I am about to say something that will stun my regular readers.
I know, it’s hard to believe I would say anything even remotely bad about Tom Ford. I basically worship the ground the man walks on. When I first saw the full editorial yesterday I was baffled by it, but the more I studied it, the more I found that I liked it. Yet something kept eating at me… although I don’t hate it, I don’t love it either. And I wanted to love it.
Let me explain. When WWD broke the news about Tom Ford being the guest editor for the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Vogue Paris, the article included this tantalizing line:
“…and another [feature] devoted to mature women who have resisted plastic surgery. “He very much likes beautiful wrinkles,” [editor-in-chief] Roitfeld said, flashing a smile.
As soon as I read those words, my mind was swimming with possibilities. I flashed back to the first time I had seen Steven Meisel’s 2005 Vogue Italia editorial on plastic surgery, “Makeover Madness,” and how much I had enjoyed that commentary. Published at a time when plastic surgery had finally become “mainstream”, the editorial glamorized the subject in a deliberately tongue-and-cheek manner. The images, some of which can be found below, were a creative, thought-provoking, powerful commentary on the culture of plastic surgery.
The idea of Tom Ford’s editorial, which reportedly was to focus on mature women who resisted plastic surgery, was extremely appealing to me. The possibilities seemed endless. Who would the women be? How would he tackle this subject? What would the message be?
In no point in time did it ever cross my mind that what we might get would be Crystal Renn in a hyper-stylized, hyper-sexual rendering of a “cougar” undergoing various procedure. That being said, it’s true the images in “La Panthère Ose” are evocative. They are eerie. They are thought-provoking. But compared to Meisel’s 2005 editorial, they fall flat. This is why I am disappointed. The potential was there for this to be a remarkable editorial. Instead, we are expected to revel in its mediocrity when we could be reveling in something of this caliber:
What do you think of the two editorials? Which one do you consider to be the more powerful commentary on plastic surgery?