70’s Decadence

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From Vs. magazine’s Fall-Winter 2014/15 issue, an intriguing homage to all that’s decadent in fashion photography – bad boy Helmut Newton, badder-girl Ellen Von Unwerth, and a nod to the 1978 erotic crime thriller Eyes Of Laura Mars (more about that guilty pleasure weird-fest of a flick at thestilettogumshoe.com later…count on it).

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The photo suite’s introductory copy explains: “In the cult movie Eyes Of Laura Mars, Faye Dunaway plays a photographer who can see through the eyes of a killer. Here, our cover girl Uma Thurman – a modern-day Dunaway – embodies the thriller’s title role and pays homage to its seductive 70’s styling and provocative imagery (the movie featured stills by Helmut Newton). Who better to capture this iconic marriage of fashion and film than Newton’s seminal successor, Ellen Von Unwerth?”

Well, I’ve seen Von Unwerth get both saucier and nastier than these, and the staged photo shoots, stills and grisly murders in the 1978 film pushed the limits for the time, presaging a host of disturbing visuals soon to populate countless VHS tapes in the ‘erotic thriller’ craze of the early 80’s. But Von Unwerth and Thurman captured some vintage decadence here, to be sure.

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She Was Framed.

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Maybe it was a set-up. Maybe she was framed. Maybe she had it coming, who knows? Maybe things would’ve gone down easier if she just went along quietly.

The cops couldn’t hold onto her in Basic Instinct, but actress Sharon Stone’s not getting out of the clink anytime soon in this gritty 2008 photo suite from Ellen von Unwerth, fashion photography’s maestro of mischief and all things delightfully decadent.

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Or…

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Just a couple of pals en route to the airport, off on a weekend romp.

Or…sneaking out of their rat-trap tenement after that sleazy landlord offered some suggestions on how they might make good on the three months’ back rent.

Or…hightailing it outa there with their grips stuffed full of loot from last night’s heist, their loudmouthed gangster-wannabe boy-toys sleeping the ‘big sleep’ back upstairs.

Or, just models Camilla Christensen and Emma Stern Nielsen, shot by Ellen von Unwerth for Vs Magazine.

Crime’s So Glamorous

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Edgy fashion and decadent art photography master Ellen von Unwerth has an eye for Bonnie & Clyde style gangsters. Even all that stolen loot won’t make things right when you’re on the run, it seems.

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Duffy: Rockferry

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I’ve put the Christmas carols away for another year. Soundtrack to queueing up some posts before getting back to work on The Stiletto Gumshoe sequel: Rockferry by Welsh songstress Duffy, along with a sultry photo below of the artist by art-n-fashion photography bad girl, Ellen von Unwerth.

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Provocateur Private Eye

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The ‘peeper’ private eye camera with flash, the shamus’ magnifying glass on the bed and the male victim’s oxfords poking out from underneath it…and of course, three fetching fashion models posed in their underwear and hose. From lingerie marketer Agent Provocateur, shot by Ellen von Unwerth in 2015.

On The Run

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Writers find inspiration in many places. Actually, story ideas are rarely an issue. Finding the time write them all is more of an issue, right? As for me, an unlikely but fruitful source of inspiration is in fashion editorial photography. Not just plain ol’ glamour shots, but the artfully styled pieces on elaborate sets and locations, often telling some sort of enigmatic story in pictures. I gaze at the sumptuous images and make up all kinds of stories in my head.

Here we see Frances Coombe and Anastasia Ivanova photographed by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Italia. Are they on the run? And if so, from who? The law, their spouses, lovers…maybe they lifted a bag of money from the mob?  Who knows, but it’s fun to play make believe with the photos…

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