Were You Whistling At Us?

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A word to the wise, fellas: Maybe think twice before you make with the catcalls and the whistles at the next car full of women. Just sayin’. This convertible’s packed with Valeria Mazza, Michele Hicks and Carla Bruni, from a Vogue Italia shoot in 1995.

Yeah, But She’s Got The Gun…

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In the end, it’s all about who’s holding the gun.

Master fashion photographer-storyteller Steven Meisel shoots model Carolyn Murphy for a stylish editorial in Vogue Italia from 2002 that’s a sumptuous bit of Euro-Noir. Who can tell if Murphy’s gotten mixed up with a dangerous duo out of love for the handsome boy-toy, or been blackmailed by the suave ringleader? What we do know is that she’s the one holding the gun in the end, and making off with the money.

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Jessica Alba, Vintage Vamp

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Jessica Alba makes for a striking vintage vamp, prohibition era gun moll or all-around femme fatale, prowling a parking garage full of dusty getaway cars in this suite of photos by Michelangelo di Battista for Vogue Italia in 2001.

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Cinema Stills

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Steven Meisel, surely one of the masters when it comes to narrative style fashion photography, shooting Daria Werbowy for Vogue Italia 2003. I think the feature was titled “Cinema Stills”. Make up your own story…

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A Star In Her Own Style

a star in her own style 1Give me a roadside motel or a truck stop diner, some moody lighting and talented creatives, and my mind’s hard at work cooking up stories behind the photos. I just can’t help myself. Problem is, there are just too many such stories swirling around in my head right now.

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In the April 2016 Vogue Italia editorial titled “A Star In Her Own Style”, Vincent Peters shot Angela Lindvall looking like a lady on the run. But whether she’s fleeing from her lover, the law, or running off with the loot, well…who knows? I don’t know what the fashion editorial’s title is supposed to mean. Don’t care, either.

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Tanya’s Story

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Oh, what’s her story? I absolutely adore fashion photography that seems to tell a story instead of merely showcasing the apparel and accessories. Here George Lotus shoots model Tanya Dziahileva for Vogue Italia back in 2009. I can gaze at images like this for far too long, imagining scenarios: A lovers quarrel, reconciliation or breakup? She owes the shady loan shark this week’s payment but simply doesn’t have it? She needs her fix? She’s reluctant to go through with the crime he’s proposing? Who knows, but I love it.

On The Road

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Not sure if she’s a gun moll keeping the getaway car warm (and very stylishly) or a moneyed dilettante heading out for some decadent hijinks, but then I just like to imagine stories behind narrative fashion photos. Master lensman Steven Meisel shoots model Eugenia Volodina in an editorial titled “On The Road” for the April 2002 issue of Vogue Italia.

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On The Run

frances coombe anastasia ivanova unwerth vogue italia

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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