from the man who brought us such hits as 'chanel: paris-shanghai' comes this taster of another eagerly anticipated visual feast - the 2011 pirelli calendar.
i do not doubt this man's skills as a designer/couturier - his longevity is only a testament to the power he has amassed for his vision of fashion, but it is also symptomatic of very dangerous and dated thinking which i feel has no place in our times and, with his level of influence, possesses a contagiously degenerative momentum.
elements such as models/styling/hair/makeup etc are interchangeable and of course are indicative of context, but nothing new is being presented here and all we are getting is a viral regurgitation of pre-existing ideological constructions about greco-roman mythology. the territory of myth is vast and we could have been taken in any direction but instead we were brought back to a tired, sickeningly overdone subject loaded with andro-eurocentric narcissism. what more can we learn from this that we don't already know? nude women/models as gods?
and don't even get me started on casting. jeneil williams as hades? in true lagerfeld fashion, what appears to be the only black girl in this ensemble takes a starring role as the ruler of hell. lakshmi menon isn't even granted a singular character but is a nameless constituent of a collective.
yes it's the pirelli calendar, there is that level of objectification expected from such a product, but unlike 2010's incarnation shot by none other than terry richardson (undisputed king of female objectification), we are not being engaged in a contemporary arena but instead forced backwards into confronting cultural ghosts. and as available only to an exclusive and influential elite, it can only be guessed at how pervasive these tastes actually are, unassumingly digested over the course of an entire year. however that does not dictate the lifespan of the images (or this equally horrendous video) as no doubt the web will afford them all a virtual immortality, a dangerous and inexhaustible fruit available for consumption at any given time or place.
unfortunately there is nothing appetizing here. move along.