controversy certainly has people talking, which is also wonderful. But what is the point in raising awareness if you don’t include information on how to help?
Then – it seems to me – all you are doing is trying to capitalize on a tragedy.
Now, taking a page from the fabulous V at Grit and Glamour, I am including a call to action as well. For information on how YOU can help, click here: The Gulf Oil Spill: How You Can Help.